Friday, October 27, 2017

Project Runway Recap - Season 16, Episode 11

Welcome back, kids! Ready for another exciting recap? Me too! If you find one out there on the Interwebs, please let me know....

Last week, Michael made a crap bondage-style outfit and was deservedly auf-ed for it. I know there are a lot of people in the fandom that think Tim should have used his Tim Gunn Save™ to keep Michael in the competition, but why? He is a good designer, but certainly not the best among the people remaining. He was not the winning designer. How do I know this? Well, it's pretty obvious. He was eliminated. Look, this is a very strong season, and Brandon and Ayana are definitely the two to beat. Each has a very strong point-of-view, or aesthetic, if you will. We haven't seen work like theirs ever in PR history, and one of them is going to win. So what if Michael gets aufed in week 10? He still got to show at NY Fashion Week, even if he was just a decoy. (I think his is the first collection on this page).

This week's episode starts in the designers' apartments, where there are only two guys, the Brothers Brantaro, and three gals, the aforementioned Ayana, plus Kenya and Margarita. They are discussing the previous week's challenge and elimination of Michael and generally wasting my time before they notice that someone snuck into their rooms and left behind a pair of pink boxing gloves and a note. They're pink, it's October, so this is likely to be a breast cancer awareness challenge of some sort, no? Kentaro picks up on this right away, telling Brandon that the pink color is the key element here.

The designers find Tim at Gleason's Gym, in Brooklyn, where he is wearing sweats and standing in a boxing ring. There are several women in pink around him, so I'm thinking this is going to be another real woman challenge with the designers creating looks for these cancer survivors. But I'd be wrong. Tim introduces Evy deAngelis, the Executive Director of Sales at Avon who is only there because this is evidently the "Avon Challenge," though Avon isn't giving an extra prize to the designer who wins. Evy talks a bit about the Avon Breast Cancer Campaign and two of the women standing nearby talk about their experience as a survivor. Tim tells the designers that the challenge is to create a high-fashion, editorial look inspired by warrior women. This is a two-day challenge, with a $250 materials budget. But before they get to sketch and shop, they have to participate in a boxing boot camp. Seriously? The five pull on the pink gloves and throw some punches.

Ayana especially seems to have some issues to work through, as she's not only punching but also kicking. Bet she's doing some sweating in that headscarf and long sleeves, too.

Eventually the designers get to Mood. Brandon says because Zac was picking on his drab color story, he was going to snazz things up a bit by using pink and brown fabrics. The two colors he's been using the whole season. So different!

At the workroom, everybody gets started except Kenya, who is having designer's block. She grabs a can of Coke with red tape over the label (because Coke isn't a sponsor) and hopes the caffeine and high fructose corn syrup will help her think. Kentaro is also having a few issues. He's been assigned one of the plus-sized models, Jazzmine, and he's torn between wanting to make her look good and making simply what he wants to make.

By the end of Day 1, Kenya has nothing to show for the day's work except some scraps of blue fabric and her own sense of despair. At the start of Day 2, we see that Kentaro has fabricated a white hoodie and sweater combo that don't look quite large enough for Jazzmine. The sleeves especially look too slim for a plus-sized woman's upper arms. Brother Brandon has a very similar thing going with a white hoodie. Perhaps the Brothers Brantaro are rubbing off on each other? Just don't let Margarita catch wind of any of this....

Tim comes in for his critique. He thinks the ruffled men's shirting top Ayana's working on is a real "wow moment." It's got a sideways collar, which has been a thing all season, and a lot of other stuff going on, too. While it's ok that Ayana's top is crazy busy, Tim suggests that Kentaro might have too many competing ideas.

Brandon is advised to push beyond what the judges have seen already--the light colors, the floppy straps. Too late--that's what they're going to get.

By this time, Kenya has some blue fabric petals and half a skirt pinned to her form. She tells Tim she's in a "creative black space," and he reminds her that she's the only designer left without a win. Way to twist the knife, Tim.

