The episode started with one of the designers getting a text from Christian saying that they should meet him at his atelier. Wow, what a glorious space. He announced the challenge: to do a high fashion look for the women who run New York City: women from Department of Sanitation, the Ferry Service, the US Postal Service, the NYPD, the FDNY, and a school teacher. How can this be season 17 and they’ve never done this before?
The clients take the designers out on the job. My favorite was Angela, the ferry deckhand, who was 19 years old and set her sights on being the captain of a ferry, because it would be “the coolest job ever.” Tessa had a hard time with her client - - the client wanted a short dress in pink, which was a womp womp from Tessa.
Some of the designers had never made a custom piece before and had a hard time finding the balance between pleasing the client and being true to themselves. I was scared for the fittings, was afraid that the clients would say, “Um, WTF is this?” but they appeared to be pleased.
Unfortunately Jamall was having major construction issues with his gown for Angela, the ferry deckhand. And Tessa, understandably, was having second thoughts about the ratty ass chiffon panels hanging off her dress. She cut the off backstage, which gave Christian a teensy nervous breakdown.
The guest judge was Danielle Brooks from *Orange Is the New Black,* star of the upcoming Shakespeare in the Park production of *Much Ado About Nothing.*
ON THE TOP
Garo: beautiful, clearly the client loved it. Brandon said, “This is how I want my mail delivered!”
Sebastian: lovely. He really turned the beat around and made it work. More than any of the others, he took the direction of his client and redirected it into his aesthetic, and they were both happy. Snaps to Brandon for spotting the client as a pageant girl (she recently passed on her crown as Miss Staten Island).
Bishme: beautiful, really showed off the client’s figure.
ON THE BOTTOM
Hester: it was OK. She was lucky there were others who were worse.
Tessa: I knew that her client would mention that her favorite color was pink, and there she was wearing a black dress. And why does she find it so difficult to finish a damn seam?
Jamall: the judges said almost nothing, which is always the kiss of death.
The judges had a little Q and A with the three bottom designers before they started their deliberations. Has this not happened before? I like this tribunal situation, it was dramatic. And I was impressed with how considerate the judges were when they spoke with the two clients whose designers were on the bottom. The judges made it clear that they were beautiful, it was the designers who were at fault.
Sebastian was the winner. To me, clearly Jamall’s dress was the bigger fail, but Danielle Brooks made the interesting point that in the tribunal, Jamall accepted the criticism and understood his shortcomings, while Tessa was defensive and tried to explain it all away. Jamall was sent home.