UTG Designers & Their Beach Party!!


That’s right! This week on Under the Gunn, the designers started off at the beach! Of course you might think fun in the sun & let’s go surfin’ now, but……..naturally, the setting was just part of the challenge! This week, Tim Gunn, in his nifty flip flops/sandals, delved out the designer instructions for the ever-popular UNCONVENTIONAL challenge. The materials?? — All the decorations and beach items used to decorate for the beach party! The concept was to create a beach-inspired look perfect for the LA beach woman. It was a free-for-all with the run & grab for materials, so how did it all pan out???


The designers were off to the workroom to begin their 1-day challenge. It was quickly time for the mentors’ round-up and we saw some early frustrations! Mondo & Sam were experiencing some difficulties. Sam was stuck in a rut, pretty much, and Mondo was urging him to go a different route. Nick too had to step up with his designers and was really doing a great job in handing out words of wisdom. Oscar had 2 looks, which Nick advised were not working, and so Oscar had to work with a change of design direction as well.


The models soon thereafter came in for their fittings. It was quite a different vibe this week. Many designers were feeling out frustrations and as always, in a crunch for the time. But the mentors worked a bit differently; they left the designers to just work it all out. The morning of the runway quickly approached and a lot of craziness & doubts were still running rampant, leaving the viewers to wonder how the top & bottom would fall into place for the week!?!


The judging panel was oddly enough a repeat from last week as Marchesa designer Georgina Chapman joined celebrity stylist Jen Rade, Marie Claire editor Zanna Roberts Rassi, well sans Zanna I guess, but also, designer Rachel Roy. Again nice to see Georgina since we missed her ever so much on PRAS!! So the materials this week were beach-y items. Tim was quick to remind the designers at the start to think outside the box, don’t be literal with the materials, and let their meanings transcend what they actually are. So what did this all mean for the finished products??? Let’s begin with the “safe zone”!!


The designers started out the episode with a re-hash of the Anya/Nicholas debacle from last week. The designers were upset about the surprise accusations, but the mentors seemed to be all on team Anya, even Tim! I guess all is well that ends well because Anya’s team was safe & sound this week. There were definitely a lot of great looks this week, but I have to say, Blake’s look of woven table liners and straw decorations should not be forgotten. The less colorful items seemed to be on top, I guess with a more streamlined focus to construction and with that, Blake’s belted look certainly fit that bill. I think this is a major Blake come-back so wishing him luck for next week! SHOUT-OUTS to Francesca’s for the gold dangling earrings & multi-colored bracelet & Benefit Cosmetics for the golden eyes & lips for a, haha, Golden beauty look!


Shan on the other hand I think should feel a bit lucky because with maybe 1 judge scoring differently, his beach umbrella & inflatable raft look could have been in the bottom. There was hardly any design concept here. It was also quite boring! Many of the top looks weren’t there because of a bold color or overly-dramatic sentiment, but were there because of innovative design-work & great construction, considering the materials used. But Shan’s look didn’t encompass any of this! SHOUT-OUT though to Blowpro for the lovely side-swept do of flowing beachy waves!


Continuing with the bad news, let’s look at the actual bottom looks!

I was not sure who was going home this week for the bottom. I know who I wanted, but 2 designers I enjoy watching were here in the bottom, one being Natalia. She again worked with a braiding technique for her raffia & beach umbrella look, and I could see where she was aiming, just disappointed with a lack of time as she was so rushed. This look kind of reminded me of her 1st look of the season, a bit under-developed, a little short, but it had potential. I still see that with Natalia and unlike someone such as Shan this week, I at least appreciated her concept for some design! SHOUT-OUT to Blowpro for some more luscious flowing beach waves!


With Natalia safe I was still on pins & needles, wondering if another designer fave of mine, Michelle, would be out this week?? Luckily….. No! However, the judges were still not in love with her brightly color-blocked look of inflatable rafts! With colors such as hot pink & bright sky blue, the look could go either way in a judge’s eye. Many past PR designers were known for looks of bright colors and off-the-wall prints, and were praised, ahem Mondo! Could it look a bit junior, a little too youthful, maybe, but I thought there were a few positives here. The fit was great and I appreciated some color in a sea of nudes & tans. I also liked the use of the colors in a color-blocked set-up, which is an ever-popular trend. I guess better luck next week to Michelle, but glad she is still here! SHOUT-OUT to Blowpro for a gorgeous straightened side-swept look!


With Natalia & Michelle safe, that left Stephanie rounding out the bottom & ultimately going home. I never root for someone to go home, but Stephanie has yet to have a standout moment yet. With that said, Michelle has so it made more sense in my eyes that it was Stephanie’s time. She had a great idea with the “melting of leis” and it was certainly a look that inspired fun with popping colors. The differences for me, with this look and that of Michelle’s, was some issues with construction, fit, a less modern silhouette, and Stephanie’s was far more junior. SHOUT-OUT to Francesca’s for the nude sandal heels.


It was great to see Oscar in the top again, especially after his rough start. His structured look of a beach mat and straw fans made my jaw drop; I was in awe!! I think that is the point with unconventional challenges, to make the mind wonder and I applaud Oscar for doing just that! The look was just so chic, clean lines, & superb construction considering he was using straw fans! SHOUT-OUTS to Blowpro for the retro beach look of golden waves; Francesca’s for the elegant golden hoop earrings; & Benefit Cosmetics for the bold & dramatic beauty look of a slight smoky eye & glistening nude lip.


