First - a shout-out to Jean, who was the only person to attempt last week's Quotation Challenge, and got them all right! You rock, Jean. And if you're the same Jean who left me a message of encouragement a week or so ago, you double-rock!! Jean, I hope to be reading and commenting on your blog next season.
Now, Episode 5: The Dreaded Group Challenge (insert Dragnet theme, or maybe Law and Order sound effect, here). As the designers prepare to greet the day, there is much carping about Michael C's Philip Treacy win. Also being trashed - April's resort diaper. April says that nobody understood her outfit, and Peach notes that they both have Targets on their backs (see above).
|Peach, there are worse things to have on your back.|
AJ, please put some meat on your bones.
Michael C as the previous winner gets to pick first, and he chooses Queen Bee Gretchen (total Wannabe move). April notes that he's nuts, because she's the Hitler of the workroom.
|Mondo: "I can't find my mustache."|
|Peach: "Wanna see the Target on my back?"|
|"First, we will design capes."|
The Challenge: Make a 6-look collection that is on trend for Fall 2010. Choose one from each category:
Concepts: Minimalism | 50s Retro, Ladylike Shapes | Menswear for Women | Military
Textiles: Gold/Metallics | Camel | Leopard/Cheetah Prints | Plaid | Lace
Note to self: Shop your closet this Fall.
Also, Tim tries to help the Garnier expert stylist tie the challenge to hair care products, but we're wise to that, so this is the last you'll hear of it.
Tim tell them they have an hour to decide on their collection themes and sketch. He says they will get $1000 for the entire collection. That's $166/look.
|Gretchen and Christopher are obviously not math people.|
April’s team, Team Bad News Bears because they are underdogs and also warm and fuzzy, is going to each do their own looks. But they are actively planning how to create cohesion by playing off aspects of each others’ sketches. Valerie kind of moderates, but everyone participates, and they get through a genteel little tantrum from Peach easily.
|Democracy in action: Military and Lace|
Michael C’s team (ha!), Team Mean Girls from here forward, is going to make individual pieces according to their strengths, so that all the looks will have pieces from different designers. Interesting – I don’t think anyone has taken that approach before.
|Dictatorship in the making|
|Ivy: "Michael, you better not rely on your immunity and dog it in the challenge. You might diminish our awesomeness"|
|When I picked Gretchen first, I thought that would get me into the In Crowd. Instead I'm the Target. Lesson learned.|
|Gretchen: "I wanted to put a toddler leash on Michael C, but he's so uncooperative."|
|Gretchen and AJ: A Dance to Our Own Awesomeness|
Back in the workroom, everyone designs away until Tim comes for his Walkabout. He speaks with each team as a group. For Team BNB, he likes everything except what Casanova has done, which he says looks old.
|Tim: "Youthen it up."|
|Casanova: "Why do the judges think I have no taste?"|
katnap: "You're wearing a sweater with man cleavage, a shiny polyester do-rag turban and Alladin shoes. Just sayin'."
|Casanova: "Maybe I quit."|
|Valerie tries appealing to his sense of responsibility to the team, while Michael D goes for flattery.|
|Peach eventually replaces Ivy and tries Full Maternal Mode, even when Casanova moans that he's getting fat.|
|At last, his model Sarae talks to him and bucks him up (the opposite of what Tim unintentionally did, with a B instead of an F).|
|Casanova gets a new idea and executes it.|
Meanwhile, Team MG has to draft the models as seamstresses to finish, but they ultimately all make it to the runway.
The judges are Michael, Nina and Georgina Chapman of Marchesa. She's been a judge at least once before, and I recall her being very level headed and incisive in her questions and critiques.
First up, Team Bad News Bears.
Looking at the collection as a whole, Team BNB did very well. The looks flow into each other, a lot of mix/match is possible, and they have pieces for many types of occassions, all in 6 outfits.I don't think another team has done better with a collection challenge in PR history. Gretchen says she "digs the elements, but they don’t go together." She is convinced her team has it in the bag.
Next, Team Mean Girls, with menswear for women in camel.
