This week, the designers are placed into three teams of 2, given money, and asked to bid on Storage Units containing stuff and things and make 2 cohesive looks out of the stuff and things. And then there's a "twist" that I think we all saw coming from a mile away about going to buy fabric for another look. Got it? 3 teams of 2 making 3 looks each of unconventional materials and regular fabric, and they all have to be cohesive. Moving on to the runway were Christian Siriano is back as a guest judge and making me oh so happy to see him.
Amanda: I see why Tim said Teen Hooker. The print is loud (surprise), and it looks young in a way that’s odd. Like a teenager picking out her own clothes for the first time and trying really hard to make a statement. And also telling the boys to look at her tummy! I don’t like it.
Kini: I really like this. It’s clearly not fabric, I think the construction of the soccer ball pieces is clear and interesting, and the fur gives it an interesting elegance you wouldn’t suspect otherwise. I like this a lot.
A & K third look: This one I think is an interesting blending of their two aesthetics. The top is so Amanda, but the bottom feels more like Kini. I like it. I don’t get much in the way of Cohesion from the three looks together, so I’ll be interested to hear how they play that one.
Sean: I’m worried by how many times I’ve had to say this about my Aussie baby, but boring. I love the jacket, and I think it’s well constructed—the lamp shade contour is very interesting indeed, but I feel like he relied a lot on the fabric itself to do the heavy lifting of the look. The mesh dress underneath is overpowered so as to not really matter much. It’s pretty, but boring. And I’m starting to think “Pretty, but Boring” will have to be the title of Sean’s autobiography.
Char: Same problem here, but you add to it the fact that the model can’t really walk in the dress. To her credit, I think she pulls it off nicely, which is good since that’s her job, but yeah there’s no real practicality to the look. And the rest of it is just kind of straight forward and boring.
C & S third look: At the end of the runway, the model can be seen holding up the dress a little bit more so that she can walk. OK deep breath, I love this dress, I love that they took a chance with something, I love that they clearly incorporated their unconventional materials into the dress while still using fabric, and I love that the cut of the dress is very pretty and the blue razor back is just beautiful and eye poping, and I wish she could actually walk in it! Come on guys, the idea is just ½ of it, you have to have some kind of practicality too. I like this a lot, but if it’s in the bottom, I won’t be surprised or upset. Also, color cohesion might be a simple kind of way to go, but I appreciate it when I can look at a collection and easily see why the pieces all go together.
K & E third look: I like it. I don’t know what to really say about it, but I like it.
Emily: I literally laughed out loud when the camera panned up to the shoulders. Give me a break! Over designed is the feeling I get from this and the feeling I think we all get from Emily very often.
Korina: I hate capes, but I don’t hate this look. I think there’s a lot going on in it, but I also think that generally wherever your eye lands, it’s something pretty pleasing to look at. So it’s a lot to look at but instead of shifting your gaze and feeling overwhelmed, I think it makes you feel like “Oh man, that’s cool too!” So good on her. I think there’s also a lot of color coheshion here, but there’s also the general fact that all of their looks are clearly Fall/Winter looks. So it works.
OK first things first, the judges and I don't see eye to eye on a couple things here. They proclaim Kini and Amanda as the clear winners of this week (Kini gets the win, his third), and give a lot of praise for their innovation and their story. In the team's defense, I think their story is actually a good one, and it certainly gave me a greater appreciation of the collection. I also think the story adds the cohesion I thought the collection was missing at first. But the fact still remains that the judges like the looks a little bit more than I do.
They're predictably split on Sean and Char's looks. They like Sean's contributions more than they do Char's. But they do cite Sean's model's inability to walk in her lampshade look. To Heidi's credit, she points out that she'd be more than capable of walking in it and the model needs to get over herself and get her model game more on point. It's a funny exchange, but the outcome is the same: they appreciate Sean's idea even if they don't love the execution. Christian points out that Sean's aesthetic can be found in just about any store anywhere, and I agree with that. It all goes back to what I've been saying which is that Sean has to kick things up a notch or two and innovate his designs a bit more. Even Heidi says that their looks are a bit too safe for this point in the season, and I have to agree. If Sean's actually going to make it to the end like I expect him to, it'll have to be in the wake of him pushing himself a little bit harder in the upcoming weeks.
