We’re all a little worn out with PR this season, aren’t we? The inconsistent judging, the less than amazing designs, and the lack of drama—really, having a merely “mean” contestant is nothing compared to the likes of Wendy Pepper or Santino or Jeffrey—has really brought the mood down. So let’s just cut to the chase and see who is going to Bryant Park. At least they got that part right; we’ll be back in New York next week so maybe things will be a tad better.
Things aren’t so great in the ladies’ apartment. Althea isn’t talking to Irina because of the copying accusation and Gordana feels the judges are out to get her so she’s just going to make something she is proud of for the people she loves. Poor Christopher is lonely by himself as the last boy standing; he really thought Nicolas and Ra’mon would be there with him.
The designers meet Heidi at the runway for the last time; she sends them off to meet Tim for a last challenge that promises culture and priceless views. They are ferried to the Getty Museum where they meet Tim and LA’s lip-gloss wearing mayor. The designers—and their models who are present to serve as muses—tour the Getty and then have 30 minutes to sketch their final look inspired by anything in the museum. Althea draws inspiration from the architecture of the museum itself and aspires to create a tailored look. Carol Hannah is taken by an ornate French bed in the European decorative arts section. Irina finds a painting of voluptuous women lounging in sheer gowns on marble that speaks to her. Christopher goes outside and is inspired by the rocks and algae of the fountain. Finally, Gordana is overwhelmed by a Monet painting of a cathedral; the colors remind her of Europe, where—we’re once again reminded—she is from.
After sketching, it’s Mood time, where they actually have a decent budget—$300—to spend. Irina once again buys fur; she doesn’t think the large pelt is goat, but maybe rabbit. Tim contains his laughter and points out that it would be one giant rabbit, were that the origin of the pelt.
Back at FIDM, Tim tries to inspire these designers with words about it being the last challenge and determinative of who goes to Fashion Week. If any of them actually take a risk, as he suggests, I’ll be surprised. The designers are all clearly stressed; Gordana is no fool and has felt a bit too much of Heidi’s overt criticism. Christopher thinks it will be amazing if he can go from his small-town upbringing to show at Bryant Park. I still think he needs to lose that dumbass beard thing. Althea comments that Gordana and Irina have become fast friends and Christopher and Carol Hannah are buddy-buddy, so she feels the odd one out a bit. Irina gripes that Althea has taken over three work tables. The stress has gotten to them all, and they snipe at each other, but not in a fun way.
The sniping continues the next morning in the women’s apartment. Gordana and Irina are playfully (or maybe not so playfully) giving each other crap, and Carol Hannah just wants them to shut up. Althea is glad it is the last challenge, because the living situation has become untenable. And, what’s a last-challenge episode without some more sob stories, right? So Irina shares that she is from the Republic of Georgia, her father thinks she’s ancient at 26 and should be married, and she wants to prove she’s not wasting her life by getting to Bryant Park.
Back at FIDM, Tim comes in to take a look at the progress. Christopher’s rock-inspired grey dress gives Tim pause as he sees all the triangular pieces that are supposed to be applied. Tim worries that they look like stalactites and cautions Christopher to use an editing eye. Carol Hannah’s bed inspiration is something Tim likes but her idea to carry a twist detail across the bodice makes him recoil. Irina describes her inspirational painting as “fleshy” which really means fat girls in sheer clothing; Tim doesn’t see sheer and sees road kill in the fur pelt coat thing. Althea’s architectural inspiration is impressive, but Tim worries about the puckering and it needs some editing. Gordana’s angelic colors and gown design impress Tim, as does her emotional connection to her final piece.
Tim then sends in the models for a fitting. Althea can’t shake the puckering problem, and hopes ironing the dress will help. Irina sees the light and ditches the cavewoman fur thing. Christopher says he realizes his place in the competition is the wacky-weird guy. Actually, that was Malvin. Christopher is like the “Safe for Lifetime” wacky-weird guy. Gordana is happy with her gown, but Althea doesn’t think it is a “wow” look, albeit pretty.
An all-round lack of “wow.”
The day of the final runway show arrives; poor Christopher eats his breakfast all alone. Carol Hannah nervously eats a banana and Althea continues to perplex me by her use of hot rollers. Gordana pretty much as resigned her fate to the judges; she’s proud of what she’s done but she can’t predict what they’ll say.
