PRAS, The Red Carpet Challenge — Sizzle or Fizzle?!?

Let’s call this an in be-twizzle. But really, let’s be real. No red carpet look here was exactly ready for prime time. It was perfect timing for this episode as we are right in the midst of award season, with the Grammy’s this weekend, and the Oscars right around the corner. But everyone here needed way more time and likely a bit larger of a budget. Nobody really would commission a dress for a major red carpet and leave only a day to put it together. This is especially considering the many other details this challenge entailed.

pras4-ep12-episode14So the specific details were given by Alyssa and Kelly Garner (via a taped announcement), who is portraying Marilyn Monroe in an up and coming Lifetime miniseries. The Marilyn part of the challenge was that the designers were to be inspired by her timeless beauty and create timeless red carpet gowns. The look had to sparkle and shine, as well as being suitable for the Oscars. It needed to be an iconic, timeless look that was memorable. So again, this was a lot to get out of any designer in only a day! And then going back to Lifetime, there was a huge prize at stake.

Screen Shot 2015-02-06 at 11.52.56 PM

The winning designer of the week would get the chance to design the wardrobe for a future Lifetime project. With that, the designers were off to Mood, with their largest budget of the season, $500. Still not likely enough for this challenge, but nonetheless, it was all they had. Michelle decided to spend nearly her entire budget on 1 really expensive fabric. On the other hand, Sonjia bought lots of options. Dmitry went with fringe (seemingly a PR fave as of late), and Helen decided on Chantilly lace.


The designers quickly got back to the workroom to begin work on their gowns. Dmitry had quite a bit to do, working with fringe and all. His fringe didn’t quite match his fabric so he had to tea-dye the fringe. Sonjia still wasn’t sure on the direction of her look — no surprise there! All while Michelle decided to designate herself the sparkle police. Isaac came by for a surprise visit. This was the first of a few surprises during this episode, which literally made it feel like one of the longest episodes in PR history!! If it wasn’t already preposterous enough to have the designers make such a major red carpet look in 1 day, they also had to take on a mini-challenge, seriously?!? Why was that needed?


Oh, I know. I guess it was to give Michelle some bragging rights, giving her a chance to win something during this season. It would have been quite sad being that she was a former PR winner and all to have not won 1 challenge during her time on PRAS. This whole design couture for a dog challenge was a waste of time at this point. I get dogwear and doggy couture exists, but it wasn’t needed right now. But it seemed besides allowing Michelle to have 1 win, PRAS also needed to make the episode last for an hour and a half versus the standard hour.


I love dogs, cute segment, but still didn’t get it. Isaac, along with Michael Francis and Lassie, set up the mini-challenge. Each designer had to work with a rescue dog, making a piece of canine couture. The doggy wear had to be inspired by a particular movie genre. So Dmitry worked with Dolla for Gangster, making a gangsta suit; Helen with Scrappy for Sci-Fi, making a rocket ship; and Sonjia with Cha-Cha for musical comedy, making a sparkly get-up with some feathers for flare. And with Michelle for the win, she had Taz, designing for western, making a bandana look.

Screen Shot 2015-02-07 at 12.00.20 AM

I’m sure everyone appreciated some fun, but with time wasted away, they were all quickly back to work, literally with Helen banging away. It was then Zanna-time. Michelle wanted to put chains across her open-back, but Zanna thought this cheapened the gown; I agree. Zanna & Dmitry discussed crystal placement. She asked Sonjia about if her look would stand the test of time. And finally, with Helen, Zanna worried the look read too old-fashioned. But Zanna was clear in saying to everyone, she wasn’t seeing anything timeless quite yet.


With time running low, Helen scrapped her entire bodice. And more trouble, right at the end of the day, Sonjia’s zipper broke. The morning of the runway left no time for dawdling. Everyone still had plenty to do. But it was soon time for the runway. Guest judge this week was CEO & Founder of Nasty Gal and author, Sophia Amoruso.


After critiques, each designer felt good. They all pretty much received both positive and negative comments. All really except Dmitry who was the clear winner this week. There has been a lot of predictability over this season and sub-par designs from the other designers. But predictability aside, Dmitry not only was well deserving of this win, but his spot as a finalist. He has consistently done a great job every week, and was never in the bottom. So if the PRAS season comes to an end with a headline reading “Dmitry is two for two”, I would be 100% fine with this.


