PR — When Art & Fashion Collide!

And this week, this is exactly what would happen when the worlds of fashion and art merged together! The designers were off to Bergdorf Goodman to get all of the challenge details. Once there they met with Christian and painter Ashley Longshore. Also joining them was fashion director of Bergdorfs Linda Fargo. They met in the Bergdorf café, which is actually filled with Ashley Longshore works of art. For the challenge, the designers would have to work in a collaboration between designer and artist. The end result would be a high fashion look, the designers’ voice in the look, but with the use of an original Ashley Longshore print.

Ashley was thrilled to do these collaborations as it would be her first time seeing her work on apparel. As Chelsey was the winning designer last week, she would select her print first. Each next chosen designer would then choose another designer to select after them. I guess certain designers might have wanted certain prints, but really, all of the prints were amazing. I don’t see anyone being at a loss here based on print selection! This would be a 2-day challenge. The designers would have a $175 Mood budget, so they would be able to use other fabrics, but the Longshore print needed to be the focal point of each look.

During sketch time, Ashley checked in on each designer. It was then off to Mood, where we saw Victoria hiding from Christian and Geoffrey was all about the nipple focus since his print contained nips. As shop time was done, the designers were back to the workroom for the start of Day 1. Chelsey asked Delvin for some help, and Sergio tried to offer his assistance as well. Delvin was clearly not feeling Sergio’s advice. Ashley rejoined the designers to continue the collaboration. She expressed concern for Geoffrey in that his focus was too much and too literal about the nipple. Her artwork had an err of mystery on that aspect. She also expressed concern for Victoria that she was not using enough of the print. In case anyone missed it during the episode, I believe Victoria only said it about 50 times, but she is not a fan of prints!

Ashely would also be providing accessories/trims for the designers to utilize within their looks — feathers, beads, jewels, etc. After her sessions with each designer it was a race to grab some items! As the rest of the day winded down, you could see Delvin felt like he was back to his normal self, that he would finish his work early. Before the designers went home, they were treated with some apps and drinks to enjoy! Celebrating a little bit of down time, the designers decided to put on a runway walk competition!

As day 2 began, Dayoung felt sick, again. Throughout most of the day, you could see she was struggling, no energy and couldn’t eat. Seeing her not feeling well a few times now, one has to wonder if this competition environment is too much for her? But for now, Dayoung decided to push thru. During Siriano sessions, he mentioned being excited about seeing all of the color; I was excited too. Christian was worried about Nancy’s oversize coat, however she wasn’t. Christian expressed concern for Victoria too, still not using her print as much. Victoria hasn’t followed the challenge guidelines in my opinion 2 times before, so it’s not a surprise she was doing that again here because her past rule-breaking has been rewarded with her being given a top spot.

Later in the day were model fittings. For Delvin, his look began as a bit pj-like has Christian expressed, later some shortening edits were made. Christian felt Geoffrey’s look was too oversized, looking a bit like an oven mitt. For the rest of the day, of course it was clear Dayoung was behind. The morning of the runway was filled with normal craziness. Victoria did help Dayoung finish her look, which was nice, but as we later saw, perhaps she should have been more concerned with her own look. Marquise had some construction issues with his look and was hoping to hide them with his jacket. I have to give a product shout-out on the Maybelline matte lipstick being used for a few of the models, this product is amazing, works so well!

I was very excited to see this runway! Ashley, being this week’s guest judge, was excited as well! The safe designers were Chelsey, Sergio, and Geoffrey. Chelsey’s medley of words and artwork print was not my favorite, just felt a bit sloppy. Sergio did much better than he has the past couple of weeks with this look of a butterfly focused print, very chic. I actually didn’t care for Geoffrey’s very junior-like look. As for the top 3, Brittany, Dayoung, and Delvin, I was mostly in agreement. It was great seeing Delvin so happy, but his portraits and lips printed power suit was all print and too much for me. I know the print was to be the focal point, but the entire look in this print was just a lot!

My winner would have been Dayoung. I know she had some help finishing her lips centric look, but it was still her voice and I have loved so much of what I have seen from her. I loved she matched her print with this stunning purple fabric. The look felt very fun! And it was very kind of Dayoung to actually credit Victoria for the help she was given. I don’t know if all designers would have given this credit.

But it was basically known from the jump Brittany was winning this one. Her look was great, so still deserving of the win. We heard all episode how much she was a fan of Ashley’s work, and that passion/enthusiasm, you could see in her floral/butterfly look. The 3d butterfly embellishments were great. I thought it was a very hip and chic look.

This left the bottom designers as Marquise, Victoria, and Nancy. I was very annoyed Nancy was in the bottom, let alone the bottom 2. This was not a bottom 2 worthy look! Yes, her jacket was oversized, but I feel plenty of woman would like that oversize feel. And, even if they didn’t, this jacket could have been taken in some. The rest of her look was beyond amazing, especially the pants! I feel as if the judges had a hard time sending Marquise home over her, but I just view these 2 bottom looks as vastly different and it should have been no question or hesitation who to send home!

Even though Victoria wasn’t in the bottom 2, at least she finally wasn’t undeservedly rewarded by being in the top. I don’t think Victoria is a bad designer, I just think she has been overpraised all season. And because of that overpraising, she now feels she doesn’t have to follow the challenge guidelines, and can do almost anything she wants and not be in the bottom. Her look this week lacked her normal great technical quality, but the design itself was not great, very derivative of she has done in the past with asymmetrical silhouette work. But it also didn’t meet the challenge requirements. I don’t think her entire look should have been the print, but she could have utilized the print more cleverly on both the pants and the top. But she seems unwilling to compromise at all and clearly doesn’t like criticism.

This left Marquise going home. I like the guy, but the judges did seem really sad about this decision. And I get that, they are human. But Marquise has not performed consistently well. Yes he had 1 win, but most of the time was safe or in the bottom. I think it is great how far he came being a self taught designer, but his skillset is nowhere near some of the top designers in this pack. I think he has a voice and over time, his skills, the added value of real time, it will all work itself out.