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Saturday, September 11, 2010

Ep 07: Teams of Two Switcheroo

With the departure of Peach, there's an even slate of designers once more, which means there's more team torture in store...

But first,

April moves in with Gretchen, Ivy and Valerie. Will she get the cold shoulder?

No! They're the newly-crowned Fab Four.

Back at the runway, Heidi tells them that Tim and a "very special guest" is meeting them at the Marina to give them their next challenge.

Michael: "I'm very special. Have some sunglasses."

He talks about resort wear, basically clothes for vacationing. I read in WWD that Michael Kors has suggested the name be changed to "destinationwear", so people don't only think tropics. They're going out on a yacht to get a the resort wear frame of mind.

Two looks from Michael's 2011 Resort Collection
Photos: WWD website

The Challenge: Design resort wear...

...for Tim.

I kid, but Tim could use a great outfit or two for chilling out, so he doesn't need to wear his beautiful suit on the water.

Michael C, Michael D, and Andy are very comfortable with the resort milieu, but other designers not so much. Mondo doesn't vacation, so he feels out of his element.

Separated at birth?
 April's only resort design involved a diaper, but she's decided to design for a woman taking a vacation to an asylum. Love the way her mind works.

At Mood, Tim tells them to remember the challenge when choosing fabric, but also be true to their own visions.

Ivy says she want to make a "three dimensional pant." I don't know what that means, aren't all pants three dimensional? She also describes a print shirt with a vest over it as "very romantic." Her I don't understand at all.

In the workroom, Tim comes in with the velvet bag.

Designers: "We fear and loathe the velvet bag."

The Twist... the twist is absolutely diabolical! The designers are put in teams of two to execute each other's designs. There's much potential for sabotage, mistrust and drama. I'm thrilled to see that even in Season 8, there's still room for new challenge ideas.  Also, is this a dig at all the BS about Michael C's non-existent skills? Because if so, someone on the production team has a cruel streak.

Teams: Michael C and Mondo, Ivy and Michael D, Casanova and Gretchen, April and Christopher, Andy and Valerie.

Mondo is ecstatic.

April and Christopher are Team Simpatico, while the other teams have issues big and small.

Mondo: "Your construction is awful AND you have immunity."
Michael C: "Here we go again."
Andy is worried about Valerie and swimwear. Gretchen is drawing big pictures to communicate with Casanova.

Casanova: "Just because I don't speak all that much English doesn't mean I have a developmental problem."
Ivy questions Michael D's skill level.

Ivy: "You do know what a needle is, right?"
Michael D: "I'm handing my design to her; she's handing her neuroses to me."
There's some gretching about Casanova's penchant for elderly designs...

and Valerie wonders when Michael is is going to "exasperate his bag of tricks."

OK, so vocabulary wasn't my favorite part of the SAT.

Meanwhile, Mondo is discovering that Michael C is a great partner.

Mondo: "Sorry, I was a dick." Michael C: "That's OK, I've gotten used to it."

Tim comes for his walkabout with a surprise guest.

The designers are excited to get one-on-one time with Michael, and he gives some great Korsian advice.

"She's glammypuss over-the-top. Keep it simple!"

He confirms April's idea to have the skirt of her sundress be sheer with a boy short underneath.

Somewhere, Stacy from Season 3 is screaming at her TV, since she was absolutely castigated - and eliminated - for a sheer skirt with a boy short.

Michael doesn't like Valerie's color choices, and she has a total crisis of confidence.

"I've been in the top four times and haven't won."

A talk with Mom & Dad helps her get it all out.

Meanwhile, Ivy is micromanaging Michael D as he tries to complete her look.

Death ray eyes

Arrrrgh, and not in a pirate way.

Runway time! The judges are Michael, Nina and guest "stylish actress"  Kristin Bell aka Veronica Mars.

Michael C
Just on the right side of the line between bold and tasteless. The halter top is a little droopy-looking, which emphasizes the model's small bosom. But if she were more buxom, it would be vulgar. I think if the sides were sewn a bit higher, that would mitigate the problem. 

My rating: Safe

Pedestrian, but at least there's a sense of fun to it. I'm not really sure who would wear this - maybe college sorority girls or women in Peach's usual client pool (pun intended)? It looks like Michael C executed it well.

My rating: Safe

Michael D
Hmmm. At first glance, I loved this - it really could work for all ages and many styles. Then I looked more closely at the way it exposes half of the bikini top on the right side. That's really awkward.

My rating: a distant Top 3

This doesn't deserve to be called a design. It has no shape at all. Michael D's Statue of Liberty quip works for me, except her draping is more artful. I think Ivy had such a poor regard for Michael D's skills that she screwed herself over.
My rating: Bottom 3, auf auf auf

Cute top, with some movement in the fabric and in the print. I see this as a city outfit, something you might wear to go sightseeing or to museums.
My rating: Safe, as always

This says vacation, maybe Hedonism in Jamaica? April really understands the difference between designing for the runway and for real life. This is appropriately dramatic. but no one would actually wear something that constricted their arms like the dropped-strap does here.
My rating: Top 3, and a possible win

Again, no fun. The shoulders are nice, and there's a big keyhole in the back that's somewhat resort-y, but what's up with the blousing at the waist? It's strange and off-putting. if you had a flat enough belly for the cut of the pants, why would you want added midsection bulk?
My rating: Bottom 3

Ick. Shapeless, boring, and oddly bulky considering it's made of chiffon. The colors are awful, the maroon dull and the beige much too close to the model's skin tone. I can't imagine anyone wanting to look like this.
M,y rating: Bottom 3

This would be cool if it just had some color. The high waist with the black band makes it wearable for women of many ages and sizes, and the cover-up is imaginative. 

