Well, no need for a drum roll on this decision since it was fairly obvious who the judges were sending to MBFW. In fact, the only real surprise was that the judges truly thought Char deserved yet another chance to prove herself, but I’ll discuss that topic in just a bit. Let’s first see what the challenges were this week that set the stage for which designers would make it to fashion week.
The designers had to face 2 challenges in order to make it to the finale. Tim, alongside Brian Bolain, Corporate Marketing Manager for Lexus, delivered the first set of challenge details. The designers got to ride around in a brand new Lexus, driver in tow, to hit the streets of NYC in order to find their inspiration. They were to create a street chic look that could be worn everyday of the week. The look had to be fashionable and progressive. The designers were taking in all of the city sights, the people, the architecture, graffiti, and more! Tim said this would be a 2-day challenge and he would meet them later at Mood to shop with their $200 budget. I think it was fairly obvious at that point there was more to the story here. Come on, 2 days for a street inspired look, no one was being fooled here!
So sure enough, as the designers made their way back to the workroom for day 2, they were greeted with more challenge details. They walked into the workroom to see 5 eliminated looks. Tim soon came in with the infamous button bag and more details. Each designer was to choose a losing look and reposition it to make it a winning look. Tim was clear — these 2 challenges were separate so there was no need for cohesion between the looks. They were also given an additional $100 Mood budget to purchase supplementary fabrics. Emily’s button was drawn first and she chose Samantha’s navy blue evening gown (from the Chopard challenge). Next up was Char, who chose Korina’s most recently eliminated look from the storage bidding wars challenge. Amanda then chose fäde‘s rain-way look. Kini selected Mitchell’s red carpet challenge dress, leaving Sean with no choice but Sandhya’s onesie from the American Girl doll challenge.
With only 1 day left and still 2 looks to complete, Tim also said the designers would have helpers to finish up their work. He said the helpers were there to only assist, not collaborate! And the assistants were none other than the creators of the losing looks just chosen. This is of course brings us to the drama of the episode where a very frustrated and upset Korina was not ready to be back in the workroom, let alone assist Char in her attempt to still make it to fashion week. I do wonder if another designer had chosen Korina’s look if she could have managed to stay. But she still very much had sour grapes and yes, a major attitude. However, regardless of her outward emotions, her elimination was a much harsher one than other designers and quite unprecedented with PR history.
She was eliminated on a group challenge where no bottom group was chosen. She was then pitted against the very designer she was being asked to assist this week. A designer who has been given way more chances to prove herself to the judges this season, yet she still somehow manages to be the recipient of even more PR lives; she’s like a PR catwoman! But really Char should be thankful Korina bowed out. Did she really want someone’s help who didn’t want to be there? So Char worked with Alexander, whose look BTW was not amongst the losing looks graveyard — I wonder why!?! If you went in order of elimination, his look should have been there.
It was soon time for model fittings and Tim-time. Tim reminded the designers the looks needed to stand out. Sean was having some major struggles trying to find a way to re-work Sandhya’s look. Understandable — way too much bubblegum pink! Emily was also struggling a bit on the re-worked look. She said her mind and heart wasn’t in it. She was way to wrapped up in her street inspired look with a hoodie she had been dying to make all season.
The guest judge this week was Shay Mitchell, the super-talented star of ABC Family’s hit drama Pretty Little Liars. Shay was a great choice for this week’s guest judge spot, with helping to decide which designers would go to fashion week. She always looks great on the red carpet and certainly made the rounds herself at NYFW — she was all over the place!
The judges didn’t name a winning designer this week. I’m not sure if the order they announced who was going to fashion week was indicative of anything. But for almost every designer who made it, the judges seemed to love one look, while not really being a fan of the other. Even though I feel it’s been almost meant to be for a Kini/Sean/Amanda finale, I do think each designer is very worthy of their final 3 spot. And no I didn’t forget to mention Char, I just don’t agree she was deserving of yet another chance to present as a finalist. She is for sure going to need a lot of more of her magical mist to beat any of the other 3 designers. And if she does, it would only be out of luck that Sean, Kini, or Amanda slip up and lose it for themselves. Even if you could pick a best look between her 2 dresses this week, it would in no way even compare to Sean, Amanda, or Kini’s best looks this week. But what would PR be this season without 1 hopefully last illogical decision. We better not see any of that on the finale! Ooooo, and also, what would this last runway have been without another popular trend on the season, more fringe! And with that, let’s discuss Sean’s looks first.
