Another logjam, my apologies. Things have been very busy lately plus Richard and I took a trip to London!
Kovid starts each day meditating, and it felt so invasive to watch him meditating. I didn’t like that. Nadine busted some heads in the apartment because she was the only person washing dishes. Word!
The challenge was to make an outfit using one print from head to toe. The look had to be daring and editorial. There are a few designers who I feel like I’ve never seen before! Like that guy from Syria, where did he come from? Syria, clearly.
Lots of doubt and anxiety at Mood, because this challenge, more than others, is really rooted in the fabric choice. I was excited for the runway show, I’m mad for a good print.
Celebrity stylist Marni Senofonte was brought into the workroom - - it sounded like Christian said that she was going to be a styling advisor for the whole competition, did I hear that right? Or is it just this challenge? She had a one-on-one consultation with each designer. She encouraged the designers to go BIG since this was an editorial challenge. Tessa, a self-described minimalist, was freaking over having to use a print. So of course she chose a print that had a HUGE repeat, like about three feet square. What the hell.
Sebastian, he is so gorgeous - - I want him to stay in the competition for a long time just because I want to look at him every week. Is that selfish? Or just shallow? Nadine was super controlling with her model, criticizing the way she walked. There’s an expression along the lines of, “Someone who can’t dance blames the floor.” I saw it on a poster sometime in the 90s. Oh wow, there’s this cool new thing called Google - - it turns out it’s an Iraqi expression: “Those who can’t dance say the floor is sloping.” Wow, I’ll never again have an unanswered question, never in my whole life!
Marni came back into the workroom when the designers were doing the final fittings with the models, and I don’t really like her advising the designers on retooling their looks and choosing their accessories.
Guest judge: designer Adam Selman, Rihanna’s go-to-guy. OK then!
ON THE TOP
Kovid: they loved the boldness of the print and the chance he took with the construction. And they liked the mask.
Sebastian: so delicious, it definitely didn’t look like it was made in a day. That stitching technique was unbelievable. I love that he said that he’s been making money cleaning houses! The judges were aghast.
Hester: they loved that it was so clearly an expression of her personal style. Nina said it could go into Elle immediately.
ON THE BOTTOM
Garo: he was so sure that he’d be on the top or safe because of the ambition of the construction (that mitreing doesn’t happen by itself), but the judges thought the print was too bold and the whole look too much.
Rakan: the print was so subtle it was almost indiscernible, and the way that he tricked it out in the construction, it looked so messy.
Nadine: oh no she didn’t! She more or less said she was disappointed to have a plus size model, and oh yes, she got a look from the model when she said that. Thank you for the judges for telling Nadine that she needs to be aware of what she’s saying when the model is standing right next to her. Nadine was super defensive, she said, “I just didn’t know that this look was SO BAD.”
The winner was Hester. She promised that she would do something really weird in the next challenge, since she’d have immunity. Nadine spent a lot of time in the green room saying that she was over it and ready to go home, so I was expecting them to keep her just for the drama. And she did something I don’t believe I’ve seen before, in all of the seasons of this show - - she walked off the runway before the judges were done talking with her. Whoa.
Karlie met the designers in the green room and told them in their next challenge, they would be going to the place where fashion began. She advised them to bring a raincoat and pack warmly. They hope that they’re going to Paris, but we know from the teaser in the previous episode that they’re going camping. Kovid, of course, is excited to meditate in the forest. You go, girl.
Christian explained that fashion started in the outdoors, back in the days of our prehistoric ancestors. “Hm, it’s kinda chilly out today - - this might be a good day for my Fendi mink chubby!” Something like that. It’s the unconventional materials challenge. The judges would be looking for two things: how well they use the materials and how well they execute the concept of “survival chic.”
Christian said GO and they were given 20 minutes to forage for materials. The designers display varying degrees of ingenuity and blockage. Hester put her pile in the middle of the area and walked away to gather leaves and crap. And then she was shocked that people took stuff from her “pile.” Yes, I put that word in quotes. Clearly other people were placing their materials in a more defined manner. Thankfully she convinced some of the other designers to give back some of “her” stuff. Yes, I put that word in quotes.
Snaps to Tessa, she built her own freaking loom!
Marni showed up and she and Christian steered Hester away from making a coat dress and steered her towards making a gown. Because you hear the words “survival chic” and immediately think red carpet, right? They encourage the designers to use something besides fabric-based materials. I know I say this every season, but have these people never watched the show?
