What do loungewear and tarot cards have in common? Nothing really, but 'The Fashion Show' used both for challenges this week, so pull on your PJs, call your psychic friend and lets recap!
It's the Mini Challenge that taps the designers to wake up thinking about fashion, with a special delivery of silk bathrobes as their inspiration. Apparently, the morning is no time for looking chic, because most of what the designers turn out is just tired. But Anna manages something the is cute so she's the de facto, really.
Isaac tells the designers to meet him on West 29th, and when they arrive they find out they will receive a psychic reading. While I listen to the blood curdling screams of the religious right, James-Paul wonders exactly how creepifying fashion is supposed to be and Reco contemplates possession as a career move. It's no celtic cross spread, but each designers listens to their advice and wonders what they are supposed to do with it. Well, use it as inspiration, of course, darlings!
And this is were listening skills, interpretation and fashion collide. Most of the fashions are related to their cards in only the most ephemeral of senses, but some seem to actively contradict the psychic's advice. For example, James-Paul was told to be more practical with his High Priestess card. But there is nothing intuitive or aware of sensibility in what he creates. Even Isaac asks what makes the outfit practical, and James-Paul seems to think that the fact that it is a skirt and a blouse is practical. But not when they look like sad and droopy gathers of excess fabric hanging off in unflattering ways. A big saggy butt is never practical.
The rest of the runway for the Elimination Challenge is equally hit and miss. Merlin's color scheme is great, but there are so many details in straps an piping and gathers and flaps and belts that the overall look feels sort of aimless. Reco's is far and away my favorite, and at this point I am an unabashed fan of his work and want him to win. His look is a suit that feels precise and modern without being fussy or repressed. In fact, it feels youthful and romantic. Impressive, to say the least.
Also romantic feeling is Anna's dress. Though I would not wear something that so clearly accentuates the hips, and honestly what woman over a size 2 would? I can recognize that it is different, extremely well proportioned and with sublime color and pattern decisions brought into it's execution. It's unflattering done in a flattering way, which is all the more clear when compared to James-Paul, which is unflattering done in an offensively boring way.
The last two are the worst offenders in my book. Daniella's outfit is something that I swear to you, I wore to high school in 1994 (yes, I just completely dated myself). I think the only difference was that mine had a little bit of abstract print trim at the cuffs that matched the abstract print skirt. Other than that, same outfit. It was wrong then and it's still wrong now. Only now it's wrong and dated. Lastly, there is Johnny, who apparently saw Jean Paul Gaultier's fall 2008 show. Sure, the cage skirt is nothing new, but mixing it with lime green and off the shoulder design? Yeah, I saw that couture too, Johnny. Gaultier did it better. Much.
It's a tidbit that I am surprised the judges didn't call him on or even put him in the final two for. Instead that is passed to James-Paul and Merlin, and the judges find Merlin's lack of clear direction more galling than James-Paul's floppy shoulders and seat. However, in the clips for next week, it seems someone gets nabbed for making a knock-off and I have to wonder if it's Johnny. The win this week goes to Anna, but it seems it is only because her design more clearly followed the psychic's advice, because Reco's outfit if to die for. Anna's is cute, but I am baffled by Bravo's market version of it, which looks more like a clown costume than a cute summer dress.
Who do you think will be in the final four? Which collection are you most looking forward to seeing?
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