The designers are understandably anxious; Carol Hannah describes their situation as like running off a collapsing bridge in a disaster movie. Gordana is delighted to find that her dress fits her model perfectly. She also thinks it fits the challenge’s parameters. Christopher believes his dress shows his pretty/dirty design aesthetic. Irina informs us Christopher is very confident, but it’s a false confidence, because he can’t see anything outside of what he’s doing. True, unfortunately. Like the equally delusional Logan, he doesn’t seem able to truly judge his own work.
At the runway, Heidi tells the designers there will be a double elimination tonight. After the last couple of seasons, I’m taking that with several grains of salt. In the fourth season, the judges couldn’t decide between Chris and Rami, and thus had both of them making collections for Fashion Week. Only after having both men show their strongest three looks did the judges decide to send Rami on to Fashion Week. Last season was even worse: The judges had everybody make collections– including that night’s winner, Jerrell. Only after examining said collections did the judges choose a Final Three, which didn’t include Jerrell.
The judges tonight are Nina Garcia, designer Cynthia Rowley, who is subbing for Michael Kors, and Cindy Crawford as the guest judge.
Althea is up first, and she sends down a gold dress that has a short, elaborately pleated skirt. The shirt, though, is a simple, flowy tank top.
Carol Hannah made a champagne gown with some braided trim over the shoulder. It’s lovely, but it doesn’t bear much resemblance to the bed that inspired it.
Christopher made a grey dress with green undertones. The top is sleeveless and has a high neck, and there’s a corset about the waist. The long skirt is a problem, as it’s made of some stiff, heavy fabric that barely seems to move with the model.
Gordana has made a two-toned, white and grey gown. It’s strapless and made of layers of silk organza.
Irina sends down a short, flowing, mint green dress with long sleeves.
The judges start with Althea. Cindy tells her she’s “brave” for attempting all that pleating, but points out that that kind of dress is hard to wear. Cynthia comments that the skirt is overworked, while the shirt is underworked. Nina agrees that Althea didn’t spend enough time on the shirt, presumably because she spent too much time working on the skirt. Heidi calls the look a “messfest.”
The judges like the back of Irina’s dress, but Nina thinks the length is “too old lady.” Cindy dislikes the accompanying styling and points out that a diaphanous dress shouldn’t be accompanied by heavy shoes and a heavy headband. When the model takes off the offending items, the judges call it an improvement. Cynthia likes the color.
Gordana apparently hit a homerun in terms of showing the connection between her dress and her inspiration, as Heidi says she can really see the connection between the two. Nina thinks the dress is well-made, but questions whether Gordana can let herself go as a designer. She thinks the dress is “safe.” Cindy says she would wear it, but Cynthia dislikes the zipper in the back.
The judges all like Carol Hannah’s dress; Cynthia really likes the braiding on the shoulder. But, nobody can see the connection between the dress and the bed, and Nina calls it “safe perfection.”
The judges like the top of Christopher’s dress, but that’s about it. Both Cindy and Cynthia thinks the skirt’s fabric is too heavy and stiff. Heidi asks Christopher if he’s confident in his look. He breaks down crying and tells her that his gift is the ability to see beauty in the unusual or unexpected. He drew his inspiration from an algae-covered rock, while his competitors all chose works of art.
The judges then ask each designer why they should go to Fashion Week and which two designers should accompany them. Gordana tells the judges she grew up dyeing onion cloth in Europe and that she has never had the resources, but that if she did, she could make something great. She thinks Christopher and Irina should go with her as they both want it so much.
Althea tells the judges that she has pushed herself and has never been in the bottom. She believes she has the skills and the vision to put together an impressive collection. She would take Irina and Carol Hannah because of their designs.
Carol Hannah taught herself to sew, but says it doesn’t matter how much training you’ve had or how much you want to go. What does matter, in her opinion, is that she makes beautiful clothes women would want to wear. She would take Christopher and Althea.