Under the Gunn, aka UTG, is here for another week, a new slate of designers, and a new challenge. So last week 8 designers were up and only one went home, leaving for this week’s group, 2 of 7 going home. At this point, for this week’s challenge then, I’m sure the pressure was amplified. But I think with that in mind, the challenge operated with a bit more freedom this week, less limitations.
Last week, the designers had only 6 fabrics to work with, none of their choosing, and definitely some pretty unique fabrics — a horse print, red/black flannel, etc. This week though, as Mood exploded onto FIDM’s lawn, the designers had a lot larger of a selection. There was one drawback though — they only had 30 seconds to grab what they could. The rest of this week’s challenge operated pretty much in the same fashion as last week — each designer needed to show their point of view as a designer and only had 6 hours to do so. It was the same thrive or fail/make it work challenge.
So as this week’s work process began in the very spacious FIDM workroom and with the mentors right outside discussing portfolios we saw/learned a few things. Mondo knows one of the designers, Stephanie, so we were left to see how that would impact his selection decisions. Designer Rey started off with a great deal of chatter. And then with Isabelle, we saw her quickly make her way into the Brother sewing room, but I’m sure as we know from later on, obviously that was no indicator of her speed or time management!
It was then time for the mentors to come around to check each designers progress. This week’s Brady, or the one each mentor seemed to want was Sam. The mentors were eager to see how menswear designer Nicholas would translate his work to womenswear. We saw that Amy sure grabbed a buttload of fabrics, but was able to weed out the losers of the bunch. Isabelle started showcasing her wacky side, which would be fine if it just stayed in the cute-wacky zone, but again, as we see later, it doesn’t! Asha picked out a stunning ombre burgundy/red fabric and so the mentors were eager to see how she would utilize it. With Rey, the mentor’s concern was perhaps overdesign. And then finally, with Stephanie, the mentors wanted to make sure she pushed herself and didn’t play it safe.
So two quick vent points before getting to the runway and mentor selections and first up, is Isabelle’s complete disrespect for the timing process. There can be no doubt in PR history that when they give a time limit, the designers must adhere to it. We’ve seen Tim have to push a designer along right at the end, maybe repeat himself a few times, but literally going into the sewing room, giving several firm orders to stop, and having to pull the model away, I’m sorry, but that was just ridiculous. It would be one thing if Isabelle only does this once, but from future scenes we see that she does this again. And I’m sorry, I don’t care how great her work ends up being, I’m not rooting for a rule breaker! It’s unfair and very disrespectful to this entire process for her to blatantly disregard the rules & time parameters. She can’t raise a language barrier issue, pretend to be that oblivious or even that wacky. And then oh, we can’t forget she was still trying to mess with her dress in the hallway, she was swatted away, and then did she really jump up & down in a hissy like a 5 year old, SO OVER IT!
My other quick vent point is about mentor Nick and I just felt so bad for him this week. I thought he was being so involved each week, mentoring all of the designers, even though there were no teams yet. I hate that he had such a hard time being picked and for the 4 he ended up with, I think they are going to be in great hands. I have a lot of respect for Mondo as well, but I don’t think all of the best pairings were made between these 2 weeks. And just with Nick specifically, I think they were forgetting his impressive resume, the fact he teaches at FIDM, and he just has more experience. This makes me wonder how this will impact the ones I think made the wrong decisions, or how their mentor will actually mentor them and help them grow. But nonetheless, I’m anxious to see!
It’s now runway time and really I was overall unimpressed this week. I’m not sure why the designers thought this was the overall stronger group. I believe they were at a far better creation advantage since they had so many more fabric choices to work with. So here is the runway breakdown based on the mentor selections.
Nick chose 1st this week and right along with Anya & Mondo, Sam was 1st selected. I loved Sam’s oversized sweater, but I wasn’t a big fan of it’s pairing with his skirt. I think for me, his pieces would work better as separates, but he definitely has the goods. I think Nick might have worked well with Sam, but I don’t doubt Mondo’s capability here so I’m excited to see how these 2 work together.
Anya was up next and surprisingly chose Nicholas. Again, he was surprisingly wanted by all 3 although I’m not sure why. Nicholas’s tunic was just so boring!! I think when we get back to one larger group, if he doesn’t step it up in a major way, he will not last long! None of the mentors really work with menswear so I’m not sure who would be best to help Nicholas translate to designing for women, but I guess we shall see how Anya measures up!
Anya’s team was now full and Mondo only had 1 spot to fill so he allowed Nick to go again as he still needed 2 designers. I feel so bad and I’m just going to say it that he got stuck with Isabelle. And this is the sad thing, her black dress was not bad. There was a great shimmer detail to the fabric and the back was just stunning. Two designers played with shape to the skirt and Isabelle did that far better than the other. But again, she seems really difficult to work with and doesn’t seem to want to adhere to the time parameters. I just hope she doesn’t drive Nick bonkers!
Mondo really let Nick go as he wasn’t sure how to decide between I think he said 2 designers and he said Nick’s decision didn’t help. So we were left to watch him contemplate and he ended up choosing Asha. I’m surprised he didn’t choose Stephanie since they kind of already knew each other. And again, this group to me, on the whole, was not impressive. Asha’s burgundy ombre look caught my eye, but not in a good way. She had a great fabric and really could have knocked this out of the park, but I surprisingly agreed with Anya — this look just showed too much skin.
So we were down to 3 designers — Stephanie, Amy, & Rey. And poor Nick had to make one final decision, leaving 2 to go home. I thought this was an easy decision though and I would have selected Amy. I had her in my intro piece as an early fave. Her portfolio was so fun and modern. I was very surprised that someone a little older could really design with such a fresh and youthful take. And her dress this week, it was fun, had great details, and her open-back was done beautifully. Maybe the print was a little safe, but I think she made it work. I also think she could have worked well with Nick.
But he chose Stephanie. I won’t say this made no sense, but I was not impressed by her grey dress this week. It looked lop-sided and everything else just felt so safe and not unique. Everything about the dress, the cut-outs and all, just seemed to be something I’ve seen. However, she is with Nick and in good hands, so hopefully he can help her to amp up her designs.
This leaves Rey also left, going home. He seems like a nice guy, but I too wasn’t a fan of this look. His printed pants did have a great fit, but the blazer was just all wrong for me. It was way too slouchy and I thought the V-neck was a bit too deep. And even though the pants had a great fit, I really didn’t respond that well to the print. It kind of looked like tree branches. I think he should have gone with a solid color since his blazer had so much going on.
And let’s give a quick shoutout to the wonderful job by the various styling and accessories sponsors here:
- Benefit Cosmetics — so many models had such clean, fresh looks; the smoky eye on Asha & Isabelle’s model — to die for!
- Blowpro — great job with the structured ponytail for Amy’s model
- Francesca’s — so many great black booties, sunglasses; dying over the heels for Amy’s model; & glad something for Nicholas’s look standout and that was the black clutch!
Can’t wait for next week!! Until then…..