We begin with a recap of last week’s episode, where Michael C (Bluto: I’ll give you couture tomorrow for a burger today) won and all the prissy divas (Ivy, Gretchen, Christopher) rolled their eyes, pouted and talked trash about his skills. But that was then and this is now. A team challenge, where there will be no team leader, but a group of 6 designers, who must work together. One member of the losing team will go home. As last week’s winner, Bluto picks first. He picks Gretchen, which prompts April to ask: “Do you wanna hire Hitler? Seriously?” Which is totally wrong. Gretchen’s style is much more Stalinesque.
The next designer chosen will be the first member of the second team, it’s April and she picks Mondo. Each freshly picked designer gets to chose the next team member. Gretchen picks Christopher. The final teams consist of Michael C, Gretchen, Christopher, Andy, Ivy and AJ are “Team Luxe”, or as Miz Shoes calls them, Team Prissy Divas. The other team is the classic high school lunch table assortment of freaks and geeks: April, Mondo, Casanova, Valerie, Michael Knitwear and Peach. April assesses Team Ego Freaks as a clusterfuck of personalities waiting to clash.
Tim gives the challenge: a 6-piece collection that is on trend for Fall 2010. There is a Chinese menu of trends and color stories. Pick one from each side, bring them together and create a collection. Gretchen signs that this will be a piece of cake for Team Masters of the Egoverse. They have an hour to sketch and a cool thou to spend at Mood. It’s another one-day challenge.
Over at the Lunch Table of Losers, Michael Knitwear encourages respect and individuality and being a team. They all hold hands and sing Kumbaya. On the other side of the room, Michael C is immediately ignored by the rest of his team as Gretchen has gotten the bit between her teeth. With Christopher as her trusty gay lieutenant and Ivy as her sniveling Renfield, they decide to do menswear in a palette of camel and beige. Miz Shoes wishes to weep. Some of the fabric choices were plaids, metallics, lace and jaguar/animal prints. But what did Team Our Futures’ So Bright We Gotta Wear Shades opt for? The most predictable and overdone for menswear: camel and beige and grey. Oh, the innovation is killing Miz Shoes here.
Team Loser votes to do military, using black (not green) lace. They share their drawings, and each picks up a design element from another team member. They are each doing their own thing, but working off of each other. Clever. Democratic. They discuss every fabric concept and assign areas of Mood shopping responsibility. Clever. Mondo is Notions Boy. Miz Shoes suspects Mondo has that particular costume already prepared and hanging in the closet at the Atlas. The RLA says it has a blue cape. And he also wears Jason the Droog’s tool corset, but in purple cracked patent leather.)
Team Gretchen & the Sniveling Minions abuse Michael C. Bluto, sweetiedarling, Miz Shoes could have told you that the short, chubby Hispanic kid would never be cool enough to sit with the popular kids in the lunch room. You would have been better served to be on Team We Are the Losers Who Lunch.
The next thirty minutes are painful. El Nino del Infierno goes on the couch, curls up in the fetal position and weeps from the Critique of Tim Gunn. His model finally is able to rescue him from his dark mood and he goes back to the workroom to rework his concept. Team Gretchen is The Shit So Say We All treats Michael C with contempt and disrespect and when they see the way they were edited for this episode, Miz Shoes hopes they are suitably ashamed of themselves and apologize to their families for appearing on national television to have been raised by wolves. They talk trash and cannot envision a future where they are not the top of the heap. Let’s just skip that whole thirty minutes and go straight to the runway.
Michael Kors, NinaGarcia and guest judge Georgina Chapman, Founder of Marchessa. First collection is Los Losers, and the show leads with Mondo’s little black lace stripes top and shorts or mini-romper with no sleeves but plenty of brass and braids. It’s kicky. Miz Shoes wishes she could find another word for Mondo’s aesthetic, but kicky is the most accurate. Peach has left her comfort zone behind, making a sleek high-waisted skirt in blue with buttons and chains across the front, and a beautiful tank top of black lace over cranberry. It has a lovely sweetheart neckline. April has made another of her patent leather, lace, visible zippers, post-apocalyptic Klingon dresses. It fits the challenge perfectly and nods back to Mondo’s look. Valerie has used white and blue, and made a sharp little cropped jacket and skirt. There are lace insets at the shoulders. Next is El Nino del Infierno’s sheer, backless top and skin-tight white pants with a brass zipper and brass buttons all down the side seams. It is easily the best look, and well-made. Huh. And we end with Michael Knitwear’s LBD.
Team We Need To Get Over Ourselves Already leads off with AJ’s sheer linen big shirt over jodhpur-style leggings. Maybe he shouldn’t have tried to French seam that puppy, because those are not well made. For the record, Miz Shoes’ has sewn French seams before and they are not as hard as little AJ tried to make it appear. Christopher has made camel pants and a drapey blouse and a floppy jacket. He is certain that the tailoring is flawless. Andy’s “Grandpa” sweater has been belted with a narrow belt. This causes it to look like it’s been buttoned wrong. There is a huge brass exposed zipper all the way down to the hem. There are lots of zippers.
Heidi calls each member of Team Freaks and Geeks by name. They are the winning team. They have a group hug. Heidi sends the popular kids back to the green room to wait and consider how this could have happened to them. They are shocked. Christopher says that not being on top is uncomfortable. As they sit and talk about the fact that the judges were clearly insane, the same judges are pouring the love on Team Even The Losers Get Lucky Sometimes and explaining why they won. Eventually, Casanova is named the challenge winner and there are more group hugs.
More evil plotting and pinky swearing to have each other’s backs by Team We Still Don’t Know How We Could Have Lost to the Uncool Kids. On the runway, Gretchen continues to wank and lecture the judges. Then she cries. All the minions cry, too. Michael Kors rolls his eyes. Gretchen lectures the judges to be “mindful” of who they send home, because she won’t name a name. Until she does. NinaGarcia lets loose and explains that every garment has a proportion problem, that this is in no way a cohesive collection, and as for the color choices? NinaGarcia has to take a breath and look to the heavens for strength before she can utter the final “ghastly”.
There are another ten minutes where Gretchen and her minions all trash Michael C and declare he was the weakest link and immunity or not, should get sent home. Despite repeated warnings that the judges didn’t care about Michael C, and to name a valid victim, none of the cool kids do, sticking together and insisting that they are the shit. The judges, the blogosphere, the viewing audience and all sentient beings in the known universe see right through that bullshit and Gretchen’s endless stream of crocodile tears, but in the end it is AJ who gets sent home for only making one garment (damn those French seams of hard work), and not even putting any of himself into the design. The final confessional of Gretchen saying that he brought it on himself by making a shitty garment should make her mother proud.
PEE ESS: Tim Gunn comes into the green room snorting fire and brimstone (albeit in a very lovely suit and without so much as a hint of anger in his calm voice) and tells Team No, Really, Get the Fuck Over Yourselves that they should be ashamed of themselves for their behavior on the runway and that Gretchen is a bully and an asshole and they are too for following the Mean Girl. Ivy has the blinders lifted from her eyes. Or so she says. We’ll see next week how this week truly plays out.