This is a BIG EPISODE, Y'ALL. A NEAR PERFECT EPISODE, if you will. As this is not merely the "unconventional" challenge (which I luuuuuurve), but also the BETTE MIDLER GUEST JUDGE CHALLENGE. Which really IS everything.
I also love the idea for this unconventional challenge, which is using materials from a flower shop AND a hardware store, for a combo of hard and soft. Perfect. Oh, and the workroom is filled with candles as Heidi and Tim tell the designers about it (Heidi is repping for the hardware store, obvs; Gunny likes the flowers), because the challenge is technically called the Glade 2-in-1 challenge, because the flower shop/hardware store combo is JUST LIKE A GLADE 2-IN-1 CANDLE.
|Heidi + polka dots = yes yes yes!|
Then there's a bit of team switcharoos, as Dream Team is down to five players and Team Keeping It Real has eight. So DT can choose two from TKIR; they choose Stanley and Layana.
|And the world rejoiced, and it was good.|
And then TKIR got to choose someone from DT, just for an extra kick of drama. Barely hesitating, they chose Michelle, Girl From Portland Who I Thought Was Awful At First But Who I am Now Kind of Maybe Attracted to Somehow, Who Is Also Rocking a Kickass Pair of Huge Earrings Today, Which is Always a Plus for Jill. Anyway, Michelle is full of sad faces inside her head because apparently the only thing she wants out of life at this moment is to not work with Patricia. Sorry, girl.
|A socially awkward penguin hug if there ever was one.|
They have a budget of $2,500 (WHATTTT) and two days for the challenge. Stanley takes charge of the newly invented Dream Team and decides to have a theme of 1950s Dior couture. I don't know what that means but it sounds fancy. Everyone can design their own look on that team, but there has to be another pairing on TKIR due to numbers, which ends up being Michelle and Richard. At the hardware store, they get the idea to make a skirt out of black and white blinds, while Richard bounces around on his constant gay man high proclaiming that everything "is everything" and Michelle wonders what she's gotten herself into while continuing to avoid more Patricia hugs.
The best part about the trip to the flower shop is this quote from Joseph Aaron: "I like weird flowers that look like brains...flowers that look like they're going to eat the model. I hope this dress does something like that." Ha! Joseph Aaron!
In the workroom, Kate makes a poofy princess dress, Benjamin constructs his own loom, Amanda makes a swamp dress out of moss, Patrica makes....a thing, and Joseph makes an oversized sweater dress, which everyone feels doubtful about. He says, "I don't think every piece of clothing has to have a sexy fit. Like, what if it's cold out?" Ha! Joseph Aaron!
|Moss and Nails, by Amanda.|
Onto the runway so we can actually see what these things look like. One of our guest judges is a girl with skinny shiny legs who runs a fashion blog, I guess.
They then do a big dramatic reveal for BETTE AND EVERYONE FREAKS OUT OOOOBVIOUSLY.
She says that everyone looks full of piss and vinegar and everyone squees because who wouldn't also how is she still so perfect?
We start with Team Keeping It Real, who had realized in the workroom that they all liked what they were doing but that they also had no team cohesion whatsoever. Oops! Here's a sampling of some of the totally irrelevant to each other looks.
Joseph Aaron's sweater dress, which I actually thought was pretty cool?
Michelle and Richard's design, which ended up being a stone cold badass black top made of blinds with the bottom filled in with flowers behind the black frame.
Amanda's moss dress, which everyone almost gave themselves hernias about in the workroom, but which looks okay to me?
Kate's princess cupcake.
And the full line. Now onto Dream Team.
Matthews' black and white and yellow combo, which I think is hot. That skirt is divine.
Stanley has to ease up on being Mr. Serious All The Time, but man, his dress was gorgeous.
Benjamin says that he just feels happy looking at his dress; I do, too!
Layana's dress had flowers placed over an increasingly transparent string mesh thing; it was surprisingly delicate looking and beautiful.
The full line. You're the winning team for once, Dream Team! (Sorry, Michelle. You just can't win.) Although Heidi tries to lessen the blow by calling TKIR the "second place" team this time instead of the "losing" team, because they really enjoyed all their looks so much.
The judges call out a lot of people on Dream Team for being awesome; Tu, Stanley, Layana, Matt, and Samantha.
|Samantha did use a lot of the material in cool ways.|
They also really do seem to love almost everybody on TKIR; after a bunch of compliments, they do find some things to complain about.
They criticize the fit of Joseph Aaron's look; he says that he normally works with oversized garments, which he is realizing is "totally inappropriate for this experience," which he says not in a bitter way, but in an accepting, lightbulb type of way.
Since they had come up with a haphazard idea that their designs were supposed to represent different decades of fashion in order to have some cohesion (shockingly, it didn't work), Joe's was supposed to represent the future. Zac Posen asks Joe to define the future of fashion in his eyes. He responds, "A world where unconventional form is okay. Wearing clothes that make you feel good, rather than define your figure." Bette Middler says that's sweet, almost spiritual in a way. Hearts, Joe and Bette. Hearts.
The judges then ask who the team thinks should go home, wherein every single person on the team throws Amanda under the bus. Mannnn, awkward! But the judges don't necessarily agree. Who they do really hate, though, is Joe. Apparently the idea of wearing clothes that make you feel good doesn't really hold sway with them. SIGH SIGH SIGH. Although to be honest, his seemed more of a cohesive, well executed idea than Patricia's. Her "pow wow chic" design is standing next to Joseph's in the above cap, and I don't see the huge difference that makes hers work so much better than his. I mean I do actually kind of like hers, because I like weird, but there is a LOT of stuff going on there.
But alas. It comes down to Amanda and Joe, and the auf goes to Joe.
The win meanwhile went to Samantha, which I'm fine with since I like Samantha a lot, and even though I thought other looks were prettier than hers, I always appreciate the judges giving credit to FASHION FORWARDNESS.
|How hot ARE you? (Answer: real hot)|
Joe takes the loss with standard Joseph Aaron humility, saying, "What I like to make isn't right for everybody, and I'm totally okay with that." Ugh, Joe. :( I wish you didn't have to go! I love you even more for being so nice! At least we all know that there is a world full of weirdos waiting for your clothes, even if Heidi and Zac and Nina don't get it!
Up next time: country music stars, y'all!