Thursday, August 30, 2012

PR: Lord & Taylor

We see at Lord & Taylor mannequins with looks by previous designers, which will become a collection, with one of our new designer's looks.  I like this.  I like the shout out to past designers and the practice in commercial design is important. 
The looks must be reproducible and will be sold for 200-300 dollars, and the fabric is coming from the production company, so no budget.  But still a one-day challenge. 
I appreciated seeing more of the sketches this week.  I wish they'd do this every week.  I like seeing a close-up during the show that I can remember and see how well the final look represents that initial vision.  It gives you a good idea of who can edit, who is doing too much of the same thing, and who has poor time management.
We had an awful lot of meltdowns this week!  On the other hand, dresses!

Fabio:  The dress was too simple, though it was sleek. I'm not a fan of the v back and glaring zipper.  I like the hang of the sheer on the skirt, but I wished for more.  Respect for Fabio wearing a garland, though. 
Melissa: This dress actually worked out pretty well.  It's a little off-kilter for Lord & Taylor but I appreciate that.  It's pretty, though still firm.  The asymmetrical hem is too long or too short...I can't decide. (Michael Kors agrees with me on this.)  I am kind of tired of that style of hem anyway. I also like that it's kind of coppery brown.  While that doesn't look good on everyone, it's a color that I'd like to see more. 
Gunnar loves that short and lace.  I appreciate that there are some sleeves.  The dress, though, didn't feel that special.  It has the shape of any number of black, lacy cocktail dresses.  (I wish to point out at this time that I wrote this comment before the judges' panel took place.  That they said exactly what I said was a little creepy.)
Elena: The fabric is a little strange structurally.  The shape is interesting, but the fabric seemed all wrong for the skirt.  Or perhaps it wasn't cut in a way conducive to its inherent structure.  In a different fabric, I think this dress would have worked better.  The construction also didn't seem strong, with some crazy seams.
Christopher:  You know I love ballet pink.  I would wear this dress, though I might have liked some sort of belt at the waist, something satiny, maybe.  Just something to give it some sheen.  I'm glad the judges liked the dress.  I actually think that they could get more than $300 for it at Lord & Taylor.  It was right for him to get called out for overusing a technique, though.
Alicia: I'm not a fan.  It is different, but it didn't look well crafted.  It actually reminds me of a dance costume I had once.  We were flappers, but our dresses were black with a little glitter, and a slashed skirt.  They looked a bit like garbage bags because they were, indeed, baggy, too much so to see the fabric had some glitter, which it needed more of.  Also, it had a high neck.  As soon as I saw Alicia's look, I went back to that recital.  She is not, however, Amish, Michael Kors.
Sonjie: Peplums.  Oh, peplums.  At the same time, it is a really simple dress, not one that has much to it.  I thought Sonjia might land in the bottom because of that oversimplified look.
Ven:  I might have liked this better if the top was a color.  A real color, like a stunning green.  I still like the pretty folding, and any number of women would love to wear this dress, but this technique is all he does, in much the same way.  I don't see Ven stretching himself.
Dmitry: This is a pretty good dress, sleek with some seaming detail.  The hem looks a little sketchy, though.  Not his best work in construction.

The judges did four up and two down this week...and the fourth up was unexpected.  I was really curious about what dress they would pick.  I think I'm glad they picked Christopher's.  It made the most sense for the challenge parameters: Pretty, marketable, makeable, expensive-looking, good for a window, good fit with the others...a logical choice. 
Then we got a surprise.  Gunnar is in, because "everyone met the bar of this challenge."  So we have solved the problem of having had two people disappear and only one cut designer come back, which sets us up for...
Teams next week.  Again.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

PR: Friend of a Friend

The Challenge:
Some "friends" are getting a fashion makeover for their friends.  Hair cut and color, and an outfit for the madeover client.
Early notes:  Ven got highlighted here, saying he was disappointed because this was nothing like designing for a model-- his client's proportions are all different.  I'll let you fill in your choice of annoyed sound here.  Really an immature attitude, and a disappointing, gaping hole in his skills and mindset.  The regular woman challenge always reveals the closet hater, doesn't it? 
Nathan's client seems a little confused on the meaning of sophisticated.  Sonjia did a good job asking questions and listening to her client.  Gunnar is actually into this challenge, which was a bit of a pleasant surprise.  Not surprising is Dmitry's ballroom dancing career.
"How's her figure?" Tim?  Really?  I don't know about asking that question in quite that way.  Good for Nathan, though, for his positive description.