At first he seems unenthusiastic about Margarita's very literal warrior woman red floofy dress with gold corset, yet Tim tells her he really likes it. That he gets what she's trying to say, and that she can't control if the judges get it or not. It might be too super-hero-ish to them, but he's imagining paintings of Queen Elizabeth I in formal dress with armor on top. I'm not sure the judges think that deeply, Tim. Margarita realizes it's very Wonder Woman, but with Tim's assurances, she doesn't change a thing.

There's an amusing scene where Brandon is checking the fit of his drop-crotch pants on Kentaro. It reminds me of the Chinpokomon episode of South Park.

We get a little glimpse into Ayana's life in the next scene as she calls her Mom for a chat. The narrative tells us that Ayana got divorced and moved to Utah from Tennessee, with plans to show in Utah Fashion Week. I had to check out this Utah Fashion Week, as I can't imagine that it's something that serves very many designers. Turns out that on St Patrick's day of this year, both Ayana and Brandon sent garments down the runway for an Urban/Streetwear show at Utah Fashion Week. No telling if they included magic underwear in their collections.

The models come in, but before they are fitted with whatever scraps the designers have ready, they have to go to makeup. Because this is the Avon challenge, we get to visit the Room o' Cosmetics twice this week.

I'm sure it was fun trying things on while avoiding getting electric blue eye shadow on everything. Jazzmine has to wear a schmatta over her face while trying on Kentaro's very snug hoodie/sweater combo.

After nearly ripping Jazzmine's ears off, Kentaro realizes it doesn't fit and goes back to the drawing board for a new top idea. He's left with only black fabrics, so he's using them to make various kimono-esque layers. Margarita, on the other hand, is feeling that she's finding her voice as a designer. Sure, if she's going to go work for Marvel Studios. The two are both getting serious loser edits.

The next morning, the designers send their models to get another layer of Avon makeup spackled on, along with a visit to the No Name Hair Salon. Tim advises them to use the JC Penney accessories wall both "very thoughtfully" and "carefully."

After a commercial break, we see Heidi embrace guest judge Rachel Brosnahan, saying, "I'm really garlick-y," which I guess means she had just snarfled down some Thai take-out before filming. Brosnahan is one of this season's many Millennial guest judges whom I don't know from Adam. Or in this case, Eve. However, she seemed vaguely familiar, so I consulted IMDB. Apparently she was in something I had seen--she was Rachel Posner on 19 episodes of House of Cards, a vaguely memorable character who met with the show's typical gristly end. But that's neither here nor there. What qualifies her to be a judge on a fashion show? Perhaps her aunt Kate Spade.

With only five designers, the runway show is short. Why oh why do they still need to stretch the episode out for 90 minutes? So much blah blah.

Kenya gets the first critique. Liris looks amazing. Kenya's design highlights all her best features and emphasizes her hourglass figure. Heidi thinks Kenya's the first designer who understood how to dress that particular model's shape. Zac finds the dress empowering. Nina loves the shoulder treatment.

Then comes Little Pink and Brown Riding Ninja. Heidi feels that Brandon's "nomadic warrior" is "out there," but she loves it. It's both masculine and feminine, and extremely editorial. The regulars hate the "baby bonnet," but Brosnahan loves it. Zac thinks Brandon knocked this one out of the park, even though he made a pair of "poopy pants." I don't find it to be either masculine or feminine. Not unisex, even. There's just something very infantile about it. The judges see it too, with their "baby bonnet" and "poopy pants" comments. Had someone else made pants with that crotch (roomy enough to accommodate a full diaper), they'd have been ripped to shreds. I don't get it.

Margarita doesn't get such high praise. Zac says the draping of the skirt is nice, but it seems more "clubby" than "armor." Heidi says it's too literal a Wonder Woman look, and Nina agrees, calling it cliche and a costume. It's also a bit too sloppy to be the result of two days of work.

Brosnahan doesn't like that she can't see Jazzmine's body in Kentaro's rather austere garment. And it's black; the judges don't like black. "Black is hard to photograph," and "it's more monastic than majestic," says Nina. They're disappointed that Kentaro has gone back to what he was designing before the competition, rather than doing what they want him to do. (Now wait a minute. They are judges, not mentors. Why should Kentaro change his whole aesthetic because the judges want to see color? Pleasing the judges is of course a better way to win a competition, but being untrue to yourself as a designer won't do you well in the long run.) Heidi notices that Kentaro's look somewhat resembles Brandon's, at least in the strappy thing that Kentaro put around the neck of his model. Haven't we gone through this whole "designers are influenced by other designers" thing a couple of episodes ago? Move on, people. You don't like Kentaro's work? Then don't put him in the top three. Period.

