So, as a Saturn owner, I don't mind saying that I was cringing as soon as I realized Saturns were involved in this challenge; given the way the designers tore apart their apartments one season, I was reluctant to watch them do the same to the cars. However, the cars were simply stuffed with the kinds of things that are on/in Saturns...at the same time, this made the whole mysterious adventure of going to the parking garage and seeing the cars lined up end with an anti-climax. Also, while I realize Saturn is a big sponsor, I'm not sure they were the best choice for the challenge, since the colors employed within the cars are not super-varied (for instance, all the seatbelts seemed to be tan, which is what I have in my car). I suppose many car brands would be the same, but I might have liked to see more color anyway.
I do like innovation challenges, and I did feel like the designers learned a lesson from challenge 1...most of them. So let's see what they did.
Blayne--I liked Blayne's idea, and also liked that he was trying to do something a little less over-the-top. And while I do not normally enjoy embellishment, I liked that he took that extra step to decorate his garment with the glass. But that sort of unfitted fitted top really only works with lighter materials so that there's a sort of float to it. The seatbelts were so firm that he had uneven bunching instead. Not so pretty. Blayne himself was significantly less weird this week, which was nice.
Jerell--I have to say I hated the hairstyling Jerell chose for his garment. However, I liked that he was thinking of the decoration of his garment, in terms of his pairing of the plastic things and the inset vinyl or whatever it was. Much like the cocktail challenge, I felt like his garment was too small all around, though it seemed well made and sassy.
Joe--Something struck me as a bit wrong about Joe's garment and I can't quite put my finger on it. It might be fit...I love that splash of red, but the garment seems a little baggy to me, or insufficiently tailored.
Keith--Keith's garment also suffered from a poor fit. From the front, in the picture, it doesn't look too bad, but I recall that on the runway it didn't move very well and looked a little shapeless in parts that should have been shaped. The back was a disaster...I was actually surprised when the model turned around because it looked like the back of a completely different outfit, and was very haphazard. I sympathize with the rip problem, but that wasn' t what tore the look for me. The back of the top was more horrible. I felt like Keith was hampered by his handling of the judges' criticism. I can also sympathize with his wanting to please them, but ultimately it's finding what about your aesthetic you can adjust--not change outright, but adjust--in order to bump up the taste level. Witness his outfit for Brooke Shields. It was his aesthetic, but refined. I don't think he ever understood the distinction. The designers need to show the judges they are listening and learning, not that they are changing who they are to fit the judges. It's a big difference. I actually think Keith's auf-ing was related heavily to how he handled himself on the runway, at least from what we saw. (Tim is sick that Keith went home, btw--he finds Stella incomprehensible.)
Kenley--I liked that Kenley sort of created her own design; it reminded me of what Kelli did with those coffee filters in challenge 1. On the whole, the look didn't fully come together for me, mainly in proportion of the skirt, but the creation of the zebra print was an interesting move that I support.
Korto--Korto is so good at coming up with wearable designs, no matter what her materials. She also has a distinctive point of view, one that leads her to produce very structural garments that look like they came from the same mind. I have to confess I like that her garments are so often voluminous...it's so much better than the cheap-looking ubershort outfits that keep popping up, and is more realistic for an actual woman. It's an important characteristic of her aesthetic and makes me want to see what she'd do for a whole collection. I think it would be really beautiful.
Leanne--Leanne has grown on me. I really loved the design she did on the top of her top, with the frayed belts...that interesting spiky wave effect was really clever and I'm still not sure how she did it. Her look was brave and avant-garde, and I was not at all sorry to see her win. Her look wasn't my favorite, but she totally deserved this, and I hope it's a confidence boost for her to make her more amazing. In his blog, Michael Kors says, "She found a way to take something ridiculous and actually make it covetable..." which I think summed up this look perfectly.
Stella--Oh, Stella. I actually thought the skirt was kind of cute, if not well fit. I, like the judges, had trouble with the top with that skirt. I was glad she wanted to do something pretty as a different line for her, but surely there must be a way to do so from within her aesthetic? If the top had been more fitted, more vestlike, it might have been a cute workday outfit, but as it was, things didn't cohere.
Suede--Suede's garment was a little too B-movie futuristic sci-fi for me. It was sassy (and sparkly like a holiday), but when it came down the runway I remember thinking that it didn't have enough oomph for the win. Just not quite enough danger for an innovation challenge.
Terri--Terri went back to her street aesthetic look this week. I actually thought those pants were pretty cute. Both elements of the garment looked like something you might pick up in an edgy store, but the pants looked more expensive.
So, next week Diane von Furstenberg gets in on things. I like her, and hope the strain the designers showed in the preview at least leads to some fabulous garments. My mental top three or four has definitely taken shape since about two weeks ago, so we'll see how things go.