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Designer Crack: Makeover Edition

Gleee! Tim's Take is back! And he appears to be updating it retroactively, as there are now posts for episodes 1 and 5. (I'm holding off on reading the one for 5 until I'm done here.)

As usual, image-heavy under the cut.

Sort of like last season's "everyday woman" challenge, but with an intriguing twist: All the clients/models are real women who've recently lost a "significant amount" of weight (I believe the lowest number was 56 pounds). Our designers' mission is to take the client's favorite pre-weight-loss outfit and make it over into something to suit them now.

But first, a bit of unexpected drama. Not draaaaahma, but an actual health situation that led to Jack making the tough decision to leave the show in mid-challenge. I'm actually kind of amazed this has never happened before (thinking back particularly on a certain bar-shenanigans-induced head injury in season 1), but, ow. He was doing well, and he was such a sweetie. *snif*

Silver lining: Chris is back! That must have been some phone call to get...

Sweet P: I'm on the fence about this.



I think most if not all of my misgivings would be solved by the suitable application of a good strapless bra, which would unfortunately detract from the comfort factor. It's certainly a huge transformation of the T-tunic thing she started with -- was that really this gorgeous woman's favorite outfit, or was she just afraid of ruining what was?

Jillian: Great dress. But they are really getting lax with that whole "meet the parameters of the challenge thing these days, aren't they?



I do think I see why, after she so meticulously matched the fabric of the shirt, she didn't end up using any of it. The panels are all one piece from top to bottom, and it just wouldn't be the same with a seam at the waist or something. She got a lot of mileage out of how happy the client obviously was with it. At least by matching the color -- which is dynamite on this woman, who clearly knows how to shop for herself -- she got the spirit of the original favorite outfit; that coupled with the great end result makes it understandable that she was given a pass.

Also, there have been some observations made about how Jillian tends to design for Jillian. As Tim would say -- and did about Angela -- she's her own muse. This proves that she can design for someone else, and very effectively too.

Ricky was one of two people who was so on board with the very concept of this challenge, I even forgive him the obligatory weekly bout of tears.



The proportions are fabulous, the embellishment is eye-catching without being too flashy, and yes, Virginia, this is a woman who has business wearing capris. (You don't have to be a stick or lack hips and butt; it's strictly a leg-length proportion thing.) I wish they had the original outfit next to the pictures online the way they did for the runway show; this was the perfect makeover in that he kept the same basic idea -- tunic top and jeans -- but jazzed it up to just the right degree.

Chris was so thankful to wake up after two hours' sleep (for those who didn't see the episode, he was given the option to work through the night to make up for lost time after inheriting Jack's client and materials) and confirm that he had in fact finished something and not dreamt it, that I don't think it even mattered to him what that something was.



That something turned out to be perfectly acceptable without the red accents, and a little weird with them. Actually, probably just the sash would be fine, if not tied in a big bow, but the bright red kick pleat is a bit of a huh?. I can't remember now what her original outfit looked like.

Christian's pleated inset detailing is getting perilously close to passing through "signature" and into "gimmick," but in this case it really fit the bill.



I cringed when he told his client he couldn't give her an ass, but thankfully she took it in good humor. (I suppose there are worse things you can say to a woman who's dropped a lot of weight than that her butt has disappeared.) As the judges said, it's very Christian but also clearly very her. I was really struck by how pleased and confident almost all the clients seemed, especially in contrast to last season's moms-and-sisters challenge.

Victorya got handed deep green velvet. *droooooooool* And made good use of it.



The teeny belt buckle looks silly; she needs one about three times that size to balance her proportions properly. Otherwise gorgeous, with terrific seaming detail that is unfortunately almost completely invisible in this picture.

Elisa... is Elisa. :: pets her ::



She took the judges' comments with good grace, and I agreed to some extent, particularly with Kors' observation that there are a lot of breaking points that chop up the line. But I wanted to smack both him and Nina when they kept talking about how they saw Elisa in it but not her client, when her client was grinning from ear to ear and clearly having a ball. Just because it's not the same as the clothes she arrived in doesn't mean she doesn't like it, and won't consider buying something like it now where she might not have before. I particularly love the shaped hem of the jacket. The double-layer skirt doesn't quite do it for me, I admit, but I didn't react to it as negatively as the judges.

