Alyssa, who appears to be dressed as an android, at least from what little we can see of her outfit (and, oddly, it has potential), tells the designers that this is the Avant Garde challenge, and they are to produce wearable works of art, innovative out-of-the-box fashion, dramatic looks, and assorted other adjectival phrases. She then reveals the name of the guest judge this week--Boy George--which is probably some contractual obligation on the show's part. Because - why does it matter? They're not designing for him. He just wants to get his name out early and often, I suppose.
I'm far more into what Dom is into - the work of Juan Carlos Pinto, who makes mosaics out of cut up Metro Cards (and other stuff). I love mosaics; I suppose it's not unlike the beadwork I've done in the past, attaching small pieces together to form a cohesive whole, only in 2D. Dom recognizes that the way she plays with fabrics is not dissimilar to the effect of Pinto's cutting and pasting.
The budget for this challenge is $400. At Mood, we find Kini once again buying brocade. WTcompleteF? And Sam, who has just as much money to spend as everyone else, instead buys some floaty fabric and a ton of fabric paints.
This week, in addition to Kini's now-expected bitching about Sam, Ken gets to have his say as well. He thinks Sam is a huge threat (notice he didn't say "competition,") not because of his talent, but because he holds the judges in some strange thrall. That's called "producer manipulation," Ken. Kini seems to think that an avant garde look requires a lot of technical skills, which he believes Sam is lacking. But that's not necessarily true. To be avant garde simply means to be innovative, or in the forefront. To do something that nobody else has done before. The early 20th century art movement called Dada or Dadaism is a good example. While today, in the age of the Piss Christ, a urinal posing as art is no big thing, back then, it was shocking and unexpected. It wasn't art, it was anti-art. Yet somehow that made it art. So really, anything goes when it comes to avant garde fashion, as long as it still remains fashion, that is, wearable. However, Sam seems to think that it's about "an idea, a feeling," and that the type of avant garde that is "overdone and ridiculous" is not who he is as a designer.
What we have here is a clear non-understanding of the concept of avant garde. Admittedly, it is somewhat difficult. It is very very hard to be an innovator.
Sewing, sewing, bitching, then Day One comes to an end. Luckily, the designers have two days for this challenge, and not long after they get to the workroom on Day Two, Zanna comes in for...what would you call the opposite of a pep talk? A demoralization meeting? She starts with Emily, and tells her that her dress might be too literal a translation of the painting, what with the colors and the mimicking of the shapes on the upper left side. It's clearly an Emily dress, and while a cool concept, it's not particularly avant garde. Zanna tells Dom to "bring it." Kini's look isn't particularly modern or avant garde. (I blame the brocade.) She tells Ken not to make his dress too "Blade Runner." But if he could somehow make his dress look like a (much) younger Harrison Ford, we'd all be happy.
Ken is happy that this is a two-day challenge, as he's decided to scrap his original idea and make some major changes. His first (real) sketch showed a cage-like structure around the neck and shoulders. He chucks this out the window and works on a "neckpiece, collar moment" that will cover his model's face. And look like a giant leather taco.
Like Ken, Sam is happy that he has extra time for this challenge, because he is, once again, for the umpty-eleventh time in this competition, going to scrap his original design and
This Is What I Do, is pretty terrific, IMHO.
original work of art, in both the colors and the effect of the pattern? The colors and patterns also remind me a bit of Roy Lichtenstein, an artist famous for his comic book-style pop art images. This look is 100% not avant garde and 100% Dom. Perhaps had Sam made this dress, which 100% would not have happened, it would seem more avant garde, because it would be 100% unexpected from him.
Ken's giant black taco is the closest to avant garde we get on this runway. His model's head appears to be floating, which is a neat effect. The rest of the look falls into the "nice dress with ruffled sleeves" category. Boy George thinks it's "pure Grace Jones," which I can see. Isaac thinks it's divine, but it's slightly too short and needs a bit more drama at the bottom, like a train.
I don't really know what to say about it. Ken and Kini have thrown enough shade at Sam; I don't need to pile on. Suffice it to say that I think he could have done better, even keeping the whole rainbow flag motif. It's more sloppy than avant garde.
While the judges deliberate, we have even more drama between Ken and Sam in the green room. Ken calls him a snake and a liar. And while it's true that Sam has not produced many memorable garments this season, it's not his fault that he wasn't eliminated weeks ago despite being on the bottom three times prior to this one. Blame the producers, who have sacrificed quality for drama this season. It's one thing when producer interference is subtle (and it's bound to happen every season), but this season it's painfully obvious.
Next week: the return of past PRAS winners and Nina Garcia! And we also get a glimpse of Alyssa saying something about "for the first time this season, the judges can't make a decision," which: 1) is a lie, they couldn't decide whom to auf in two episodes so far; 2) might mean that all four remaining designers go to the finale. Ugh.
* Isaac looks like he might smell like mothballs. Or whatever cheap perfume Shawnie Sue is wearing on his QVC segments. Plus, he's more than twice Sam's age at 54. When I was 23, 30 was ancient.
Posted by theminx on Opalescentminx.com
Because of recent content theft, I am forced to add this new statement to the end of my posts: If you're reading this post anywhere besides the Opalescent blog, OpalescentMinx.com (also http://minxbeads.blogspot.com) then this content has been stolen. Please do not support this thief!