Last week was about elegance, and this week was about pretty much resortwear. The designers got to enjoy some champagne last week, but this would be no vacation for this next challenge. The task for this challenge, to create a mini collection for actress Morena Baccarin for her upcoming trip to Rio de Janeiro. Back this week to help was stylist Marni Senofonte and this would be another group challenge.
The designers needed to create cohesive looks to tell a vacation story for Morena. Marni described this process as creating an underlying theme when you are looking at planning for several looks. Three designers were in each group, thus 3 looks. There needed to be a chic beachwear look (practical, but glam), a daywear street look, and a killer evening look. The designers were also tasked to really utilize the Tresemme hair salon for this challenge, to create 3 unique hairstyles for each look.
The infamous button bag was back to aide in team selections. Two names were drawn, and those 2 designers would pick their teams. The remaining designers would then form a team. Tessa’s name was drawn, and she chose Sebastian and Lela. Hester’s name was then drawn, and she chose Garo & Bishme. That left Renee, Jamall, and Venny forming the final team. This would be a 1-day challenge with a $500 team budget.
The designers first made some plans before heading to Mood. The models were randomly assigned. Everyone seemed to be planning with ease. Marni joined to remind the designers to work on their story. It did kind of seem at this stage, Hester was taking the lead of her group and Garo was having some doubts. Upon arrival at Mood, Christian was there to greet everyone, giving a reminder that fabric selections would be vital here. It could lend to cohesion and of course, tying in with each groups’ story. At this stage, Tessa started to take the lead in her group, but Sebastian was having his doubts as he saw Tessa was feeling a little lost, kind of panicking at the end on fabric selections.
Upon arrival back to the workroom, we saw the groups really all had the same palette of colors — coral, turquoise, yellow, and blue. Renee decided after her last disastrous group challenge, she needed to be more vocal this go round. Jamall was worried having immunity would make his group think he was not pulling his weight. Renee and Venny were going on with this pants making process. Renee thought her typical process might take too much time, so she decided to give Venny’s mathematics approach to pants a try. And Jamall had a bit of a disaster with his lycra fabric, and learned, DO NOT IRON IT!
It was soon time for Siriano sessions. He was excited about all of the color. We began to learn more about each groups’ themes. Renee’s group was thinking Carnivale, but Christian urged to not go too party. Tessa’s group was thinking Roman Holiday, to escape from life and experience something new. But Christian wasn’t sure that made sense since Morena goes to Rio often. And really with all of the groups, he had to make sure they realized they all had the same color palette, so how would each group separate themselves from the rest of the pack?!?
Before getting back to work, the designers noticed it was snowing out, so they decided to take a little “play in the snow” break! Tessa was filling Lela in on some earlier drama. The episode began with Bishme calling out Tessa as to why she wasn’t in the bottom last week. Bishme was in the bottom so naturally he was probably not handling well that bottom placement for himself. I don’t care for Tessa’s personality all the time, but in this instance, she was deservedly safe in that challenge, so Bishme’s comments were unnecessary.
Model fitting time was next and Hester was expressing some concern over her swimsuit. Garo was over working with Hester, and Venny was worried his look was feeling to junior. But work was over for this 1-day challenge, and the designers had to head home in the snow. The morning of the runway soon approached, and Karlie joined Christian that morning. She would not be judging/hosting that day, so she at least wanted a peak! Jamall was still complaining about his immunity, OVER IT! We also learned Nina would likely not be judging that day. But the panel would at least be Marni, Morena, Brandon, and Elaine filling Karlie’s role.
I absolutely think Team Rio Holiday was robbed! Sebastian’s look was beyond phenomenal. I loved what Tessa created. And even though I feel Lela’s look was the weakest in the group, I don’t think it took away from the overall group impact. I thought they had the most cohesion. I could see the same woman wearing these different looks. No way you could say that about the team that won — the same woman wearing Hester’s swimsuit would wear Garo’s look, I don’t think so! I can’t say enough positive things about Sebastian’s look. I loved the pants! The top was amazingly crafted.
Tessa’s look wasn’t my fave of hers from the season, but this was such a great resort streetwear look. I wish one of the designers had created a skirt look or maxi for this type of garment, but Tessa still did a great job. Sebastian was worried his look was too sexy as compared to the rest of his group. But I still think Lela brought that in her look, especially the slit. The back of her look was gorgeous. I didn’t love this color, the darkness kind of made the look read heavy. But still disappointed that this group was safe!
But alas, it was team Disco Queen that won, overall winner being Hester. I just can’t imagine any person picking Hester’s swimsuit as the best of everything on the runway. It wasn’t well made, as we saw her complain about all episode. It was very complicated as a swimsuit. And I do not see Morena actually wearing this. I am familiar with her style and from what I’ve seen, from what she said at the start of the episode, I don’t see her in this. She’s having fun, playing with her kids on the beach, yea, those straps wouldn’t get in the way at all!
Bishme’s look was not horrible. I didn’t see them giving him the win over Hester because outside of the top, there wasn’t much to discuss. His top was amazing, but some basic white pants, ehhhh, not impressive. Garo’s look was actually the best of this bunch and so for him to not even be in contention for the win is hysterical. It kind of read a little heavy, but the color was spot on, and this was no doubt an impact look! And yet another reason I felt Team Rio Holiday was robbed, we later see during judges’ critques, it wasn’t such a love-fest with Bishme or Garo’s looks. So it left me wondering, how did this group then really win??
Despite a confusing win, it was clear the bottom group was Team Carnivale. There was no cohesion in this group whatsoever. Given that Jamall had immunity, of course he was not at risk for leaving. But just like last week with the bottom 2, I think had Jamall not been given that immunity, he might have gone home on this look. I would have loved having Renee stay and Jamall left, but dang, that immunity is giving some of these designers undeserved 2nd chances! I just don’t get the craziness with all of these weird swimsuits. And yes, the ice skater comment was absolutely correct!
Even though Venny created a very junior look, there was just no way this look was going home over what Renee created. I love Renee, but her look was not great. Venny’s look was very junior, but actually was the best of this group. I didn’t like the flounce and the ruffles. But again, as I said last week, this guy is overpraised when he is in the top, very undeserved every time he has been in the top. And the judges then debate why he can so easily fall in the bottom, which he has done. It’s because he shouldn’t have been in the top those times and he really is just in the middle of the pack for this bunch.
As much it pains me to say, Renee just doesn’t thrive at group challenges and this look was deserving to go home on. If ever there could have been a Siriano save, this is where it should have been used. Renee has been robbed the past several challenges on being in the top, so it’s almost as if she was going home on a low note. And that sucks! But there really wasn’t much positive in this look. The pants were a hot mess. But I don’t get why it had to be pants! And the top, the print was okay, but overall, it just read so messy. I will very much miss Renee!