We’ve reached the Top Five, who this week are being subjected to something new: a challenge based on hawking products (homewear, jewelry, etc) from producer’s wife and semi-regular judge Georgina Chapman’s fashion line Marchesa. The prize this week that she has offered up to pay for this commercial for their products is a diamond ring, plus VIP access to their show at NYFW. So are our designers making plates or jewelry? Hahaha, no. Marchesa is a big name in bridal. That’s why there’s tons of wedding dresses, and bride to be in attendance along with Georgina, her partner-in-design Karen Craig, and Alyssa. Even though said bride’s wedding planning is far enough along that the ceremony is tomorrow, and she’s here for a final fitting for her dress, she claims (rather unbelievably) that she hasn’t any bridesmaids dresses. You can guess where this is going.
The good news–the designers are not trying to design a whole set of them in one day. Each gets their own maid, and each designs a dress that the maid would like, that can also be worn to other fancy dress events after the wedding. (The very modern take on the bridesmaid dress.) So it’s a real woman challenge right? Except no. The women aren’t here. Everything the designers know about their maids comes from the Bride and the Bride’s “Mood Board.”
After a trip to Mood and a few hours work, the bridesmaids do finally make an appearance. They are all miraculously model thin, and conform perfectly to the measurements the designers have, so no one has major alterations. So much for this being a real women challenge. I half wonder if these are the real bridesmaids at all, or ones conveniently provided by the show, considering none of them talk about the bride, or seem all that excited about being in a wedding. (One wonders if the bride’s real wedding is happening on the runway at all.) Despite the show at the top saying that the bridesmaid’s personalities should be reflected in these dresses, they don’t seem to have much of that either. Rather convenient, I suppose.
Zanna turns up to have opinions, with Georgina’s brother Edward (who happens to be the CEO of Marchesa) in tow.
- Dmitry: At this point it’s all silk jersey and ruched chiffon. He has other things to fuss it up, but Zanna and Edward poopoo that idea.
- Helen: She’s playing with lace drapes that Zanna clearly disapproves of. Edward calls her neckline “Severe.”
- Fabio: He bought premade appliques which Edward approves of, calling them “very Marchesa.”
- Sonjia: She already had a meltdown today over her lack of vision for this challenge, and the extremely simple silhouette on the dummy suggests she hasn’t found her way out of that funk yet. Zanna says she has some designing to do.
- Michelle: She’s making her own appliques, but her dress looks rather heavy, and Edward is clearly concerned she’s totally missing the mark.
Michelle decides to ignore their concerns. After all, they only have two hours until the end of the day. Sonjia finally starts draping something, and stealing applique trims from people that they’re not using and magically turns out a gown.
Day of Runway (and the “wedding”) and the “bridesmaids” show back up. They’re still lacking any sort of personality or flaws that might distinguish them from the regular parade of models. They also seem unfazed by the hair and makeup salons, adding to the sense that these are professional models the show rounded up. Michelle does have major fit issues at the last-minute, but that could have happened to anyone who is working with a different model than they usually do.
Let’s go down to the runway and try not to roll our eyes at the staged wedding that Alyssa is “officiating.”
Continue reading Project Runway All Stars Season 4: It’s Not a Disaster