Finally, Ayana's look is deemed "wacky" but incredible. Zac is blown away. The look is bold, beautifully tailored, strong, and sexy without showing skin.

At this point, I realize I don't understand the whole model competition aspect of this season. Christina was Michael's model last week. He was eliminated, but she's still here, wearing Ayana's garments. How does this work? And if you look at the photos from the finale, there are a few models who haven't appeared on the show for a few weeks already. How did they get chosen? Why aren't they all there?

After manhandling the garments to get a closer look, the judges decide that Brandon's toddler ensemble is the winner, rather than Ayana's very cool and well-thought-out take on a power suit. Margarita is sent packing. Or is she? Tim Gunn Save™ to the rescue! So we're still at five designers. However, next week's promo hints at a double elimination. Who do you think will go? (My guess is Kentaro and Kenya. For my reasoning, see this post.)

Posted by theminx on Because of past content theft, I am forced to add this statement to the end of my posts: If you're reading this post anywhere other than the Opalescent blog, (also then this content has been stolen. Please do not support this thief!

Friday, October 20, 2017

Project Runway Recap - Season 16, Episode 10

Now that the Annoying Twins are gone, this recap should be fairly short and sweet. Ok, maybe a tad sour, 'cuz that's just how I am. But there's not much to complain about anymore, so I think things might be a bit more pleasant around here for the next couple of weeks. Or not.

There are six designers remaining - Ayana, Brandon, Kentaro, Kenya, Margarita, and Michael. All talented. All potential winners. Of course only one of them can win all those lovely monetary prizes and sewing machines and cars and shit. All of them showed collections at Fashion Week this year. What? Don't believe me? Check out this post, which includes photos of every garment from the six Project Runway collections that were shown at Fashion Week in September. Last season, the show also included the final six contestants, and their collections were presented anonymously to the audience. Considering NY Fashion Week was at the beginning of September, over a month ago at this point, when 12 designers were left on the show, I'm thinking they did the anonymous runway thing again (and will edit in the designers thanking their moms later). But why allow six to show when, with anonymity, the top three would do? Do the top three designers have such distinctive styles that they'd easily be guessed? Take a look at the link above and see for yourself.

The challenge this week seems slightly less complicated than in previous weeks, though the designers first meet Heidi on the runway set for a cryptic admonishment to "be careful." Then they rendezvous with Tim elsewhere for the actual challenge. He's with Brian Bolain, General Manager of Product & Consumer Marketing for Lexus USA. Three Lexuses loom in the background. (Lexi?) No matter the manufacturer, they are three ugly SUVs that look just like every other SUV out there. Honestly, I don't understand the need to drive such behemoths. (It's a real riot to watch people in my narrow-streeted neighborhood try to park those things, though most of them couldn't parallel park a Fiat 500. Even my dog stops to watch the hilarity of people parking around here.) Bolain blathers on about the 2018 Lexus for a few minutes before they get to the meat of the challenge: make something fashionable with the unconventional materials that are hiding within the vehicles. Apparently, part of the blather included information about Lexus' dedication to safety, therefore the materials in question were created with safety in mind. They include not only seat belts, but also caution tape, helmets, knee pads, fire hose, reflective vests, traffic cones, etc. The designers have three minutes to grab materials, after which they bypass Mood and go directly to the workroom where they have only the rest of that day to make something fashionable. Or at least not completely hideous.

The workroom is filled with junk. Margarita thoughtfully inventories the many many items she dragged out of the SUVs, utilizing one of the now-empty tables behind her personal workstation. Kenya hasn't picked up many items at all. She seemed to have a little trouble moving back and forth from the cars to the barrels in which she was to deposit the items she was selecting, so she basically has a rubber life raft and some seat belts (plus whatever bits and bobs she had stuck down between her boobs) with which to work.