My rating: (Much too) Safe

Fun, joyful, with  true vacation spirit. At last, some pretty colors! It's an outfit you'd hang on the closet door for diet inspiration, because you'd feel like a character in an adventure story wearing it.
My rating: Top 3, duking it out with April for the win

I'm disappointed in this season's designers. They have almost no sense of drama. Also, by this time in the season I've usually lusted after several garments. Nothing has been shown yet this season that I'd go out of my way to find. Anyway...

Please step forward, Andy, Casanova, Mondo, April, Ivy, Michael D.

Safe: Gretchen, Valerie, Michael C, Christopher.

Heidi says that they want to see the Top 3 - Andy, April and Michael D. The others head backstage.

Mondo: "My idea of resort wear is walking around my apartment in my underwear."

Gretchen: "You kicked it up a notch from that."

Gee, thanks!
On the runway, April explains that she thought of her woman being captured, and that's where the top came from. She gives Christopher props for the construction.

Michael: "It's this tough punk babydoll."

Kristin: "That's how I describe myself . Can you see my eyes rolling?"
Andy says that as a Hawaiian, he knows lots of women who live in bikinis and cover ups, and he wanted his look to be versatile. Valerie gets kudos for making a bathing suit and working with fine silk chiffon. The judges think it's very commercial. Kristin mentions she thinks it would be great for women of all sizes. I don't know about that - I think it would be hard for anyone over a size 10 to carry that suit off.

Michael D went with a simple silhouette in an expensive-looking linen. He calls Ivy an amazing craftperson. Heidi asks Ivy about the partnership, and Ivy says it was difficult.

Ivy: "Michael doesn't know how garments go on and off."

Here we go again.
Michael D calmly explains that Ivy is technical and a Parson's graduate, while he is self-taught.

The Bottom 3 come out. Mondo explains that he's completely unfamiliar with resort wear. Michael and Nina call that a cop-out. Everyone feels that the outfit is cheap-looking and too junior. When asked about the collaboration, both Mondo and Michael C say it was revelatory, and they were thrilled at how it worked out, regardless of the outcome.

Ivy says her colors represent the ocean, but that Michael D's "limitations" caused her to dumb-down her design. Michael D defends himself as knowing how to sew and doing his best. Michael critiques her process and she argues with him.

Whatever, Ivy

He says that the whole outfit has no personality, and she agrees.

From Michael Kors' 2011 Resort Collection: just sayin'
Nina wonders aloud whether Ivy is a designer or merely a technician. Ivy says she wishes she could have showed her design. Heidi calls Michael C out for rolling his eyes.

Michael C: "Ivy is terrifying."
Heidi now calls Ivy out for throwing Michael D under the bus.

Whatever, Heidi.
Whatever yourself. Don't forget that I'm the Executive Producer. And German.
Heidi responds that Ivy threw Michael D under the bus, "and you right with him." Throw Under the Bus count = 5

Casanova says he loves his look, which is inspired by his grandmother. That pretty much sums it up.

Backstage, Michael D says he gave Ivy permission to throw him under the bus. Throw Under the Bus count = 8

The judges deliberate. By the end the Throw Under the Bus count is 10, and they've said that Ivy is a seamstress, not a designer. Here are Ivy's looks so far:

To the judges: Yup.

The verdict:

Michael D is in. He's happy he didn't win because he'd feel guilty due to his construction of Ivy's look. Final Throw Under the Bus count  = 13.

The Winner

April is so stunned she isn't able to react.

Andy is in.

Mondo is in.

Ivy is in, but Heidi says she better wow them next time.


Strange decision - Casanova has designed some cool things, and he has a win. Ivy has not shown one interesting garment. Even the Producer Influence argument doesn't explain it, because Casanova has become very charming, while everyone would love to see Ivy get her comeuppance. Whatever, judges.

There's a montage of Lovable Casanova Moments.

Casanova: "I wanted to take New York from the balls. Looks like I took one of NY's balls, and New York took one of mine."
Vaya con cojones, Casanova!

Next week: "Jackie Kennedy wouldn't have camel toe." Can't argue with that.


  1. Love what you're doing. I'm about your age, but not a fashionista. What I love about this show is watching people make amazing outfits. The past few years I've also been able to learn a bit about how high fashion gets translated into street clothing.

    I have been seeing such blah colors. I've never been a 'neutral' person, and I don't even wear black that much. I think that's what makes me like Valerie.

    Keep up the witty and pertinent work!

  2. Thanks, Lori! I really admire "fashion," but I wear clothes. It's amazing to see these people do things I could never, and to learn what makes it good and bad. I agree with you on color, and I also think that after a certain age, neutrals are too bland and black is too harsh. Valerie's clothes are cool, and she's completely adorable.