Last night the final five faced their final challenge to determine who would go to fashion week and who would be just one week short of making a complete collection. They were challenged to create a look inspired by any landmark in New York City. The only other instruction they were given was to wow the judges. If they wowed them, I missed it.
This season started out better than any Lifetime season so far. The challenges have been slightly better than last year, but the extreme time restraints and over-tired designers have resulted in more and more boring designs each wekk. Sure, Mondo has emerged as an unexpected star, and Michael C seems to have improved. But the ones who came in with incredible talent have been exhausted to the point of creating just to get by. And getting by in fashion isn't going to get you by at all. I was terribly bored with the looks last night, my only hope is that some good rest will help the four remaining designers (yep they're doing the face-off before fashion week thing again) create something stunning.
Michael C was the first designer declared safe. This was quite a surprise. Even though he's done pretty well this season, I never expected him to earn a spot at fashion week. He is far more talented than the other designers give him credit for, but I never saw any really innovative ideas from him. The judges cooed over his black maxi dress last night. The back of this dress is very pretty, and it moved beautifully on the runway, but I've seen it before. I've seen it a lot. I've seen it done better. It's just a black jersey dress. I appreciate that it is made far better than my black jersey maxi dress, and I want to know how he made that back, but I'm not convinced that is was all the judges proclaimed it to be. That said, I don't begrudge this guy a spot at fashion week. I just hope I will finally see some innovation and clear point of view from him.
Mondo was the next safe designer. He did a very Mondo dress, which was wonderfully made but not nearly as "wow" as some of his other pieces. The judges liked that he showed them a look without color proving color isn't a crutch for him. Nina thought the dress was incredible. Guest judge, Christian Siriano loved the mix of textiles. Only Heidi wanted to see something completely different. Not my favorite Mondo look, but I can't wait to see his collection.
Andy's look was extremely well made. I love the wet look pieces on it, as did Nina. Michael Kors seems to be sick of Andy's obsession with the "warrior woman," which he did a lot of in the beginning of the season but hasn't referenced in weeks. Although, I suppose weeks are days in filming time. Heidi and Christian both liked the lines and seaming on the dress. I'm also very excited to see his collection. He's been a favorite of mine the entire season.
Gretchen fell apart and landed in the bottom two. She's lucky the judges only chose to eliminate one designer or she would be completely out rather than still in the running for fashion week. Her look was boring. I could buy it at Target. The jacket was kind of interesting, but it didn't work with the rest of the look. If the judges had only considered this look and not all her past work, she would have been out. Thankfully, she didn't even fight the judges on their critiques. She knew it wasn't her best work and seemed quite thankful to still have a chance at fashion week.
April is out. This made me really sad. The judges had a point that she's been creating the same dress for most of the competition, but I think she's made quite a few improvements anyway. She hasn't let the competition beat her down. The textile challenge showed a lot of growth. And in this challenge, I think she was the only one with any drama on the runway. I sort of understand why she's out, but I sort of wish Gretchen would have gone home instead. Also, the judges were needlessly mean. I'm glad Christian was there for a little bit of encouragement.
Michael, Mondo, Andy and Gretchen are off to create collections for fashion week. From what I can tell none of them are safe, and they will all be competing for a chance to show. Also, the previews suggest that Tim will pull out the dreaded velvet bag and make them create another look with some horrible stipulations next week. Of course the best part about next week is watching Tim do all the house visits--I always love the Tim episode!
Which three do you think will be showing at fashion week? How did you feel about this week's elimination? Did you rave with the judges over Michael C's look or were you a little confused like me? Did anyone else think this challenge was a bit too broad? All of NYC is a lot to choose from. I preferred the challenge during Christian's season where they had to find inspiration in one of three rooms at the Met.