Project Accessory “Kenneth Cole Challenge”

I won’t lie. If Kenneth Cole doesn’t turn out to be a bigger bitch than Nina Garcia tonight, I will be highly disappointed.

Molly is wearing a simple leather dress for today’s intro. It may be the most daring thing she’s worn since the show started.

Rich really hopes “Kenneth Cole” means “men’s accessories.” Fat chance, sweetie. Cole himself seems to be pretty excited about the challenge. Or perhaps it’s the extra TV time. Either way, the outfit he works in, the rumpled-but-dressy look is HAWT. The man is a walking ad for his own clothes. Kenneth is into keeping black fresh. To that end, his new line for the Holidays 2011 is “Triple Black.” He has chosen six looks from said collection, assigned them to the designers, who are required to make a clutch plus whatever else they’d like to go with it. So it’s another handbag challenge, though a specific style. Winner has their line sold in Kenneth Cole stores…but they don’t get to earn anything from it, since profits go to an AIDS charity. The designers act as if this is a great honor, but if you’re broke, I’m guessing you would have rather earned that money yourself. Actually, I think the only “I don’t have my own line, I’m broke” contestant left is Nina. Everyone else here can probably afford it for the exposure. Budget’s $150 dollars, one day challenge.

They return to the workroom to see their outfits. Nina has a short black feather mini. Brian has a knit coat. Rich is excited that his high collared leather jacket actually inspires him, but panicked since he failed at the last handbag. Fabric is so not his forte. Diego’s outfit is a classic black dress. He thinks his purses are classier than Cole’s. This is another “leather remnants shopping day” at Mood. Brian is grinding resin into a horn in the corner, and the dust goes everywhere, causing a mini panic among the other designers that their clothes and accessories will be ruined. I’m surprised they don’t make him do that in another room for health reasons. He’s also in “I won last week, so I’m super asshole contestant mode now.” Adrian is making minimal accessories because he has a fur vest-top.

Eva’s check in: Brian’s unicorn resin horn clutch receives high praise. She calls Deigo’s perfect clutch “safe” and suggests he create a showstopper. Because his amazing work so far hasn’t been? Her advice to Rich is as much metal as possible, but then continues to panic him about the clutch. Finally, Eva is worried about Adrian’s minimalist approach, but he’s obsessed with his “edit edit edit” critique last week….wait, this means no check in from Kenneth? Lame.

Morning of runway, everyone is in metal work mode. Nina’s metal necklace looks a LOT like the one she did the first week when she won. Deigo’s earrings are huge! They look painful! The model’s earlobes are stretching, but she refuses to complain.

Onto the runway!

Of course this week, Lifetime made sure to have the full runway photos this week. Wouldn’t want to piss off Kenneth.

Rich: His clutch is great. His necklace is subtle. I love his accessories. He calls them “shrapnel.” Cole loves the clutch, but complains since it’s a flat piece, it’s really not functional. The guest judge loves his jewelry, calling it “dangerous and dark.” Ariel wishes the clutch wasn’t black with a black outfit. This feels knit-picky, since Rich is far from the only one who did it, though I’m not really going to argue with the correctness of the note. I think Rich’s purse might have felt more of a piece with his metal work if his purse had been a metallic color. Maybe the silver interior lining should have been the outside and vice-versa? Just a thought. The consensus is the jewelry is very Rich, but, as the guest judge puts it, the bag is almost apologetic in how polite it is. Well, honey, if you saw how the last one turned out, you’d understand why he was apologizing.

Christina: Subtle, yet stunning. Her clutch imitates an envelope, very playful. I like the elastic closing. But her earrings really show her metal work shortcomings. Also, she did the bare minimum, two pieces, whereas everyone else (except Brian) did at least three, if not four. Molly calls the purse “rich looking.” Cole doesn’t have anything bad to say, but he doesn’t wax enthusiastic either. The earrings are declared “not interesting” by Ariel, who thinks they came up short.

Nina: The necklace is great, but the purse has these weird straps on the front and in the back that makes it so you can wear it on your arm. Interesting, but not sexy, and they don’t look like they belong on the purse. They look very “afterthought-y.” Not arguing with the concept, which is actually pretty good, just the execution. The female judges are big fans of the clutch handles. Ariel loves the idea of the necklace, but thinks the handles on the clutch are a miss because they are ugly. Exactly. Cole LOVES the necklace. He can really see her stuff in his store, but he decides she gets second place. I blame the clutch handles.

Brian: The purse is just weird. It looks like something Betty Rubble or Wilma Flintstone would be sporting as the height of Bedrock fashion. The necklace is rope. Nope, don’t get it. I think it looks like she’s wearing a noose. The judges love it. Love IT. Cole loves the bag, but calls it “primitive rather than modern.” At least that we agree on. He loves the rope necklace too.  Molly thinks the bag looks more like artwork than a bag. Ok, I can see why they like it in that sense, I just don’t think it goes with this outfit at all. Like, At All. It’s too much, too big a statement. It’s skin and horn. Who the hell carries skin and horn to a holiday party? And I hate the rope necklace. Hate. If you want to commit suicide, don’t wear it as a fashion statement. But the judges (well, Cole, really) give him the win.

Bottom Two:

Deigo: Love the bag, but it doesn’t go with the dress. The earrings look painful, even from a runway distance. The belt is the only thing he made today that works. Ariel is really disappointed. The purse doesn’t work with the dress. Cole has a bad reaction to the purse, saying that it’s generic, and that it looks like it could come from anyone’s line, except his. Molly and the guest judge agree they love the work on the earrings (“chandelearrings”), but the painfulness of the model’s earlobes is screaming at them. They agree that Deigo just missed the mark this week. But seriously? Let’s not even pretend this isn’t the most lopsided bottom two so far, because he’s paired up against Adrian. At least Deigo’s stuff is well made.

Adrian: His stuff just doesn’t look good, even from a runway distance. Everything has an unfinished air to it, like’s it’s cheap and ill-made. The ring is ugly, the cuff is atrocious, and the bag is just blah. Cole again says the bag isn’t really functional. But what he really hates is the blinged out cuff. The guest judge hates the snake chain. Molly calls it “so two years ago.” Ariel points out how unfinished things look, saying it looks less like accessories, and more like project work. The longer they look at it, the more flimsy they realise it is. There’s no question which one of these two is going home.

Adrian says he’s kinda glad it’s over. I’m just sorry we never saw him make any fabulous church hats. I feel robbed of fabulous hattery.

Next week is a double elimination to get us down to the final three! My money’s on Christina and Brian definitely in, with Nina and Deigo fighting for the last slot. Not that I don’t love Rich’s stuff, but unless he really brings his metal work, I just don’t see him being able to overcome those guys.


One thought

  1. I disagree about Christina’s stuff. I realize the envelope shape is intricate, but I hated the colors, found the bag overall boring, and the elastic closure looked to me as if the real thing broke off and you had to scrounge the house for a hair tie. Her earrings were equally boring and looked like a recycled idea she’s already sent down the runway.

    Whereas because I love love LOVE Nina’s necklace so much I don’t mind that she’s basically shown it once before.

    I found that I liked Brian’s bolo tie — didn’t look noose-y to me, though I see your point. The bag was a wtf. I like the unicorn horn shape in and of itself, but altogether as one the bag is definitely out of Bedrock and not in a way that works. I kept wondering how the hell you get into it. Does the horn unsnap or slide out? It just looked weird.

    I lurved Rich’s stuff. I would wear all of it. It’s a shame he definitely won’t make it to the finals. But, I will be looking for his web site and hoping I can afford any accessories…


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