This show couldn’t really afford to get rid of someone as entertaining as Anthony Williams last week, but they did it anyway. What crimes against fashion and reality television will we see committed this week?
The hour starts with Mondo explaining that he used to think Kenley was loud and annoying … and he still kinda does. She’s like a car alarm that just keeps going off outside your building. You’ll never really love it, but after a while you may learn to tolerate it.
To announce this week’s challenge, Angela shows up carrying a bunch of “weekend getaway” bags. Each designer picks a bag, and inside is a luggage tag with a season on it. Austin and Kara get spring; Michael and Jerell have winter; Mondo and Kenley get summer; with Mila and Rami receiving autumn. The challenge is to create “sportwear for a weekend getaway look,” and the designers with the same seasons will be pitted against each other — one will be in the Top 4, and the other in the Bottom 4. Immediately, Kenley and Mila are both feeling the heat — and Jerell probably WOULD be, if he wasn’t so inexplicably confident about everything he does. Angela emphasizes that they should think about who the girl is and where she’s going for the weekend.
In the Workroom
Finally! A mostly-blank-slate challenge that allows for actual creativity, not fly-by-the-seat-of-your-trousers making-due. Whoever gets eliminated this week, we’ll at least know that they deserved it — unless the judges pull the same egregious b.s. they pulled with Jerell’s “bad acid trip at Burning Man” look last week.
Kenley’s summer girl is going to Miami for an “art festival.” Uh, sure. Her girl doesn’t exist, so why should her activity of choice exist, either? To Kenley, “Miami art festival” means sexy, flirty, pastel and polka dots — because that’s what everything means to Kenley. Mondo thinks she just keeps repeating the same designs and is too arrogant to wrap her head around trying something new. I think Mondo knows what he’s talking about.
Michael starts out with a “Fuzzy Wuzzy was a bear” fabric for a vest, but then decides Fuzzy Wuzzy would be an ugly bear, so he ditches it. And that’s when the night’s big drama begins:
Jerell is horrified to see that Michael is making THE SAME JACKET as he is. Both are thick, wool, loose-fitting jackets with cowl necks and leather details. So, yeah — they’re pretty much the same. Michael is adamant that he didn’t steal the idea from Jerell, but the proof is in the Snuggie. As he continues to tailor, the silhouette begins to distinguish itself from Jerell’s … a little.
Mondo reveals that today is his mother’s 60th birthday, so his weekend look is his fantasy (female) look that he would wear to her birthday party. Joanna likes that he made it personal, but she worries that both his and Kenley’s looks contain polka dots. Thankfully, Kenley doesn’t accuse Mondo of “stealing” polka dots from her. “She may be the polka dot queen,” Mondo says. “But I am the polka dot princess.” He’s so cute, I just hate to break it to him how those royal rankings work…
Jerell literally eavesdrops over Michael’s shoulder as he explains his silhouette to Joanna, who — fashion detective that she is — picks up that the neckline, color palette and details are the exact same as Jerell’s.
So the fashion detective calls in the fashion police, and then sends the case straight to the fashion jury! Joanna has all the designers gather to determine together whether Michael plagiarized or not. THAT’S WEIRD. Tim Gunn would never put someone on trial like that. She’s treating the designers like they’re her editing team, and it clearly makes everyone very uncomfortable. Most of the other designers defend Jerell without coming outright and saying that bitch stole his look. Joanna leaves with the tension still high, and gives her British-est advice yet: “It behooves the two of you to do the best work you have ever done.” Michael doesn’t take kindly to the accusation that he “cheated,” and says as much over the workroom buffet dinner. Jerell tells him to send his original vest down the runway, and Michael yells back, “I’ll wipe my ASS with that vest!”
On the Runway
The guest judge is designer Cynthia Rowley, a smiley, stork-like woman who seems to have tired of designing clothing years ago, and now makes her living by reality show judge chair-hopping.
SPRING: Austin and Kara’s looks come down the runway and, to my surprise, I actually like Kara’s (left) more. Austin’s (right) looks old and dated. Like something Angela Lansbury would wear to lunch. Kara’s is a little boring, but it looks easy and wearable.
SUMMER: Kenley‘s model (left) looks a little like Minnie Mouse, post Mickey-breakup, out and trying to get some action. And she’s pulling it off! I’m just not sure anyone who’s not 90 pounds or less could. Mondo‘s look (right) is so stylized that it’s hard for me to decide what I think of it. The shape is odd and the styling seems a bit much, but I always appreciate how he mixes eras, colors and patterns.