The Clothes:
Nathan's black and blue dress was, I guess, okay for a music career in R & B, but it was too sexualized.  I know that's what the client wanted, but I also noted he couldn't really stand up to his client to steer her.  Also the sewing is a little questionable.  The side panel?  Not a good idea.  I think his inexperience showed here.  That being said, I don't think that the garment was as bad as the judges felt.
Elena's client looks very bouncy, which is a good sign.  The skirt did look cute.  The top was a good shape, but too short in the front ruffle at the waist.  It was appropriate, though, and gave the client something wearable.
Melissa's dress was kind of safe.  The detail with the asymmetrical bodice was nice, but there wasn't much else to it.  It was, at least, reasonably adult without being over-sexy..
Gunnar's client was exuberant!  I liked the skirt on her, but the bodice was not fitted quite looked crooked.  The sewing didn't look refined to me either, and both of those elements are on Gunnar.  That being said, I like the work he put into the skirt, and of course I'm proud of his attitude this week.
Alicia's dress was too short, and the bodice was too small.  I hate that cutaway thing that they work in sometimes at the waist.  The client seemed happy, but I was a bit surprised Alicia was safe.
Christopher's dress is really pretty, if simple.  I like the movement and I'm glad there is a jacket, though I would have liked a closer look at that, as he also wished for the judges. 
Ven's opinion of his outfit is curious.  He feels it's sophisticated, but there is a zipper unzipped halfway up her thigh.  What the what?  The look doesn't make any sense.  The judges responded to that also.
Dmitry's dress is a great color.  On the other hand, the midriff is too tight, and the dress is a touch short.  The top is very cute, a good shape, but I'd love to have seen it pencil down two inches longer.
Fabio!  I honestly like Fabio's dress the best this week.  Who knew?  It's cute and wearable, and his client is adorable in it.  I love the design in the blocking.  It was so clearly a winner! I would so totally wear this dress.  Really glad he won.  I've been so skeptical about him based on his portfolio, but this week he really impressed me.
Sonjia's dress is indeed a bit too short.  It's interesting that the theme is kind of similar to Christopher's, but his is more sophisticated.  And what is with this knot thing?  Knot dresses have been around for a couple of years now, so I'm a little surprised to see them popping up all over.

So, Fabio won and Nathan was out.  As I said, Nathan's inexperience was a problem here, but his attitude is a strong one.  I wish he could have stayed in longer.  He is positive and I hope that he keeps developing his fashion vision without losing his demeanor.
Ven, on the other hand...I will keep commenting on fashions objectively, but he is no favorite of mine.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

PR: Working Woman Fashion Capsule

Fashion capsule.  Yup, that's a thing now.  Actually, I kind of like the term.  It sounds funny but conceptually it makes sense.  It's a lot better than "module," which is all the rage in education now.

The Challenge: Team challenge to create a "fashion capsule" for fashionable, but editorial, working women.  The teams must direct a photo shoot for their little collection.
Sonjia, Elena, Melissa, Dmitry, Alicia, and Raul will be making six outfits
Nathan, Ven, Christopher, Fabio, and Gunnar will make five outfits.
30 minutes to discuss and sketch (which is absurd) and one day for creation (also absurd). 

The Runway:
Nathan: I'm not a big fan of that one-shoulder top for work.  It makes me cold just looking at it.  The draped front of the pant was kind of interesting.  I actually can't decide how I feel about it.  I always want to see something better with pants, something special.  I don't think this quite hit the mark, but I like that it was different than the norm.
Christopher: Cute skirt; I like the pleated print.  I'd buy that skirt.  The jacket is plain, and didn't look as smooth as it ought.
Gunnar: Print-paneled skirt and white top with print shoulders?  No.  It isn't expressive, really, or vibrant.  The top might have been all right without those shoulders; as is, it looks like a home experiment that didn't work out.
Fabio: The dress is kind of plain, but wearable.  White and black looks clean.  I think I spied some odd fit issues around the bust area.
Ven: Not a fan of the Ven look this week.  The top is too poofy.  The skirt is oddly clingy.  As a combination, it didn't look sleek or fresh, as Ven's garments usually do.

