I love avant garde challenges! We are down to the final five and Edmond is the last man standing; along with Ashley, Kelly, Merline and Candice. Tim Gunn introduces the next challenge as a 3-D image that will involve one of three New York bridges: Queensboro, Manhattan, or Brooklyn. Because Kelly won the last challenge, she gets to choose her bridge. Kelly chooses the Brooklyn Bridge because of her love for hip-hop-don’t know how that equates, but you go girl. The other designers a chosen from Tim’s velvet bag. Candice and Merline get Queensboro and Edmond and Ashley get Manhattan. These bridges will serve as inspiration with the new technology of 3-D printing they must incorporate into their design. This is a two-day challenge and the winner will take home their very own 3-D printer!
After working with the 3-D consultants to understand the possibilities, the designers head off to Mood. Kelly wants to do brown brick and chooses a pleather-like brown alligator material. Candice wants to focus on the triangles from the bridges for her gown and for once doesn’t want black material. She chooses red instead. Merline babbles that she wants to take the design from 2-D to 3-D with burgundy fabric. Ashley likes the curves and wires of the bridge for her androgynous design and selects royal blue. Edmond see’s x’s in the bridge and selects black fabric.
Avant garde is tricky design and that’s why I love it. It’s something that makes a huge statement without looking like a costume. It’s couture with high-end sophistication, but not something that can be worn except for a runway show or a specific event. When the computer tech person goes into the workroom, each of the designers are excited about the 3-D concepts they’ve created.
It’s time for the Tim Gunn Review! He begins with Candice who is full of inspiration because her father worked on bridges without falling off of one. Hooray for him! Tim says her red gown has an organic counterpoint to the crisp hardness that’s very, very compelling. Next up is Ashley. She was inspired to create something chic based on all of the wires holding up the bridge. Tim says her two-piece royal garment is lacking harmony. The design Edmond is creating has x’s with his last name on it for his 3-D applications. Tim is impressed with the black mesh dress that has potential to be a knockout. Merline likes the swoops she has created for her burgundy dress that transitions like a jigsaw puzzle. Tim is confused as to how Merline will chart this out and feels that her design looks like an error. Kelly explains her box-like brown-brick cable dress. Tim loves the subtle texture but he’s concerned Kelly’s on her way to over-designing.
Ever notice that Candice fancies herself as a psychologist. In her testimonials she’s always analyzing and deconstructing the other designer’s thought process and how they aren’t reaching their full potential. Worry about yourself, girl, because that’s my job to point out their weaknesses. Tim tells the designers this is the best work they’ve done all season! But of course, Ashley doesn’t hear that. Self-doubt is permeating her design once again. She’s decided her design needs a wow. She will create a poncho, and I think to myself, is that a wow? or a wow! Time will tell.
The models come in for their fitting. The designs are coming a long, but a lot of work still remains. Edmond is worried his design isn’t crazy enough. And he’s right. As of now the look is only safe. Ashley’s 3-D design has white arcs that remind me of the gadget you use to slice your hardboiled eggs. Kelly’s design is reminiscent of something Marie Antoinette would wear due to the boxed, wide hip design – which is good because her design, so far, is the most avant garde.
The following morning, Tim comes into the workroom to give the designers the rundown on when to send their models to the Mary Kay make-up studio. After last minute adjustments, it’s showtime!
Heidi introduces the challenge and says this is the first time in Project Runway history they have used the 3-D technology. She introduces the judges: Zac Posen and Nina Garcia, as usual. This week’s guest judge his Heidi’s co-judge from “America’s Got Talent” Mel B from Spice Girls. Let’s start the show.
Merline – her maroon fabric is gorgeous and sophisticated with a slight sheen. The dark gray 3-D blocks were used on the left side of the top of the dress sparingly. The skirt looks like umbrellas that are partially open.
Edmond – his mesh black dress looks like something Morticia Addams from the future would wear. The black veil is stunning. His use of 3-D black x’s on the black dress does not pop. The long dress has a sculptured bow (?) on the side.
Ashley – her entire outfit is royal blue except for the white egg-slicers on the shoulders of the cape. The formfitting pants has sheer polka-dot down the sides of the design and the crop top. This is not androgynous. The model looks like a sophisticated vampire.
Candice – her red strapless gown with black flare-outs at the bottom is spectacular. The 3-D plackets look like crystals. This could be a winner.
Kelly – her brown, brick dress design is interesting. The hips have a long, box-like shape but the actual dress is a mini. You don’t notice the 3-D applications. The “wires” that crisscross the deep plunging box neck-line and sides is couture. She could be the winner, too.
Heidi says it was a fantastic runway show but one designer will be the winner and one will be out. The models come out and stand next to their designers. Here are the top comments from the judges.
Edmond – Heidi and Mel B love and want it and want to wear his black long dress. Sexy and subtle. Smart to keep it black. The 3-D pieces do not feel incorporated. Nina expected something more innovative from him. Vavavoom.
Kelly – Mel B wasn’t sure at first, then liked it. Unusual silhouette. Needed more 3-D patterns. Something new. The wires are beautiful but wishes the crisscross extended to the back. Played with suspension and form. Can see the bridge. Told a story.
Merline – Seen it before with last year’s umbrella dress. Not as impressive as the other designs. Sculpturally a miss. Elegant and polished but not avant garde. Too safe. Judges expected more with her architectural background.
Ashley – Look has drama. Cape comes to life. Did not love the 3-D applications. Looks like two separate outfits. Pants fit great. Sexy. Love the color blue. Edgy and strange and risk taking. Really stepped it up.
Candice – Stunning gown. By far best use of 3-D applications. Flamenco feel. Not avant garde or a bridge. Expected more from her. Amazed dress was made in two days. Shocked it wasn’t all black. Mel B’s favorite.
Deciding who will go home is hard because everyone did such a great job. But somebody has to go. The judges make their decisions and call the designers back out. The winner is Kelly! Woop-woop! That’s two in a row. The judges love how she embraced the challenge. Have fun with your 3-D printer, Kelly! Edmond and Candice are safe, but Mel B asks Candice if she can wear her red and black flamenco dress to an upcoming event. Candice feels like she has won the challenge, too. But, you didn’t.
That leaves Ashley and Merline. The judges tell Ashley they love her cape, but not the two-piece outfit. They tell Merline the color of her dress was sophisticated, but she ripped off last year’s design. (Okay-they didn’t say that exactly-but it was what they were thinking!) The designer going home is…Merline! She takes the loss like a real trooper and does her happy dance for making it to #5. The question is, will Tim Gunn use his Tim Gunn Save? The answer is…no he won’t!
Auf Wiedersehen, Merline!