It had to have been a tough call this week for the top, but Oscar didn’t make top 2; Asha was the fortunate runner-up this week. I definitely was impressed with this textile printed look of straw decorations, woven table liners, palm leaves, & leis. It’s always nice to see a designer branch out, be innovative and that is what Asha did with creating her own print/textile. SHOUT-OUTS TO Benefit Cosmetics for the slight smoky eye & pop of color on the lip; & Francesca’s for maybe the fun printed clutch, gold necklace, & gold cuff (not sure if any of this Asha created, but I’m sure one of the 3 items is from Francesca’s!)


But the big winner this week was the comeback kid, no more Mr. Safe, Sam! And I mean big as in he not only won for best look, the 5k, but also the random 1K Benefit Cosmetics gives out this season. This week, the prize was awarded for the look the judges thought was the most fun & free spirited, and that, along with the top look was Sam. This was again nice to see since he too had a rough beginning! But really the judges slacked a bit on adjudicating by letting Mondo pick the winner between his 2 designers. We’ve seen this as Anya has chosen twice now between who to send home. Big difference though in picking a winner versus who to eliminate — Mondo’s designer is still here and I can’t imagine this made Asha feel to great! But back to Sam for his well-deserved win….

His fit & flared look was created with the use of a bamboo beach mat, a beach chair, & a pineapple (check out the clutch!). This was definitely a fun look and perfect for any willing beach bunny! SHOUT-OUTS TO Blowpro for the side-swept loosely fit ponytail; & Francesca’s for the statement heels & cool shades!









PRAS Designers Partner in Crime to Take on Bonnie & Clyde

PRAS designers get the team/pair’s challenge marching orders this week and so we know what this means, sheer brilliance or utter disasters! I think we got a mix of both, some great looks, no major freakouts, but certainly some interesting collaborations!

So this week was all about Lifetime’s promotion of its new mini-series Bonnie & Clyde, starring Emile Hirsch. It also stars Sarah Hyland and Holliday Grainger who gave the designers the instructions for this week’s challenge. The designers were to work in pairs and create young modern looks inspired by the 1930s and the B&C duo. They were to capture the glamour and romance of this era in both a menswear and womenswear look. The designers were judged separately, but the looks needed to still be complimentary. One designer in the duo would tackle each look for this 1 day challenge.

bonnie_and_clyde_guns_a_lThe PRAS designers definitely showed some maturity and brought some surprises with this pair challenge. Christopher won last week so he got to choose first and selected Viktor. They worked so well and were very helpful with each other. This was so nice to see and definitely was seen with all of the other duos, which was surprising since it would be a solo win, not a team win. Viktor got to choose who would select next and so he chose Seth Aaron who decided to work with Jeffrey. Jeffrey was clearly down this week from his many bottom placements, but Seth Aaron was right by his side, pushing and encouraging, which was so great to see! Jeffrey then chose Irina who selected Mychael. And so, we were left with Korto and Elena, who ended up working very well together. Korto balanced some of the Elena crazy!

bonnie-and-clyde-lifetime-1Elena was of course a bit bothered that Viktor didn’t pick her so I wonder where this frenemy setup is going! Zanna came by for her rundowns and basically encouraged the collaborative partnerships and to use that support for editing eyes! I did feel badly for Jeffrey with his model fitting. His model’s measurements were a year old and Jeffrey was close to finished with his fitted jacket so that blew that he had to make so many changes. But as Irina pointed out, you have to take those moments in stride and move forward.

The gorgeous Georgina Chapman of Marchesa was absent this week so more guest judges arrived to the rescue — former PR and PRAS designer Austin Scarlett, famous supermodel Bar Refaeli, and modern designer Elie Tahari. It was of course sad to see anyone go since there is a lot of talent this season, but the top and bottom were pretty much on point. The winning look would receive a film credit for the film series.

pras03-ep5-episode2It was hard this week to fully grasp the top and bottom because it seemed as if the judges weren’t in complete agreement and that some elements of the garments the judges liked, but for others aspects, they didn’t. Elena and Korto were in the safe zone this week, but who was in the bottom?

I thought Seth Aaron’s popping purple trench coat look was pretty great. I saw the 30’s in the lines and silhouettes, but there were modern touches to it and I loved his attention to details this week. I also thought Alyssa was a huge fan, but then we heard from the other judges who just thought it was a bit too much and that surprisingly placed Seth in the bottom. He was quickly saved and so it came down to Viktor and Mychael in the bottom.

pras03-ep5-episode7I would hate seeing either go, but I did find issues with both garments. Viktor’s look, the fringe was over the top, the cut of the jacket was so wide and a bit off-putting. But menswear is hard to do and is not ever been done very well on this show. Mychael was out this week, which was sad, but his menswear piece was also not a standout. The gold and leather was an odd combo, the jacket was also very short and it just read feminine, not menswear. So adios to Mychael, but what did the top look like this week.

pras03-ep5-episode5                                                                     pras03-ep5-episode15I am glad Irina finally was in the top, but again it was confusing with the feedback. Some liked the masculine leather jacket, while other judges didn’t. I think hands down her sequined top and flowing gold skirt were flawless, but she did find herself nonetheless in the top. Congrats! I was rooting for Christopher this week because his dark red or burgundy sheer, deep V-neck dress was just stunning. But I think the judges were impressed with Jeffrey for his comeback and with a decent menswear look so he got the win with his grey elongated trench coat. He is back on track so the question is, will he stay there?!?




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