Well, it had to happen sooner or later. Bravo is part of NBC Universal and NBC broadcasts the Olympics, so the cross-over was inevitable. That doesn’t mean I like it…no not one little bit. Sports people don’t know squat about fashion—at least not the ones they drag on this show. I’m still not over the Sasha (not Baron) Cohen episode in Season 2.
Let the fashion games begin.
Before the designers know what is in store for them this challenge, Korto waxes poetic about Emily’s departure and vows not to go home next. Kenley is relieved to have immunity for this challenge and is glad that judges “got” her fashion sense. The rest of the designers get up groggily, ready themselves, and meet Heidi on the runway. As anti-climactic as ever, Kenley stays with her model Shannone, so Leslie is out and there is no walk-off. Heidi then sends the designers off to Tim to take another field trip.
Where will they be going this time? Jarell doesn’t have any idea but wisely hopes it has nothing to do with female wrestlers (as do I…and probably Michael Kors). The group travels in an unmarked van and Korto wonders if they are going to the Bronx to design dancing ensembles and Kelli wonders if they’re going to a hospital to design scrubs. Neither of those locales are the ultimate destination, but they are traveling to the upper part of Manhattan to the Armory Track and Field Center (and museum). Apparently it’s in Washington Heights, so the ride must have been a while. Tim had time to ask Blayne how often he needs to tan and Blayne says at least every other day—he treats it like going to the gym. He is suffering serious tanning withdrawals, but it could be good for him. I’m constantly surprised that he’s only 23 given his weathered look.
Finally they arrive and enter the facility and stand on a large, indoor track. There they spy a psycho skating around track on inline skates. The psycho turns out to be Apolo Ohno, five-time medal winner, facial hair fashion victim, and the only Olympian I’ve ever heard of with a name the same as a smiley: Apolo says the challenge will be to create the look for the Olympic opening ceremonies, which Tim qualifies by saying the look will be only for the women athletes. Daniel admits that he has never seen the opening ceremony; neither have I and I don’t plan to start. Apolo describes the event by saying it is like a big runway walk but with pride in the team and country. The designers head off to visit the museum portion of the facility where they keep old Olympics stuff. They will have 30 minutes to gain inspiration and sketch a design. Joe and Terri are excited to do sportswear and Stella wants to embrace her cavegirl fashion sense and use leatha and fur to make a gladiator outfit. Stella has serious gaps in her knowledge of history. Jennifer finds inspiration in an old jogging suit of golden stripes; she wants to translate the old look into something new. The photos of people wearing all sorts of hats and blazers capture Jarell. Daniel is just merely confused because he can’t figure how the Olympics have anything to do with high-end glamour. Probably because they don’t.
With the sketching done, it’s more traveling, this time south to Mood where the designers have 30 minutes and $150 to buy materials. Korto is going for linen and leather. Kenley finds some white fabric and blue and white plaid. Stella decides to use black dress satin because black is, of course, cool. Terri took some fabric out and put it on the table to be cut and Keith swooped in and stole it. Terri is pissed and is keeping an eye open from here on in. She should; that Keith is a piece of work.
Sewing for the gold.
Back at Parsons there are nine hours on the day’s clock to work on their outfits. Of course, the winner will have immunity. Then Elvira comes on my screen and says that this challenges is for the Olympics and is really serious business. No, wait, that’s just Stella and a whole lotta eyeliner.
As they work, the designers chat about sporting experience, with Korto kicking it off by asking about double-dutch. Stella says she doesn’t really do sports but did some modern dancing for about four years. Leanne admits she was a cheerleader but hedges by saying she was a cheerleader only because she was a dancer and a gymnast. Joe, of course, ever advertising his straightness, says he played football but had to give up because he didn’t grow as big as the other guys on the team.
Joe is making a skort and wants to make daughters proud. Daniel didn’t do sports at his bordering school, but he’s pushing forward with his take on a modern 1940s dress. Blayne laments that he’s losing his powers because he hasn’t been tanning; he quips he’s an Olympic tanner but in that contest, the medals only go up to bronze. Wow, that Blayne is a riot. Ugh.
Kelli wants to modernize the past looks and keep it simple; she’s going to make pants, a top, and a jacket. Leanne is amazed at the number of pieces Kelli cranks out in a rapid fashion. Jennifer is torn between going with something sporty or sticking to her style of a girly, feminine look; in the end she stays true to her style. Stella is still making her all-black outfit but faces questions about it. She says that her outfit is going for space-age modern; she knows it is a risk but these are hard-core athletes and the women shouldn’t look soft. Leanne thinks Stella’s outfit looks more appropriate for a goth night club than for the Olympics.
