We all know how the last team challenge went, and given how poorly most of the designers have been doing lately, I was ready for this team challenge to be another disaster. Much to my surprise and delight, this episode ended up being one of my favorites!
In 3 teams of 3, create a 3-piece collection inspired by one of Sally Beauty's new fall color concepts: New Neutrals, Tones of Blue, or Red Violet.
As an added twist to this challenge, the collections were shown to the public, and the winner of the public vote earned a 20% boost to their final judges' scores.
Team Tones of Blue
This team won the judges final vote, and I can completely understand why. Thier fabric choice and cohesive aesthetic earned the top spot, and it was well deserved!
Laurence's look was a little funky in the proportions, but it won me over with a cool, relaxed vibe that couldn't be overlooked. The "Chanel-in-Front, Tuxedo-in-Back" jacket was so unusual and yet completely wearable, and any girl could leave the house in this look feeling confident.
This look is one of the best things Rik has made on the show so far. I thought his dress was a little too basic, and Tim Gunn expressed the same concern, but in the end, with the coat and with proper styling, it became easy and effortless. I’m not a plaid girl in the least, but the style lines of this coat make it very desireable.
ROBERI’S LOOK WAS MY ABOSULTE FAVORITE. It might be one of my favorite Project Runway looks ever, and I want every piece in my closet right now. It had a little touch of punk, but in a subtle, classic way that could allow for many women of any age to appreciate each piece. He TOTALLY deserved the challenge win!
Team New Neutrals
This team earned the public vote, which surprised me because the public perception of browns and neutrals isn't usually very positive, but their chic sportswear styling ended up being their saving grace! I appreciated that the team mixed and matched their pieces to create an aesthetic that merged their styles.
Jenni's popcorn sweater with Nathalia's pants were a great combination. The wide-leg pants give the vibe of a work look, but the sweater allows it to be a little more casual to take it out of the office as well. The "popcorn" detail on the sweater shoulders were genius, and added great textural details.
Nathalia's coat paired with Mah-Jing's dress was brilliant. What other wise could have read as a boring, potato-sack dress was transformed into a luxurious, expensive looking outfit. The touch of denim at the waist and neckline was a great way to break up the neutral tones.
While I personally would never wear Jenni's leggings because my booty would make a cry for help (and honestly, they aren't that flattering on the model either,) I appreciate the cut out knees and the seam lines to add some interest, and adding the bomber jacket gave the look a cool, "after school" feeling.
Team Red Violet
This team had all the advantages in the world, and they didn't use any of them. "Red Violet" meant they could have incorporated pinks and purples, and their collection could have been a glorious jewel-toned moment. In addition, red is an action color, which makes the public far more likely to vote for them. Instead, Dexter decided their collection needed to be "punk," and their battle was fought and lost at Mood with their fabric choice.
I've been no fan of Cornelius, but I really felt sorry for him. He had to help finish Dexter and Erin's looks, and as a result, his own work suffered. His jacket isn't bad, but the closure in the front looks like a strip of duct tape from afar, and his pleated skirt (which I don't entirely blame him for, since Erin designed it,) was poorly made due to his time constraints. Overall, it's just too red-on-red-on-red to be successful.
Dexter's look wasn't the worst, but no woman would ever wear it due to the bra issue in the front, and for a design competition it really wasn't that difficult to make. If this was all he was going to contribute, he should have been more of a help to his team, and the fact that his design aesthetic was responsible for the other looks makes it even less excusable.
Erin’s coat saved this collection, and Cornelius was on track with breaking up his suit and putting his skirt with Erin’s look. I was a little pissed that the coat was basically all Erin made, but it was the most successful look overall.
Team Red Violet’s critique was a train wreck, but an expected train wreck. Dexter made a trillion excuses as to why they had a disadvantage, Dexter and Erin blamed Cornelius for everything, and Cornelius took the heat for not standing up to his team members. Even though Dexter was responsible for the collection aesthetic and Erin made a lot of the design decisions, Cornelius was sent home.
Tim used his Tim Gunn save. ON CORNELIUS.
I have given Cornelius a lot of crap this season, and that crap has been well deserved in my opinion, but I agree with Tim. In this case, on this week, he did not deserve to go home. Tim stood up to the judges and told them Dexter and Erin were the "mean girls" on the team and tried to explain that Cornelius didn't have a lot to do with the end results, but they didn't listen to him. In the end, Tim uses his save when he completely disagrees with the judges' vote, and I agree that the judges sent the wrong person home.
Cornelius is going to have a lot to prove. Honestly, I haven't loved a single thing he's made this entire season, and I worry that another (more talented) designer might not get the opportunity they deserve because Tim wasted his save. Only time will tell.
All I know is that looking at these sassy pants, nothing good is going to come from next week.
All photos from www.mylifetime.com