I’m not a huge fan of jeans, in fact I didn’t wear them until I was out of college, having previously determined that they were terribly déclassé (and they don’t really work with a semi-goth look). I’ve been wearing them now for better than a decade, but I’m getting tired of them now for an entirely different reason: the skeevy old guys who run my office reward the staff with a “jean day” for whatever thing they want to pat us on the heads for that month. It’s insulting and really just an excuse for the said skeevy dudes to look at the young hot girls in the tight pants. Not that I fall into that category, but it kind of puts me off the whole denim scene. So tonight’s PR denim challenge really didn’t grab my interest all that much at the start, but, as always, those Magical Elves delivered.
Please stop making these people run.
The women’s apartment has lost another member with last week’s departure of Kit. Sweet P and Victorya ready themselves for the day and Victorya keeps asking Sweet P if she wants more food or coffee. The only problem is she keeps calling Sweet P “Kit” which drives Sweet P nuts. Meanwhile, over at the guy’s apartment, Rami and Chris remark that they are the only apartment to not have lost a single member since the start of the show. Rami is surprised they are all still there, especially a certain person with a questionable level of talent—Ricky, who just then walks in the room. Ricky knows the others talk about him and he’s totally bummed out because the judges keep telling him he’s not good enough. So far, so good…Ricky’s eyes remain mostly dry at this point.
Well, enough of the early morning intro, it’s time to go to Parsons and see what fresh hell Heidi has for them. First though, it’s the great model conundrum. Christian, as last week’s winner, can keep his model or pick another and send the whole thing into a “code red walkoff” situation. Christian opts to keep his model so Kit’s is out. After that altogether anticlimactic moment, Heidi sends the designers out to meet Tim, who is taking them on a field trip! Rami worries that they’ll have to make a wedding dress out of a trash can or something awful then hopefully wishes that they’ll be going to Paris.
Alas, it’s neither. The unmarked white van crosses out of Manhattan to some pier in Brooklyn. They drive down the pier and arrive at a storage facility with the door down and locked. Tim says that the storage facility contains the raw materials for their challenge and introduces Caroline Calvin with Levi’s. The door slooowly creeps up to reveal hundreds of pairs of 501s hanging on clotheslines; everyone breathes a sigh of relief that it wasn’t Hannibal Lector’s storage facility recreated. There are also bolts of white cotton for the designers to use. The challenge is to make an iconic denim look that is in line with Levi’s style out of the jeans and cotton. Making things worse, the storage facility is huge, the jeans are all the way in the back, and the designer have to run to get their materials. Didn’t these producers learn from the first challenge? It’s just not fun or funny to see these folks run. Chris isn’t a speedster, Sweet P loses a shoe, Ricky’s absurd hats are clearly not aerodynamic, and it is all ten kinds of silly.
Finally the designers get to the hanging fabric and Rami goes crazy yanking down all the dark denim he can grab. Jillian goes for the light fabric and everyone bemoans the fact that the floor is utterly filthy. In one of the grosser moves this side of a spit mark, Sweet P shows us her dirty foot in a confessional. She should have gone back for that shoe. After the five minutes of jean, jacket, and fabric grabbing, the designers load up their loot in laundry bags and head back to Parsons.
Twelve hours of bitchin’ and stitchin’.
Levi’s has provided a wealth of notions to help the designers, and they get right to deconstructing the jeans and jackets to make their new garments. Ricky is happy with the denim challenge; he apparently makes some of his hats out of denim and plans on making the best fitting thing ever out of the denim. Weee! Jillian isn’t straying far from her last look and plans on making a denim coat. Rami waxes poetically about his Jerusalem upbringing, saying that as a kid he couldn’t really go out and play since it was dangerous, so he turned to sketching. He also thinks his foreign background gives him a much edgier and fashion forward perspective because he’s not American. If draping jersey into Grecian dresses is edgy and fashion forward, I’ll eat Ricky’s denim hat.
Sweet P encounters a little problem. She dropped all of her jeans on the floor of the dirty warehouse and is struggling to get them clean. She asks for advice, which inspires a Chris-Christian point-counterpoint exchange. Chris thinks that she should just make her garment and then damp-cloth it in the end. Christian thinks this is the stupidest thing ever and she should take a piece of clean denim and brush off the fabric. This escalates into a tiny war of words, with Chris insulting Christian’s lack of experience, Christian sassing back like the kid he is, and ends with Chris calling for a bottle to put Christian to bed. They move on to sewing and Christian keeps up with non-stop chatter, making all these comments that deconstructing the denim is so “disgusting” and “gross” and he’s going to die from the “barfness.” Frankly I’m surprised no one takes a pair of scissors and stabs him in the neck.