Keith says that he was a competitive gymnast when he was a kid and really wanted to go to the Olympics. He’s making some kind of suit with fleece. Daniel is still working on his dress and gets Kenley to try on parts of it. They get into giggle fits, especially Kenley. Joe, Korto, and Jarell are seriously annoyed with all of Kenley’s ceaseless laughter.
Korto then shares a bit about her past; she sees America as a land of second chances. She and her family were exiled to the US from Liberia after the 1990 civil war there. She is happy to be in America now and sees it as a place to fulfill her dreams. Cue flag-waving and the national anthem already, Bravo.
With three hours remaining on the day, Tim comes for his look-see. He checks out Joe’s skort and is okay with the form-fitting athletic look. He particularly likes the wit displayed in making a blue and red zipper. Tim also checks out Blayne’s work in progress; the big blazer with red and blue detailing looks like Sgt. Pepper to Tim. Blayne has no idea who Sgt. Pepper is nor does he know all that much about The Beatles. All he knows is from “Across the Universe.” Please, please, please, someone get this over-tanned idiot boy off my screen. Tim is as aghast as I.
Tim then checks in on Daniel; Daniel was considering a red bolero jacket to go on top of his blue/purple cocktail dress but now thinks it’s too Superman/Wonder Woman. Tim says that Olympians are Superman/Wonder Woman and cautions him not to unravel like he has in the past challenges. Next, Tim stops in to see what Jarell is up to; he says he’s going to make a horizontally stripped pencil skirt. Tim questions the stripes going horizontally and points out that athletes generally have big muscles in their legs and a horizontal stripe might not be such a great idea. He also wonders what the hell is going on at the neck line—there’s a bunch of short tied scarves or something that Tim thinks looks a bit too Lucy Ricardo. Luckily, Jarell knows that reference; it would have undoubtedly been lost on Blayne. Finally, Tim views Jennifer’s dress and jacket sweater and worries that she’ll face the same “matronly” criticism she did last time.
Daniel is still fretting over whether to make the bolero jacket but Kenley talks him out of it. He goes to the sewing room to finish up his dress and Joe gets into it with him about “stealing his machine.” Apparently Kenley had been working on it before Daniel and Daniel didn’t know Joe rethreaded it for himself. But Joe takes it all personally and tells Daniel he needs to pay more attention. Joe blames the whole drama on there being “too many queens.” Dude, not cool at all. Add him to Blayne as people who need to immediately vacate my cathode ray tubes. Meanwhile, Suede keeps trying to make “wackadoodle” work and uses it to describe the situation and Korto is just plain tired of all the high school-level drama. Luckily, the day winds down and this cranky group can go get some much-needed rest.
Finally, it’s the day of the runway show. The designers have three hours before the runway show and a ton of work to do. The models come in, get fitted, their hair and makeup done, and it is time to go. Joe is super-confident he is going to win and Jarell thinks he has it in the bag because he made a hat. The last guy who made hats was Vincent, so he really should rethink that position. Terri worries Jennifer is in trouble because she no red in her outfit. It’s too late to change anything, because it is time to start the show.
Doin’ it Olympics-style.
As we knew going in, the judges are Nina, Michael, and Apollo Ohno; they and Heidi view these looks coming down the runway:
Korto’s white linen pants and tank top, met in the middle by a black and red leather belt. Over the tank top is a light-weight white leather vest with red epaulettes on the shoulders and black at the band collar. Tres chic!
Suede’s sleeveless dress of a high collared body in textured white fabric and a blue with red and white ribbon detailing around the short, frilly skirt; in other words, the Olympics goes to junior prom.
Kelli’s navy blue skirt with white piping, a red top made out a fabric with light white polka dots and collar tied with a stupidly large bow in the middle. Very picnic tablecloths at the Olympics.
Joe’s very literal interpretation of a uniform look made of a white skort and jacket with red and blue patches and a red “USA” down the side of the skirt: the Olympics meets Speedracer.
Leanne’s white shorts with a basically white vest with a crazy articulated collar that looks like red, white, and blue scarves curled around each other. The hem of the vest sticks out awkwardly and had a confusing back.
Daniel’s shiny blue/purple satin cocktail dress with red piping and button accents. It’s a cute dress for an airline stewardess in 1964. Perhaps she served the Beatles; let’s ask Blyane about that.
Jarell’s outfit is the WTF? look of the night. It’s a pin-striped (vertical, thankfully) pencil skirt over leggings, a cummerbund of the same striped fabric but stripes going lengthwise, a plastic belt with a faux bow on the skirt, a mauve cap sleeve blouse, a bizarre neck closure that is of a dark material, and a polka doted wide-brimmed hat. Please, please, just get him off the show because his looks are so desperately confusing.
