Mixing Old Fashioneds
The Fashion Show 6/1 Recap: Psychic Vibrations
Hello, darlings. The time has come for another episode of The Fashion Show, and they’ve gotten to the point the production that needs to steal from the Nancy Reagan playbook and consult psychics for drama. If it works, I say bring it on!
No rest for the lounge wear.
The designers are awoken on the morning of their mini-challenge by a delivery from Isaac. They each receive a box from Saks containing an ice-blue satin robe. Off they go to the work room to learn they have to make coordinating pieces to go with the robe. Whomever wins will have their look sold at Saks. The judges are Laura Brown, of course, and a buyer from Saks. Sewing commences with the provided satin and other materials. James-Paul is making some kind of kimono pants, Reco a one-piece, and Anna some shorts and a top. Johnny over-cuts his garment and cuts his finger as well. One must bleed for fashion, after all.
Once the ninety minutes are up, Laura and the Saks lady take a look at what’s been done. Daniella made a jumpsuit/boyfriend’s shirt look, noting she wears a jumpsuit to sleep. Laura merely comments, “We have nothing in common. Thank you.” and moves on to Anna. Anna did a baby-doll top and bloomer shorts. Merlin made a long-ish night gown over some wide pants. The judges wanted it more tailored. Johnny admits his draped crap design is a mess and knows he’s out of the running. Reco also made a jump suit. James-Paul explains his kimono top and big pants as something his grandmother would wear, but the judges don’t think it looks finished. After reviewing all the designs, Anna wins for the second time in a row.
Pick a card, any card.
After the challenge, Isaac says that when he gets stressed, there’s one thing he always does, and that’s where Kelly is. He gives them an address and sends them out into the mean streets of NYC. James-Paul is worried he’ll be shot. They arrive at the address and find it’s a psychic reader. Reco is concerned this is the work of the devil. Nah, it’s just the work of a desperate production crew.
Each designer gets a reading with Nancy, the psychic, who reminds me a good deal of someone in a horror movie you wouldn’t want to cross. Johnny is first to draw a tarot card; he picked the Six of Swords, which indicates he will be traveling. The other designers think that it means he is going home, but Nancy adds that this isn’t a done deal and he needs to be more playful. Reco is up next and picks the Four of Pentacles; she advises to let go of constraint and break through structure because he has potential. Daniella picks the Six of Pentacles and is told she needs to rely on her own sense of creativity. James-Paul chooses The High Priestess; Nancy says he needs to listen to his inner voice but be more practical. Anna chooses the Four of Cups, which means Anna needs to incorporate things she loves in her designs. Finally, Merlin picks the Six of Swords as well; Nancy says that everyone will be surprised and he’s going somewhere.
Now this wasn’t just some random exercise in psychic-awareness-raising. No, my darlings, these designers now must create a look that embodies the meaning of their card. They’ll have 14 hours and $175 to get it done, so off they go shopping. Anna finds floral pattern that she wants to use, Merlin will make something sweat-pants-like since that’s what he likes to wear when he travels. James-Paul says he’s designing something practical. Well, there’s a first time for everything.
Day One turns into Day Two, and Reco has decided to do a pants suit. Daniella consults with Johnny on her look; privately she says it’s got to be either Johnny or Merlin is going home, but as sad she may be if it’s Johnny, she really doesn’t give a crap, since she’ll be staying. At this point, I think it would be totally awesome to have a bitch-off competition between Daniella and Kenley from the last PR season.
James-Paul, Merlin, and Reco discuss who will be in the final four. Reco is sure he’ll be there. Merlin notes that they each bring a different design perspective. He came from a poor family—farmers in Honduras—but has always had a passion for fashion. Obviously this is all producer-prompted, because in another room, Daniella, Anna and Johnny are having the same conversation. Johnny says he doesn’t want to compete against Merlin and James-Paul in the finale because he doesn’t take them seriously. Anna doesn’t think either Merlin or James-Paul could design a whole collection.
The models arrive for their fittings. Daniella says that her card indicated she should be more internal, so going on the fact that her Hebrew name means “bird” she’s using a bird print for a top, a fitted skirt and a jacket. Reco says she’s just doing the same old-fashioned thing she did in the Tinsely Mortimer challenge. Merlin’s model tries on some short grey sweat-pants like design. He decides to make some cuts and tie the pants to the knee with the fabric cuts. They remind me a bit of these weird red knickers I had and loved as a kid. (Hey, it was the 80s!) James-Paul is worried because he’s got a hump-back model, which is just a weird thing to say.
With only four hours to go, the designers are busy at work and MizRo comes for a visit. Johnny says there was a lot of draping in the tarot card, so he’s making a draped silk jersey top over a short green skirt with a floral basket design to go on top. Isaac is impressed with the silk jersey. Anna says that her tarot card means friendship and love, and MizRo comments that the shape of the skirt is a different silhouette for her. It’s a series of vertical waves of the flower print which are open at the top to reveal red fabric. James-Paul says he’s thinking of shapes projecting outside the body. MizRo questions the two pieces being more practical, as the psychic told him to be. Reco says he’s working on a three piece suit and wants to show off his ability to make pants, even though the psychic said not to take structure so seriously. Merlin is making a bright yellow pea-coat top and grey sweat pants as a travel costume—a young, feminine look, he says. Outside the workroom, Isaac is just scared for the kids, as it was so dramatic last week and another one is going home.
