Episode 3 opens with Erin, Sarah, and Kimber discussing the difficulties of being a judge and how it feels to be safe, top, and bottom, so I’m immediately wondering what is going to happen with these three during this episode. And then the show gets right down to business: the designers hit the runway and Heidi and Tim, literally glowing under blacklights, walk out to announce the challenge: create a versatile look that can go from daylight to blacklight, the blacklight transforming the piece. As soon as the challenge was announced, I couldn’t help but roll my eyes in expectation of a Jem and the Holograms 80’s glow party…though I’m excited to see what the designers put out (as always), I cannot say I’m excited about this challenge. I mean, blacklights remind me of my 8th grade Halloween dance. Just sayin’. Anyways, the winner will appear in a Transitions Lenses sponsored spread in Marie Claire. As with episode 2, this bounty ups the stakes exponentially. The designers sketch, they grab their U/V flashlights, and head to Mood!
Back in the workroom it’s work, work, work. But what’s been awesome is that there is time for cordialities: Alex is such a sweetheart! Throughout the season thus far he has been such a measured and fair competitor as well as nice. Maybe it’s my good ‘ol Midwestern values, but I’m really just loving how kind he’s been. (I hate putting something like this out there because it seems unfair to the other designers who are also nice, but he has been stand-out, but this is also the editing process…)
The workroom is REALLY quiet when “Bossman” comes in for critiques. They are hit or miss: some designers are on the right track, others get one of Tim’s pensive looks, a few are gushed over. As usual, though, Tim’s comments are spot on, and a majority of the designers take his advice. Even after giving Tim “that ‘I’ve just had a bad piece of seafood’ look again.” More of the designers seem to be struggling, and we see more than one designer scrap an entire look.
There are quite a few “make it work” moments happening, and Jenni and Mah-Jing really struggle. They both have my utmost respect for battling through and keeping their composure.
Alex: I was not impressed and I was not revolted. It was ok. The placement of the colors for the daytime look was very smart, but it would have been interesting to see them inverted because it might have given the blacklight transformation a little more pizzazz. The yellow shoes were a cool contrast and gave the look a little more excitement. However, this dress felt very Barbie, 1980s.
Roberi: I really liked this. A LOT. The glowing frays move in a contrasting color and the daytime is not neon. It felt a bit like an anemone, and really, truly beautiful. This dress felt the most wearable, but that’s what put it in the middle. It needed just a little something more to bump it to the top, which was also the problem last challenge. I hope Roberi finds his way with the next challenges because he’s got a great eye.
Sarah: It was ok. The skirt was pretty cool with both the shine and the glow, but the top was too Nordstrom. Sarah’s designs are like that kid in class who does enough of the work to get by and stays under the radar…the one whose name the teacher doesn’t know because she’s unremarkable. Seth Aaron’s comment about being commercial comes to mind once more. But the skirt would be cute for a New Year’s Eve party! If the next designs to come the down the runway are not noteworthy, Sarah will be one of the next few to go home.
Laurence: Definitely sassy! I liked the shape of the top and the pointed bra underneath–which scared me a bit in the workroom–really created a beautiful form. I loved the color, but I wish there had been more of a wow factor under the blacklight. The bottoms, however, are just NO. NonononoNO. The placement of the white…so many inappropriate places my brain is going…Immunity or not, though, this piece would not have been in the bottom.
Tasha: I liked the horizontal lines on the front and the vertical lines on the back of the skirt. The top didn’t do much for me, and I am not a fan of the big safety-pin closure. This was just ok for me this week. There wasn’t enough of a transformation under the blacklight.
Brik: This is pretty cool compared to what we’ve seen. The lines give it a sculptural feel, as though it was carved out around her body, but it still feels light and soft. Anyone larger than a model would be hesitant to wear it because of the extra bulk on the sides, but it’s cool. It was nice to see Brik safe this week!
Dexter: A very cool look for a very cool girl, and I am definitely not that cool girl. I found this more appealing in the daylight; the way it glowed under the blacklight felt very Elvis in Vegas. And that means costume. And that’s not good.
Nathalia: Superhero Librarian with business in the front and alter-ego in the back. There was a clear idea and it was made well. I ask myself, “Who is wearing this and where is she going?” To work, to fight against noise pollution and assure books are in perfect Dewey Decimal order.
Mah-Jing: It was ok. Daylight reminded me of saltwater taffy and blacklight was almost ghost-like (in a Monet impressionistic sort of way). For being a second piece and having a painting issue, he made it work.
Rik: I did not like this piece at all. It was well-made, but it was a taste question for me. There was a little too much lacing and too much cheek. The top was interesting with the lacing continuous front to back and around the neck, but the material didn’t work for me. WWE Divas came to mind…
Kimber: I liked the movement of the skirt, but that was about it. Maybe if it had more of a wow-factor under the blacklights, Kimber would have stayed. Unfortunately, this look earned her the “auf.” It felt commercial and done. Kimber definitely has her aesthetic, and she stood by her look and justified her choices. It will be exciting to see what Kimber does on her own now that she’s had a PR boost. Best of luck, Kimber!
Cornelius: Daytime is ok, but what is that pop-up poofy part of the upper bust? Blacklight is cool but way too trendy for my taste and definitely “as fun and as loud as his mouth” as Alex described it. I really appreciate the structure and simplicity, and the shape of the shoulder and sleeves is fun.
Jenni: Cool idea and gorgeous handwork! I’m all about a little peak-a-boo butt cheek (we love booties and boobies in Gingerland!), but this is definitely for the younger trendsetter. This is another one that makes me wonder, “Who is wearing this and where is she going?” [Note: I sat here for quite a while trying to answer the question…gimme time, I’m trying to figure it out.] Fourth design, and she earned a top spot–THAT’S how it’s done!
Erin: I can finally say it! I’m with Erin, I am not a fan of neon–she’s right, it’s tacky. I love that this was not just white or neon colors. There is a whimsical, Alice in Wonderland-esque quality to it. Personally, I would not wear this dress, but the piece is truly lovely. I would have been better without the fluttery sleeves. The blacklight effect and all the handwork is beautiful. Erin definitely knows who she is as a designer and who the girl is that she is dressing. This week is another well-deserved win for Erin! (And I love how she is all about the sweet/slutty. And the nipples.)
Next week is swimwear. May the Fashion God bless the runway with full-coverage of all the important bits.