This week on Under the Gunn, there was a lot going on within the challenge. Benefit Cosmetics, the beauty sponsor for the show, was an underlying inspiration. Benefit was founded on the grounds of solving the everyday woman’s quick beauty problems/issues. With that in mind, the designers were asked to solve a new client’s fashion need — quick/easy fashion solutions. And by client, it was your average everyday woman so really this was also a challenge designing for the everyday woman — what this show calls a real world or “real woman” challenge.
Shan was partnered with Brittany, a young mom who was ready for a figure flattering makeover so she could start dating again. Oscar was paired with Dani, a very petite young woman who wanted a look that was age appropriate and sophisticated. Blake got matched with Ruzena, who desired a look that would give her a more feminine feel. Sam’s client was Norah, a young professional who wanted a bit more edge and modernity with a day look so that she could easily transition it for the nighttime. And finally, Asha was put with Erin, a curvier woman who wanted a sexy party dress for her upcoming birthday, a look that would be special and also make her look more slim. With that, the designers were off to Mood with a $200 budget to begin this quick fix challenge in 1 day.
The designers were ready to begin their work at their FIDM home — their workroom. The mentors were also all ready to begin their initial meetings with their remaining designers. Sam’s talk with Mondo & Tim wasn’t a great start for the young talent and so he was left to begin again from scratch. Asha’s client seemed to want it all, the bells & whistles. And so Mondo & Tim were quick to remind her to keep an editing eye. Blake too was demonstrating some early struggles and not sure of a specific direction to take.
Obviously the major drama this week was surprisingly not amongst the designers, but a shocking issue that arose between designer & client. Shan’s initial look was an immaculately designed shimmery sequined top. It looked great and during his fitting with Brittany we saw how amazing it looked on her. It was later that night, with one hour left to work, that Anya came in with some troubling news. Apparently, Brittany was allergic to the coating of the sequins or some aspect of the top. She had broken out in hives. She hated doing this to Shan, but she was not going to be able to make this work. She truly needed another issue solved and Shan truly had to solve it very fast. I think somehow he could have been given a little extra time. This was a first in PR history so an additional hour or 2 I think would have been fair. But luckily for Shan, he didn’t need it!
What I appreciated so much from Shan was his true can-do attitude and spirit. This would have been nice to see perhaps from another designer last week who thought she was in the worst position ever. Shan embodied true professionalism this week and for that I’m happy for his dual wins this week. The judging panel was joined by Annie Ford Danielson, the Global Beauty Authority for Benefit Cosmetics. She took part in awarding Shan 1 of his 2 wins this week. Benefit has been randomly handing out $1000 for various “kudos” moments. And this week, for truly working with this quick-fix mentality and exemplifying the Benefit brand and doing so with fun/laughter, Shan was awarded this $1000 prize, very well-deserved.
Since were on the Shan train, let’s take a closer glance at his new look for Brittany. I’m happy Shan was in the top and I’m happy for his $1000 win from Benefit, but I’m still not convinced this was truly the winning look this week. But it definitely was worthy of being in the top. My issue with this hi-lo dress is there is really not much design to it; I don’t see Shan’s aestetic. What makes this dress great is the polka dot print. You will notice under Shan’s look I put in a couple images of Anya from this week. Do you notice anything similar?
Anya too is wearing a basic hi-lo dress with a great print. It’s also belted just like Shan’s is. I know Shan was running out of time this week so I give him the credit for making it work, but full credit for the win?? I’m just not quite as convinced. He also didn’t make this look until the morning of, was perhaps Anya and her garment the true inspiration for his quick creation?? SHOUT-OUTS to Francesca’s this week for the chic clear clutch & also to Benefit Cosmetics for the subtly dramatic beauty look — the winged smoky eye & nude lip.
Although since my choice for the win was missing from consideration I am so happy Shan won over Asha. I just do not get how this look was in consideration for the win. I think it should have been between Oscar & Shan. I don’t see how Asha’s look is some “wow factor” birthday dress. I put a few images of myself under Asha’s look of my last 3 birthday dresses. If I were going to a designer to make me a birthday dress, I would want something more than a shimmered drab look. Yes there was some sparkle, but what is with this boring golden brown color. The color doesn’t pop, but neither do the criss-crossed straps or the ill-fit. Asha was quick to point out the judges loving Natalia’s poorly constructed looks, but here, I see some major fit & construction issues so jump right on that train then Asha & I guess enjoy the ride!