And the judges don't like Korina and Emily's looks very much. Or more over, they like Emily's looks and don't like Korina's. They actually commend Emily's shoulder pad thing, which I didn't expect at all. Nina edits Korina's cape look down and improves it greatly, which doesn't surprise me as I hate capes, as stated earlier. She also hates the fabric Korina chose from Mood, which also doesn't surprise me; I think we know Nina's aesthetic enough to know she wouldn't care for this collection. And then the nails come out. As their complaining about Korina's looks and finding small things to praise, Korina snidely mentions that her looks are at least wearable, and there's no turning back.
Considering their comments, it's clear they think Korina and Emily are the losing team on the day, I think. It might also have been editing. But they're the only group we see get the "Who should go home?" question, and Korina is clear on this point: If it has to be one of them, then it should be her going home on a look she loves and is confident in, but it shouldn't be either of them as Sean and Char's looks are unwearable and thusly should be sent home. But that wasn't the question. The judges didn't ask who on the runway needs to be sent home, they asked who out of your team should go home, so why the rush to throw another contestant under the bus?
Back in the greenroom, the contestants continue to wonder why Korina needs to be such a bitch about this. Sean has a little more gentle humor about it, commenting on how it hurts to pull those knives out of his chest, but everyone else seems to be a little more off put by the entire display than he is. It might have just been him putting on a bit of a brave face, or a little more confidence than Char has after his couple wins, but still, he placed himself in a position to be the bigger person. Or so it seemed to me at least.
Meanwhile, the judges are still trying to decide who should go home. While they liked Sean's design, they didn't like Char's. While they liked Emily's they didn't like Korina's, so that means it's between Korina and Char on who goes home this week. And Heidi's ominous "I have an idea" doesn't bode very well at all.
Heidi's big idea? Give both Korina and Char an hour to go back into the workroom with helpers and create a new look from scratch that proves why you deserve to stick around. They're allowed to use any fabric they find laying around the workroom, and there's no stipulation other than it take an hour. Their teammates from this challenge are allowed to help but aren't required to from what I understood. But of course both Emily and Sean agree and it's off to the workroom for frantic scrambling.
Sean says it's odd to be asked to help your competition stay around, “But if I carry her through to the top 5, then it’s an easy sheep to the slaughter later.” Oh bitchy Sean, I love it! And this is clearly the stronger pairing. Char starts off saying she wants to go short and sexy, and Sean quickly points out that she was just criticized for going too short and tight, so they agree that long and flowy is the way to go. Sean also helps decide on the asymmetrical cut of the bodice which I think really makes the look come together beautifully.
Meanwhile Korina decides that she wants to spend her hour complaining about the injustice of it all. You see, the thing is, she's just so very very good. She's better than everyone else, and the fact that she has to be here proving herself is just absurd really. Don't the judges know that she's the best and she deserves to stick around and show at NYFW? Don't they know that Char was already sent home once and, therefore, everything she ever does from this point forward for the rest of her life is just tainted and useless because she's unworthy to even breath the same air as the rest of us? And also, even though Nina pointed out she's seen the same aesthetic from Korina 4 times, she's actually only used it once, and she won for it, so clearly Nina is just a useless crazy bitch too and should STFU once and for all! Literally, this is all that Korina's hour consists of. And it's so bad that even Emily mentions how uncomfortable she is and regrets agreeing to help her.
Korina's bitchiness has been a subject for the entirety of the season thus far, but I think we can all agree that this was some next level shit. It's one thing to throw shade, and make a few snide under the breath comments over the course of the season, but to so bluntly assert that this is ridiculous and that there's just no reason whatsoever for her to be expected to do this, while also throwing a fellow designer under the bus and then backing the bus back over her limp corpse is just too much. Everything found here tells us that it's time for Korina to go. But before we can be sure of that, it's back to the runway for two more looks:
Korina’s Keep Me: Yeah no. It looks like she only had an hour, and I think that that could be the worst thing about it. If you deserve to be here, you should at least be able to throw something together that looks like it took longer than an hour to make.