After playing with some bungee cords, Michael gets bored and goes off to call his sister, Julia. They talk about another sister who has just had surgery, and a bit about how Michael needs to stay in the competition. Julia cries because she didn't realize she missed her brother until she saw him. A little while later in the episode, Kenya calls her Mom for a chat. So one of these designers is most likely, possibly going home. Or maybe this is just something to fill the episode since there's no other drama to speak of.

Brandon is a bit lost with all the unconventional materials. He's got a rubber life raft, and he's using that to make a skirt. But what to use for a top? He's wrestling with a space blanket, a large, shiny, aluminum foil-like square of very thin mylar used to prevent hypothermia, but that just looks like a disaster. He asks Brother Kentaro to consult with him, as he needs ideas. Meanwhile, Kentaro is working with fire hoses, cutting them open and sewing the strips into large panels with which he's making a skirt for his model, Liris. He says he can't make it too short, as she has a lot of "chunk in her trunk," "trunk in her chunk." Brandon corrects him, "junk in the trunk."

Ayana is working on what she is calling a ballgown, with a sleek almost leather-looking top with bold padded shoulders and a mosaic of broken reflectors glued to it. She's planning on making a voluminous skirt of orange plastic barrier fencing. It could be amazing, or a real mess. Margarita, likewise, has really embraced the whole "unconventional" theme by turning knee pads into boob covers and red barricade tape into a skirt.

After a commercial break in which we see Brandon's Dixie cup from two weeks ago, Tim comes in to critique what has been done so far. He thinks Ayana's has the potential to be very chic. Kenya, who has settled on making a black dress, is prompted to "turn up the volume," though she is hamstrung by her lack of usable materials. A shame she wasn't able to get more seatbelts. Remember that amazing seatbelt coat that Korto made way back when?

Michael has been working on a bondage get-up with blue bungee cords. He's also made a cute bralette out of bright blue straps that he plans on putting under the bungees. Tim thinks they are two different outfits and advises Michael to go with one or the other. I think he should immediately throw them both in the trash and start over.

Kentaro tells Tim that he's lucky to have snatched all the fire hose, because it's like fabric. Tim concurs. It is like fabric. That's not really in the spirit of the challenge, is it? Brother Brandon is still trying to figure things out. Tim says he appears to be "flummoxed," which is a great word that we should all try to fit into a conversation now and again. (Instead, we--meaning you--are probably going to continue using words like "epic," and "literally" often and incorrectly). Tim reminds Brandon that he usually concentrates on silhouette, in other words, stop trying to make that crinkly foil crap work. Brandon thinks his look is "beautiful," even though the Mylar is so thin, it's impossible to sew, and keeps tearing when he attempts to put it on his model.

The next morning, the designers still have plenty to do during the hour that their models shop at Duane Reade for Great Lash Mascara, Lee Press-On Nails, and Dippity Doo.

Kenya and Ayana both have issues with their garments at the last minute, with zippers breaking and sleeves falling off, but they fix things as best they can and head to the runway.

This week's guest judge is someone named Carly Chaikin who is on "Mr Robot," one of the many shows I don't watch. She speaks with an incredibly annoying vocal fry, which makes my throat hurt just to listen to her. Why is it so hip to sound disaffected? Isn't upspeak bad enough?

The runway show is good. So good, Heidi says, "we love everything." After grumbling by Nina and Zac, she modifies her statement to "well...there's nothing we hate."

Since there are only six designers left, they all stay on the runway.

Brandon's look is critiqued first. He totally gave up on the mylar and instead made an interesting swing top from the yellow reflective vest he had been wearing and part of the life raft. He used the rest of the raft to make a skirt. Both pieces are cute, chic, and festooned with only a few of Brandon's signature flying ribbons of fabric. Zac adores it, and appreciates that Brandon was forced to play with color and texture.

Michael's bungee horror was up next. The bandage skirt and bungees squish his model's butt into unflattering shapes, and the bralette seemed ill-fitting. Nina said this look was "not one of her favorites" and that his model looked like a backup dancer. Vocal Fry said she looked "hookerish," and Zac was just disappointed. It didn't seem like Michael put as much work into his garment as the other designers did.

