In this episode, the designers went to the Lord & Taylor flagship store on Fifth Avenue to design a cocktail dress for the Lord & Taylor customer using only fabrics preselected by the Lord & Taylor overlords, because that’s what would most impress this week’s guest judge, Lord & Taylor CEO Bonnie Brooks. And of course Tim admonished them to not forget to use shoes and jewelry from the Lord & Taylor accessories wall.
Lord & Taylor!
Whew, that was one long 90 minutes of branded entertainment, was it not? And the judges made sure it ended on a positive note by not sending anyone home! That gives me such a warm feeling I want to run out and buy some tasteful separates at Lord & Taylor.
Let’s get on with it, shall we?
Fabio, Top 4
This freegan (never forgetting that, sorry) does simple rather well. Heidi thought his asymmetrical take on the little black dress lacked excitement, but we could barely hear that critique over the very loud sequin disco ball she was wearing as a dress.
Melissa, Top 4
The drama for Melissa this episode was based on her fabric choice. Will she change it? Will she keep it? So many options! And in the end… she kept the fabric. Wow, guys, that was close!
The piece was dynamic (though a little tight), and that neckline looks like it took an interesting piece of sewing sorcery to stay afloat.
Elena, Top 4
The Russian assassin started this episode by playing the artist card: “It’s hard for me to make something simple.” I’m sure somewhere in the footage library there’s her saying, “I hate having to dumb down my aesthetic for this stupid client.” But there’s no way L&T would allow such blasphemy.
But when Elena hit the workroom, she had an uncharacteristic meltdown, which proceeded an even more uncharacteristic sobbing fit when she found out she was in the Top Four. In my heart of hearts, I don’t like this dress more than what Dmitry produced, but there’s no way he could have given the producers such an over-the-top emotional catharsis. Those Russians are usually such cool characters.
I’d like to applaud The Other Gunnar for making an elegant, effortless gown instead of a cocktail dress, but I just He’s used this technique three times already—a line has been crossed. Crossed! Congrats on the win but, girl, you better dig into your bag of tricks and find something new. The next time we see this technique better be at your Fashion Week runway show.
Struggling to recover from last week’s disaster, which saw her on the bottom two, Sonjia was a quivering mess of blue-Jello prior to the runway show. To comfort her tears, Tim gave some hollow, yet rhyming advice: “channel your inner winner!”
And while Sonjia was an early favorite of mine this season, I’m not sure why anyone would ever put fins on the hip of a dress unless they were trying to hide a huge bum, which is clearly not the case here.
No amount of fabric sewn into a flower will ever absolve Ven from the horrible things he said to his client last week. That is all.
Dmitry, Queerty Fave
I’m giving this the fave this week because, well, it was flawless. I just assume that the producers are going to continue ignoring Dmitry’s talent until the episode they don’t. That way, he’ll be able to give them the well-rehearsed “Finally, I won challenge!” sound bite.
Alicia, Bottom 2
We knew there’d be problems when Tim told her that her piece looked like something Joan of Arc would wear, and Alicia took it as a compliment. When the judges felt that her finished piece was too dowdy and tailored, Alicia gave the answer that stereotypes were made of, “It’s hard for me to do something super feminine or girly.”
Honestly, I thought she was either going to be sent home or come out as a butch dyke right there on the runway.
Gunnar, Bottom 2
I was a little surprised by this one. When The Other Christopher described his model as chic and tasteful, I agreed. But the judges blasted him for producing something already done a million-and-five-times before, and that was probably hanging on the rack at Lord & Taylor right this very moment. Then, they didn’t even eliminate him for it—we can just assume it was to give Gunnar something to whine about next week.
Jason Sweeten is a contributing writer for Queerty. And no, he would not like to use anything from the Lord & Taylor accessory wall.
Photos: Barbara Nitke/Lifetime Television