Last week “Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire” Johnny hit the road after creating a blah little dress out of newsprint. This week’s episode begins by Ra’mon saying he is glad Johnny is gone, noting the competition is getting more serious with Johnny’s absence. Nicolas brings up the tired story of not being there to make friends and wanting to get to Bryant Park, while Irina agrees that things are going to get tough. Gordana, like most of the viewing public (or so it seems) is shocked and perplexed at her placement in the bottom three.
The designers get their usual tease from Heidi, who sends them off on yet another field trip with Tim to see LA at its movie-making best. What they get, however, is to stand outside some soundstage, and take in the view of Tim with the velvet bag and Collier Strong. The challenge is to make a movie costume, and Collier is there because makeup is as important as the garment for film styling. Tim holds eleven cards, each bearing one of five possible movie genres. Tim draws names out of the bag (except Irina got to go first because she won the last challenge), and the designers pick their film genres:
Irina, Louise & Althea: Film Noir
Logan & Carol Hannah: Action Adventure
Ra’mon and Christopher: Science Fiction
Gordana & Christopher: Period Piece
Shirin & Epperson: Western…Epperson’s button must be weighted more; he is seemingly always last to choose.
The time at the soundstage was short-lived and it’s back to FIDM for the lot of them. They didn’t even get a glimpse at the filming of a Lifetime Original Series! They were robbed! Tim gives the designers thirty minutes to sketch and plan, then they’ll be unleashed in Mood with $150 and have the rest of the day to make the costume. Brainstorming commences. Epperson struggles with the idea of making a western costume, while Shirin lands on the idea of making a western saloon girl outfit. Logan and Carol Hannah share a moment over their action adventure costumes; she wants to make a sexy assassin outfit while he wants to do something with a military edge. Romance may be in the air—Logan says he connects better with Carol Hannah than any of the other women in the competition and she thinks he’s hot. She better watch her back around the models.
Ra’mon is super-excited to do a sci fi costume; he confesses to being a huge sci fi geek and a Trekkie. I suppose that tracks, for a neurosurgery drop-out. Nicolas also loves the sci fi, saying he can bring a mix of the costume world and the ready-to-wear world in his garment and it doesn’t help that he daydreams quite a bit. Christopher and Gordana both seem to like the idea that period pieces can be from any time; Christopher just hopes the judges go along for the ride with his interpretation.
Theft, Tall Tales, and Injury
After the fabric shopping, the designers get to work at FIDM. Epperson really wanted to do a period costume, then he realized that western could be a period costume as well, so he goes down that route creating a costume of a woman left to take care of the land while her husband is off at war. Gordana has decided to design a costume for a 1920’s emancipated woman. Nicolas is doing yet another white outfit to go with his elaborate story of three queens of the universe, who reside on Orion’s belt, one of whom decides to take over. Ra’mon dyes more fabric in the bathroom—the sink this time—to make a green fabric for a jumpsuit for his human-alien hybrid character.
Bobbin thievery is rampant in the sewing room. Louise has not one but two stolen as she tries to put her garment together. Louise works hard, not wanting to be eliminated. She’s so flustered, her perfect bob is showing some wear. Nicolas confesses that he’s worried for Louise, and she may be the next to go because she doesn’t have her character’s story straight yet. Carol Hannah notes the drama in the workroom has become more intense as the weeks go by.
At a quarter past 5, Tim arrives at FIDM to check on the designers’ progress. Gordana explains her 1920’s woman as someone in her 30s realizing her freedom. She thinks maybe the back needs to be higher and more conservative, but Tim disagrees. Irina notes in a confessional that she doesn’t think Gordana is at the level to compete at Bryant Park. Christopher explains his Victorian vampire bride story, but Tim questions the sleeveless design, rightly pointing out there were no sleeveless gowns in Victorian times, though he got the bustle right. Tim is “seduced” by Epperson’s denim ruffles and “Annie Get Your Gun” look of the garment. Ra’mon’s lizard-skin jumpsuit gives Tim concern—it could be sublime or a big hot mess. It should give Ra’mon concern as well, as the last attempt at a jumpsuit had him starting over at the last minute. Tim notes the detail that Louise brings to her garment, but explains that the small details she puts in her garment don’t really translate well on the runway—the subtlety is lost, so she needs to go bigger. Also needing to step up the details is Nicolas; Tim is intrigued with his story but thinks the white-on-white garment needs more pop. Tim departs, saying he’s enthralled and inspired by what he sees, but they all need to remember someone is going home.
The models arrive for their fitting and makeup consultations. Everyone gets to meet with Collier Strong, and there’s a lot of L’Oreal product placement. But oh holy Muppets, Ra’mon has realized that his jumpsuit looks like a Kermit costume gone wrong. Too bad Lady Gaga isn’t his model; she could make it work. At any rate, with 2 hours on the clock for the day, he decides to scrap his jumpsuit—yet again—and make another outfit. Maybe he thinks last minute garments are his lucky charm, but I still think the toilet-dyed neoprene outfit was abysmal. Everyone else is stressed at the time constraint and runs around like the proverbial chicken sans head. Louise is on such a tear to finish her garment, she sews through her fingernail. Serious ouch!
What’s your story?
