Right at the start of this week’s PR episode, heck, no paying tribute to Alex or anything, but right into the action we went with the designers attending a press event at Absolut Elyx House. Also in attendance were Nina, Zac, Heidi, and Tim. And of course no press event would be complete without press — bloggers Sydney Salick with Daily Front Row, Jonathan Cordero, Lauren Kornutik, Lemara Ablyakimova, and then also Asst. Editor of Marie Claire, Chelsea Pants. But as my title hinted, there was no drink and chill time for these designers.
Jonas Tahlun, founder of the Absolut Elyx vodka brand, began the challenge chatter, ending up saying how all martinis naturally come with a twist. And we all know, so does PR. Heidi said the event was not just a fun cocktail party, but the start to the next challenge. In spirit of the evening, the room serving as inspiration, each designer would create a luxurious cocktail dress. This would be a 1-day challenge with a Mood budget of $300.
Tim-time brought about an interesting paradox — pretty much half the designers were good and the other half literally started all over! I’ve seen a few designers in the past having to start over, but so many, very much a shocker, including Tasha, Cornelius, Mah-Jing, Roberi, and Nathalia. Some more delightful workroom moments were that Jenni was really being a super helpful designer this week, giving fabric to both Nathalia and Tasha, and she also helped Nathalia with some rushed touches to her look.
Guest judges this week was designer and model Emily Ratajkowski. I thought she did a standout job with her critiques, making lots of sense, quality thoughts and notions. And I kind of loved her disagreeing with Heidi so much! So who captured luxury this week with their looks?
Firstly, Heidi often scolds designers with immunity if they missed the boat with their recent look. Dexter was called out this week. I didn’t love his look, but I certainly didn’t hate it. There is no way it would have gone home over Tasha or Nathalia, so I don’t think the comments were necessary!
I didn’t totally agree with the judges top 3, but of their top 3, I think Laurence would have been my winner. I wouldn’t have ever advised her going with a black look and I think Emily mentioned that as well. This is a great LBD, but black and cocktail is all too common, so to stand out even more, I would have picked another color. But other than that, this look was top-notch. Everything from the back to the shoulders to the bodice was A++.
Jenni was the winning designer however for the judges. The look read a little wrinkly to me, but I didn’t hate it that she was in the top. This by far has been her best work and I am interested to see if she will stay on top. What I didn’t like was that so much of her win was spent comparing her work to Erin — the workroom, the judges, and during judges’ deliberations. I am so glad Nathalia, kind of in a smart ass way, said that Erin is not the 1st person to ever embellish a look. I didn’t find it that similar!
Rounding out the judges’ top 3 was Rik. I definitely didn’t love this look and it probably is the reason for my disagreement with the judges’ top 3. I would have gone with Roberi. The look had a great fit, was certainly unique, but I didn’t love the leather look in this color choice. I get that the color was stemming from the apron inspiration, but I think the silhouette gave that away, so a different color might have worked.
Moving onto the bottom 3, let’s start with Erin, a surprising designer to be found there. I think a couple of designers barely missed making the bottom, it could have been a toss up, but probably better that Erin found herself there now than later in the competition. I don’t think this look read as Erin being the designer. This might have been part of the reason for the Jenni comparisons. I didn’t mind the brocade, but the feathers were a little cray cray!
This left Nathalia and Tasha as the bottom 2, which unfortunately was very obvious from this runway. I like both designers, but at this point in the competition, week after week, good designers, faves of all the fans, will sadly have to go home. Nathalia had quite a few construction issues, but from her original garment, this was much better. She showed some creativity and has been doing fairly well in previous challenges. But clearly having Emily & Zac disagreeing with the look being so bad, obviously Tasha was going home.
So Tasha, who has sort of been declining in her creations the past couple of challenges, was eliminated this week. The first challenge of the season, she was in the top and she did amazing work. But from week to week, I can barely remember her looks. And I know from even last week, all she did was really do a simple yellow pencil skirt. Her streetwear aesthetic was going to have a hard time comporting with the range of themes PR wants, so she gave it her all. But at least at the end of the day, she knows who she is as a designer.