Stella’s black cap sleeved vest that exposes décolletage and midriff, and black thin pants. Both are accented by white/silver and red bands of fabric—on sleeves, waist, sides of the pants. Space-aged Olympics, indeed.
Keith’s printed short flouncey/bubbly skirt and a long white vest with a rolled high fleece collar and blue and white scarves at the neck. Yawn.
Terri’s white pants, red white and blue tube top, fitted blazer of dark pin-striped fabric. Now that’s what I’d call the Tube Top of Justice….oh wait, that’s a Canadian reference. I must be a bad American.
Jennifer’s gold and white striped skirt that reminds me of a circus big-top, white tank top, and a demure ¾ sleeve sweater/bolero thing on top. Olympic athletes go to a sad party in 1940s London.
Blayne’s slim white pants and asymmetrical top—one long sleeve and one open shoulder---with a red and blue line of color via zippers or ribbons down the front and back at an angle. It reminds me too much of Stella’s green challenge dress.
Kenley’s blue and white plaid pencil skirt with a wide cummerbund and a white short-sleeved blouse. What is up with these 60s stewardess outfits? By the way, I’ll have the chicken, a pillow, and a blanket, please.
After the show Heidi calls out Suede, Kelli, Leanne, Stella, Keith, Blayne, and Kenley forward; they are all safe and the six remaining are the best and worst. It’s time to start the interrogations!
Terri is up first; she was inspired by all of the pictures with people wearing blazers and wanted to do American sportswear. Apolo says it will read very American and Michael says it reminds him of Lauren Hutton in the 1970s. Michael is pleased with the use of sportswear and Nina calls the outfit sharp and smart-looking. Jennifer faces the judges second; she says her look is based on a 1920s tracksuit and wanted to do separates. Heidi says there is nothing “American” about the design; Apolo says that whomever will wear this will not exude confidence. Nina thinks Jennifer cannot separate her own feminine, girly style from what she needed to do with the challenge and the outfit would look silly at the opening ceremonies.
The judges then turn their attention to Joe; he was going for a modern, summer look and wanted to include the “USA” on the dress. Apolo thinks the outfit looks great because it shows off the model’s physique. Nina is glad to see athletic clothes used. Michael, though he has issues with the skort length, thinks it is a good look. I think she looks like that missile used in the old MTV commercials (and apologize for my non-specific space knowledge). Daniel then explains that he wanted to modernize a 1940s look with vibrant colors. Apolo sees nothing athletic about the cocktail dress while Nina and Heidi think the dress is purple (though it looks blue to me). Michael has no idea what country the dress is supposed to represent, other than the Republic of Cocktail Land.
Korto then explains that she wanted an all white look and to use lightweight leather and make a removable vest. She did not want to go to the past but make a current look. Nina says that if the team wore the outfit, they would all look very chic. Heidi thinks America could be proud of the look and Apolo is a big fan of it. Finally, Jarell also wanted to use 1940s sportswear as an inspiration. Apolo diplomatically says that it is a very unique look but a large group of women wearing the outfit would look like people from a movie set. Nina thinks it is all too “Mary Had A Little Lamb” and Michael says the outfit would make strong women look silly.
The designers are sent away while the judges deliberate. They think Korto really nailed the challenge and produced a sophisticated, athletic, and impressive look. They think Terri’s outfit is stylish, simple, versatile, and great American sportswear. Finally, they say Joe made the challenge look easy; he made a very literal and athletic outfit. As for the bottom three, they thought Jarell’s outfit was an interesting mix of fabrics but it was really a costume and not athletic. Jennifer’s dress was for a bland prim romantic bashful athlete—which does not compute. And little Daniel’s cocktail dress was only for an athlete whose sport is drinking. (Finally, a sport I can get behind!) After a few sly looks, the judges have made a decision they agree upon.
The designers are called back in and Joe is safe. Korto is proclaimed the winner and Terri is in as well. Inexplicably, Jarell is safe too. The decision comes down to Jennifer and Daniel. Heidi says that Daniel missed challenge completely and made sad purple cocktail dress, not and outfit to showcase an athlete. She then says that Jennifer is stuck in past as designer, while they are ultimately looking for someone with a vision to the future. Daniel is then safe and Jennifer is out. She regrets not going for a sporty look instead of a girly look. She packs her stuff up to go and seems like a nice girl, albeit one seriously mistaken as to the definition of “surrealism.” On the plus side, next week I won’t have to pause the tape when Jennifer or Leanne comes on the screen to figure out which one it is. It’ll be bad enough Brooke Shields will be guesting.