Melissa: Great color and interesting front in the bright blue dress.  The collar is too high for work.  I did notice the puckering in the back, but on the whole this was my favorite look.
Elena/Alicia: The jacket looks fun.  I'd wear that, with the smooth sleeve and a comfortable but sassy shape.  The pants were kind of dull, but I keep coming back to the jacket and enjoying it.
Raul/Sonjia: I thought I would like Raul's blouse but I ended up not liking it so much.  It looked a little misshapen.  I do like the blue skirt; Sonjia's pride is justified in that.
Elena/Alicia:  The floofy shouldered jacket is interesting.  I actually liked it more than the judges, but maybe not for work.  I do like a wide-legged pant, though it wasn't particularly special.
Dmitry: Black and navy colorblock....Maybe in just the skirt, but as a dress the look looked a little sexyish.  It's just not quite work-friendly.
Raul/Sonjia: Like the's interesting and I like it for day to night.  It was pretty and not overly sexy.  The top is kind of dull.

The Judging:  The teams tied.  I'm not sure that has happened before, but I'm surprised that it hasn't.  I do always hate it when they publicly invite the "who should go" comments from the team.  If you want to describe the team dynamic and what went on in the workroom, fine; that makes sense--you'll still get barbs and biases, but not the reductionist "weakest link" opinions.
It infuriates me that the judges loved that picture with Gunnar's dress so prevalent and she's "at work" but has a purse slung "fakely" over her arm?  No way.  That portion of the picture at least was awful.  And at one point Kors says, "So Gunnar goes home?  Ooh..." which demonstrated, I believe, a bias against sending him home based on past efforts, not what was in front of the judges.
To me, Team Six clearly had the better looks as a whole, and better pictures.  The clothes certainly photographed better, and looked more suitable for Marie Claire.  Melissa as winner makes sense, given the eye-catching nature of her dress, which did indeed look lovely in the pictures.
Raul and Gunnar are left on the runway.  Really, either could go and I wouldn't feel bad.  They are both kind of jerks.  This time, Raul is out, leaving Gunnar with a chance to redeem himself.  Good luck with that.

Next week, we're evidently going plus-size, and as usual guests' feelings will be hurt.  Never a good time.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

PR: Day to Night

The challenge is a PR staple--create a day-to-night look for a woman-on-the-go.  The look should be comfortable, versatile, and practical, and, for the judges, glamorous.  Oh, yes, and it should be in the designer's own aesthetic.
The real challenge is with the people.  Andrea is gone.  There are a lot of harsh words for her from the remaining designers, and a lot of forgetting that they themselves have been in meltdown mode and walking away, albeit temporarily.  And then, Kooan announces his departure.  Nathan, et al, try to talk him down, but Tim escorts him out.  And then, Raul comes back. 
And then...there is some sewing.

I was disappointed this week--not in the garments themselves in design, because there were several remarkable garments.  But most of the designers picked such safe, boring colors.  I can only guess that there wasn't enough time at Mood to find both the desired fabric and an interesting color.  With a grey or black jersey, you know what you have. sparkle?  No color?  I am the first to decry a design that is only interesting because of its color (as with the white dress made for Irina last week); yet, the blur of grey, black, and brown this week dulled my interest.
Sure, as I said, there were some engaging designs.  Even so, the world really has a lot of black dresses with unique designs.  It's a staple of the fashion industry.  As a woman-on-the-go, I'm trying to keep color in my wardrobe and find professional clothes in nice colors, like my beloved boucle sweaters.  I really wanted to see something new in that arena.
This brings me to this week's gripe: I really hate the rush at Mood.  I always have.  It's one of my least favorite things, watching designers scramble through that Shangri-La of fabric.  I also think the tiny visits are one of the major reasons we so often get yucky runway results.  I would go even further to say that it's a mockery of the important role fabric (and good fabric stores) play in the fashion industry.  I would much rather the designers get a full hour in there.  I don't necessarily need to see more as a viewer, but I would like to see more carefully considered and interesting decisions rather than see people just pull out black and grey, or prints of the two, all the time.
I do have to admit that a lot of the designers were heading for the greys and blacks even in Kors' studio as they sketched; however, some of the others' plans changed when they got there, as can be seen in their sketches. 