Kenya's dress was a bit of a hot mess in that it appeared to be lopsided and falling apart, but the judges liked it. Heidi thought it was cool. Zac liked that Kenya had painted over her materials, which gave them shine and texture. The judges praised the wide-hipped silhouette (though the model didn't seem particularly enthused about that), which they declared dramatic.

Ayana's ball gown was over the top, "hot," and "bold," though Zac felt the top was a bit outdated and cliche. The judges felt that Ayana's model looked like she was "on fire" which was what Ayana was going for. Vocal Fry went crazy over the pieces of blue reflector at the throat, which she felt pulled the look together.

Margarita's look, with its knee pad bustier and helmet shoulders, was praised for its "super-hero vibe." Other adjectives thrown her way were "innovative," "graphic," and "inventive." She was also applauded for her "wonderful" use of the materials. Maybe a tad Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles though. Zac opines that after all these weeks, with all the different looks that Margarita has presented, he still doesn't understand her design aesthetic.

Why Kentaro styled Liris to look like Pocahontas, we'll never know.The judges weren't thrilled with this at all. They thought it was kitschy and looked like a Native American costume, or a doll. Surprisingly, Margarita didn't think Kentaro was stealing Michael's Native American-inspired look from the real woman challenge of a few weeks earlier.

I figured that Brandon or Margarita would win this one, since they seemed to garner the most praise. Instead, that distinction went to Ayana, despite the "cliche" top half of her garment. Kentaro and Michael were the only two on the bottom this week, and I imagined both would get to stay because Tim had not yet used his Tim Gunn Save™. Both are good designers, and Michael had just won a challenge. But at this point in the game, nobody is safe. Michael goes home, and Tim doesn't show any real grief when he sends him to the workroom to clean out his station.

Next time: It's Pastry Week! No wait...wrong reality competition.....

Posted by theminx on Because of past content theft, I am forced to add this statement to the end of my posts: If you're reading this post anywhere other than the Opalescent blog, (also then this content has been stolen. Please do not support this thief!

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Model Spotting

I found this image of Project Runway season 16 model Monique Robinson on the Jessica London website. Hopefully she'll move on to higher-quality projects after PR.

Posted by theminx on
Because of past content theft, I am forced to add this statement to the end of my posts: If you're reading this post anywhere other than the Opalescent blog, (also then this content has been stolen. Please do not support this thief!

Friday, October 13, 2017

Project Runway Recap - Season 16, Episode 9

If you remember correctly, good people, last week's episode didn't quite end on a high note. In fact, it didn't seem to end at all. We had a winner, but no one was yet going home.

Except Harvey Weinstein.

But his wife, Georgina Chapman, won't be around when he gets there. WTF is wrong with Hollywood? How could Weinstein's behavior have been an open secret for so long without anything being done about it? How was the old "casting couch" trope allowed to be a reality well into the 21st century? Seth MacFarlane joked about the situation back in 2013, at the Academy Awards best actress nominations presentation. “Congratulations, you five ladies no longer have to pretend to be attracted to Harvey Weinstein.” It was a joke that was no joke, but people still laughed for a good beat or two. Sexual harassment is serious fucking shit, people. In my workplace, an institute of higher learning, all employees must have sexual harassment prevention training and we are quizzed on it annually. Why is it still ok that individuals who are already powerful, who can make or break people's careers and indeed even their lives, can get away with doing such terrible and demeaning things to other human beings? I have to wonder if Weinstein ever harassed Heidi Klum. If so, will she come forward? Or has her own power corrupted her into silence? I can only assume they had a close working relationship from their Project Runway connection. Perhaps she was one of the lucky ones, and perhaps she knew nothing.

Personally, I think anyone not a victim who knew anything about the Weinstein situation and neither said nor did anything is complicit and should be held accountable, at least in a karmic way.
</end of this week's rant>

Back to the show.

