Alyssa arrives with two horrors shows at the top of the episode. One is her dress, which is a walking Target commercial. The other is the button bag. Perhaps I should have called this recap in sick after all? Perhaps, yes. But then I would have missed the parade of naked models that follow her. And by models, I don’t mean a bevy of Heidi Klum knock offs. There are all ages, sizes, genders and body types up there. It is a “real person” challenge–starring the members of a
nudist naturist club. And because it can’t just be “Put some clothes on the naked people” challenge, there’s an extra theme twist: naked people need clothes when? In winter. So it’s a “real person winter wear” challenge.
The button bag (blessed god!) is merely there for randomly assigning which designers get which models. (The buttons have the names of the models on them, so no one gets to choose, lest a certain
nudist naturist get picked last and feel bad about themselves.)
- Sam: Zen (African-American Woman of medium height)
- Valerie: Tammy (Short white girl with a punky ‘do)
- Asha; Tom (Nondescript white dude)
- Ken: Joey (Long haired white hippie dude)
- Alexander: Dakota (Androgynous looking light-skinned dude)
- Emily: Nicole (Blonde hippie chick)
- Layana: Trinity (Older blonde hippie chick)
- Mitchell: Scott (Older white nerdy dude)
- Kini: Felicity (Small ginger girl)
- Dom: Lloyd (White haired grandfather dude)
We head to the workroom, and the naturalists arrive, still sans clothes. The show makes sure to explain to us why “nudist” is not the proper term. Also the importance of maintaining eye contact in order to appear professional under these circumstances. We also learn that Zen is Dakota’s mother, which is my favorite detail of the entire session before everyone heads to Mood with a $250 budget. And of course, it’s a one day challenge.
We’ll skip over the Sam centric drama, either those sneering he shouldn’t have won last week, or him sneering at those who probably won’t outlast him. Let’s find out who Zanna thinks won’t be outlasting this week.
- Sam: He’s already been melting down when he’s not spitting one liners, and his rather hideous plaid is all the worse for it. Zanna is amused.
- Emily: All her fabrics are the same shade of blue as her hair. This is not the worst thing in the world.
- Dom: Blanket couture. Zanna says to make it more military, since her model is a vet.
- Kini: I know his model was naked, but that doesn’t mean he had to make her an entire wardrobe in one sitting, did it? The “layered look” does not mean wearing an entire closet of clothes.
- Asha: Zanna looks horrified at the difficult fabric Asha bought, which the mentor clearly judges to be above the girl’s skill set.
- Alexander: Zanna manages to sneer that it’s costume without rolling her eyes, but it’s a near thing.
- Layana: Zanna tries to explain slowly and loudly the purpose of a winter coat, as if to a child.
- Valerie: Blanket Couture, take 2. Zanna looks wide-eyed at the sheer amount of underprints involved.
- Ken: His male model wanted something feminine. Zanna can’t wrap her head around that in the slightest, even as she pretends she’s all for it.
- Mitchell: He’s been saying over and over that’s he’s from South Florida and never seen snow. That’s not an excuse for basic though. Also, these are clothes, not bread and butter.
Zanna feels the need to name drop the branded accessory walls before leaving, which suggests the show is not pleased with the name drop count by the contestants.
The naturist return, now in underwear, since foundation garments are essential for normal bodies to look good in clothes. Sam’s model *hates* his coat, leaving him desperately begging for fabric scraps to try to make another one, or at least a less hideous one.
Day of runway and in between the catty comments, Sam’s continuing meltdown, and everyone else’s shock at the coat Mitchell magically pulled out of thin air, we sit through commercials for the hair and make up suppliers, plus more reminders of the split sponsors for the accessory walls.
Let’s head to the runway and see who the judges will be tossing out like last winter’s fads.
Poor Alyssa is dressed in Paula Abdul’s old awards show outfit from 1991. Georgina Chapman has now shown up for work for an entire month. I wonder if there’s a sticker chart we can reward her with? Oh, no, they managed to score a real guest judge for once: fashion designer Naeem Khan, whose designs are more respected and worn by better people than Marchesa’s are. No wonder she felt the need to show up. Isaac Mizrahi doesn’t have anything better to do that show up for this gig anyhow. There are two guest judges this week, for the record, Khan, plus a back choice in case he decided to change his mind last-minute, fashion blogger Aimee Song. (No relation to River Song.)
There’s a cute but effective camera trick at the top of each design, where the models come out naked at first, and then the show cuts to them standing in the same place, but now dressed.
Asha: Basic with a cowl
Layana: Maternity Grey Clown Onesie. How is this not in the bottom?
Alexander: Surprisingly toned down does not automatically equal the top.
Ken: Dude, how is this not in the top? It’s the most fashion forward thing on the runway, and even more importantly, it’s the smartest styling job of anyone. Robbed.
Kini: This is one of those cases where I love every piece and hate them all together in the same outfit. Georgina calls him out for the coat not fitting Everyone agrees the outfit is better without the coat, though everyone likes the coat (except Isaac) as its own item.
Mitchell: He won’t win for it, but for once Mitchell stopped what he was doing and made an outfit that proved he belonged here the whole time. Brava. The judges are so proud he pulled one off before they get rid of him in the next couple of weeks.
Dom: Major points for Lloyd working that runway. Otherwise I think this would have been mushy middle at best. But it’s on trend with the military look, and he sold it. Khan calls this a great idea.
Emily: I really love the fabric, as well as the cut. This is super stylish, and cute as hell. Perhaps one of my favorite things I’ve seen from Emily so far. Yeah the cape thing is a little much, but it’s on trend. And the idea of the California winter giving a reason to show skin was so smart. Khan has critiques about how to take it over the top properly. I’m so pleased this one won. For once, I have no quibbles.
Valerie: So here’s the thing: the girl literally asked for a blanket coat. And that’s what Valerie gave her. the problem is that that’s what Valerie gave her. From the front it’s not the worst, just a little stuffy and dull. But from the side? Wow that’s bad. Like Hunchback of New York Fashion Bad. The fact that the model loves it though sways the judges to not send Valerie home.
Sam: I suppose the best thing that can be said for it is that Sam was smart enough to cut the coat so that he didn’t totally embarrass himself in front of Naeem Khan. Instead he just looked like he did less work than everyone else, and came off as someone who might not be quite ready for the competition. Khan looks sad Sam doesn’t know how to properly make a circle skirt.
The other designers were *clearly* counting on this as being the thing that gets rid of Sam. So when the judges decide that they’re not sending anyone home (since Sam’s one liners are too important and Valerie really better than what was requested of her), there is a minor meltdown in the green room from the Queens of the Dramatic We Hate Sam Club. Sorry guys. Better luck next time.