Friday, March 19, 2010

It Takes Two, Baby

As we begin tonight's episode, Amy feels lost and Mila similarly needs to find herself again. Maya is frustrated that she hasn't yet won a challenge. I feel that.

Heidi tells the designers that she wishes to put them in "A New York state of mind". Designing a concert look for Billy Joel? No, they meet with Tim (and makeup guy, Collier, who we will now promptly ignore) who tells them that the "City is the point of departure for your designs". They will be sent to 4 distinct NY neighborhoods and challenged to create looks inspired by the spirit, people and architecture of those 'hoods. Emilio, the snarky New Yorker, tells us he wants to win one for "his people" but when Tim reveals that they will be working in teams he prays to the little baby Jesus that he won't be paired with Mila. (What? Mila herself told us a few weeks ago that everyone loves her). Team captains are picked then the teams are formed. Anthony chooses Maya, Amy picks Jonathan. Emilio, very happily, selects Seth Aaron which leaves Jay no choice but to be paired with Mila. (They both say "Oh, s!*t"). No love lost there. They will have 30 minutes to explore and sketch.

Emilio and Seth Aaron go to Harlem, a neighborhood full of ""churches, soul food and chicken joints". It is also full of denim and the boys know that will be a signature for them. In Chinatown, Anthony and Maya are impressed by the structure, all the red and gold and the liveliness of the narrow streets. Anthony is freaked out by the ducks hanging in a restaurant window. (He later tells us, "We don't do that in Georgia,").

On the Upper East side, Amy and Jonathan note the "high end, luxury" feel of the place and remark that it is grey and static, with "almost no movement". Wrought iron designs inspire the evening look. Jay and Mila go to the East Village, which is "rock 'n roll" and "gritty". They are inspired by graffiti and the industrial feel. They both try to be professionals, given their deep and abiding loathing of each other, and Mila is frustrated that she can't read Jay's vision.

After a trip to Mood Tim tells them "The creme de la creme is here - make no assumptions that the team leader will go home".

Anthony grows tense about Maya's strength of character and commitment to her artistic vision. Emilio worries about controlling Seth Aaron, who rarely sketches and seems all over the map. Jay and Mila intently focus on not focusing on their mutual hatred and Jay is afraid that both he and Amy are so detail oriented and ambitious that they will fail to finish.

Tim's Walk Around
He likes what Emilio and Seth Aaron are doing but suggests to Maya and Anthony that one of their colors is weak and should be discarded. (They listen). Jay is working on a pant that has a jodphurs feel to it and Tim suggests they will have "Heidi and Nina saying, 'What woman wants more fullness there?'". Jay insists it won't be that bad. Mila is working on a dress and jacket. Tim asks if they've determined the neckline and silhouette of same and she says, with a cold look toward Jay, "We're still debating that". Tim sternly says, "Someone is going home".

"Don't look at me!" says Jay.
"I'm not looking at any of you," says Tim.
"That was abrupt," says The Neighbor.

Tim also cautions Jonathan and Amy about being at risk of "overdesigning"....a point they are all too concerned about themselves.

There are fittings, Emilio is getting entirely too much pleasure out of the Jay/Mila drama and we suddenly want them to win just to piss him off. Jonathan surveys the amount of work he and Amy have to do and declares their team "f*$#ed". (Jonathan, we note, is a drama queen. Every challenge ends up being called "the most horrendous experience of my life").

Tim returns before the runway to urge the designers to "style those looks so they are each "wow" moments and has to call Jonathan and Amy more than once to get them to put down their needles and come along.

Filling in for Kors this week is Francisco Costa from Calvin Klein. He joins Nina and guest judge, Molly Sims.

The Runway

Anthony's day look is very cute and Maya's gown has an amazing origami-like detail but we think it should have had more red.

Jay's tank top is, in his own words, "problematic" and the pants are just awful. Mila's evening look is very severe and, in our view, unattractive.

Amy made a pretty, flowing top in an unfortunate color and Jonathan's evening gown has some beautiful cutout work but hangs a little heavily at the skirt.

Emilio & Seth Aaron present a very cute denim day look, very Flygirl, and a zippered gown which does not evoke, to me anyway, the Cotton Club vibe that inspired it. Plus it is entirely too stiff.

The Judging

Heidi is in love with both Emilio and Seth Aaron's pieces. Francisco says that he first questioned the gown, thinking it could be sexier. Nina said Emilio was very smart to use prints and vivid accessories to lighten the looks but thinks the looks could have benefitted from a little less detail detail (read, zippers). Molly, on the other hand, loves the zippers.

Nina remarks that Anthony and Maya clearly had a really great collaboration. She likes the subtlety of their looks, how they clearly reference Chinatown without being too literal although she wishes there'd been "more color" in the detail of Maya's gown. Francisco adds that the looks are "very urban and well made".

Heidi asks Jonathan and Amy how they liked working together and Jonathan coos that he "loved working with Amy". That's the good news. Neither Nina or Molly found the day look to be "polished". Heidi flat out called it "an eyesore". Francisco notes that the evening look is "more successful" but Nina thinks that the side panels make it look "too heavy and cheap".

As for Jay and Mila, Nina loves the "fantastic styling" of the night-time look but is "very disappointed" with the day look. Heidi says, "Her boobs are floating around in there" and Nina sniffs that the pants "weren't successful". Molly says the "tank tanked" but Francisco likes the 'synergy". (Which must mean he likes boobs floating around in there). When given the opportunity to throw each other under the bus, Jay notes only that they "worked professionally" together. Very politic. But then, since they like Mila's look and not his, he pretty much had to do that.

Both The Neighbor and I, sadly, pick Amy to be out. I pick Maya for the win and The Neighbor thinks it will be Seth Aaron. But no, it is Emilio for the win. Oh. Wait. And Seth Aaron, too! Another PR first! The judges appreciated the maturity of the designs and how well the designers worked together. And little Amy is "auf" for a look that was "from cut to color a bad retro idea". Amy was accused of "getting lost in the concept without executing it well".

Backstage, as Jonathan weeps, Tim holds Amy by the shoulders, looks right into her little pierced face and "you are an incredibly talented designer".

And she is. She tells us that she wants to stay true to herself and not be afraid to try something. She took risks. Unfortunately, she took too many in too many consecutive episodes.



Blogger Cliff O'Neill opined...

I can say that, without question, not having Michael and Nina together for one episode made that the most horrendous experience of my life.

March 20, 2010 5:24 PM  
Blogger Anne opined...

I still get a kick out of anthony's comments on his new found city life.

March 22, 2010 7:14 AM  

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