After Heidi declared Last Annoying Twin Standing, aka Hairy (also occasionally called "Claire" for some reason), as the winner of last week's challenge, Michael walked off the stage. He doesn't think the competition is fair and squeals to Tim that every garment that the Annoying Twins produced was copied from something they already owned and wore. Though I disliked the twins, I don't think Michael's accusation was quite fair. Their garments from the very first challenge, for example--Hairy's layered tulle dress, and Baldie's unflattering baggy shorts and crop top with weird flowy streamers--didn't look like anything the two of them wore on the show. Ditto for the ugly plastic outfits they made for the unconventional challenge in episode two. The Twins themselves wore sweatshirts, skinny pants (usually leggings), leather jackets, and other "street wear" type things. Except for the black and navy lace top that Baldie wore during episode six, which we only saw the one time. In that episode, it was obvious that there were similarities between the Twins' own clothes and the garments they were producing for the runway. Hairy's design for that challenge involved a sweatshirt; Baldie's was a mashup between the blouses that she and her model wore, and an exact copy of her model's pants.

Meanwhile, back on the runway, the judges are nonplussed. "This has never happened before," states Heidi. She asks Hairy if Michael is upset with her win; Hairy has no idea. Margarita says, mysteriously, "none of us wants to point fingers," just before everyone starts pointing fingers. She then runs backstage to check on Michael, who has just dropped his bombshell on Tim. Margarita tells Tim that Hairy measured her clothes. Tim says, "everyone has a tape measure at their workstation," and "if you want, you can measure the garment you are wearing in the room." He seems confused, for good reason. He's been presented with two issues: 1) copying; 2) measuring. Neither of them seem to be actual problems, if one judges with only the scant amount of information Tim has at hand.

Back on the runway set, Heidi asks for enlightenment. Batani helpfully tell the judges that Hairy had ripped off Margarita's design from the earlier challenge. She then added that Hairy measures her clothing. Hairy, who is standing there openmouthed, admits to taking a pair of her own pants, measuring them, and using those measurements as reference to make the pants she created for this challenge. The judges agreed that was fine.

Backstage, Michael finally tells Tim that Hairy has a tape measure in her room, to which Tim replies that they will "look into it" before sending Michael back to the runway. Once there, he apologizes for his behavior but says he couldn't stand there for a win he felt was unjustified. Yolanda Hadid then asks Michael if he is an exalted highfalutin judge like herself, or merely a participant--a designer knave whose sole purpose in life is to produce the clothes that her daughters wear as rich, sought-after, models.

The judges still don't understand what is really going on. Hairy seems completely clueless, or is at least pretending to be. Michael then declares he can tell the judges the exact reference Hairy used for each garment she made. She defends herself with "nuh uh!" Because for one thing, he can't, and for another, it's no crime to use other garments as reference. The judges agree. They tell the designers to focus on their own work and not that of others. In other words, to mind their own beeswax.

Back to Tim, who is still standing around backstage looking somewhat befuddled. He looks at the camera and tells us that Hairy's copying of Margarita's dress is a non-issue, but if she indeed has a tape measure in her room, that is against the rules and there will be consequences.

Meanwhile, Heidi reiterates that Hairy is the winner of the challenge and the $25K and can leave the runway, along with Kenya, Kentaro, and Margarita, who are safe. Margarita is embarrassed about how they (meaning she and Michael) handled the situation. If they thought one or both of the Twins were cheating, then they should have said something to that effect to Tim or one of the producers two or three or four or five episodes ago. In the same way that people who knew about Harvey Weinstein's deplorable behavior toward women should have said something.

Perhaps they should have taken a knee instead. But that's another argument for another time.

Back in the green room, Claire feels the whole thing was a personal attack. The Good and Evil challenge is brought up. Michael and Margarita claim that the tank-style top she made for her dress was based on something one of the Twins was wearing that day. And that she measured it. At home. She cops to taking four measurements from a tank back at the apartment. She doesn't seem to realize that having the tape measure outside of the workroom is against the rules. Tim steps in and asks if it's true that she has contraband (which also includes pens and paper). Hairy confesses that she is in possession of the forbidden instrument and that she had used it on a tank and the crotch of a pair of pants. Tim then rescinds her win and sends her packing. He doesn't say, "we'll miss you," and he definitely doesn't use his Tim Gunn Save™.