So, let’s see what some of the others are doing, shall we? Victorya is also making a long jacket. She comments that she really wants to make it all the way to Bryant Park to make her mother proud. Victorya’s mother would make anything she wanted or sketched as a kid, probably in recompense for that “y.” Hmmm…we’ve heard about Rami’s childhood and Victorya’s tonight. Those foreshadowing gnomes are sending mixed signals. Jillian then notices that Victorya is also making a coat, and she finds that suspicious since they just made a coat together in the last challenged based on Jillian’s design. Jillian shouldn’t be surprised; it’s not like Victorya could make a short bubble skirt dress out of denim.
Christian perused the Levi’s look book and noticed a trucker look and got the inspiration to make a biker look out of the materials he grabbed. He plans on making jeans and a jacket. Sweet P has been inspired to make a denim wedding dress, and as she tells us this, we get to see pictures of Sweet P’s wedding a year ago to her husband, Sage, who has been supporting her design endeavors. Then more of Ricky’s interview is shown, and he defends himself and his lingerie experience working for Oscar de la Renta and Vera Wang. More foreshadowing, perhaps? Or just misdirection?
Chris is busy working on his little black dress as envisioned in denim. He is alone in the workroom while the others sew, yet he carries on a complete conversation with the dress. They all think he’s nuts, but, really, who has room to talk among this group? Then Tim arrives on the scene to check on the group’s progress. Tim thinks Ricky’s dress so far—especially the corset top—is stunning and deliberate. He’s not as keen on Chris’ use of rough-edged swooping pocket at the waist and thinks it should be more polished, but Chris doesn’t plan on doing anything about it. Jillian tells Tim she’s trying to create a futuristic, edgy coat but Tim says she has a ways to go. Victorya doesn’t fare any better; her trench looks patch-worky and Tim tells her to “make it work.” Tim likes Rami’s dress; he’s using zippers to detail the seams and Tim loves it. Tim really doesn’t like Sweet P’s wedding dress saying it is way too “happy hand at home granny circle” and “hippy.” Sweet P, who clearly gets the show, said she is going to really take Tim’s advice and rework her dress, because you’d be a fool not to listen to Tim.
With only two hours on the clock, there is a lot of mad sewing going on. Jillian vents about the time constraint, but Chris doesn’t want to hear it because they always have time constraints. But the stress really gets to Jillian when she keeps accidentally stabbing her finger with the needle and is bleeding “all over,” but Rami can’t find any blood. Luckily, the last couple of hours gave everyone a reprieve from Christian’s constant chatter because he was sewing “so fast he couldn’t talk.” He’s glad he’s got immunity, but he still wants to win. I’m just glad he finally shut the hell up.
“Iconic” looks made with hot glue and crossed-fingers.
The designers only had the one day to make their denim looks, so the day of the runway show has arrived quickly. Before getting to Parsons, Chris and Christian decide that if Nina slams Christian’s look, he’s going to jump off the runway and strangle her. I’d like to see him try; my money would be on Nina stopping him with merely a raised eyebrow.
The designers get to the workroom and Jillian runs over to start working on her garment. She has a lot to finish up before the models arrive, so she’s resorted to hot-gluing everything she can. Rami, with his foreign edge, also hot-glues buttons on his garment, but it was special foreign-born hot glue with extra fashion-forwardness. Victorya is still working on her denim coat, which cause Chris to comment that all she did was sew some stuff on a denim jacket and stick on a skirt, which anyone else could do in two hours.
Tim brings in the models and there is only an hour to get them fitted and through hair and makeup. Ricky is thrilled with the fit, Sweet P’s shorter dress makes her confident, and Christian is—as always—happy with his jacket and jeans. Victorya just wants to make it to the finals and Jillian uses every single second she can as she sews her model into the garment. Then it’s time for the runway.
As usual, Heidi reminds us what the challenge was, in case we all fell asleep in the past forty minutes. She further says that, from this challenge forward, there will be no immunity for the winner. The judge tonight are Michael, Nina, and Caroline Calvin, the lady from Levi’s we met earlier. Without further ado, these seven looks come down the runway:
Chris’ little-black-now-blue dress; it has a short, slim A-line skirt with a corset-like top that has wide straps. Off-shooting from the straps are pieces that go up to the neck and encircle it. Chris kept the frayed-edge look on the pocket detail.