There’s much nervous energy in the workroom before the runway show. Carol Hannah describes it as running off a collapsing bridge in a disaster movie; I kind of feel that way about this entire season, but in slow motion. Gordana’s dress fits her model perfectly and she thinks she hit the target of the challenge. Christopher thinks his dress shows his pretty/dirty design aesthetic, but Irina says he’s just got false confidence. Althea, arbiter of the “wow” factor, is not impressed with Irina’s look and Irina says Althea is bad at construction. You know, for a bitchiness factor, this is really disappointing. Where are the drawn-on family photos? Where are the accusations of cheating? Where’s the head-shaving? Oh, wait, wrong show. Anyway, time ticks down and Tim sends them out to the runway to blow Nina’s shoes off, and possibly take out a near-by grip.
It is time to start the show; Heidi introduces the judges: designer Cynthia Rowley, Nina Garcia and Cindy Crawford. Apparently Kors couldn’t be bothered to show up. Or maybe he was embarrassed; I’ll give that orange man the benefit of the doubt today. The last five looks are:
Althea's short gold dress with architectural detail on the short skirt that has a lot of puckering, and a seemingly unfinished loose fitting top.
Carol Hannah’s long gown in a similar golden color, but it is beautifully constructed and flows nicely.
Christopher’s long grey gown with a very heavy skirt and stiff midriff piece.
Gordana’s long strapless gown of many sheer fabrics. Very Georgia O’Keefe.
Irina’s formless green dress that looks like something Bea Arthur would have worn on the Golden Girls. Finally, a proper Lifetime tie-in.
Since there are only five designers left, all get to face the judges. Cindy finds Althea’s attempt to do pleating brave, but that kind of dress just hard to wear. Cynthia thinks Althea over-worked the bottom and under-worked the top; Nina agrees there wasn’t enough time spent on the top. Heidi sums it up by saying the dress is a mess-fest and it is clear Althea bit off more than she could chew.
Irina’s dress is met with praise for the back, but Nina thinks the length is too old-lady. Cindy has issues wit the styling—if it was supposedly inspired by a diaphanous dress, why are the shoes so heavy and what’s up with the heavy head-band? The model removes the accessories, and the judges see an improvement. I do not. Gordana stands by her Monet-inspired dress and Heidi really sees the connection with the painting. Nina thinks the dress is perfectly made but questions if Gordana can really just let herself go as a designer. Cindy would wear Gordana’s dress, while Cynthia has issues with the zipper in the back.
Everyone loves Carol Hannah’s dress; Cynthia especially likes the braided detail on the shoulder. However, no one can see the bed inspiration and Nina calls her on playing it too safe. Christopher’s dress gets praise, but only for the top; both Cynthia and Cindy find the skirt too heavy. Heidi asks him if he’s confident in this look as his final piece. Of course he breaks down crying—again—and says seeing beauty in things like rock and algae is who he is and the piece captures his ability to see beauty in unusual places.
Each designer is then asked why they should go to Fashion Week and which two others should go as well. Gordana does her tale of woe and says if she has the time she can put together a collection. She’d bring Christopher because he wants to go so much and Irina because she has technical skill. Althea says she should go to Bryant Park because she’s never been in the bottom and has the skill to do a collection. She’d bring Carol Hannah and Irina. Carol Hannah says she’s not going into her self-taught story—which begs the question why did she bring it up—because she should go based on her ability to make beautiful clothes women want to buy. She’d bring Christopher because of his interesting ideas and Althea because her designs are provoking. Irina, a late entrant into the crying competition, goes into her sob story of being an immigrant and chasing the American dream and yadda yadda yadda. She’d bring Althea and Gordana because she could beat them handily. Finally, Christopher says going to Bryant Park would be the biggest success he’s had and he’d take Irina and Carol Hannah.
During deliberations, the judges conclude they all did pretty well, given there were no specific parameters for the challenge. Althea let them down with the messy construction, but at least she pushed herself. Irina’s dress was a bit dowdy. Christopher’s dress was too heavy on the bottom and the corset thing made it look even more uncomfortable. Carol Hannah’s dress was safe but impeccably made. Gordana got closest to her inspiration, but they don’t know who she is as a designer.
The designers return to the runway to find out who is going Fashion Week. Due to Irina’s consistent performance, she’s got her ticket. Christopher lacks experience so he will not be going and is out. The judges didn’t understand Carol Hannah’s inspiration and dress worked together, but she makes beautiful clothes from her point of view, so she’s in. In the absolutely least suspenseful last choice ever, it’s between Althea, who presented a disappointing mess while taking a risk and Gordana, who made a beautiful dress with a suspect zipper and Heidi just didn’t like her. So Althea can pack her bags for New York and Gordana can just go home.
Tim comes to say goodbye; he wanted all of them to go to Fashion Week. In keeping with tradition, he sends Gordana and Christopher to clean up their spaces. But shouldn’t they all? FIDM, LA, and faux Mood are all over!