Sebastian, bless his heart, had never had a marshmallow roasted in the fire. Rakan told his story about leaving Syria in 2011 and having to go through “hell and heaven” to get to the US. Is it just me, or are they spending more time telling their life struggle stories than they were in previous seasons? Remember season two when we didn’t know Chloe’s life story until the freaking HOME VISIT at the end of the season?
The second day ended and it was 38 degree outside! That is cold, people, to be hanging out outside. And then the day of the runway show, of course they had hair and makeup there in the great outdoors! In tents, natch. And yes, it was raining. Thankfully the runway and seating areas were covered, but I imagine it was still cold and breezy. Maybe that was why they had no guest judge.
ON THE TOP
Hester: the judges were impressed with her use of the materials and her signature playful vibe.
Renee: they loved how tricked out it was, and yet how chic. Nina was crazy for the enormous water bottle.
Rakan: very high fashion, beatifully put together, wonderfully thought out.
ON THE BOTTOM
Sonia: wow, so many things happening for the first time this season - - Sonia forgot to trim the front of the mylar skirt so her model tripped and stumbled as she started walking down the runway. Karlie and Sonia rushed to the runway to help her. I don’t think I’d seen that before. Apart from that issue, the judges felt like the whole thing was too sloppy and voluminous.
Afa: they just didn’t like it, too many loose ends, and the model was shaking with cold. I felt bad for her.
Kovid: lumpy and not pretty. Unfinished, unattractive.
The winner was Renee. The whole look was very empowered. Afa was sent home, no surprise because Kovid is such a kook. Afa had a sweet and teary goodbye on the runway.
The episode started with the designers kibitzing and eating breakfast. Rakan got a text from Karlie, asking them to go downstairs for a trip uptown. They were driven to Harlem where they met up with hip hop designer Dapper Dan. The challenge was to make a look of luxury streetwear. Something I haven’t mentioned so far this season - - the winning designer, each time, has the option of choosing their model, and each time, the designer has chosen the model they had in the previous season. The other designers are assigned models randomly.
They were bypassing Mood in this challenge, they had all of their available materials in the workroom. The designers were going in all different directions, all inspired by Dapper Dan and their own personal community of origin. Christian announced that this challenge would be a Flash Sale Challenge - - they would photograph their looks and the fan favorite would be manufactured.
I’m bothered by how hands-on Christian is in the workroom. He busted Rakan and Jamall for eating and hanging out with a model rather than working, and then went over to Rakan’s model to ask what he had done. Isn’t it up to Rakan to decide how he should use his time? Is it fair for Christian to micro-manage him?
Funniest moment of the episode: Sonia had a little rant talking about how busy they are, how they don’t have time to eat, relax, or use the bathroom, and they cut to Kovid lackadaisically sewing something and saying, “I miss my Mummy.”
Dapper Dan visited them during the final model fittings. He was full of encouragement for some and full of silence for others. The designers took their photos and we went to the runway.
The guest judge was Harlem designer Brandice Daniel, who Dapper Dan chose to judge.
ON THE TOP
Venny: Nina said it was his most authentic look yet, and that the model totally owned it.
Garo: they loved the corset, loved the vibe.
Bishme: Nina loved that the outfit said something and meant something. Brandon said that if he saw her on a street they would need to call an ambulance because he’d be having cardiac arrest.
ON THE BOTTOM
Rakan: Brandon said that he always felt like he was on a road trip with Rakan, but this week he didn’t understand where they were going. Hester, in the green room, made the interesting point that Rakan is a good designer but is never interested in the parameters of the specific challenge, which is why he’s always on the bottom (BTW she should write me a thank you note for articulating what she was trying to say).
Jamall: so sloppy, so thrown together. Brandice said that she can’t imagine any young black woman wearing it. Jamall’s lame ass excuse was such weak sauce, and Brandon’s retort was so scathing, I have to quote both in full:
JAMALL: I’m very like terrified of the question you guys ask. “Who is the girl you’re designing for? Who is this person.” Because my work is a lot about me, and my emotions and who I am and my identity. And I’m still trying to figure out how to articulate myself.
BRANDON: You are 23 years old, so regardless of this competition, you are not supposed to know who you are. BUT - - you do fundamentally have to know how to make clothes.
Kovid: oh no she didn’t! Nina said it looked suburban. I thought it looked like Target. On the bargain rack.
Vishme was the winner. I was surprised that Kovid was sent home - - I was sure it would bee Jamall, his look was such a middle finger to the judges, so sloppy and unfinished.