Heidi storms the runway in a wackadoodle outfit comprised of silver knee length walking shorts that may or may not be made of leather a pink ruffled tuxedo shirt and a shrunken black blazer with bejeweled accents around the elbow. I once read an Archie comic where Betty and Archie were both helping Veronica paint her house and Betty spent the whole time industriously working and Veronica just changed her outfit five times and totally won over Archie with her hot painting togs. Like, she would waltz into the room where Betty was scraping lead paint off a wall with her teeth and Veronica would throw up her arms and say "Ta da! Painting togs!" And Archie would drop his paintbrush and lunge at Veronica with his eyes bulging (and probably pants, too, but they didn't show that). The point of this is that whenever Heidi walks on stage in some insane outfit that no one would ever wear in public and everyone is supposed to gasp in pleasure, I think of she should really put forth the effort to say, "Ta da! Painting togs!" Because at least then we would know what the hell she was wearing. Heidi recaps the challenge and reminds the designers that they had $100 and one day to create a companion piece for their best look. The designers shrug, because they know this already. What they don't know is who will be judging them this week. Judge number 1 is Nick Verreos, contestant on season two and a fashion instructor. He and his pocket square smile like they mean it. Nina Garcia is here to offer a soupcon of stability and continuity in the judging for this season (although she's only been here, what, three times?). Rounding out the judging panel is Kerry Washington, an actress and a face of L'Oreal. I am too embarrassed to admit that the only movie I know her from is Fantastic Four 2: This Time It's Personal.
The show starts with Carol Hannah's simple black dress. It is a very bouncy sundress with a snug waist and a very full skirt that ends above the knee and has pockets. (Pockets! You girls know what I mean.) I don't really see how it relates to the feather-and-bead extravaganza that was the inspiration, but it is a very cute, very wearable dress. Althea sends a fetching fashion forward look down the runway. Her pants are very similar to her winning skirt with the same paper-bag waist. The pants flare, but stop at the knee, saving them from being harem pants or jodhpurs. She has paired them with a simple tank with elaborate straps and a grey sweater with a lot of material around the neck creating a cowl-like effect. Her model really rocks the look and it is one of those moments where you realize that having a good model can totally save or sell your look for you. Logan's look is next. It does not look good. The collar he created sticks straight up and is connected to a plunging neckline giving the dress a sort of vampiric affect. The skirt is short and layered with netting and seems to have no relation to the top half of the dress at all and the leather belt that divides the two does not make the look more cohesive. The cap sleeves are made out of zippers and so are the accents on the top. The overall effect is of Judy Jetson going as a vampire-biker for Halloween. He is proud of his work and thinks it is not something you will see anywhere else. For really good reason. Sigh... he totally pulled A Christopher. Irina is next and her color palette and oversized knits tie her two looks together cohesively. Her model unwraps the oversized brown sweater revealing the brocade strapless form fitting mini dress underneath. It's cute although I still don't like the color palette. Following Irina's success is Gordana's drab look and you can already tell it has FAIL written all over it. The grey suit jacket is long and fits the model well, but the collar is flopping around like a forlorn flapjack and looks sloppy and unfinished. You can tell Gordana thought about it -- and she claims to love the look she sent down the runway -- but it doesn't work. Christopher's dress explosion rounds out the show. He seems to have taken exactly none of Tim's advice and the dress is as large and in charge as Divine in Hairspray. It is not fun or youthful but is a black halter with a cascade of grey "petals" and white ruffles. When his model turns you see the petals trails up the back of the dress. It kind of looks like a raccoon tail (not in a good way). Christopher claims he took the judges' words to heart and really stepped it up. He didn't do anything safe or simple, but really pushed it. Oh honey, all you pushed were the boundaries of good taste. He has a huge smile on his face as his models bushy tail trails off the runway.