Last week made a splash with the ambitious Times Square premiere challenge, but this week is a fan favorite: the unconventional materials challenge! That means we’ll get to see who has real creativity (i.e. actually uses the unconventional materials) and who refuses to learn from past seasons (i.e. uses fabrics).
Designer Challenge: Create an Outfit Out of Candy
Tim introduces Dylan Lauren, the founder of Dylan’s Candy Bar and also daughter of Ralph Lauren (presumably this means she knows a thing or two about fashion). Dylan’s Candy Bar is a “state of the arts sweets emporium” and each designer gets $250, but everything is 50% off, which means $500 to spend, which is a LOT of candy.
Christopher and Gunnar’s Bad Mojo
Back at the work room, the designers get straight to it, but it’s not long before the inexplicable animosity between Christopher and Gunnar permeates the air. There’s literally no dialogue shown between them, but both continue to bad-mouth the other as if they have some ancient rivalry. According to Christopher, “He’s the evil twin and I am the nice twin.” How are they even twins? Because they’re both males in their 20s with high voices?
Andrea’s “Victorian Candy Bar Clerk Apron”
Tim makes his rounds and is generally impressed with what the designers have so far, particularly Ven’s stain glass window-inspired dress and Sonjia’s “wow moment” encrusted bib made out of shark gummies (I agree on both). The only people he is concerned about is Lantie, who has a ton of ideas but seems to have nothing on her dress form and Andrea.
Now, Tim is pretty good at giving constructive criticism, but even he can’t hide his utter disappointment with Andrea’s candy dot apron. “I don’t have the adequate words to express how completely underwhelmed I am by this,” he says, which is just a roundabout way of saying it’s horrible. Obviously, Andrea is devastated and can’t even complete her interview segment (this leads me to believe she might be one of the two designers who abruptly leave later in the season).
Poor Sports and Last-Minute Changes
Then comes a series of moments to showcase Elena’s dreadful attitude. First, she complains of wanting to puke because of the smell of her pina colada licorice, which is the only (cream-colored) candy she’s using in her garment. Then she has a glue gun incident and cries and pouts, even into the next day (Chris: “so why are you wearing hoochie shorts to work?”). On runway day, she practically falls to pieces when her dress starts dropping licorice as she takes it off the form.
Though Elena’s being a bad sport, it’s Lantie (who was in last week’s bottom two) who seems doomed (again). She changed her garment entirely at the last minute, resorting to the umbrella fabric (nooo, not the fabric!) and, to make matters worse, she’s completely oblivious to the horror that is her dress. She calls it “different” and “edgy,” but it’s a bunch of kid-like flowers glued onto a rainbow-striped fabric.
Heidi arrives in a python print pajama romper and Dylan Lauren joins as the guest judge. I knew Ven and Sonjia’s looks were going to be solid, but I’m pleasantly surprised by Alicia’s (when she first said “one shoulder overalls,” I was uneasy) and Fabio’s gradated blue rock candy dress. Unfortunately, Elena and Kooan’s looks drop bits of candy as they come down the runway. Andrea’s apron doesn’t look as bad as it first did, but the bulky fabric coming out the back looks like she mashed two outfits into one.
The Top 3
Sonjia: The judges love that she created different textures using a variety of candies and they especially love the design of the back (a deep V-cut with a tasteful bow at the waist). Nina calls it “perfectly made and adorable.”
Ven: Heidi can’t stop gushing about this dress and Nina calls it “sublime” and on trend with its pastel colors. Michael commends Ven’s clean, chic styling and his understanding of the female form.
Gunnar: The judges like how he created his own checkered print to really transform the materials and that he used candy for all of the accessories (a gumball bracelet and licorice earrings!).
The Bottom 3 Designs
Buffi: Her look was “over-accessorized to death” (and that’s not an exaggeration–note the giant lollipop in her hand) and Michael describes it as Toddlers and Tiaras gone berserk. Nina calls the styling “atrocious” and they all think it looks like the creation of a 5-year-old.
Lantie: Michael thinks she made the same mistakes as last week, which was to not transform the fabric but simply ornament it. When Lantie complains of the time constraints, the judges don’t buy the same excuses she made last week.
Elena: The judges think it looks like a noodle art project (Michael says “rigatoni Mad Max“) and while they understand her taste for strong, hard looks, they think she needs to address (at least acknowledge) the dimensions of the female body (Heidi: “She looks like a dude”) and open up her arrogant mindset to constructive criticism.
When VEN is announced the winner, he is surprisingly humble in his response (perhaps he’s not the Most Haughty contestant, after all). His outfit was undeniably the prettiest, most polished look. Elena and her cardboard box of falling licorice is declared safe, so it’s between the headstrong decorator Lantie and the over-the-top Buffi.
Ultimately, LANTIE is given the boot, which was definitely the right call. When you have a poor attitude and an inability to work within the challenge parameters, you’re clearly not in the right place.
Next week, the designers work in teams (that means double the drama) designing for past PR winners (exponential drama), including Anya and fan fav Mondo!
(Images courtesy of Lifetime)