My rating: If Team MG loses, this is a good contender for the auf.
My rating: Safe, possibly the winner if this team comes out on top.
My rating: Safe
My rating: Tie for auf consideration with AJ, if this team loses, which they will if there's any justice.
My rating: Safe
The jacket and the clean styling of this look makes it the best of this sad little collection. The dress is nothing special, but at least there's nothing wrong with it.
My rating: If this team wins (you never know with the judging this season), this is my pick for the top outfit.
Team MG certainly lived up to the Project Runway tradition of truly awful collections. Boring, dowdy, ill-fitting, tasteless, sad.
Both teams file out onto the runway, and Heidi announces the winners.
|Team Bad News Bears triumphs!|
|"The judges were incorrect."|
Back on the runway, the judges are very complimentary.
Georgina: Each design has its own attitude, yet they all work together.
Heidi: It has color, and it's young and fun.
Michael: Women will want to wear this.
Nina: Versatile, Great styling
Polled, all the members of Team BNB choose Casanova as the winner. Casanova chooses Peach.
Backstage, Team MG plan their runway strategy. They agree to stand united and not turn on each other.
Team BNB goes backstage, where there is no awkward meeting because Team MG is already gone. Too bad; I'm not usually one for the drama, but that would have been interesting to see.
Out on the runway, Gretchen tries to spin their collection: they truly collaborated, everyone contributed to the best of their ability (nice one), we made something beautiful and cohesive.
|"We LOVE our collection. Remember, we all tried so hard, for us, and you and the nation, and the world..."|
|"It's like they had a baby and someone said it was ugly."|
Gretchen tells the judges they should keep “who you want to see more from” and makes a speech about standing united. Michael cries bullshit. He says that their grandstanding is all very well, but their work was "vanilla boring."
Georgina: When they lost the individuality of the looks, they lost any flair.
Nina: Every outfit has a proportion problem, no sex appeal, ghastly colors
Michael: You call yourselves Team Luxe (I was shielding you from that), and there’s no lushness.
Heidi: Ivy’s is the worst and AJ's is also awful.
|"Our collection was crap! All I could do was try to save it, and teach boys who don't know how to sew..."|
|"Unbelievable. You've done a 180 - Michael Kors, note the correct geometry terminology"|
|Ivy:"I'm not sure whether Michael C's problem is laziness or just ignorance."|
Team Mean Girls joins the winners backstage. Gretchen has changed her tune from when she gretched at the people in the bottom, grilling them about their failures. She says she isn't going to talk about it, then trashes Michael C to the room right to his face, and the Wannabes pile on again.
He is amazingly resigned about the whole thing. Part of the Queen Bee dynamic is how everyone involved, including the Target, believes that it is right and inevitable.
The judges confer: Ivy’s was hideous, AJs was terrible and only he only completed one piece. Gretchen had much too much to say and changed her tune. Michael points out that Gretchen was the bus driver – but if she supposedly negated her own taste, what did she do it for? Excellent point. They call the designers out for the verdict.
Casanova is the winner, and the rest of the Bad News Bears are in. Well done!
Michael C has immunity and is in – he very classily tells the Mean Girls good luck. Then he goes backstage and breaks down. He deserves kudos for holding it together as long as he did.
Christopher is in.
Ivy is in – shocking that she was called safe before Andy.
Andy is in.
Gretchen is – in.
AJ is out – he wishes he’d gone on something that was his point of view.
But it isn’t over yet. Tim enters and delivers a truly Tim Gunn-esque smackdown that must be directly quoted.
|"I fundamentally do not understand your behavior and demeanor and affect on the runway. I don’t get it. I don’t know why you allowed Gretchen to manipulate, control and bully you. I don’t understand it. And, AJ, you’ve taken the bullet and now I have to send you to the workroom to clean up your space."|
Ivy at least says she had an Aha moment. We'll see. Will the Chief Wannabe turn on her Queen?
|"I 'm a martyr, Tim hurt my feeling, the dog ate AJ's shirt dress..."|