We’re getting to the boiled down half of the season. 10 designers are left, and they’re all good. And this week we already know from previews that Michael Kors is returning as a guest judge (Fiona, my color commentator daughter, squealed in delight. And we do love his bags. It’s nice he’s back, even if only for a guest spot.)
This week, the designers got roused from their beds by Tim Gunn in a referree outfit, wearing shorts (camo two weeks ago, referree stripes this week? It’s like Dress Up Tim Gunn Hour.) They all had to run an obstacle course; the winning team gets to choose their fabrics first along with an extra hour of workroom time. Seriously, there were a lot of indoor-only knees on display here.
Week’s challenge: Fashionable activewear for Heidi Klum’s new workout line with New Balance. The winning design will be sold as part of her line. So we have stretchy fabrics, color-blocking, and probably a good deal of complaining that “THIS is not what I DO.” (Fiona: “You can’t make workout stuff fashionable. Ugh.”)
The designers are paired up into five teams of two, and Dom and Justin win. Tim also tells the team that Helen, as the previous week’s winner, does have immunity, but that’s the last of the immunities for the season.
Kate’s design is inspired by her brother, a motocross racer. Helen is doing a three-piece ensemble with cropped leggings, muscle tee, and mesh jacket with a hood. Ken has a jacket and pants, with quilted, padded elbows and knees. Good for sweating. Alexandria wants to do a structured, pieced together look.
Once the designers get back to Parsons, they find existing pieces of Heidi’s activewear on their tables to use as reference. Just as the designers get started, Helen asks Tim if she can use the “reference” pants as a pattern, and Tim thinks it’s a smart idea. When she doesn’t share what she asked Tim immediately with the room, Ken loses… his… mind. Cursing up a freaking storm. Bradon says he thought it was a joke. That was no joke. Ken is nuts. Angry, angry man. (Fiona says that he’s an angry gnome, because he’s too fabulous to be a troll.)
To calm down, Ken calls him mom. Really. Which is a little sweet. She then calls his spiritual mom, “D. Green.” And she talks him down from the fit, and he’s all “yes ma’am” and “no ma’am.” Tim takes him aside, spiritual dad style, and Ken then apologizes to Helen. While some of the drama is good for commercials and tease clips, it’s getting tiresome, Ken. Your clothes are good. Just go with that. “Yes ma’am.”
Heidi joins Tim on his walk-through, and she’s well, not overwhelmed by the offerings. She tells Karen that her pieced together sports bra with a jacket is “impossible, martian, crazy” and no one would want to wear it.
Ow. Four hours left.
And Alexandria, who is a marathon runner (who knew) is doing another drop crotch, yet again. How do you run in a drop crotch?
We also get Heidi explaining about how the seams in activewear can work to make the wearer appear thinner, and she says “optical illusion” a few times, which is very cute. OOP-ti-caal eeluuzion.
During the fittings, Karen’s model is not happy having to wear her outfit. If Karen gets through this week, we’ll be surprised.
Ken: His purple and black outfit is passable, but there’s no fashion there. It’s nondescript, and looks like something you could get anywhere.
Alexander: As the others notice, his leggings do not have an outside seam, and they fit his model perfectly. While the grey at the bottom makes the model look a bit bottom heavy, the fit is perfect.
Dom: Her red trimmed outfit is very “Hunger Games.” And she used that extra time to make a hat. A hat!
Justin: Justin didn’t use the extra time to make the shorts on his model fit. Her butt, whatever butt she has, is hanging out. His sports top is too short too.
Alexandria: Drop crotch capri pants. No.
Karen: Karen’s boxy top ends up is blah, and the bottoms look like sweats. It’s a black blob with some teeny seams of neon.
Bradon: His grey and black pieces are trimmed in neon yellow, and the seaming and cut are both wonderful, but the stripe on the thigh looks weird.
Kate: Her red, black, and grey outfit falls nicely, and has good texture, with separate fabrics pieced together.
Jeremy: Jeremy used color! And it works. The pattern and seams are modern and sleek looking and the “disgusting” purple, as he calls it, stands out.
Helen: Her look is very dark, but the mesh jacket is very, very cool. That must have been a pain to sew. And the hood is cute.
Judging: Kate’s motocross, cowl neck outfit is praised, as is the fabric choices. Nina says it’s good for the gym, or just wearing around. Zac says “Kate, you’re great.” Wonk wonk. Alexander’s pants and color blocking are squealed over, and his jacket pattern is asymmetrical, which is very fashion forward. Nina agrees with us about the color blocking in the grey on the legs, but she likes the jacket. Ken’s outfit is called safe and boring, and Nina calls his long top a “girdle.” Michael says Tina Turner’s dress rode up. But Ken does get to use the phrase “camel toe” when explaining something he was trying to avoid. Points for that.
Alexandria’s pants are called repetitive by Zac “you’ve already done these,” and Nina sighs and rolls her eyes before blasting them. Michael says that look will keep people from talking to you in the gym, because it looks like you’ve “pooped in your pants” and that the deep pockets are “pleasure me pockets.” He and Nina (Meena!) break out into hysterics. Heidi says she actually likes them. OK, Heidi. Really.
Karen’s outfit is called “buffet on a cruise” wear by Michael. Man, we miss him. So much. We have “poop,” “pleasure me pockets,” and now he’s taking on old ladies on cruises. Nina points out that her model (who hated the outfit) looks sad. Zac says, in concept, it could have been fashionable, but came out like a “neon nothing.” It’s all too loose, too big.
Helen’s mesh jacket that “covers the a** and the thighs” (quote by Nina) is praised by everyone. Michael calls it “Stevie Nicks Active.” That we’d like to see. Please. Scarves flying everywhere…
It’s between Helen and Kate for the win.
Who’s in? Alexander, and Kate. Helen, who still had immunity, wins. Nina wants that jacket. What Nina wants, Nina gets. Heck, we want that jacket too. Sign us up. Alexandria and her pants are safe. She got the Heidi save. Ken sneaked by just because…
Who’s out? Karen’s look was so bad. But Karen does take the opportunity to say she thought Ken should have gone instead of her. Heck no. They’re not going to get rid of drama guy. But let’s hope the drama is done for the rest of the season.