This week was the editors' volte face on Gretchen. Vilifying her last week, this week they turned to showcasing her practicality with Tim and her family connections. I include this as a note only, for those who are following the usual drama.
The challenge was similar to the "old wedding dress" challenge, only this time with bridesmaids' dresses.
I have mixed feelings about the bridesmaids' dresses. I really don't consider them to be as ugly as the designers and judges constantly stated. Impractical, perhaps, but not hideous (in most cases--some of them did have truly strange design details). Designers were also complaining about colors that actually weren't bad--colors they and previous designers have used. It's just seeing them all together that makes them garish. Laura Bennett seems to agree: "The designers all roll their eyes, cover their mouths and claim the dresses are hideously ugly, but I don't see anything worse than what has been sent down the runway this season." And, indeed, on this very episode.
I have seen some bad bridesmaids' dresses in the shops and on the web, but I've also seen some very nice ones. Certainly, they are in unusual colors, but that's how weddings work. You match the colors the bride is using. And are Cynthia Rowley's dresses really that different? In some cases, maybe, but not really. I think it's just traditional to moan about your bridesmaid dress because you didn't pick it and therefore it must be hideous--a tradition I don't agree with at all. On top of this, these particular designers are known for overstating their case and harping on points (e.g. their attitude regarding Michael C.). Thus, I chose to disregard their disingenuous opinions of the original garments as I reviewed their garments.
The best part of this challenge was the Designer Showcase. I'm not a big fan of the voting in front of the designer concept, but I think getting glammed up was great for these ladies, and I appreciated the chance it gave the designers to have a "test run."
Andy--He dyed his material from blue to black, but then made kind of a tarty/streetish shorts and bustier top. With chains, of all things. I liked the pattern in the top, but obviously didn't care for the rest. I couldn't believe I thought this, but I actually wondered if a romper might have worked better and looked cute for the model.
April--I really liked April's high-collared dress this week. I wasn't sure how I felt about the silver fan, but I liked the sleekness of the garment, the sleeve length, and the overall fit, though it was just a bit too short. Then again, I also liked the textile of the old dress.
Casanova--I liked the drape top and the color of the pant with it, but ultimately didn't like the pant itself. And that's all I have to say about the look.
Christopher--The judges went wild over his top. Yes, the one side was draped beautifully; but frankly, the other side looked like he didn't finish and the bra was hanging out. It looked exactly like the cup of a nude bra. It looks better close up, but to me this was a design flaw I couldn't overlook.
Gretchen--Grethcen is very into loose, shapeless, tiny tops, no? Her skirt is too short, and the girl is obsessed with boots. That said, I liked the painting and distressing of the outfit, and let's face it, her model looked chicly urban (again, like most of Gretchen's gear). The best that can be said for Gretchen is that her work isn't boring--it's engaging to the eye, unlike many of her cohorts.
Ivy--Ivy was kind of boring this week. The top was acceptable but kind of plain; though the back draping was pretty, that kind of shirt is not that difficult. The pants are dull, and I'm really so tired of capris and leggings.
Michael C--I actually disagreed a bit with Kors that the length of this dress was rightly proportioned for his model. I thought it was arranged at a place that made the gal's legs look wider. I also didn't care for the hair and makeup styling. I responded well to the top of the garment; I actually liked the puffed lace sleeve. The look as a whole struck me as a bit messy, especially for his model's shape, which seemed athletic and was made boxier by the poofiness of the skirt. It wasn't a bad garment, but not the winner for me.
Michael D--I wasn't big on the bright pink straps either, in line with Tim's comment. I did think the little jacket was cute, and the best part is that his model looked happy. That being said, I agreed with a comment by someone that he didn't do all that much with the dress. It was a makeover rather than a redesign, and thus not terribly innovative.
Mondo--This design struck me as very 80s, and then I heard him say his model was from Jersey City and it all made sense. Unlike Kors, I didn't like his pink stripe/"sleeve" cap, but I did like the shaping of the bodice. The dress suited the model. I thought this was going to be pulled out for the win on the strength of its suitability, even though I personally didn't love it...I am generally against "Jersey chic."
Peach--Nothing went right with this garment, and Peach knew it. The project looked kind of home ec-y and confusing. I couldn't agree more with the problemmatic peplum and there was no consistent style voice here. I was not surprised that Peach went home, but as everyone has stated, she will be missed.
Valerie--This won my WTF of the week. The whole thing looked misshapen and ill-constructed. Unlike with Peach, I think I know what Valerie wanted to do here. But nothing about the execution matches that idea I have amd think she had. It was the wrong design for her client altogether.
Can I be honest? I'm starting to dislike Heidi more than a little. Imagine you are a student who has produced a picture. Your teacher and her TAs come around and as he starts making snarky comments, the TA starts laughing. These people are both bullies. Bullying is unacceptable. So often, Heidi just laughs and laughs at Kors' stupid insults, which get campier and campier as we go. I've noted before their inability to be constructive, but now Heidi isn't even being verbal, just sycophantically giggling. I am "not responding positively" to this.