The fashions:
Alicia: Her shirt was too short and the look, while she called it crisp, to me looked sloppy.  She certainly did not have the worst design up there, but it was not a look that could win a challenge.
Buffi: Oh, Buffi.  I will miss your accent and humor.  When you saw the garment come out on the runway, you knew it was going to send her home.  Not because it was pink over zebra print.  But because it really did look like a pink sack over the dress.  When you use such a color, you really need to make it count, and it just didn't here.  A banging zebra dress with, say, a red jacket vest in a nice thick something or other would have been preferable.  Something fierce!  As it was, it was not.
Christopher: It's true; his jacket was pretty rad.  It had some sleek flair to it.  I also appreciated that his black fabric had some sheen to it, which makes it better for the evening portion.  But, like Dmitry and Sonjie, it was a basic color.  Black is suitable for night (and he did throw in a blue shoe), but amdist so many other basic colors, I was less excited.  I also felt that the drape in the skirt was too long, though that is a minor complaint.
Dmitry's dress had one seam?  What the what?  I wish they'd brought that up on the runway, so I could try to figure it out better.  In any case, I liked the weaving in Dmitry's garment, which gave it at least some interest.  That being said, it was a grey jerseyish dress.  I agreed with Kors that this dress in a color--not even a bright color necessarily--would have been better.  A nice cranberry or emerald green.  Or a deep, sapphire blue.  Then I would have wanted that dress in my closet immediately!
Elena: I really am not a fan of the shapeless, or rounded shoulder thing that Elena seems to love.  I don't really want to wear a jacket that doubles my size.  It's her thing, but I can't like it.
Fabio:  As I believe I may have mentioned, I hate it when designers make dresses that are too short.  It's supposed to be practical and comfortable--if I'm constantly worried about giving an impromptu peep shoe, that isn't going to happen.  How could I sit down?  Fabio picked a print, which was in his favor, but I agreed with Kors (twice in one week!) that the look didn't have much of Fabio's personality in it.  I also agreed with Heidi that a long jacket would have been better.
Gunnar had a tiny bit of color in there with the eggplanty shirt.  The skirt was interesting, but it didn't say evening to me, and the two pieces didn't really fit together.  Not that they came from different closets, but as if the wearer hadn't had her coffee and had her eyes half shut when she was pulling things out of the closet.  Or, maybe she pulled something out of the laundry hamper.
Melissa:  The combination of draped garments reminded me of Robin Hood, the way Robin Hood really would have dressed, with the leggings, the layers, and the hooded cloak.  It didn't look very evening to me, though, and so it clearly wasn't going to be a winner.
Nathan:  Well, he is the drape person.  His commentary was correct, though, that this wasn't a wow look.  The draped jacket vest thing was interesting, and I think gold was a good color for him to work with.  But pairing it with another color might have taken it further.  A nice forest green?
Raul: I wrote "the fabric of the top piece is interesting."  That's it.  Raul dodged a major bullet this week.  I know he has better capabilities than this.
Sonjie: Drapey grey dress.  The back of the look was actually quite interesting.  It did remind me of some multi-way-to-wear dresses already out there, but there was some originality.  The middle seemed a little pouchy to me, which wouldn't suit too many ladies.  This and other dresses most likely would require some Spanx.  I wasn't sorry she won, but mainly because I think all three top looks could have won.
Ven: Hey, guess what!  Ven had pleats!  No, I'm not accusing him of being a one-note, and I have nothing against pleats, but I hope he is ready to mix it up in future.  The crossing zipper in Ven's look interested me, though I'm not sure how practical it is.  I also wondered if his fabric would wrinkle.  He also used brown; a lighter brown, true, but still brown.

Next week: A team challenge.  You know.  My favorite.