Dmitry had a great start here. Honestly, I could see this on the red carpet now. Not so sure about the Oscars, but I can only imagine how great this fringed look would have been with more time and money.


This look definitely had stand-out appeal. Fringe and the hints of sheer are certainly eye-catching details. The fit was perfection. And it wasn’t a safe look. Very happy to see what Lifetime Project Dmitry will get the chance to work on. I’m sure he will go a great job.


Sonjia came in 2nd, another designer who has consistently done well all season. She has stuck true to her own voice and I’m eager to see if she could gain her redemption win. This bold look was far from perfect, but it was the most risk-taking look of the four. It was also the most fresh, and not something I’ve seen before.


The judges clearly rewarded risk and the thought, and I think that was a good decision. Helen & Michelle’s look were not innovative or fresh at all. So it made sense for them to make up the bottom 2 and for Sonjia to attain her spot in the finale.


I do agree with Georgina here. There was a bit too much going on, but the ideas were there and I appreciated the direction. And I believe this dress would for sure stand-out, but I’m not sure how timeless it was. But I think Sonjia took on a different definition to timeless. This look would no doubt be memorable.


I think this was Michelle’s best work of the season, but why did it take so long? And, was that alone enough to make her the 3rd finalist? I’m not a fan of this 1 hour challenge mess we had to watch happen, but really Michelle and Helen didn’t do themselves any favors here. Michelle was way too safe with her look.


The chain was a pointless detail. The sleeves gave this gown such a heavy feel to it. And really it was the fabric that did all the work here. There wasn’t much design here. It was a shimmery gown, open back, fitted. I really didn’t see much of Michelle in this look at all.


Mary Kay make-up shout-out, such a bold, luscious look, love this daring smoky eye/bronzed cheek/nude lip combo!


Helen lucked out here. Clearly Helen had the better look in the 1-hour duel, but Michelle’s gown was a lot better than Helen’s gown. It had no Wow factor, way too safe. I guess the judges either were more on the Helen-train or they really didn’t want to send someone to the finale for selecting a prettier fabric.


Helen’s fabric wasn’t all bad. I could easily see it on the red carpet. But she ran out of time on this one. I’m not sure if she is quite ready to take on Dmitry & Sonjia in the final 2, but she has gained her spot so ready she must be!


Because as we know, Michelle and Helen were left to battle out for the 3rd and final spot in the finale by taking on a 1-hour live challenge. Oh but wait, even before that, they brought them back out to state why they deserved that spot. Really! As if that was going to help at all in making the decision. Again, longest PR episode ever!!


So in this last live challenge, Michelle & Helen had to re-invent from failed, eliminated looks, a totally new look. They had to choose 3 looks from the previously eliminated designers, and in 1 hour, they had to create a new look.


Helen was upset right at the get go. She hated tearing apart someone’s look, even if it wasn’t great to begin with at all! Thankfully she got over it because that was the challenge at hand. Enough with the tears already. She was lucky to be getting this chance so pointless to waste any time over needless tears.


With the Michelle/Helen red carpet looks, it wasn’t a slam-dunk that Michelle was the clear victor. But this time around, it was laughable there was any debate over who made the better look. Helen worked great under pressure and created an understated look, but it was quite lovely for an hour’s worth of work. It was wearable and I could see it donned by fashionistas all over.


I’m not sure what Michelle was thinking though. Even if she had used 3 looks, which apparently she didn’t and that broke the challenge rules, but really, regardless, this look was not good. It was hardly wearable. And really, the only part she did true design work on was the worst part. I know she only had an hour, but everything read sloppy and just thrown together. I’m not even sure I understand what she did to Jay’s tank top, but I’m not giving anyone credit for literally shortening a skirt. The challenge was to re-design, and other than this pant-cho, I’m not sure what her design work here was. It seemed as if she just re-arranged some pieces, a little re-styling. This was nowhere near enough to garner Michelle that third finalist spot.


Leave a Reply