Self-fundraising. Designers are in teams of 3, and are going to raise money to shop at Mood, selling T-shirts and whatever else they want on the streets of New York.
Sonjia, Christopher, and Gunnar
Dmitry, Elena, and Alicia
Ven, Melissa, and Fabio
I have to say that at 7 minutes in, I was already out. I was not interested in what was going on. I love arts and crafts, so I was briefly excited at the paints and glitter, but I really did not want to see these personalities clashing and struggling as they attempted to get strangers to give them money. More importantly, I didn't want to hear them, so I put the show on mute, with the closed captioning on. I also flipped back to the US Open frequently and didn't care that much about getting back in a timely fashion. I also spent some time reading a book about Siamese cats who solve myseteries.
I'm not sure what exactly turned me off. I hate team challenges. I hate the blatant editing tricks that are so obvious they fall flat (Gunnar complaining about Christopher's voice). I hate artificial hoops that aren't related to the results. Yes, a designer has to be good with sales and gladhanding, but having them decorate--not design, but decorate--T-shirts and hawk them was another clunker. It might have been interesting to see designers giving fashion advice, as Tim suggested, but the whole sequence, even on mute, made me look away.
I did turn the fashion show on, however, and this is what we saw:
Dmitry, Alicia, and Elena:
Shawl with fringe, dress with cross strap and weird darts.
Grey and green jacket with rounded shoulders. Pants and top.
Sonjia, Christopher, and Gunnar:
Green jacket and two-tone skirt with scarf.
Long asymmetrical coat and two-fabric dress.
Melissa, Ven, and Fabio:
Pink top and grey skirt with white jacket.
Pink tunic, grey coat, brown pants.
(Please note: All of this was writtten before the judges spoke--It's a little eerie to hear some of my thoughts so closely repeated on TV...usually I'm not that close to the judges' views.)
Heidi wasted no time in declaring Sonjia, Christopher, and Gunnar's group the winners, and I have to agree. Their looks were interesting and structural, and stood out on the runway as thoughtful. I really do like the green jacket and the collar in the camel coat. I also love that they had the middle-sized budget.
For me, Melissa, Ven and Fabio fall in the middle. I like that they went with lighter colors--winter white and pink are really beautiful and uplifting on cold days when everything gets so dark. The first look was the most complete. The grey coat and brown pants of the second look were a misstep, though. There wasn't enough innovation there, and that look was kind of flat as a result. This group definitely didn't look like they had the most money--$800 worth, in fact.
Dmitry, Alicia, and Elena were a disappointment. Those outside darts looked balloony, and the rounded shoulders in the jacket were an Elena touch I've never been fond of. On a design side of things, there wasn't much there. On an execution side of things, there were clear flaws. I won't even get into the lack of teamwork.
If I'm in charge, Sonjia wins and Elena goes home. Alicia went home instead, and I guess I kind of expected that. She wasn't given much designing to do, and her easy aesthetic definitely compounded the problem.
Next week is the design-your-textile challenge, and I'm already looking forward to it because I see more interesting designs and colors than in the past.