Kit: Did they match her with the woman with the black and white print top on purpose? No, seriously -- that blouse fit right in with the fabric Kit used both last week and in the first challenge!



And she used it not entirely differently from the way she did in the first challenge. The color-block overlayer is almost a more commercial version of the same concept she was doing with that red one-sleeve vest thingie back then. Love the little white cami neckline peeking out, love the shape, love the length. Great job, and like Jillian she's proven she can channel her ideas into the service of someone else's style.

Kevin: The other one singing the whole "the hell with walking hangers, this is what it's all about" song. And with equally fabulous results.



That top started out as a big square blazer, my friends. 'Nuff said.

Steven: Oh, Steven. This lovely woman? Brought her wedding gown. And Steven's brain melted, dribbled out his ear, and never returned.



The collar, cuffs and pearls were all he took. You're going to panic about the evils of polyester satin? Fine. But you had a zillion pearl buttons and BEADED EMBELLISHED LACE! ::weeps::

He got too hung up on the "can wear in their everyday life" thing. Sweetie? A nice cocktail/dinner dress can be part of someone's everyday life. Really and truly. We'll miss you. And hope your brain returns soon.

Rami did what Rami does. And we do love him for it.



I would prefer the walking slit in the back of the skirt, but that's me. It could also have been fitted a bit better around the hips. The top is a home run.

Apologies for being a little cursory and a lot late this week. Life is busy. :-)

Comments

( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
aimr9
Dec. 17th, 2007 03:39 pm (UTC)
I agree with you about the Elisa vs the judges comments. I was so frustrated with them. The client was on board with Elisa's design. They had discussed it and she was into it. By Michael Kors and Nina Garcia saying the outfit wasn't "her," I felt like they were saying that lady was old and frumpy, and wasn't fun and free-spirited enough to wear it. How would they know? They've never even had a conversation with her. Very insulting!
wiliqueen
Dec. 17th, 2007 03:42 pm (UTC)
It was such a weird assumption to make. I don't understand where it was coming from at all. But then, that's hardly the first or the last time I'll say that about those two...
brainiacfive
Dec. 17th, 2007 07:35 pm (UTC)
maybe they should have an episode when it's down to the last three where the judges get the challenge, and the contestants judge, to see if any of the wacky has rubbed off...
wiliqueen
Dec. 17th, 2007 09:16 pm (UTC)
This, I would love to see!
mrv3000
Dec. 17th, 2007 09:05 pm (UTC)
Love the commentary, as usual. :)

And that wedding dress thing - I couldn't believe that this woman got her wedding dress torn up for a few tiny accent strips. I felt horrible on her behalf.
wiliqueen
Dec. 17th, 2007 09:16 pm (UTC)
No kidding. Obviously she was prepared for it to be destroyed, and in all practicality, why not? But why did she have to be the only one who didn't get something worthwhile out of the transaction?

I really, really hope they kept the rest of the remains, so hopefully she can get somebody to do something worthwhile with them. I would totally volunteer!
quasievil_bunny
Dec. 17th, 2007 11:55 pm (UTC)
I'm soooo glad they brought Chris back for another chance. He really could've lost the red tail.

But the French Maid's get-up! WTF? I wanted to scream too.

I mean, ALL that fabric? ALL that lace? ALL that beading? I was so excited when I first saw that.

And he didn't use ANY of it?

o_O

Edited at 2007-12-17 11:55 pm (UTC)
wiliqueen
Dec. 18th, 2007 01:35 am (UTC)
It really boggles the mind. Even if he thought it was tacky, there is always something that can be done with components like that!
quasievil_bunny
Dec. 18th, 2007 10:29 pm (UTC)
I know. Uh...fabric dye/paint? Overlay? SOMEthing.
Sheesh!
tytaniaherself
Dec. 18th, 2007 07:51 am (UTC)
It's funny because I thought the designers would be salivating over the wedding gown. Yeah, it's not great material, but there's tons of it. It could make a blouse or a skirt and there are tons of beads for embellishing and trimming. Methinks these people have never sewn on a budget. It's easy to make silk look nice. Making the stuff from the Walmart clearance bin look good is an art.
wiliqueen
Dec. 18th, 2007 12:47 pm (UTC)
Methinks these people have never sewn on a budget.

Either that, or they're putting the experience behind them too effectively...
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )

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