At this point, I’m just ready for PR6 to be over and I hope that PR7’s return to consistent judging and New York will get this show back on track. We’re finally to the two-part finale, but the first half kind of feels like when you’re stuck on a plane circling the airport. You know you’ll be off the ride soon, but the wait is infuriating.
datesvisits with Tim Gunn.
One final time, Heidi meets with the designers on the runway. She instructs that they will have a few months to make a 12 piece collection on a budget of $9,000. Tim come out on the runway, offers his usual encouraging words, and promises to check in on them. He and Heidi leave the runway, but not before doing some shadow dancing as they leave.
Back at the apartment, the ladies pack up to leave. Althea is still miffed at Irina’s copying accusation and Irina thinks the other two are intimidated by her. She promises to bring not only the big guns, but a tank.
Ten weeks later, Tim visits Carol Hannah in her adopted hometown of Huntington, New York. Tim arrives, covered in snow, and takes a gander at Carol Hannah’s collection. She says her inspiration came from the architecture she saw on her trip up while visiting Duke University. She’s got a grey dress with a poofy tulle skirt that she’s thinking about adding a sparkly belt to, but Tim says no. She’s also got a long gown with a mini-Sherlock Holmes cape that Tim does not like. Surprisingly, she’s also got some pants, shorts, and jackets, not just dresses. Overall, Tim’s reaction is positive.
Carol Hannah’s family is in town and has made a southern-style lunch. They get Tim to pitch in and help make biscuits, even going so far as donning an apron. We learn Carol Hannah watched her grandmother sew, and that’s how she learned construction. Her father talks about how determined Carol Hannah has been since she was a little kid. Tim takes his life into his own hands as he ventures home in a ton of snow. Seriously, that was a lot of snow.
Tim then visits Irina in her Upper East Side walk-up. She’s got a yappy little dog named Princess. As Irina talks, she sounds really nervous. She explains that she was inspired by Coney Island, a place she hung out a lot at as a kid. She’s got a grey fabric with a Coney Island print she wants to use as a boyfriend tee with the evening wear. She also has some sweaters and fur—surprise, surprise. Looking over her sketches, Tim cautions to make sure her designs don’t look forced.
Later, Tim meets Irina’s friends and family for lunch at a restaurant. She says that her parents count on her and her sister to live out the American dream they came here to achieve. Her mother has been supportive in her endeavors, but her father is a bit old-school and doesn’t see a future in fashion for Irina. But they all raise their glasses, even her father, to Irina’s success.
With four weeks until Fashion Week, Tim visits Althea in Dayton, Ohio. He rides what could be the scariest elevator ever, the crappy condition of which causes Tim to let out an “Egads!” Althea has stayed back home in Dayton to have support of her friends and family, but also feels like she’s in a bit of a secluded bubble so she really wants Tim’s input. She says her inspiration for her collection is strong women in the sci-fi movies she started watching when she got home. Althea has a big sweater coat that Tim likes, but the long jacket on top of a long skirt looks to Tim like Edwardian meets Old West. He says there are a lot of good pieces but to edit and have a clear idea of her vision.
Tim and Althea then go to her parents’ house for lunch. Althea started out with drawing, which translated to an interest in fashion. Her mother says that for Christmas when Althea was in 5th Grade, she out of the blue asked for a sewing machine. Ever since then, she’s been making clothes for herself and her friends.
With the road trips done, Tim is back in his office and has to make a difficult call to Irina just a mere 10 days before Fashion Week. As it turns out, the Coney Island image she’s using are a trademarked image and she can’t use them. Luckily the Lifetime lawyers got a clearance for us to actually see the image and not be left with a blurred out image. Irina struggles to figure out how she’s going to handle the issue. In any event, this stacks up as poor drama as compared to Shoe-Gate or Receipt-Gate.
Arriving in New York.
Althea and Irina both arrive at their hotel for Fashion Week. They hug and greet each other, so at least their keeping the tension to a low simmer on the outside. Althea doesn’t trust Irina, but the civility is there and they make small talk wondering where Carol Hannah is. Tim arrives to explain the situation—as it turns out, Carol Hannah has a terrible stomach virus that is contagious and horrible. Tim lightens the mood by pointing out the bottle of champagne, and they raise their glasses to Fashion Week and Carol Hannah getting better. Of course, secretly Althea and Irina want Carol Hannah out of the competition anyway, so if it’s via virus, that’s fine with them.
The next day, they set up shop in the workroom. It’s too quiet for Irina, which is odd in that she always bitched about people talking. Carol Hannah finally arrives, and senses the disappointment at her appearance by the other two.
Tim comes by to take a look at the collections. Althea’s sparkly top looks matronly and Tim wants it gone. He wants her to realize that the collection should entirely appeal to the same customer. She shows him a lot of knits she made—garnering quite the smirk from Irina—and encourages her to really pick fashion forward pieces. Irina and Althea exchange some words over the sweater, but seriously people, this is snooze-fest “drama”.
Tim risks his life yet again with Carol Hannah, this time approaching her without a face mask on to spare him from her virus-riddled self. She pulls out a gold dress with a ruffly gold wrap she hates. He tells her to toss it if she’s not happy with it. He cautions again about cohesion.
The first words out of Irina’s mouth to Tim are how much time she spent on the work. The tee shirt problem translated into her using her original bird design and adding words about why she loves New York, including the return of Madonna. Tim’s concerned that the collection has a lot of black and that the leather pants look like chaps. Her finale gown seems like two different dresses and holds a lot of work, so much so, Tim brings his hands to his head and exclaims, “Good god!” And that’s pretty much how I feel at this point in the episode.
Model casting and consultations.
The designers go to the model casting, see a lot of girls walking in that silly model way, and make their choices without much drama. Back at the workroom, Nina Garcia and Michael Kors drop in to scare the crap out of the designers and give them some pointers. Michael says it is important that what they show exemplifies them as designers. Althea asks about order; he says start with a wow but take them for a ride and let them breathe between big looks. Nina cautions against an all black collection, which Irina disagrees with her and will not change her collection.
It’s back to work for the designers, and Carol Hannah is really getting tired due to the virus. With just three days left before the big show, Tim arrives and explains that the muse look their long-term models wear is what is going back before the judges. Their models arrive to help them see what of the collections fits the best.
Uh-oh, Heidi and Tim walk in for a “gather ‘round”. There is one final surprise: they each have to make an additional 13th look. If looks could kill, Althea would be on trial for double homicide. Tim informs them that their muse models will cast the 13th model. Heidi then offers help in the form of Logan, Christopher, and Gordana. By way of velevet bag choosing, Althea picks Logan, Irina picks Gordana, and Carol Hannah gets Christopher and gives him a big hug and possibly a stomach virus.
For this last look, the designers have 30 minutes to sketch and $250 to spend at the real Mood. Althea wants a strong jacket to shore up her sweater coats. Gordana will help Irina finish all her garments and really likes her collection. Christopher hangs back and tries to be helpful to Carol Hannah; she decides to do another gown even though that’s what’s expected of her.
At Mood, with tons more fabric choices, the designers run about, spend their money, and bid farewell to Swatch, the Mood dog. In the workroom, Althea takes a huge risk in allowing Logan to drape pants. Irina assigns all the finishing work to Gordana. Christopher does the same for Carol Hannah as she works on the gown.
Time is up on the day, and back to the hotel they go. There, Carol Hannah hits the wall and becomes violently ill. Althea helps her out by putting ice on her back and comforts her, which is a nice gesture from someone who was a bit too willing to see Carol Hannah out of the competition earlier.
And that’s how it ends…in a pile of puke.