The challenge is “A Night at the Opera” – make a gown suitable for the opera, as couture as possible in one day with $350. This is Austin’s challenge to lose, and he knows a real couture dress takes months to make properly with all the handwork required.
The guest judges are Mark Badgely and James Mishkah, who design evening gowns. It should be feminine and indulge fantasies, and if they go black, they need to make it stand out.
April decides to do red so she’s out of her comfort zone, while Sweet P feels like a loser. I love you, Sweet P, but go with that. They sketch – some on paper, some using their product placed tablets. Mondo doesn’t because he gets his inspiration from his materials.
They go off to Mood, where Kenley picks up pink polka dot organza. For an opera gown. Yeah, that’ll look appropriate. And then Michael sees that both he and April are choosing red fabric. April doesn’t care, but Michael does, so he switches to black jersey – not a fabric I associate with evening wear.
And then April, despite the time constraints, decides to dye her fabric for an ombre effect. The other designers don’t think this is a wise idea. Meanwhile, the first thing that Michael does is make a lovely collar, because that’s going to be the most eye catching thing to do and this way it was done.
Joanna comes in to mentor, and she asks good questions, like how will you surprise people and what is your time management and what is your plan B. Rami has fuschia satin and is making triangles. Austin is nervous because this is his area. Joanna is doubtful about April’s dyeing, and her triangle inserts, and
April has no plan B.
Michael’s dress looks a little shapeless. Kara has a pastel floral taffeta that looks like a bridesmaid dress. Sweet P is working the bodice and full skirt look that didn’t work for her before. Also, using a colorful print. Anthony is using cream organza, and he has to avoid making a bridal gown. He says he will.
Mondo thinks Kara is the weakest of the lot right now. Mila thinks Austin’s dress is too basic, but a well-made basic dress beats a poorly made elaborate one.
Back at the Flatotel, the designers all agree that they are not doing couture because they can’t do the proper techniques. Even Michael is aware of what they can’t do. They’re making prom dresses, basically.
Kenley certainly is. Pink organza with a polka-dot bodice? Purest prom. Gordana’s purple dress has sheer panels in the skirt and I do not understand it. Rami’s fuschia gown is lovely and dramatic. Mila’s black and sequin number made me gasp outloud, it was so pretty. Sweet P’s dark orange print is just ugly. On the other hand, Mondo’s silver print dress is modern and lovely and short. Jerrell has a brown sack of a maternity dress.
Kara made a strapless dress – very basic except for the print. And not extremely well made. Anthony’s cream organza is an elegant asymmetrical drape with deep cleavage and a strange belt. It’s definitely not bridal and quite elegant. Also elegant? Austin’s gold lame’ sheath draped with tulle that was just lovely and perfect. And I liked April’s dress – the ombre was very striking Michael – Michael’s learned to construct clothing. It’s not just the collar – it’s the way he built the dress up and added subtle interest with straps over the bodice, and the pretty low back crossed with a silver belt. Lovely dress.
Top three were Michael, Austin and Anthony. Bottom three were Sweet P, Kara and April. And this is the second week in a row that the top three were all male and the bottom were all female.
The judges loved Antony’s draping and modern design, if they thought the styling was questionable. They utterly adored Austin’s dress, with it’s perfect fit and construction and that it’s elegant and modest. They also love Michael’s use of matte jersey and the collar, and the innovative style.
They hate how Kara’s dress was perfectly generic, and that Sweet P’s was poorly made and just not pretty. And April was too ambitious and so failed to carry anything off. Also, the guest judges hated red and black.
Austin won, and I believe he deserved it, but I would not have cried if either Michael or Anthony had won. Sweet P went home and she was the right one in every way, as much as I love her.