21 September 2013

PR12E10 Supermakeovers

Ah, the superfan challenge, where the designers get to see if they can actually make clothes for real women with real women sizes. The superfans themselves are thrilled, snapping photos of Tim on the steps of Parson’s as they drive up on the double-decker tourist bus, and bubbling through their tour of the place, including mock runway walks. The designers are trying very hard not to show their disappointment and fear of sewing for real-sized women. Kates feigns excitement for the challenge, while Ken is at least honest about his fear.
They get matched with their superfans. Helen crows that everyone is jealous of hers because she is the perfect makeover opportunity (kind of a backhand compliment if I’ve ever heard one). Bradon worries that his is already too pretty, so he might be at a disadvantage. Not to worry Bradon: she is looking for that New York edge that will make her look like she “could cut a bitch.” The superfans are thrilled to be going with them to Mood!

Makeover means big hairstyle changes, so l’Oréal really gets its chance to hawk its wares. Every line of theirs is highlighted and pronounced to be the perfect thing for the dreadful hair problems of the various superfans. Then there’s that lovely moment when Helen’s model gets asked if she’s been cutting her own bangs. We know the answer is yes before she says it.

Let’s introduce the drama in the episode where you want things to go smoothly, like when you have guests over. Bradon and Alexander are to move in with Justin and Ken. They pack up and head over, knocking and opening the door, only to find Ken blocking the hallway with his ironing. He refuses to move…after all, it is very important that his raggy jean cut-offs be properly ironed! Alexander finally pushes the ironing board out of the way, slaps the iron to the ground and swoops in with his giant suitcase. In his own words: “I can throw drama too, honey.”

Ken’s mother would probably recognize that “other person” who then emerges, just like the rest of us do. Big old tantrum, and Bradon and Alexander beat a hasty retreat to their old room and lock the door. Group meeting time the next day! First, Tim talks to a post-tantrum contrite-ish Ken and they meet the whole group. Time characterizes both Ken’s and Alexander’s behaviour as unacceptable (they agree) and announces that Justin, Bradon and Alexander will be sharing and Ken will be off on his own to avoid conflict. Alexandria opines that they have to leave the drama behind, because they owe the superfans an excellent experience. We all cry…okay we don’t. The workroom is subdued and tense.

Tim comes for the check-in. He does the usual encouraging some of them, making helpful suggestions to others, and then terrorizing others with consternated pauses or remarks about to accommodate women who are not model-sized (Tim knows these women because he sees them every year for a couple of days). Tim agrees that Bradon will be challenged by his woman’s already-good-looks and that Helen’s is a wallflower hiding a bombshell. When the superfans come in gushing over their new hairstyles, some fittings go better than others. The designers hope that the judges won’t be mean to the fans.

A few comments on their own and others’ looks:
  • Ken calls his own a “couch dress”
  • Helen thinks Justin’s look is “so Vogue, it’s really triumphant.”
  • Ken, again, thinks that even though his fan is overjoyed the judges will rip him apart because the dress is simple and the colour is hideous (fan picked it).
  • Bradon is relieved to assign the bottom spots to Alexandria and Ken. Maybe Alexander, too, if he doesn’t finish.
  • Ken hopes Alexander doesn’t finish so he might be safe himself.
It seems to be Nina’s week off. Zac is there, but Marie Claire is represented by Senior Fashion Editor Zanna Roberts Rassi and the other guest judge is designer Erin Fetherston. The deisgners’ own comments are somewhat less colourful this time around as their looks walk down the runway, probably a symptom of their post-dramatic stress disorder:
  • Justin’s fan’s signature makes his dress.
  • Bradon has produced “wearable pieces, yet with refined and embellished edge.”
  • Alexander thinks his fan is owning the runway, but knows he has sent an unfinished garment out, and that’s a big no-no.
  • Dom is happy to see her fan look so pretty (yawn).
  • Kate thinks her fan Alta is “stomping it out better than any of the models” and Helen leans over to add “That top is sick.”
  • Ken is glad his fan looks so happy, but he still thinks his dress looks like a couch from the seventies (was that a bad decade for couches?)
  • Alexandria enthuses that her design is “okay”. Control your enthusiasm, A!
  • Helen thinks her fan looks as beautiful as she wanted to feel.
  • Helen and Kate are both just happy that their fans are happy. Dom joins in on that sentiment after she and Kate are both pronounced safe.
Now to that delicate judging act: criticizing the bad looks without the fans feeling it is about their bodies!

  • Justin’s: Everyone loves the signature embroidered on it as well as his accommodation of his fan’s body changes (she has lost a lot of weight and has extra skin) and her religion (she is Mormon and want to dress modestly).
  • Alexandria’s: The looks of disappointment on the judge’s faces as she explains her look tell all. That is, until Zac shares that he wrote down “maternity librarian” on his score card. Thanks Zac!
  • Bradon’s: Zanna thinks the shiny bits on the dress look a little plastic and he might have considered doing the whole outfit in leather. Bradon defends his choice by sharing that the fan didn’t want dominatrix, whereupon Zac demonstrated his cool edginess yet again by making a whipping motion and sound. Too cool for school, Zac!
  •  Alexander’s: Zac asked if he had finished, and A fessed up. Zanna found the suit boring and then Zac demonstrated how not to give a critique with a fan in the outfit, calling it “Oompa Loompa” shaped.
  • Helen’s: All the judges gush over the makeover and agree that she wanted a red carpet dress and she got it!

  • Ken’s: Here’s where I was really proud of how Heidi demonstrated that you can compliment the fan and still criticize the dress. H said she had the most fun watching this fan walk down the runway and that in that sense Ken did a good job. In a fashion sense, however (see how she did that, Zac?), the colour was not great, the lines were somewhat unflattering where they were placed and her boobs could have been much better shown off. I’ve never liked Heidi more than I did at that moment.
Zoom in for the closer look without the designers. Helen’s remains Oscar-worthy, Time loves the shiny pop on Bradon’s and Justin won points not only for his clever embroidered signature, but also for his seaming detail. For the bottom three, Zac thinks Alexandria’s looks “off the rack” and Heidi says there is “not much fashion” in Ken’s dress. Ken’s model pipes up to defend him on the fit (didn’t want to make a sausage casing and make her feel uncomfortable) and Zanna assures her that she is better than the dress. Finally, Heidi appreciates Alexander’s unfinished look for the shape and the amount of skin revealed, but balks at the flap of fabric on the shoulder.

Helen wins (that should help with her self-esteem problems…oh, that’s not her). Justin and Bradon are in, as is Alexandria. When they pronounce Alexander in, his reaction says it all: “Wow. Thank you.”

So Ken is out. He is still calm, reassures himself that it is a major accomplishment that a self-taught designer such as he could make it this far (true dat) and sharing how intimidated he was at the beginning of the competition. If it weren’t for his mother’s asking about the “other Ken” last week, we might have put his atrocious behaviour down to that, but no. He fake hugs everyone and expresses his “love” of them and then a little flair (not a flare) on the way out: a snap to mark his exit. Now who will bring the drama?

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