There's now no winner for the challenge, but Dixie still wants to put one of the computer generated designs into production. They choose Brandon's, and he seems inordinately excited to have his doodles on the side of a paper cup. There's no word on anyone receiving the cash prize.

Wow. It only took fifteen minutes of this episode to resolve this challenge, and a much longer time for me to write about it. I guess the producers have had to pad it out because now that the Annoying Twins are gone, the show is boring. The remaining designers are all too nice and get along too well. There's no drama at all for the remaining 75 minutes. Which begs the question: why do the episodes need to be 90 minutes long if there's not 90 minutes worth of content? I seem to remember hour-long episodes being just fine.

We next see the designers going back out onto the runway set, which is choked with toys and little girls playing with hideous dolls and their hideous accessories. Tim gets the rugrats' attention and they march out onto the runway with him, each holding a colorful troll-like creature in their hands. These ugly bits of plastic are called Shopkins, a name that brings to mind small, nebbishy, Jewish men. The original Shopkins are tiny toys from Australia named after grocery store items. The Shopkins these kids are playing with are larger, from the "Shoppies" line. ("Shoppies" sounds like street slang for people who practice the art of shoplifting. Don't these companies have R&D?) The dolls allegedly hail from different parts of the world and have ridiculous monikers like Spaghetti Sue and her friends Pia Pasta and Maria Meatballs from Italy, and Bubbleisha, from China. (China?) There are also several characters that are inanimate objects, like Luigi Lasagna and Peppa Ronnie Pizza.

Hold on. I gotta go vomit.

Anyhoo... Kotomi Nanjo, an employee of the manufacturer of these unfortunate technicolor gewgaws, is there to help Tim present this week's overly complicated challenge. The designers are to create an avant-garde look inspired by the little girls' favorite Shopkins. Ok, so that seems a little more straightforward than other challenges this season. But they can't just pick up a doll and get inspired by it, no, they have to consult with the kiddos who have drawn pictures and have funny stories and blah blah blah. The winner of the challenge will get a bonus of $5K and have their design turned into a special exclusive Shopkins doll. If that's not exciting, I don't know what is.

Oh yeah, most things.

Tim pairs up the kids with the designers. Somehow the African American kids get the African American designers, the one Asian kid gets the one Asian designer, and the Caucasian designers get white kids. It's hard to tell with Margarita's kid; she could have Spanish roots, or her family could be from one of the many other nations bordering the Mediterranean. Michael's kid seems pretty darn white though. Tim had the button bag in hand, but that only gives him the order in which the designers are chosen. Incidentally, the kids themselves are not playing with racially-matched dolls. Yes, I notice these things.

The designers and kiddos consult for 30 minutes, which would have killed me. Ugh. All that pink plastic. And all those enthusiastic children. Michael's kid is into disco, so he decides he'll make a disco ball. However, he has to be careful not to reference an actual disco ball, lest he have to accuse himself of cheating. Brandon's girl is obsessed with chocolate and she wants him to grind up chocolate and smear it into the dress, and then pour chocolate over it. Brandon's not into that at all, which surprises me. Considering that a few of his garments this season were blotched with what looked like baby poop stains, his kid's suggestions should be right up his alley. Over on the other side of the room, Amy taps into her inner child and plays happily with her kid, not really paying much attention to the fact that she should be thinking and sketching. A portent of doom if I ever saw one.

After consulting, the designers head to Mood with $300 to spend. They should probably brush their teeth too, after sugar-fest they just experienced.

Now that both Annoying Twins are out of the picture, the workroom is calm and quiet. And boring. I think I fell asleep for a few minutes because my notes on Tim's critique are pretty vague. He tells Batani to lose the fishing pole she has sticking out of the colorful mounds of fabric she's calling a dress. He tells Ayana that she's got a lot of stuff going on and she should lose this fabric and consider that one carefully, etc. Once Tim leaves, Ayana starts making a cage out of chicken wire. Wonder what he would have said had he seen that?

Michael's sequinned fabric is pretty unforgiving so he needs to watch every detail. Amy's outfit is great from the hips up but otherwise yuck. And Brandon's is....well, Brandon doesn't really have much done. And it's green, not baby poop brown, which is nice change from the usual. For him, switching colors like that is somewhat avant garde in itself, but there's not much garment there otherwise. Tim makes some suggestions to him, pronounces himself excited about what is generally going on in the workroom, and beats a hasty retreat.