Friday, August 03, 2012

PR: "Stupid Red Carpet"

The challenge:  In teams of two, create a garment for a former PR designer to wear to the Emmys.  Winner gets to go to the Emmys!
Lexus made a nebulous appearance in the episode, being the car driven to meet the former designers and the designers were meant to use the color of the car in their gown.  If they'd given the designers interesting car colors, this might have gone better.  Instead, they were very standard colors like black, white, and red.  Thrill.
As always with a pair challenge, you can see some trainwrecks coming and others come from more subtle meltdowns.  If you'd like to read an interesting backstage story, see Laura Bennett's blog, which is straightforward about what went on behind the scenes, versus the edited version of the story we saw. 
Personalities aside, here are my unbiased feelings about the fashions.  I'm going sort of in order of quality, with comments on suitability of dress for the client, and so on as appropriate.

The gowns:
Ven and Fabio for Kenley:  Yes, Kenley directed a lot of this look, including the fabric and length suggestions.  That being said, you can still see Ven's design in the look, and certainly the execution.  His dress was one of my favorites because of the blend of Kenley's desires and Ven's (and to some extent Fabio's) mastery.  I actually like to see a tea length gown on a red carpet now and then, and I think with some bigger jewelry (something rhinestony is certainly needed in the hair) it will be perfectly suitable.
Buffi and Elena for Laura: I thought this look was a little too "cute" for Laura, but I also thought it was lovely.  I'm not sure the hair styling was the best choice, because it sort of enhanced the cutesy.  That being said, the pleating ended up working very well, and the gown moved beautifully.  One of my favorites.  For me, that is...not for Laura.
Dmitry and Melissa for April: There were elements I liked about this dress and elements I did not.  That sleeve--the cuffed 3/4 sleeve--really drove me nuts.  The midriff of the front (was that knotted?) also gave me pause.  They did a terrific job with the fabric, and that quicksilver look really did suit April and give her glamour.  The back was lovely.  I enjoyed looking at and thinking about this dress, despite its few flaws.
Nathan and Sonjia for Valerie: I actually have this square in the middle with Dmitry and Melissa.  I love how happy Valerie looked in this, because it had some spunk to it but also the glamour needed.  I liked that they chose to include a gold satin in the shoulders with the sequinned fabric; I did not like that they also included it as a V in the back.  They missed an opportunity for a sleek fit back there.  Yes, the V added a design element, but it ended up looking bunchy.  Valerie, with a short torso, needs something to sleeken the silhouette, not bunch it up.  I felt the same about the sleeves--great length, but they poofed out a little, and that wasn't quite right, either.  All that said, I think Valerie looked banging in this dress from the front.
Christopher and Andrea for Anya: Sewing flaws (like the showing hooks--a problem I've had) notwithstanding, the back of this dress was pretty in design (not surprising, since it was associated with Andrea).  The front...well, the bust was simply too blousy.  The square neck with a fitted layer of chiffon over it would have been lovely.  Perhaps even a gathered collar.  The cowl was the wrong direction utterly.
Gunnar and Kooan for Irina: My shock matched that of the designers when this white number was pegged out as a high note.  The hem was too short.  The sewing was clearly poor even through the TV.  Even without being privy to the workroom mismatch and conflict, one can objectively look at this dress and shake one's head.  I really think it was the white that blinded the judges, and the accessories--and Irina.  Take the accessories off the dress, and what do you have?  A poorly sewn, too short, white dress with a train...nothing very special, in fact.  The judging here was definitely one of those wth moments.
Raul and Alicia for Mila: This dress was a travesty.  It was too simple, yet poorly constructed at the same time.  The halter was peculiar in fit, and the bust was dumpy.  I spied a lack of understanding of the purpose of foundation garments there.  Mila seems to be in good shape, but at a televised show like the Emmys, a lady needs some sort of bust support or an extremely well fit bodice.  This dress allowed neither.  Obviously there were other flaws, but no one really mentioned that one.  Problems in judging other garments notwithstanding, this was clearly the losing dress.