Ricky’s corset dress with a short, flouncy skirt on the bottom. The dress fits extremely well and has button details down the center of the corset, like a button fly.
Sweet P’s patch-work dress. It is a fairly simple strapless dress, fitted through the waist, and ending just above the knee. The contrast of the light and dark denim, with the dark along the sides of the stomach and hips, makes her already thin model look absolutely tiny.
Victorya’s denim jacket with a skirt. The top looks like the standard jean jacket owned by the majority of women under 60 in America. The skirt is full and is made out of inside-out jeans to try to match the color of the jacket.
Rami’s dress that is not draped or Grecian. The collar is wide and stands up, and the top comes down in a diagonal way. The middle part—almost a cummerbund, if you will—is fitted over the hips and has the glued-on buttons. Below that is a flouncy skirt, not unlike the one Ricky made. Some of the seams of the dress are accented with zippers, and no one yet has caught on that he totally cribbed this detail from Jeffery’s winning look from last season’s finale.
Christian’s jacket and jeans. He made super-slim jeans out of some 501s at the top and attached jacket arms and details at the jean cuffs. The almost-bolero jacket is a much more severely constructed than any of the other jackets out there.
Jillian’s denim coat with a high collar and logo detail on the front and back of one shoulder. It doesn’t look all that different from the last coat she made.
After the show, Heidi keeps them all on the runway and brings out the models. They start with Christian, who explained his trucker/motorcycle concept. Caroline thought it was innovate, Nina liked the motocross look, and Michael was impressed with the tight jean fit, given that the jeans weren’t stretch. Chris, on the other hand, didn’t get such a warm reception. Nina thought his “little denim dress” needed to be timeless, but it looked dated. Caroline thought it didn’t look finished and Heidi thought it looked home-sewn. Michael didn’t like the frayed-but-only-a-little look.
Rami explained he used three pairs of jeans and parts of jackets and pointed out the zipper details. Michael liked that the top and skirt could work as separates and Nina thought it was well-done and sophisticated. Ricky said he was going for “denim done up” and Caroline loved it. They were all impressed with the look, though Michael insults the model by saying she looks like Amy Winehouse; sure the hair was similar, but she had all her teeth, from what I could tell. Nina says the dress was impeccable and exactly what they’d been waiting to see from him. Ricky, not to let anyone down, starts crying because he’s been on such a rollercoaster of emotions.
Jillian faces the judges next; she says she was going for a futuristic coat look. Heidi isn’t wowed, Nina says it is overly complicated and Heidi and Michael think it makes the model look fat. They move on to Sweet P, who says she wanted to play with patchwork. Michael says it is super-chic and has the slimming voodoo of a great dress. Nina likes it because it can be worn anywhere. Caroline doesn’t think it really captures the 501 feel but does think it looks great. Finally, Victorya explains she took a jean jacket and then draped the skirt. Heidi says it doesn’t look like a lot of work, but Victorya disagrees. Michael doesn’t think the top and the bottom work together and Nina concludes that Victorya was not inspired by the challenge at all.
Someone get the Kleenex ready.
The judges send the designers off so they can deliberate. They like Ricky’s dress and say it is meticulous, confident, and finally shows his lingerie experience. Caroline liked Christian’s because it has a lot of 501 details and he was the only one who sent out a new jean. Sweet P’s dress is chic and iconic, and they loved it. Rami’s zipper details garnered praise, and Nina was shocked that he could do something that didn’t involve draping jersey. The judges found less favor with Chris’ dress, saying it was boring and either too rough on the one detail edge or not rough enough. Jillian’s coat made her model look like a marshmallow and should have been kept simpler, while Victorya’s coat looked like a standard jean jacket with a skirt just tacked on.
With their decisions made, the designers are called back in. Heidi first calls Rami out as “in” and announces Ricky as the winner. A flood of tears engulfs the studio and everyone rushes to the roof to be airlifted to safety by FEMA. Nah, it didn’t happen—but you know it could have. Caroline then says that Ricky’s dress will be sold on-line in a limited edition.
Heidi then announces Sweet P, Christian, and Chris are in and they depart the runway. The choice comes down to Jillian and Victorya. They thought Jillian’s was unflattering and left the judges confused; they thought Victorya’s was a doll outfit and it left them unimpressed. With that, Jillian is in and Victorya is out. As she departs, she again reminds us that she’s a competitive person and says she’ll have a long fashion career. Making bubble skirt dresses.