...this is going to be a rough ride, kids. If you saw the episode, YOU KNOW WHY.
In a team of 6, design a 4-piece collection to pitch to a group of "investors" (who happen to be Heidi, Zac, and Nina) who will give you the money to spend on your collection based on how well they like your pitch. The collection would be accompanied by customized makeup looks from Mary Kay.
"Team Unity," comprised of Mah-Jing, Cornelius, Ric, Nathalia, Roberi, and Alex, pitched an elevated line of work-wear for the woman who wants quality and detail but also wants a mid-range price point. Because Alex owns a business and has pitched in professional settings before, he gave the team pitch and, in my opinion, did a PHENOMENAL job. He sounded like he knew exactly what he was doing, he had answers to every one of the questions from the "investors," and they definitely would have had my money.
"Team Button Bag," which featured Laurence, Brik, Tasha, Jenni, Erin, and Dexter, was quite clearly a team of misfits. As a group of creative artists, they each were coming at the pitch from their own aesthetics and weren't committed to cohesion at all. In the end, they also pitched work-wear to the "investors," but their angle was to create a work-wear line for the woman who is edgy and doesn't work in a traditional office setting.
I thought their pitch was a mess, but in the end they ended up getting the majority of the money ($2,200!) leaving "Team Unity" with only $800 to work with.
"Team Button Bag" definitely didn't use their money wisely. They invested in a lot of embellishment that they didn't end up using and some quirky yellow fabric that only fit Erin's aesthetic.
The first look was their "work suit," which was supposed to be edgy because it was high-end denim, but at the end of the day, if the embellishments weren't on the sleeves and the ankles, this suit would be nothing. They sketched an asymmetrical jacket, which is not what they made, and I've definitely already seen similar suits like this on the market.
Then Brik made this way-too-short-for-any-work-environment dress. The fur around the collar made it just plain weird, and the color and cut was completely unflattering.
The third look was solely in the collection so Laurence could make her signature leather jacket. Did her leather jacket look phenomenal? Of course. Did it go with any of the other looks in the collection? Nope. It might have actually been acceptable over Brik's dress or with a denim skirt to match the suit, but instead they created this bumblebee costume.
Then Erin made this lovely coat; it's a little weird, but it worked and I enjoyed it. HOWEVER. If you watched the episode, you know that they threw together the look under the coat in about 5 minutes, and it was horribly executed; there's a reason the model didn't take the coat off.
Other than color cohesion, the four looks were disjointed.
"Team Unity" decided, per the judges' critique, to elevate their fabrics to create a line that could translate from work into an evening soiree.
Their first look was a sculptural dress with a printed crop jacket. While the dress wasn't the most work-appropriate, the jacket was excellent.
The second look featured a structured vest by Mah-Jing. I enjoyed the juxtaposition of the fit in the vest to the looseness of the pants, and I think it would fit very well into the Marie Claire market. This was by far the most work appropriate, and a favorite of the judges.
Things started to go a bit downhill from here. I personally adore the pants and the coat, but they probably shouldn't have been paired together, and Roberi's top with the wonky hemline wasn't appropriate for the collection or with the outfit as a whole.
Alex's dress looked wonderful from the front, but the back had construction issues, and while I understood their desire to take their collection into a work-to-evening direction, this wouldn't be appropriate for many work environments.
The judges thought that "Team Unity" over-designed their collection and thought the color palette was dark and too formal/evening. I understood some of their criticism, but "Team Button Bag" had more issues with cohesion and construction. I was stunned when "Team Unity" was put in the bottom, and even more upset when the team was forced to pick someone to send home. They worked together so well as a team and it was obvious in the workroom that their collection was a true collaboration. Even ego-monster Cornelius was bawling his eyes out on the runway when it came time to decide who should go home.
In the end, since Alex made the pitch and took the lead in the design aesthetic, he took responsibility for the team's failings and sacrificed himself for the others. The judges sent him home, and on his way out he told his team members to have integrity.
WHO IS THIS SAINT AND WHY HAS HE NEVER BEEN ON PROJECT RUNWAY BEFORE?!?
Every team challenge winds up with everyone fighting and someone getting thrown under the bus. I was so proud of all the contestants for owning what they made and sticking up for each other.
And now I'm crying again.
So this post is dedicated to ALEX.
You may have been sent home, but you were the winner in all our hearts.
...yes, I know how sappy that was. No, I will not apologize for it.
All photos from www.mylifetime.com