The judges point out that Char's look is just breathtakingly beautiful. Christian mentions that he wishes it had been part of their original collection, and I'm wondering if Char just shouldn't be given an hour for every challenge from this point forward. This is important though: all of the comments are about how beautiful the dress is. All of the comments they give Korina are about how nice it is for having been given only an hour. The writing is on the wall on this one and no amount of Korina crying and shaking her head in disagreement about what the judges say about Char's look can change it. And sure enough, the judges make the only decision they can given these two looks: Char stays, and Korina goes home.
Back in the green room again, Char breaks down about how hard that was and I think it's another glimpse into just how stressful this competition is. The looks on everyone's faces in the greenroom also showcase the stress here. They all felt it and they all feel for Char having to go through it. And then Korina comes in, and Sean is the only person to stand up and hug her. She continues to go off on how unfair this is, and how Char should be going home, or more importantly about how Char should never have been saved in the first place. "Who saw this coming? It's funny right?" she says while choking back tears. And I can't think of a more awkward greenroom experience off the top of my head.
Char tries to defend herself, and I think she does a fine job of it. She points out, in response to Korina's point about her having been eliminated before, that Tim saved her, and now here we are 5 challenges later, and she's still here. To which Korina basically tells her to shut up, "it's not about you." But if it's not about the person you've been so mercilessly attacking for the past couple of hours, then who is it about, Korina? There's a level of disconnect and ridiculousness from Korina that just borders on insanity if you ask me.
Tim sends her to the workroom to clean up her space and says they'll all miss her, but no one rushes to agree with him on this point. No one stands up and says "Like hell we will, fuck that stuck up bitch!" like I was hoping they would, or like I did, out loud, sitting at my desk, at work, and getting stares from the people around me (HR meeting set for Monday, so thanks for that Project Runway), but no one agrees with him either.
I'm still buzzing about this, guys. Because I think Korina fully deserved to go home for the way she acted and for the last minute look she put down the runway, but I don't think that she deserved to be sent home for the look she sent down for the challenge in question. And if people are being sent home not for what they did in the challenges, then what are we even doing anymore? What's the structure of the show going forward if it isn't about being safe or aufed based on the design's adherence to or deviation from the challenge? What kind of precedence does this twist set? And what's honestly behind the decision to have Korina and Char face off? Are their two looks from the challenge really equally bad? Because I honestly don't think so. I know I liked Korina's look more than the judges did, and I didn't like Char's look at all, but even outside of that, can we really say that the two of these looks are honestly equally bad? Or was the decision made more out of a sense of drama than on the merits of the designs in question? I'm more inclined to believe the latter, and if that's the case....I think I have a problem with this. I understand the balance between finding drama to create the best TV and the competition aspect of the show / finding the best designer. But I don't know how we go about honestly claiming to be looking for the best designer when we make moves that are designed to create the most drama and end up sending the better designer home.
Or do we make the case that since Char was capable of pulling the better look together over the course of the hour, she actually is a better designer than Korina for this show? I don't think that that's the case, but I also don't know for sure. I guess at the end we can only rest assured that Korina, given the way she acted if nothing else, deserved to go home finally, and we can relax not having to see her again...right?
Please Keep Me Thoughts:
--I really do think there are just a bunch of different ways to attack this episode, guys. I don't know what I think or how I feel about it all. If anyone has other thoughts that I didn't explore here, please share them.
--I know a lot of you don't watch the next time on segments but if you did, then say it with me: Holy fucking shit!
--The look on Tim’s face when he talks to Amanda and Kini is just priceless. It’s the way I look at all of Amanda’s looks.
--Is it just me or does Sean use a lot of that Royal Blue?
--Sean worries about being paired with Char because she doesn't really know how to sew. And he spends a lot of his time with her babysitting her and checking up on her. I was left thinking, Wow, Tim, you saved someone who doesn't know how to sew or doesn't get basic construction things? Really?
--I was also really bothered by the fact that they had the designers bid on units and then only gave them 30 minutes to pick what they wanted from those units. That seemed a bit odd to me. I say you give them a truck, load up the entire unit, and they get to use anything and everything they just paid for. I was thinking what if someone remembered something small from the unit that that could use on the second day and wanted to go back for it? Clearly the design a third look "twist" wouldn't have allowed for that anyway, so it's a moot point, but still.
--In case it isn't clear, I really loved this episode. I thought it was indeed another good one in a string of good episodes. So let's keep up the good work, Runway.