On this short challenge, the day of the runway arrives quickly. Logan is pretty confident in his garment, and Ra’mon thinks he can place safely in the middle with his last-minute sci fi dress. Tim comes in the FIDM workroom and gives the designers the two-hour warning. Nicolas notes that the time constraint is getting to everyone, and there’s lots of work to be done at the last minute. Epperson also thinks he is safe because his look not only fits the genre but shows his style too. Irina scrambles to get out of the workroom and on the runway; she just barely makes it.
Time is called and it is out to the runway to find out who the judges are for this challenge. Heidi introduces Zoe Glassner once again, fashion designer John Varvatos, and costume designer Arianne Phillips. The viewing public sighs collectively at yet another week without Michael and Nina. The eleven costumes that fly down the runway are:
Irina’s take on film noir made of a sheer cloak/cape and a long dark gown with lace insets on the bodice;
Carol Hannah’s action adventure look of satin black cloak over a strapless black plastic-looking bustier and shorts with black tights;
Shirin’s western outfit of mostly black saloon girl dress with a maroon cummerbund and dark purple underskirt;
Christopher’s period piece ivory halter top gown with a black overskirt atop a long, gathered in tiers pink bottom skirt;
Nicolas’ sci fi extremely fitted long white gown with many appliqués of silver leaf-like things;
Althea’s film noir black dress with a white flowing jacket/top that looks kind of Hitchcock-appropriate;
Ra’mon’s sci fi dress of green reptile-printed leather, giving a lizard woman look overall;
Louise’s film noir 30’s/40’s black lace knee-length dress over an ivory slip;
Epperson’s western denim gown with a leather wide wrap belt and holster, with a full ivory underskirt;
Gordana’s period piece of a classic golden flapper dress;
Logan’s action adventure leather pants and vest outfit, with slashes like she’s been in battle.
After the costume show, Logan, Carol Hannah, Shirin, Irina, and Althea are called out as safe and dismissed. The judges then go on the offense and attempt to fill the huge shoes of Michael and Nina. Gordana’s flapper dress shows she put a lot of work into it, but John questions whether it is a signature piece. Arianne thinks it is just not that memorable or special. Zoe says it is well made but the dress just something her great-great grandmother would have in her closet; there’s a lot of work there, but it does not show Gordana’s point of view as a designer.
Nicolas launches into his three sister queens story—he’s designed for the one who tried to take over and was banished and frozen as punishment. John says he immediately saw that it was an evil queen costume but still beautiful. Arianne thinks the white on white look will photograph beautifully for a movie and he used the makeup well, what with all the white gunk in his model’s hair to make it look frozen. Maybe movie cameras photograph differently than television ones, because it still looks like an Ed Wood quality costume to me. Zoe thought the look was clever, bold and risky.
Louise’s story involves something not quite clear about a girl dressing for an audition in a 1940s dress inspired by the 1920s. Zoe is really harsh saying that it is convoluted, with the decade in a decade, and looks cheap. John finds the dress not special, not strong, and lacking style. Louise is gracious and says she’s wanted to get feedback from the judges, whether it is good or bad. Heidi admonishes her that since this was for a movie, she should have gone wild.
Christopher offers up his Victorian vampire bride story, which seems very trite, and it still bothers me that there are no sleeves, because even the $50 Halloween Victorian vampire outfits have sleeves. The judges all love it; John is impressed with the story, and Zoe loves the neck detail. Heidi thinks its modern and Arianne loves the back, showing detail at every angle.
Ra’mon talks about his sci fi story about Lola, who has left her reptile home planet to come to Earth to quench her desire for men. Zoe likes his story but doesn’t like the dress, noting it is shoddy and looks like the Swamp Thing. John finds the construction to be all too “school project” while Arianne wanted to like it, but can’t because of the poor construction. Heidi thinks it is a hot green mess, and despite him being a great designer, just didn’t make it well this time. On the plus side, Ra’mon says he trashed his first design but does not make up a story about a faulty iron.
Epperson relates his wife on the western farm story again. Arianne thinks it’s creative and although women didn’t wear denim at the time, it works. She finds contemporary value in the dress. Zoe says that drawing the western card could be difficult, but she loves the design. Epperson admits he was stuck with western and made the best of it. Heidi likes that he did something new. With that, the designers are sent off for discussion.
The deliberation starts with the least favorites this week. Gordana didn’t produce anything all that special, Louise didn’t have anything to say, and Ra’mon, while he did take a risk, produced shoddy work. Turning to the favorites, the judges conclude that even though Nicolas’ looked cheap, the white worked and would look good on film, Epperson did a great job with all the details of his garment, and Christopher’s gown looked good from every angle and made it for only $150 and it looked expensive.
With the decision made, the designers return to the runway. Gordana and Epperson are safe, then Nicolas is named the winner. I had to go back and re-watch the end, because after that, I fainted dead away. It has to be the first time something that looks cheap beat out something noted to look expensive.
Christopher was in as well, obviously, and so the decision came down to Ra’mon, who missed the mark with a home-sewn hot mess and Louise, who brought no drama and didn’t really convey who the film character was. Ra’mon gets the boot (finally!) and Louise is safe. I guess it’s back to neurosurgery for Ra’mon.
It looks like at least Michael is back next week, so the judging should be much more interesting. Zoe called Louise’s dress a snooze-fest, but that’s how I find her panel appearances. She’s much more TFS than PR.