Back at the apartment, the designers get ready for the show. Merlin pulls out a bright red floor-length “kilt” that no Scotsman would ever wear. Merlin wants to be in the top four and, even though he and Johnny got the same card, he will be shocked if it isn’t Johnny who is sent home. Meanwhile, Johnny thinks James-Paul needs to go home because he didn’t simplify the design like he was supposed to.
Sometimes cards are drawn, and the tables turn.
The designers arrive for the show and get the models in their clothes. And it’s time for the show! Merlin’s look is first: it’s a detailed yellow coat over grey sweat pants that are fitted through the thigh, baggy at the knee, and come in for a tight fit at the calf. Reco shows an all-black outfit of a slim-fit pant and highly constructed jacket, all with silver/grey piping detail. There’s a pretty silver grey sleeveless top under the jacket. Anna shows her floral-print dress with the fabric wave design in the skirt, a grey cummerbund waist, and a red/floral print tank top to the dress. Daniella presents a feather-print skirt topped with a sheer black blouse and a short-sleeved ¾ length jacket. Personally, I think it looks a hot mess, but I’m not a judge nor do I like the idea of wearing a top that shows off my bra. Maybe I’m just a prude. James-Paul’s creation is a silver dress with a bustle at the back, and odd sleeves that have these weird droopy poofs at the shoulders. Methinks James-Paul needs to step away from the Sci-Fi channel a bit. Johnny’s dress consists of a one-armed draped white top, a bright green skirt that has an overlay of a floral print in a basket-weave like pattern.
With the show over, it is time again to face the judges. Joining Fern, Isaac, and Kelly is Vivienne Tam, another bona fide designer. Isaac must have called in another favor. The two looks that got the most audience votes are Reco’s and Anna’s, who are, in my humble opinion, the only two designers that could even try to compete on Project Runway. Anna says she was going for nature and love based on the tarot card and she wanted to do something that made her happy, which the print did. Vivienne loves the dress, especially the cup detail on the skirt. Fern finds the proportions perfect. Reco says he was thinking outside the box and didn’t want to be too structured. Vivienne loves the styling, saying it’s romantic and modern. Isaac loves that it’s sexy in a covered way. The judges had a tough decision, but they had to pick the one who went closest to the card and reading, so they choose Anna as the winner.
Now time for the bad news—the two that scored the lowest with the audience. Out come Merlin’s and James-Paul’s models. Isaac says it’s disappointing to see these two in particular as the lowest scoring ones, as they are both talented designers. James-Paul failed with 92% of the audience not buying his design on account of the droopy-diaper/curtain thing going on. Fern doesn’t think the shape of the skirt is flattering. Vivienne thinks it is a unique concept, but Isaac doesn’t think anyone would wear the dress. He says that James-Paul needs to communicate his view into something that people will buy. Fern says he’s talented and has a unique point of view that needs to be encouraged. Merlin’s design was criticized for the pants not being wearable and the jacket having too much going on. Merlin is confused. He wants to prove he can work with all different materials and do all kinds of different fashions. Fern thinks the baggy knee thing is no right, as women in the junior market have great legs to show off. She thinks there’s too much going on with the jacket going on. Isaac and Kelly like the colors, but Vivienne thinks there are too many vertical lines. Overall, the judges find there are too many details going on.
Off to deliberate the judges go. Fern thinks Merlin’s clothes look like something mass-produced for a bargain bin. Isaac liked the color of the jacket and Vivienne thinks some of the details were good, but overall not good enough. James-Paul’s design is a disaster, and he didn’t get more practical. The bustle in the back was completely unflattering. The question is which is worse: a generic, practical design, or an impractical design from a designer who has vision?
While the judges deliberate, Reco calls out Johnny and Daniella—they shouldn’t be there, according to him (and, well, me too). Merlin then takes Johnny to task for making a generic dress every week and not taking risks as an artist. He says he can go in whatever direction he wants and doesn’t mind experimenting, something Johnny doesn’t do. How Johnny is still there perplexes me as well.
Time for the decision! Isaac says it is hard to say good-bye tonight. He says James-Paul has a lot to say as a designer but did not communicate it well in this show. He continues on to say that Merlin’s design was just a big failure. Kelly then sends Merlin packing. He hugs James-Paul and Reco good-bye and leaves. James-Paul is admonished to show more passion or he will be out next.
As Merlin departs, he says that he has to experiment as an artist and has a passion, not eyes on the money. He feels he’s a winner already. Hell, I’d consider it being a winner too, just to get away from the negative ball of energy that Daniella is.
Re: The Fashion Show 6/1 Recap: Psychic Vibrations
You said it!
He feels he’s a winner already. Hell, I’d consider it being a winner too, just to get away from the negative ball of energy that Daniella is.
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