So Sean definitely hit a homerun this week with his street-inspired look, but I would label his re-worked garment as a total miss, 3 strikes and he’s out! Well not really out because his street chic look was totally amazing! It would be hard to imagine such a stark white look lasting an entire day on the streets of NYC, but you would certainly turn heads in this look. You could dress it up, dress it down, wear it to brunch, or a rockin’ rooftop soirée. The fit was great. And I loved the cutouts and ladylike collar.
And I think it was Nina who commended Sean for his job well done with hair & make-up. I actually want to give Sean a shout-out for his Aldo nude sandal heels, perfection, and more specifically for the Mary Kay beauty look — love the bold plum lip!
However, I can’t believe no judge bothered to comment on the miss for the accessories and beauty look here. If Nina wants to call out Amanda, I’m not sure what was blinding her vision in reprimanding Sean a bit for his choices with this look. This separates look was not great, but really nothing was redeemable here, the boots, the hair, or the make-up. Sean has worked wonders with fringe before, but the magic just wasn’t present this time. Sandhya couldn’t make this ghastly baby pink work and neither could Sean. But lucky for him, each designer seemed to have one miss this week so the judges were in a bit more of a forgiving mood.
In choosing a best street chic look, it would be a tie between Amanda and Sean. But if I had to choose a best overall designer for the week, judging both of the looks combined, I would pick Amanda. So first, let me do a love-fest over this color-blocked maxi. I mean it is totally to die for. It was very much Amanda. The colors she chose were brilliant. With other maxidresses there is a great deal to choose from with bright summery colors & prints. Amanda was smart to put a different spin on the color choices. I also think she did a great job with the placement of the colors, the cutout, and the draping of the back. I agree with the judges in that the look was sexy, but in a subtle way. I don’t think the accessory and beauty choices were worthy of a Nina reprimand, but as I said earlier, if she is going to be so snippy about one designer, she needs to do the same for all!
But I do love this maxi, beauty & accessories aside. I could see it clearly on the streets of NYC and not only would it turn heads, I think it would stop traffic! Amanda, you can make one for me and send it my way ASAP! I will find a NYC event to rock this look at for sure!
So I believe Heidi said this look was a little too much like what a club hostess would wear, but I guess still wearable at least. It was a bit too short, but I’m happy she decided to somehow still maintain fäde‘s work with his electric lines. It was a bit underwhelming compared to the 1st dress, but most of the re-worked looks fell by the wayside this week. I think it was because the designers had so much time to find inspiration with their street chic looks. They were all feeling so inspired for that 1st day of work. It was understandable they couldn’t all of a sudden find just as much passion, on top of less time to create, for an entire 2nd look. But just as with Sean, Amanda did so well with her other look, and in the judges’ eyes, all was forgiven!
Kini too was comparable in his work for the week, 1 standout and another that was so-so. However his standout look was from the re-worked challenge. He clearly did the best job in repositioning a losing look into a winning look!
Kini reworking Mitchell’s “very red” red carpet look into this boldly glam asymmetrical gown was sheer genius. And yes, that is pun intended since Kini made such a great choice in adding the detail of a sheer asymmetrical sleeve. The point of the original challenge was to create a red carpet look for Heidi and she would have totally been a best dressed in this number. Just as with all of Kini’s work, it was so well-made, very high quality. It was luxuriously superb and I’m always amazed by what Kini can do in such a short amount of time.
Also, Aldo accessories shout-out for this gorgeous nude clutch — love!!
Kini didn’t receive such high praise for his street chic look though. The problem with this look was editing. The pieces didn’t work together as a whole, but were certainly wearable as individual pieces. The judges, especially Heidi, went bananas over this navy trenchcoat. But paired with this structured denim skirt, it was all a bit too much. Shout-out though on all other counts, Aldo accessories, perfectly coordinating black heels & gold bracelets, Philip B. hair, gorgeous wavy hair, & Mary Kay beauty, with a natural, fresh make-up look.
