Well, we knew it was going to happen eventually. Not the perennial “retail” challenge (although we did know that was going to happen eventually too); it’s the team format. We knew it was eventually going to yield fucked up results like last night.
We admit, the team concept worked quite a bit better than we ever expected it to. That may have been due to the relatively low key personalities in this group, the early reliance on somewhat large teams, the way the show mixed the teams up regularly so nobody got complacent, or maybe a combination of all that and other factors. For whatever reasons, we didn’t mind it in the first half of the competition.
But two somewhat unpleasant things unfolded that were directly a result of the team concept. One, everyone finally snapped under the pressure of constantly having to work with new people, and two, the judging produced a completely fucked up result because the worst dress and the best dress were from the same team.
Congrats to Michelle! The window version looked like crap last night, but the above L&T shot makes it seems like they did very little to change the basic design. This was head and shoulders above anything else on that runway. A beautiful shape, unexpected color, and lots of different textures and details to keep it all interesting.
Daniel, on the other hand, produced something for the sassy choir director in 1987. Hideous, style-less and badly made. He also finally proved our early suspicions of him correct. Not just a drama queen and a bit of a phony, but something of an emotional mess. Honestly, him weeping over that shitty Joan Collins jacket may just be one of the most ridiculous moments in the history of the show. When you’ve outdone Andrae on the weepy histrionics front, you’ve really made your mark. Between the awful dress and the even more awful behavior, he absolutely should have gone home. The irony of it all is, his ass was saved by the very person he flipped out on.
We’re queens enough to admit that Patricia still manages to surprise, in a good way. That top is lovely, although probably too complicated for manufacturing at that price point. We can’t really get behind the pants at all, either in shape or color.
BUT. She still bugs the shit out of us. Enough with the fucking crazy eyes and the passive-aggression. It’s like she refuses to react or relate to absolutely anything around her. Stanley got really pissy and domineering over her, but he had something of a good reason, since he knew her instincts were going to get her auf’d in a challenge like this. He got way too mansplain-y with her and he really should have backed down, but he was right in the end. But all she needed to do was whirl around once and say “WOULD YOU BACK OFF?” Instead she made crazy eyes and nodded her head while she told the camera in a monotone how annoyed she was. Ugh.
We don’t know what happened to Stanley this week. Both his personality and his design instincts were off. We can look at this dress and see the technical details; the lovely shape and seaming. It really is a very nicely made dress. But he was delusional if he thought this was going to wow the judges in a design competition. We realize Lord & Taylor’s clothes are pretty much the definition of “department store clothes” but a lot of the designers really dulled down their work this week.
Layana didn’t, and it’s to her credit. We didn’t love this, however. The waistband is heavy and awkward. We like the leather around the neckline, though. And it’s a pretty enough shape. We agreed with the judges that the print was fairly hideous. It seems everyone translated “be inspired by the L&T rose” into “pink,” which is pretty disappointing. We don’t think it’s a coincidence that the only garment without any pink in it was the one that won.
Richard is nuts. There. We said it. Every designer has had to answer the judges’ question of who on their team should go home. Get the fuck over yourself that somebody mentioned you, you ridiculous drama queen. We don’t like Layana much either, but JESUS. The middle-school silent treatment was EMBARRASSING.
And stop saying “It’s everything!” You sound like a 16-year-old in 1995.
Also: your dress looks like a bathing suit.
And so it’s Auf Wiedersehen to Samantha, because the worst dress was on the winning team and someone on your team needed to go, hon. Since you were quiet and professional and tried to smooth things over, you get to go home so the two annoying children can stay and hiss at each other.
Granted, this dress is not that great. Overdesigned and too youthful. We realize L&T wants a younger client, but we’re pretty sure most 9-year-olds don’t have $250 for a dress.
Loved Rachel Roy for sticking up for more brown girls in fashion, though. You could tell she was getting heated.
[Photo Credit: Barbara Nikte for Lifetime, lordandtaylor.com - Stills: tomandlorenzo.com]