Episode 2 – An Unconventional Recycling
Let me start off by saying that I hate unconventional challenges. I’m fully aware that unconventional challenges bring out the real artists and showcase everyone’s creativity, or lack thereof, but I want to see flowy fashions hit the runway, not up-cycled trash….
The group heads off to a large recycling facility and are commissioned to make runway ready garments out of recycled items. The key here is to come up with high fashion looks from gar-bage.
To add complexity, this challenge is also a team challenge. Let the fun begin!
Tim broke the group up into 3 teams and each team has to come up with their own mini collection. Team challenges always has a certain dynamic that tends to bring out the claws! In the end, this challenge was no different…
Team 1, aka ‘Team Wabi Sabi’ – Kudzanai, Michael, Kantaro, Deyonte & Margarita
Team 2, aka ‘Team Ballin’ on a Budget’ – Aaron, Batani, Brandon, Kenya & Ayana
Team 3, aka ‘Team Tsunami’ – Sentell, Samantha, Amy, Claire & Shawn
As expected several of the designers started this challenge with some struggles, while others seemed to have confidence from the start.
Those That Thrived
Kenya started off doubting herself and the direction she wanted to take, but in the end she came through! She used newspaper clippings & plastic to create an a-line dress with multiple pieces, puff sleeves and a large keyhole in the front of the bodice – a complete showstopper! I honestly really enjoy her work and think that she has a great eye. Although her team won as a collective, her look didn’t give her the win this week but she had one of the strongest looks on the runway.
Samantha took her team’s trash bags and totally transformed it into a work of art for the bodice. She had a vision and took the time needed to execute it. I can also appreciate the fact that she offered to help her team but still stuck in her lane and made sure that she completed her best look. It paid off, but I think she should have continued her weaved bodice textile into the skirt!
Deyonte‘s dress made of trash bags didn’t get much tv time this week, but it was one of my favorite looks overall. He completely transformed the trash bags into something chic and wearable art! If his team won, I think he would have won the overall challenge.
Those That Struggled
Shawn was still picking up the pieces from being on the bottom 3 from last week and couldn’t find her stride at all this week. Her team saw this and naturally her sister, Claire did everything she could to try to corral her back to life. Shawn didn’t like the direction of the team’s vision and got off to a rocky start. She also couldn’t get over the fact that her model this week was more voluptuous than her typical “superstar” clients… mind you her model was a normal girl, a size 10-12 in RTW at best. I was so annoyed each time she mentioned the fact she had never worked with a “PLUS SIZE” model before. I’m not sure how you can call yourself a designer and you’ve never worked with a woman that wears sizes larger than 0-2. Even though she didn’t have a completed look until it was time to hit the runway, she ended up with something that was safe enough to take her to next week’s competition.
Sentell chose to use trash bags to work with and I am positive that the bodice he created and worked on for 75% of the show was supposed to turn into something FABULOUS! It just didn’t… The bodice was completely flat and had no… umph. At all! I think if he concentrated more on his look and not so much on missing his husband or what Shawn was/wasn’t doing, he could have come up with something much better. In the middle of Shawn’s design issues, Sentell was trying to stroke her ego… which is so crazy because he turns on in front of the judges!
Ayana is a modest designer and wants to stay true to her perspective. This can definitely give her troubles, depending on the types of challenges the group is faced with and she felt the pressure with this unconventional challenge this week. She chose to work with newspaper and foil to fill in the gaps. Luckily, she was able to make it work for her in the end.
Team Ballin’ on a Budget won the team challenge.
The judges liked the way the team tied in all of their looks into an overall collection. Thanks to Brandon’s idea to paint pieces of the textile which went into each team members’ looks that made the looks cohesive.
I loved Aaron and Kenya’s looks. They transformed their pieces into something fashion forward & their models were both obsessed with their looks too. Brandon’s look was great, but I wish his model’s pants were more flattering to her figure. I wasn’t a fan of Batani or Ayana’s looks, but those were the 2 looks that stole the show, according to the judges. Sometimes, I have no clue what these judges are looking for! Batani’s model looked like a samurai warrior but I agreed with Ayana’s look being the finale piece in their collection. I don’t think that the same girl would wear all looks in this collection, but there was cohesion.
Ayana was the individual winner this week.
(Honorable Mention – My winning team was Team Wabi Sabi… I think there were more fashion forward looks in this group this week. This team took Tim Gunn’s notes and their idea went from “eh” to something fierce, collectively.)
The Losing Team
Team Tsunami was the loser this week. This group lacked cohesion, which is the key that all team challenges must have in order to win. The trash was not transformed into fabric and I think their looks lacked creativity and were a bit amateur compared to the other teams.
I think Shawn got extremely lucky this week. Sentell’s look deserved to send him home and I hope he now realizes that it’s never a good idea to throw someone else under the bus when your look needs more attention. Ultimately, he wasn’t a strong designer and I think the judges made the right decision. I hope Shawn turns it around though, because she should be next to go home in my opinion! I don’t like people that complain about everything. You knew what you were getting yourself into when you signed up for this show…
Until next time…