I don’t get why Asha didn’t work with leather or something more bold & sexy for this clearly larger than life woman. Erin had such a big personality and I don’t think this look was matching to that personality & spirit. SHOUT-OUTS to Blowpro for this lovely side-swept wavy do & for Francesca’s with the gold fringed bangle, golden metallic strapped heels & gold clutch.
Clearly I was not on the same pages with the judges this week since Oscar was somehow only safe, oh wait, I think my differing view with the judges is almost every week now, haha! I am baffled every week at what Oscar can do in 1 day. I mean this green with envy gown is just stunning!! I would not be surprised to see this at some major red carpet event. And trust me, it would not be on the worst dressed list with accusations of being too dated! Dani, guest judge Annie, myself, and I’m sure a ton of other women would gladly line up to wear this look. When you are wearing a luxe gown, it is hard to not look a little older, but that is the point. You want the sophistication. You want the maturity. And that is exactly what Dani wanted in her look this week, something to make her look older since she is so petite.
And what is with this claim of the looking missing sexiness?? It’s asymmetrical, but the cleavage here is not hiding. And also, did we all see the thigh high split?? I don’t think they need to encourage Oscar to put in more sexiness. Let’s not forget a few weeks back, I added in the images below, but the dual split for his day to night look. I think Oscar should stick to what he is doing because some of these judges are cray cray this week! SHOUT-OUTS to BlowPro for this amazing up-do, Benefit Cosmetics for the dramatic smoky cat-eye & nude lip; & Francesca’s for the nude platforms & gold dangling earrings.
Moving onto the un-fun part of my blogging duties — the discussion of the bottom 2, first being Sam. 🙁 It’s hard seeing Sam in the bottom because I have him pegged for a finale spot and that better happen! There are only 5 designers left so someone has to be in the bottom. Since the judges were oddly head over heels for Asha this week, I think this somehow left Sam in the bottom. I don’t quite get all of the harshness for this look, but I will say it is not one of Sam’s stronger pieces. The judges seemed hung up on the day look being for some high-power profiled job, but all Norah said was she wanted a day look that could transition to night. I could easily see this look, paired with some flats and that it would work at a large # of jobs. And then when the sun goes down, slap on some heels and Norah could easily go out to dinner or drinks with a date or the girls. The judges also seemed hung up on that this look wouldn’t work at the bar, it wouldn’t stand out. I think the judges were missing the day to night concept, a look that would transition, not boldly work for just one aspect of the day. You are never going to find a look that perfectly works for some high profile boardroom and be the look of the night at one of NYC’s hotspots.
SHOUT-OUTS to Francesca’s for the bold turquoise clutch & BlowPro for the long & luscious wavy locks.
This leaves me sadly to report that Blake was the one who had to go this week, double 🙁 :(. I’ve heard all of this talk about how everyone feels each mentor will somehow magically end up with 1 designer to go to the finale. If that is the case then it was inevitable between Shan/Blake with Anya & Sam/Asha with Mondo, that one of those 4 would be out this week. I personally would have picked differently, but the judges decided upon Blake. Blake has struggled a bit throughout the season and it was pointed out he had never won a challenge. But I thought he had some shining moments as well so I’m sure he will gladly take those and continue his successes from there.
The look for this week though, for Ruzena I did take notice of something with the neckline. I thought perhaps a different silhouette or shape, but when I think Jen said something about flipping the print around, adding the bolder color to the top of the look, I kind of thought that was some good advice. But what was great and really for everyone this week was that all the clients seemed happy; no one looked uncomfortable or disappointed. And at the end of the day, if Ruzena was happy that was the important thing. SHOUT-OUT to BlowPro for the side-swept wavy locks!
So with 4 left for next week, are we in for a shock in that maybe a mentor will be completely out of the running or will Sam or Asha be on the chopping block, can’t wait to find out!