This is it! It is the final challenge before we find out who is going to NYFW! And what better way to make that determination than by having the designers take on creating an avant-garde look. The judges would be looking for something extraordinary, going beyond the norm, a fashion first where innovation and originality would be key. And given that nobody went home last week, on this challenge, 2 designers would be getting axed. For this huge task, it really called for a larger than life runway! Instead of the regular catwalk, the designers would show their looks at NYC’s newest, innovative architectural feat, The Vessel.
Since Nancy won last week, she was able to choose her model. She then selected another designer to choose, and it was so on and so forth after that, with Victoria choosing last. This would be a 2-day challenge, with the sketching happening right then and there. The challenge itself wouldn’t start until the next day with the trip to Mood. During sketch-time, Marquise expressed comfort with this type of challenge, Victoria felt just okay, but Brittany was not feeling great at all. Sergio was planning his next big piece, but also his next big political statement, women empowerment.
So for the first full day of work, the designers began at Mood with a budget of $600. The designers were excited, but also happy to have a little extra shopping time. Geoffrey was feeling ready, although found himself working with familiar fabrics. Christian had already warned everyone to mix it up, so Geoffrey decided instead to work with latex. This is not new territory for him, but would be on this show. It was then time for the designers to get to work. We saw at Mood Brittany was thinking butterflies, but also thinking pink! Victoria was aiming to create 100s of small, faux leather pieces, to create her own fabric, looking to be some very tedious work. And Marquise was getting into work with all of his chains!
Christian was around later for Siriano sessions. Christian was okay with Brittany’s butterfly vision. Geoffrey was thrilled to show Christian his abilities to work well with latex. For Nancy, Christian urged her to go ahead and figure out her silhouette. But with Victoria, he wasn’t sure what direction she was going. For the remainder of day 1, Sergio expressed he only saw himself as competition and that everyone is always watching him. Not sure about that one, but everyone looked tired after a full day’s work, but still ready to go the next day for round 2!
The designers began their 2nd day of work with a surprise from Christian. They thought it was bad news, but it was more positive! Christian had it all set up for the designers to see every look they have created this season. It was a lovely walk down memory lane. But of course, it was more than just looking at their past work! Each designer would choose 2 prior looks to show with their avant-garde look. They would also get to work with a seamstress to tailor their looks for the new models. Next up was model fittings. Seeing what Geoffrey was creating with his latex work, I wasn’t sure what was going on. Sergio was working away with his Samurai look. Christian cautioned Marquise to relook at his jacket. And the designers also began work with their assigned seamstress.
Justine Marjan from Tresemme then came by to consult with each designer on their hair look because this avant-garde creation needed to truly sync with the hair & makeup. Toward the end of the day, Geoffrey accidentally cut himself, what a crazy end to a hectic, filled day! Since the designers had to be on location for this runway, their day of runway had to begin much earlier! Geoffrey was still reeling from his finger injury the day before, and looked to be hurting himself all over again! But injuries aside, the looks were getting finishing touches, the designers were off to The Vessel.
The judges were also arriving on location. We saw that Brandon was really afraid of heights, so he would be taking in the show from a lower level. This week’s guest judge was actress Rachel Brosnahan. Seeing this space with the runway show going on, it looks to be a stunning spot for a fashion show! And this runway did not disappoint. I feel most of the designers really stepped up to the plate, and I do imagine the choice to send 2 designers home, so only 4 making it to fashion week, it was a tough call!
My sense from the judges was that there was no question Geoffrey and Victoria were going thru. Nancy maybe more in the safe zone, with the final decision coming down to for that 4th spot between Brittany, Marquise and Sergio. I think the final decisions all made sense to me, and I was okay with, but this is not how I would have broken up this group. I don’t think there should have been any debate over Nancy going thru. She was definitely one of my top picks. Her look was so artistic, so sculptural, such a vision. I can’t say this is something overly unique from her, but it was clear everyone loved it. Nina mentioned something about better color choices, but I thought that was nonsensical. You could tell Brittany was fuming over the good critiques Nancy was receiving, but that is pretty petty that she felt her look was better than Nancys’. Not sure in what world that made sense in her head!
I am not usually a Victoria fan, but on this look, I can see why the judges put her thru over some of the rest. I wasn’t sure about the colors when I first saw it, but looking at it now, it makes sense and I do really like the look. I don’t think the ear attachment was needed. I wish it had been a little longer in the front. But this look read better to me the more I got to look at it, and she really stepped up from work she has created all season. It was nice to finally see something truly different from Victoria.
Geoffrey nabbed that definite fashion week spot as well. The judges were in awe, but I still just don’t get it. Geoffrey has done great work all season, and I am happy he was given the chance to go to fashion week, but this look was not a knockout. I can’t recall which judge said something about him being on such an upwards trajectory toward the last part of the season, but I guess they forgot how poorly he did just the week before this with that tacky short red dress he created! I don’t think this met the level of avant-garde. The latex was cool looking, but it was a long train over a body suit with exaggerations on the top. He said he makes stage looks for singers and this is exactly what this look was. I don’t get the over exaggeration of positives here.
I think the bottom 3 should have been Geoffrey, Marquise and Brittany. And in that instance, I don’t know if I would have put Geoffrey thru based on just this one look. But it was actually Sergio in the bottom pack, which I was confused on. I thought comparing his look to that of the other 2, I don’t see how there was any debate he should go thru. His work always is high quality, technically superior, so regal, so luxe. There is a flare for the drama. Yes, his makeup and hair were not very original in this Asian influence aesthetic. But I don’t think his look itself was referential in the examples they showed of McQueen or John Galiano. His Samurai look is not the same as a geisha look. Yes, they both reference the same culture, but are 2 different things and I feel it was very ignorant of the judges to not get that. To be fair, nothing in this lineup was overly innovative or totally original!
It was the right call for Sergio to go thru. Brittany’s look was not perfect, but was the only one I felt might could have gone thru, but didn’t. However in my book, if Brittany goes, then Geoffrey wouldn’t have. I do like this butterfly aesthetic. The judges weren’t thrilled with the butterfly dress, but I actually love it. It’s not avant-garde though. Obviously it was the oversized, long train jacket that was her avant-garde work, and it wasn’t anything overly spectacular. The execution wasn’t fully there, but as much pink as this look was, I still didn’t hate it. What I do hate is Brittany and her pouty attitude. I think she is such a poor sport. Yes it sucks to not make it, but to be fair, her and Marquise were both given 2nd chances in this competition. I don’t think Brittany has made the most of that 2nd chance. And her body of work compared to Geoffreys, it just isn’t as strong.
But Marquise going out on this look, I can’t say it is surprising. I do think Marquise made good use of his 2nd life in this competition. But I have always found him to be inconsistent in his work over the course of the season, and this look was not strong for him. Yes the chain pants were cool. But I know a few designers personally that work with chain metals all the time. It is not this brand new concept. The top part was just not good at all though. It was basic thoughts on hologram and futuristic vibes, but not in a good way. I think I had seen some comments from fans here and there that he was robbed. That is absolutely untrue in regards to this look. He was only brought back to the competition because another designer had to drop out due to illness. He has to prove himself just like everyone else and I don’t feel he did that. I like Marquise, but I don’t think he was ready to create an entire collection for fashion week. He has potential in the future, but he is not quite there yet!
I am eager to see how everything plays out on this road to the fashion week finale!