Who would have thought that four elements would produce so many gray and black garments? Is this Project Monochrome? Project Achromatic? All the designers professed to want to go outside "the" box this week, but evidently that sent them straight into another box--the same one as everyone else. As Mila, herself using the dark gray/brown region, said, so many designers picked gray it's hard to tell who has what element. I found that disappointing. Okay, so you decide not to pick scarlet or orange for fire. But how can six of nine designers make something black, gray, and brown when they have the whole of the elemental earth to draw from? Are these the Apocalyptic elements?
Amy: I feared for Amy's safety this week. Hearing her describe her concept, then seeing her project in gear, I immediately sensed a disconnect. Having failed project attempts many times myself, I could feel for her. It's hard to imagine that she put the final look, including the hair, together without at some point stepping back and asking, "Does this look ridiculous?" but I guess I've been there. At the same time, before I saw the look on the runway, I realized how much I tend to trust Amy--I wasn't questioning her ability to pull it off magically, until it was finished. I think I now understand how Tim feels. Black equals fire? To be continued...
Anthony: Did anyone else notice that Anthony was using the folded strips of fabric to build up the bodice again? It was very similar to the turquoise dress he made for Heidi. I didn't mind that Anthony went all ash for his look, and I liked the gray and the pinkish shade that he chose, but there was also too much black. The black became dominant and looked plain. I was not surprised that Anthony was safe, but this wasn't a winner.
Ben: The pants were pretty bad. The jacket I'm assuming had construction issues I can't see, since the judges panned it so badly. The look doesn't really say shark to me. The high collar said danger, so that was a good move, but the color connection was neither watery nor sharky, unless it's about the shark's innards. This was another instance where the concept itself seemed sound, but once the project got underway, I couldn't figure the choices out. Unlike Amy, though, I don't have a trust built up with Ben, and I sense that the judges didn't, either, and that's why he was let go--Even though Amy has been more up and down in the past, Ben hasn't really challenged the judges or intrigued them.
Emilio: I didn't care for this dress. It looked kind of haphazard to me. Seeing it now on the websites pictures, I appreciate it a little more, and I do like the coloring of the fabric with the model. The dress reminds me of moss. I still can't decide whether in a good way or a bad way.
Jay: File under WTF. First of all, Jay is much too in love with the flyaway dress. I liked the bodice of this dress, and the fabric choice for the flyaway part, though I hated its look with the lighter fabric in the front. But were those pants? Or leggings? Striped? With a tornado head? What IS this garment? Everyone in the web comments, and Tim, likes this look, but personally I thought it was a disaster. Pun intended. Awful.
Jonathan: When this look first started to go down the runway, I thought, in a girlish fashion, "ooh, pink and pretty" and then, regretfully, "the judges are going to hate it." Imagine my surprise when they loved this look. I am not even sure what I like about it, except that I give mad props for making something creamy white that looks good on a pale girl. Love the textile and the shape of the skirt. A little tired of the typical PR dramatic collar, but it wasn't obtrusive to my eye. The one strap across the back looked a little yokelish, and the look was short, but having just bought a short shirtdress I can't really complain about that. I can't get over the textile. I just really responded positively to this look. It didn't make me think of laughter so much as a seraph. He should have sent her down barefoot. Anyway, I was glad the judges liked it, though I secretly bet that it was at least partly because it used a bit of color.
Maya: The only other look I liked, even if it is gray. I didn't agree with the judges about Maya's "inspired by." After all, all of these challenges are "inspired by," and it isn't like she's mimicking people. She's just capturing styles and merging them with her aesthetic, just as designers do for their whole shows. I really think they were just looking for an excuse to pick on her. I liked the idea of the dress; spotted a few construction issues, but on the whole it was pleasing and made sense. The styling on the other hand--that hair. Yick. Very 80s.
Mila: Wow, so the judges didn't go for Mila this week. I didn't care for the bulkiness of that vest. I could see Mila's earth inspiration, and on the whole I feel there were worse looks this week, but I also think the focal piece looked amateurish. That being said, even if it was "boring" I liked the mock turtleneck. I liked that color and its sleeves.
Seth Aaron: Seriously? Leatha? Where's Stella? I understood the whole midnight wind thing. I can even get behind that, since I love a breeze on a hot summer night. But leather? Practically any other black fabric would have been more convincing. Seth Aaron wanted to be structural, and that's fine, and his shape was intriguing, but it did not say air. It was too heavy! It slugged along when the model walked. It looked heavy while stationary, too, which for me means it did not fulfill its purpose. It was almost too heavy to hold the structure. I'm just not buying what SA is selling this week. I even tried to think of it as sort of a graphic novel thing, like the coat of a gritty superhero billowing around him. But it was just. too. heavy.
A team challenge next week. My favorite. Did I say favorite? I meant Yuck.