AUTUMN: The combination of Rami’s jacket and top (left) is too bulky, and the color combo is painful, but the draping is nice. Mila’s model (right) looks really wide in the shoulders (and miserable in general), but I appreciate her use of color, and the silhouette of her cape is different and dramatic.
WINTER: This is the first thing Jerell has sent down the runway that I really love. His model looks a celebrity at Sundance. Layered in that effortless, comfortable way where you know it wasn’t effortless at all. It’s beautiful, and very warm. Michael‘s looks a little bit more professional and authoritative. Like she’s the Sundance celebrity’s publicist. Or a spy.
The Critiques: High and Low Scores
Austin Vs. Kara: Cynthia says that Austin’s is “almost so dorky it’s cool,” and Isaac thinks it’s beautifully tailored, but she “looks like a bore.” Angela is reminded of a small-town woman going to church. Kara’s, meanwhile, is “wearable and comfortable.” But Cynthia thinks it looks completely unoriginal. Kara defends her look at “conservative and chic.” Isaac thinks the model looks like she’s running out to the store, but Angela and Georgina say they would wear it. It was close, but Kara had the high score and Austin had the low score.
Kenley Vs. Mondo: The judges like Kenley’s cute look, but Georgina doesn’t like how the dots aren’t aligned. Cynthia is confused by Mondo’s mixed 50s/80s styling and thinks it goes in too many directions. Isaac thinks it looks too “junior.” WHAT? Offensive. Mondo admits that he had a hard time this week and started over three times. To my surprise, Kenley had the high score and Mondo had the low score.
The judges send those four back to the waiting room, and Mondo breaks down in tears. It seems like he’s just extra-sensitive because he was caught completely off guard by how much the judges hated his look. But he says it’s because the look was so personal to him.
Mila Vs. Rami: Isaac doesn’t like Rami’s green top and the hems and draping look sloppy and uneven. Mila’s pop of red is nice, and they like the geometric of her cape. Mila had the high score and Rami had the low score.
Michael Vs. Jerell: Georgina asks why the looks are so similar, and Jerell sarcastically says that he and Michael “got struck by the same creative bug,” clearly insinuating that Michael ripped him off. The judges love Jerell’s little details and how it still stays true to his style. Michael’s, meanwhile, suffered for its styling, though it’s a great look, says Isaac. Michael’s model looks older, sophisticated and polished. It’s a close one, but Jerell had the high score and Michael had the low score.
This is a genuine shocker! One of the four male front runners — Michael, Mondo, Rami and Austin — is going home.
In deliberation, the judges praise Kenley’s look, but feel like they’ve seen it from her before. Many times. Mila gets her typical criticism: It’s boring. Jerell’s look is genuinely fabulous. He might win “most improved” from one week to the next. Kara only really “snuck in” to the high scores because Austin’s was so bad.
And speaking of Austin: His pants were great, but the rest was so bad that his taste level comes into question. Cynthia clearly HATES Mondo’s look, but the other judges know what he’s capable of and want to give him the benefit of the doubt. They can see what he was going for. Rami’s jacket was the look’s only saving grace, and Georgina sounds traumatized by his green top. Michael’s design feels too derivative, but they like his proportions.
The Winner: Kara and Mila, arguably the deadest of the dead weight left on the show, are safe. And the winner is … JERELL! He’s happy the judges “were able to see the real McCoy” of the winter doppelganger looks out there. Ouch. Kenley is safe as well.
You’re Out: Michael and Mondo are safe, which leaves Austin and Rami. And Rami is … OUT. And Austin is in. And I am so sad. But I was going to be sad either way. Rami deserved to go a lot farther — at least farther than Kara, Mila, Kenley and Jerell, ifyouaskmeandyoudidbecauseyou’rereadingmyrecap.
Rami comes to terms with the elimination, even though he knows it’s not fair. He got to showcase his work, and he’s grateful for that. Way to go out strong!
Next week: BROADWAY! Well, now we know why they kept Austin around. And with the designers making (I think?) theatrical costumes, the judges will break out their most threatical insults, comparing looks to the Chiquita Banana woman and a girl who “lives in a doorway in the East Village.” I don’t know what that means, either.
(Images courtesy of Lifetime)