Just as Amanda/Kini/Sean making the finale came as no surprise, neither did Emily’s elimination. You could see it coming all episode long, whether it was from her extreme love & desire to create this hoodie, or her admitted disregard for her re-worked look. The judges were not a fan of either look. Mary Kay beauty shout-out though — simple, natural makeup look
The judges also couldn’t come to any agreement over a look that Emily was truly passionate about. While Heidi seemed fine with the hoodie, Zac was clearly not a fan at all, thinking it was homeless-like. I think Emily found a great print here for the undergarments, but they were too PJ-like when used for both the top & bottom. I think maybe pairing this top with some jeans or leather leggings, it could have worked or been more acceptable for the judges. As far as the grey hoodie though, I mean this is what you would see for sure on the streets of NYC. I’m not sure if it would standout amongst the other pieces of outerwear gracing the streets of NY, but at least Emily stuck to who she was as a designer. And at least at this point, we knew who she was as a designer.
On the other hand, you could not see Emily at all in this re-worked look. And the problem was, Emily’s heart just wasn’t in it and she even said so herself. Adding an asymmetrical sleeve and a printed shortened skirt was not enough here. It all just read as too commercial, which is definitely not how I would label Emily’s work. Her designs are always a bit more unique, more one-of-a-kind. Aldo shout-out though, great choice of nude sandal heels. But with no judges in her corner this left Emily going home. Although if someone can explain to me how Emily wasn’t just as deserving of one 2nd chance, since Char was given like 4, please, go ahead, I’m listening!
According to my chart for how the season has gone, both of these ladies have had 2 high points, but 0 wins. They have had equal the same amount of bottom looks though. The only differences actually work against Char in that she was eliminated and had to save herself with a 1-hour “Save Me” challenge. I’m not seeing what Char has done that was so redeemable. At best, let them each have made their collection and had a face-off to see who would get the final 4th spot if the judges so desperately needed or wanted 4 finalists. I would be just as intrigued to see what Emily would come up with, as the judges are to see what Char will do with even more time!
So I admit, Sandhya got a very harsh critique from me over this season, but it was in part due to the unexplained, illogical judges’ love-fest over her work. Unfortunately, Char will now get some of that same harshness because the judges have been making “0” sense since last week! My comments in no way mean that Char wasn’t deserving of her time on the show or even the Tim Gunn save. I’ve loved many of her looks this season, but her work last week should have sent her home over Korina, and her looks this week, were not deserving of yet another chance in giving her a spot at NYFW. My whole point is to demonstrate the lack of logic with the judges’ decisions. In fact, I think she only got another chance from the judges so they could feel justified in sending Korina home over Char the week before.
Let’s start with the street chic look, which to me read total hoochie. She described this look as Soho?? Hardly! In fact, I’m not sure I would reference NYC in this look at all. The judges thought there was vision here, but yet again, as with many of Char’s looks, poor execution. They were 100% right in that there was too many petals on the skirt. They thought it needed editing, but I’m not quite sure what could have been done to save this look. All of the other designers found such clear vision and inspiration for their street chic looks. And even with Emily being eliminated, she clearly had a passion for what she was creating. I didn’t see that with Char. They all had a day and so I don’t understand why the judges gave such leniency to Char.
What’s even sadder is the complete disconnect between how Char attempted to re-work Korina’s look. I still don’t think Korina’s look was elimination-worthy. But for Char having not only so much fabric, but so many fabric options, and to then come up with a sad, simple black dress, really! Unlike her street chic look, I’m not sure what great idea would have developed with more time. But just like her under-developed street-inspired look, she yet again had execution issues.
And so just to reiterate, I don’t see how an entire competition has not been enough time for her. She’s had the same time constraints like every other designer and why she is deserving of any leniency is beyond me. The other eliminated designers I’m sure had great ideas that could have used more time to flourish. I’m sure somehow she won’t come in 4th place, but I wonder if another designer will lose it for themselves, or if the judges will attempt to justify their decision in sending her to fashion week. Can’t wait to see!