Thursday, August 02, 2012

2012 London Opening Ceremonies!

I always watch Olympic Opening Ceremonies with great interest.  I admit to being a bit of a snob about them--I just don't know how anyone is going to beat the awesomeness that were the Athens ceremonies.  I also love to watch what the athletes are wearing--what the powers-that-be of their countries decided to put them in every four years to represent their nation.
The London ceremonies had some bright moments.  I am all for the pastoral country farms, complete with May pole and sheep.  So much of England still has that classic, green, near-wild appeal.  They still respect their farmers.  I loved that tree-Tor, that later held the flags of all the countries. 
I was less excited by the Industrial segment, though there were elements that stood out.  I liked Kenneth Brannagh's sideburns and the shoutout to the suffragettes.  The red poppies in the WWI tribute were perfect.  I was a little sad, though, that there was so little color in this section.  Sure, the idea of Industry is all black, white, and brown, but colors still existed!  Even a dingy blue or green might have pullled in the pastoral from the opening section, to transition it instead of replacing it.  I did like the idea of them piping in the smell of the ring forge (and I know I'm not alone in having first associated the ring with Tolkien instead of the Olympic rings!)
I almost spit tea everywhere when James Bond and QEII came skydiving in.  That was a good punctuation point for the show.
in the next section, I know people were confused by the connection of the children's literature with the health care; I didn't have that confusion.  I loved the kids in their jammies, first as a signing choir and then as  hospital kids at GOSH.  It's quite true that British children's literature is an indelible part of youth, and I'm so glad they treated it with pride.  And then there were Mary Poppinses falling from the sky.  You can't go wrong with that.
The digital love story was my least favorite section.  There was too much in it.  Too many songs and films and shows, and it was hard to pick out anything iconic because there was just too much.  Sure, that is representative of our age, but it doesn't make the best ceremonial presence.  It just felt too long.  Remember the two lovers in the Athens games?  They were sweet and their story stood out because they were given space.  That didn't happen here.  And some of the music/films weren't even British...most were, but again, we lost that chance to have iconic elements stand out because of attempts to be comprehensive.
Fortunately, we had Speedboat Beckham to laser through all of that.
There were some cool points later, too, like the doves riding bicycles and the honor guard of workers for the flag.  I liked that they had young people carry the torch, and I loved the rising copper leaves for the cauldron.  That's one of my favorite cauldrons ever.  Good job, London!

The Parade of Nations seemed very full of suits this year, didn't it?  That kind of disappoints me.  I wish more countries would do a rendition of native dress--not costumey, but with a sort of national presence.  I know they want to be respectful, and you could make the argument that the athletes blend together harmoniously, but I feel like that's more the Closing Ceremonies emotion.  In the Opening Ceremonies, I want to know what that country is.
Some countries were beautifully attired.  Bhutan had lovely traditional silks.  The Cook Islands totally brought it, as did Fiji's flagbearer.  Gambia looked wonderful in their green robes, as did Mali in white and Nigeria in green and white. India mixed it up with suits and saris.  Uganda also looked lovely.  It's interesting that so many countries who are wartorn or in poverty show so much pride in their national heritage in costume. 
Meanwhile, there is Germany.  Now, I'm not suggesting that they were lederhosen, but pink and blue track jackets, with hats that had a German flag-colored ribbon?  Nothing about it made sense...and yet Time Magazine liked it?  Their opinion was based on festive color, but personally, I think the above countries pulled it off better, and classier.
There is always a lot of fuss about what the USA wears.  Sneakers and skirts made the women look a little touristy, which is perhaps sadly appropriate, but otherwise they definitely looked like Ralph Lauren dressed them.  Which he did.  The uniforms weren't very iconically American...actually, some of the stuff he did for Village Wear (which is pictured in the above Time link) is nattier.  But we were definitely not the worst dressed, so I guess we can take that home.

PR: Sweeties!

Hi, everyone!  Been away for a bit, but have a few things in store here.  First, a report on last week's PR, and also I'll be posting on the Olympics Opening Ceremonies.
I'd also like to invite you to check out, a blog by my friend Emily West Lowry, which I will be contributing to regularly!

The challenge:  Designers in a candy shop (unconventional materials challenge)
Excuse me—A sweets emporium.

