My apologies for my column being so late this time. I'm getting it in just under the wire, before the new episode airs tonight...
The episode started with the designers eating and talking about the previous challenge. I love that Prajjé used a spool of thread as a microphone when he asked Laurence how she felt about her win.
Oo, Miss Siriano! Workin' it! Looking rather fine in that see-through shirt and manny camisole. The challenge: make a high fashion look using couture-like undergarments. The models would be a mixture of male, female, and non-binary.
Prajjé was asked if he wears boxers or briefs - - he wears neither, he's commando. Maybe I'm taking this too far but do you wash your pants every day, with all your business rustling around in there? More over-disclosure: Anna shared that she once had a boob infection (#boobinfection) that made her nipple unusually long...? Did I get that right? I'd rewind it to fact check but I really am not up for hearing that story again. Anyway her personal illness informs her work. We should all aspire to that, no? No?
Guest commentator Statler said this: "Of course Anna is talking about her baby. And breastfeeding. And her long nipples. She’s that woman at parties that you have a buddy promise to stay nearby to save you when you loudly drop the code word."
Kara Saun was inspired by the Tulsa Oklahoma Massacre of 1921. I was curious to see how that would translate to underwear fashion. Korto talked about her family leaving Liberia and seeking exile in Canada.
Fabio showed a photo of his grandmother at her sewing machine, an inspiration to him. But that didn't prevent Christian from describing his look as "Doris Day on the Island!" Does that mean Long Island? Or a mythical Bali Ha'i kind of island? Please explain.
Anna described her look to Christian as "a bleeding nipple corset." Words I didn't expect to hear this week. Christian's response: "Really?"
On the subject of Christian, guest commentator Waldorf said this: "I thought I loved Rami before, now I LOVE him with all of my heart and testosterone - his impression of Christian was SPOT ON as he mocked him with 'don’t you miss me' and mentioned his two fingers to pat himself on the shoulder and the neck roll." Statler said this: " ‘Do you miss me?’ No Christian. We don’t. And you shouldn’t ask the question you don’t want the answer to."
I liked the vibe of curiosity and experimentation in the workroom. I was concerned about how it would translate into finished garments on the runway. On human beings. In front of the judges. On national television.
Did you notice that we had next to no coverage of Bishme or Brittany in the workroom? I predicted that this edit was pointing to them being in the middle. Ha, I was right!
Fabio had a heart-to-heart on the couch with Korto and Kara Saun. Kara Saun had a reaction that was somewhere between an eyeroll and a yawn. Made me smile.
A question: do you love the word "bralette" as much as I do? I'm not sure it's possible, but give it a try.
On to the runway. Nina was absent so we had two guest judges: designer Sergio Hudson and the divine Paulina Porizkova. Love her from way back. I love that she's aging with power and integrity.
Here's Waldorf on the subject of missing Nina: "Nina not being available made me sad knowing that we would not have: the acerbic critic, the side eye, the whispered comments, the head tilt, the smiling like she is about to steal 15 Dalmatian puppies, and every other attribute that make her the Queen (and I say that with love and admiration)."
Rami, for real? I didn't like it, I described it as "sloppy ho." The judges were impressed with the construction so clearly I have my head up my jockstrap.
Brendan pointed out that Prajjé had been in the top in four out of the six challenges. Pretty impressive! And this outfit was marvo. It had womenswear elements but it was super sexy on a man and didn't read as Lady. I felt like the model should have worn the jacket and then taken it off, and Sergio said the same thing.
The judges were impressed with Kara Saun. I love the story behind her outfit but felt it was underpowered. I was thrilled that she chose a pale color - - we see too much black on this show. Also in my office.
IN THE MIDDLE
I haven't done any In the Middle commentary this season but Statler and Waldorf had hilarious observations about the peculiar headpiece on Anna's model. Waldorf said it looked like a swarm of bees. Statler said it looked like you could use it to strain cheese.
The judges felt that Fabio was wrong to put the panel of fabric in the front, covering the latticework and hanging over the undie waistband. I agree, it would have been much stronger if more had been revealed. I was not a fan of the schmatte, or the model discarding it on the runway, but I guess the judges weren't bothered by that.
I'm sure Laurence was surprised to be on the bottom. I thought it was sexy but Sergio described it as "not a shining moment." Elaine said it wasn't a suiting challenge, it was an underwear challenge.
I was also surprised to see Korto on the bottom. Yes, the bralette (that word again!) was unresolved but the skirt was gorgeous. Korto pointed out that she scrapped her original look and had five hours to make something new. I'm constantly quoting my mother on this: That's an explanation, it's not an excuse. I'm often reminded of Chloe Dao, winner of season 2. She always had a clear sense of what she was doing from the get go - - she chose a design that she could do in the amount of time they had and it was finished to perfection.
The winner was Kara Saun. My brow was knit. I didn't find it a wow. Ditto to Rami, who was 2nd. I was heartsick to see two of my favorite designers, Fabio and Korto, on the bottom. I would have put Anna in the bottom before either of them, her look was too spooky and not sufficiently underwear-y. The auf went to Fabio. He made a lovely exit speech on the runway. I'm going to miss him.
Christian wasn't available to do the green room auf so Brandon stepped in for him. Waldorf: "Brandon coming into the green room reiterates what I said last week, he NEEDS to take over as mentor and leave Christian to take his two fingers, pat himself on the shoulder, say good bye, and Sashay Away (oops, wrong reality show)."