All On The Line S2E1: Angelo Lambrou

Posted on November 28, 2011

Better late than never, darlings! The holiday and ensuing carbfest and retail olympics have left us terribly behind on recapping this show.


Meet Angelo Lambrou, a talented designer who is something of a little lamb in the harsh world of reality television.

Which is an odd way to start off, because we generally think of this show as the antidote to harsh reality television, with much more of a focus on creativity and a willingness to let the story develop without the producers deciding the outcome. It’s just that Angelou really is a little lamb and we fear he’d find even Sesame Street to be too harsh for him.

We don’t know whether it was confusion related to the presence of the cameras or just a general, all-around sense of confusion in Angelo regarding what he was doing and why he was supposed to be doing it. He can’t be all that bad at his job (and we should add that we met him at the screening event for this season, which is making writing about him a bit difficult) because he has some decent work on his resume and occasional bursts of real design creativity. Joe’s job here was obvious: He needed to get Angelo focused both creatively and in a business sense.

We thought this dress had real potential. We laughed out loud at Joe’s description of “Tootsie Rolls.”

But this dress really stunned us. Dramatic and unique, it answered the question of why Joe was spending time working with this guy. There’s definitely something there.

Unfortunately, the bills aren’t getting paid and employees left and right are considering or in the process of jumping ship. It was a little sad because Angelo’s two assistants were genuinely sweet, devoted to the business, and yet fairly aware of where things were going wrong. They appear to have been so devoted to Angelo and so in awe of his considerable talent, that they couldn’t work up the nerve to tell him what they really think. Whatever the case, it was a fairly dysfunctional work situation involving some likable and talented people. Dr. Joe to the rescue.

First up: Angelo is ordered to create his dream bridal gown to show to bridally oriented queens Badgley & Mischka.

We have to be honest: we didn’t love this dress and we felt like everyone was being a bit on the polite side about it. The bodice was definitely gorgeous, but we didn’t like anything about the skirt; the heaviness, the shape, and the way it looks overworked.

Step 2: Force Team Angelo to watch from another room as a bunch of rich bitches tear through his clothes and point every reason why they’d never buy any of it. Their faces tell the tale here. To be fair, they seemed sincere when they said the feedback helped them. The general consensus from all the ladies was that Angelo’s work is too overworked, not very trend-oriented, and it skews somewhat (to very) older.

Step 3: Give him 3 weeks to design a mini-collection to show to the owners of edit, a very exclusive and chichi kinda place. Angelo is understandably thrilled at this opportunity. So thrilled that he buys a whole bunch of ugly fabric and makes a whole bunch of ugly clothes, with Joe coming in repeatedly to basically point at things and say “NO,” before walking out. This isn’t like Project Runway. Joe can’t go in and say “Change this collar and drop that waist and oh, the proportions concern me.” It’s not Joe’s job to make them better creatively; it’s his job to show them how to make themselves better creatively, which means he’s deliberately vague about why things don’t work. This was all a bit sad and painful to watch in a slow motion train wreck sort of way. Still, we hoped some of it was sinking in and that maybe he’d pull it together for the presentation.

He didn’t.

The top is really pretty and unique, but given all the problems of putting this collection together and arriving at the presentation space two hours late, we couldn’t help wondering if it was really supposed to look like that or if it was just unfinished. We agreed with the edit ladies that the proportions on the pants were problematic.

Again, some problematic pants and a top that looks interesting, but unfinished. Keith really liked that jacket, and we mostly agreed with him on that, but it did funny things to her shape, especially from the side.

Edit lady was spot on when she said it was two entirely different dresses stitched together. Oh, Edit lady. Haven’t you seen the red carpets lately? Frankendresses are trending. Anyway, we thought either side was potentially interesting, but that they didn’t go together. We also weren’t in love with that fabric.

How ironic is it that he’s showing this collection to the ladies who own a store called “Edit?” Could there possibly be a better example of his overwhelming need to edit than this top? That hem is just horrible-looking and the way pieces just flap around near the shoulders is comically bad.

Again, we wonder if this is just unfinished. Sure looks it.

Pretty, but nothing that jumps off a hanger and into a shopping bag without a thought.

Edit lady used the dreaded “commercial” to describe this and we have to admit, as stinging as that euphemism is (“Department store clothes,” essentially), she nailed it. Pretty, but not “exclusive boutique” pretty.

Sad to say, the Edit ladies backed quietly away and started frantically pushing the elevator button. No orders would be placed. Joe was a bit on the nonplussed side and we can’t say we blame him.

He seems very kind and creative, but he definitely blew this opportunity. There was little about him at the end that seemed any different from how he was presented in the beginning. A bit of stubbornness in this one, like a lot of creative types. It’s kind of a shame that this episode aired first in the season, because we think it was just a little on the depressing side. It would have been nice to start off with a triumph, but then again, we really appreciate the fact that the producers don’t try to craft feel-good stories out of the footage.

[Screencaps: tomandlorenzo.com]

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