I do like it when they do the unconventional materials early.  There are lots of results to see, and people tank or swank by ability more than exhaustion.  I also appreciate the workroom scenes, because people are (usually) doing such different things.
A few bright early moments: 
  • Heidi’s “Braveheart chic” tartan dress
  • Tim getting excited about candy legos
  • My own idea for what I’d do—get some fun dip and a straw; dissolve the fun dip in water and then blow it on whatever garment I was working with.  Add some color pops, like dye!
The fashion:
Alicia:  Her candy created an interesting effect that reminded me of both jungles and dripping.  Very rainforesty.  I liked the sauciness of her garments, which is something her work might sometimes lack.  It was not so rugged, but instead more playful.
Andrea:  I appreciated the Victorian imagery and styling Andrea brought to her garment—it was definitely committed.  I think she escaped a lashing, though.  The apron was stiff and formless while the back (although consistent with her Victorian ideal) was all fabric.  Other designers, like Buffi, got busted for using so much non-candy material.
Buffi:  On the subject of Buffi, I enjoy listening to her.  I bet she is annoying to some people, but so far I enjoy her sense of humor.  Her garment also seemed understated for her, and she put a lot into that weaving.  Her look was not a winner, but I probably would have put Andrea in the bottom before her.
Christopher:  His look was very dark.  And that is all I wrote.  I do remember it (it’s Saturday as I write this), but only an impression of thin stripes with black contrasting with pinkish something or other. 
Dmitry:  Dmitry’s look was also dark, but I remember his more fondly because it was more fun.  The swinging fringe to the skirt was sassy.  Did I enjoy that he used the unembellished, halterized T-shirt in the top?  No.  But I liked the wearability of his look…meaning, I’d wear it!
Elena:  Her look had structure, but as soon as I saw the color she chose and the structure started to take shape, I knew she was in trouble.  You can use that color in a soft look, but not, I think, in a bulky look that’s going to be even more bulky because it’s candy over a fabric infrastructure.  She had a concept—she’s good at concepts.  I think the execution will take more thought and time.
Fabio:  I liked the color in Fabio’s piece.  His garment looked nicely fitted.  I ultimately didn’t find it memorable, though.
Gunnar: Yes, for the checkered print he made.  The peplum, however, was completely unnecessary and too much.  Also, I’m so unbelievably tired of his attitude already.  I suspect he’s suffering from 24/7-camera-itis.  I don’t like to make attitude comments too early in the game, but really.  He epitomizes the concept of “disingenuous.”
Kooan:  I think Kooan might have scared the judge this week; I think they decided it would be too much work to talk to him about his garment.  This explosion was good evidence that he lacks an editing eye.  His piece started well, but as others pointed out, he just kept tacking stuff on there, throwing things at it.  There was no concept, and the chaos wasn’t engaging.
Lantie:  Another designer falls prey to the defeatist attitude.  She gave up.  Her look didn’t have enough candy, and she didn’t care.  As soon as that inertia locks down a designer, it’s best that she go. 
Melissa:  Candy bondage?  I guess that kind of makes senses for Melissa.  The skirt was a yes for me, but not the top, which didn’t really transcend the simple fact that it covered the model. 
Nathan:  Oh, the bulb skirt.  Well, he went for it.  I am glad for that.  He has some good ideas.  Sometimes I wonder if he might be too “young”—not necessarily in age but in his innovation and intuition.  I’m hoping there is something there he just hasn’t shown yet.
Raul:  I was kind of excited seeing Raul’s top on his mannequin.  I liked the color and the shape.  The skirt didn’t quite fit, though, which was disappointing.  I have decided to watch Raul a bit more closely, though.  I don’t always like his expression, but I do perceive something intriguing in his design.
Sonjia:  I liked the pearl effect that Sonjia created, and I also liked the scarflike embellishment with the candy sharks.  I mean, why not?  On the whole, I thought there was too much going on with her outfit, though.  It had nice color, but too many directions.
Ven:  His look was very classy, no question.  His palette was a little muted, to be sure, but the sculpture was thoughtful.  When I saw it, I knew Heidi would like it, and I am sure it’s her vote that put Ven over the top here. 
These judges were feisty this week!  I didn’t disagree with their final choices, but I do think they’re shooting out the barbs pretty fast. 
A final note—the candy lady said that one or two of the looks were things she would put in the store’s window.  Couldn’t that have been part of the prize for the challenge?  To have the garment appear in the store window?  That would have been a sweet prize!

Sorry.  I had to.