The models come in for a fitting. Michael has made a sheer bodysuit thing, and I'm not sure how that's fitting into the design because while sparkly, there are no sequins on it. Batani's model is unsure about the pile of fabric she is being made to wear. It shows off her back fat, which some people might consider unflattering. Brandon's model has nothing at all to put on, so she sits in the green room to play Candy Crush for a while until he's cobbled together some pieces.

There doesn't really seem to be all that much workroom time in this episode, probably because of all the wasted time at the beginning. In a flash, it's the next morning and Tim is telling the designers they have one hour (only one hour? isn't it normally two?) to send their models to the Rainbow Brite makeup studio and the Strawberry Shortcake hair salon. I don't recall any mention of the JC Penney Accessories Wall, but I may have blacked out momentarily. [Edited to add: My lovely and talented  husband, who managed to stay awake through the entire episode, says Tim suggested that it's important to use the JCPAW very thoughtfully for this challenge.]

The guest judges this week are Kate Upton's boobs. There is no way to unsee those things. She's got 'em, so she's flaunting them in a super low-cut dress that looks a bit dangerous.

The judges were impressed enough with the show this week to choose four top looks and only two bottoms. Kenya and Kentaro are safe, which I had figured, as they got the least amount of camera time this week.

Ayana's dress is called a "show-stopper." Unfortunately, by my clock, there's still about 30 minutes left in the program, so that's not at all true. Zac calls it "surrealist Bo Peep," (I think it looked like a giant baby bassinet.) They love the color, the volume, the giant bow. It is a fun look, and if you think about it, it fit Ayana's "modest" aesthetic pretty well as only Liris' neck and her lower legs was showing. It was a "different side of Ayana" that we hadn't seen before.

Michael revealed that his was meant to emulate a "melting disco ball." The judges felt it was well-made and imaginative. Zac called it a "futuristic tin man." I think it looked like a boa constrictor had crawled into his garment just before his model did and it had wrapped itself around her body.

Brandon's is roundly praised as being "really cool." I don't think it was any more "avant-garde" than anything else he had made during the course of the competition. It had layers, appeared to be made from cotton (though it was probably a more expensive material) and sported a shit ton of those weird strips of cloth that he likes to put on everything. I thought it looked like a pile of folded napkins tangled with an apron left behind by Craft Services.

Batani's looks like a pile of scraps. She had left a bit of black stretch skirt un-embellished, and that looked like a mistake to the judges. To me, too. It appeared to be falling apart, unfinished, not polished. Zac said he wrote down "laundry day." I'm guessing he meant a pile of dirty laundry and not the one clean thing left to wear, but it works either way if the only clean thing was a duvet cover.

Amy's coat thingy is a bit baffling. Her usual streamlined aesthetic isn't visible, and the overall design isn't risky enough. Zac felt it was "sad and depressing." Nobody mentions that it looks nothing like something inspired by a line of saccharine pink and purple kids' toys.

Heidi loved Margarita's look. She thought it was "beyond stunning" and "like a cloud." Like Batani's look, Margarita's was a big pile of fabric, but it was more thoughtfully assembled.

While the judges were taking a closer look at the garments, Zac noted that they were getting close to fashion week and perhaps should start really cutting back on the designers. That prompted the elimination of two people this week. Batani's elimination was obvious, but it was also Amy's time to go. She had made some great garments this season, though was only safe every week. I think it was unfair for her to go home for her first mistake. I mean, it wasn't awful, just not good. But the judges were feeling rather cut-throat, I guess, after the whole debacle with Hairy Twin.

Disco Ball Michael got the win. Can't wait to see the hideous toy that results!

Next week: ZZZzzzzzZZzzzzzz! Oh wait - it's an unconventional materials challenge. Could be fun, but probably not.

Posted by theminx on Because of past content theft, I am forced to add this statement to the end of my posts: If you're reading this post anywhere other than the Opalescent blog, (also then this content has been stolen. Please do not support this thief!


Blog Widget by LinkWithin