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The Dime
Wow, on the edge of my seat the whole time last night. It seemed to be going so poorly that anyone could go, even my beloved Kara Saun! In the end, things turned out okay, but of course, "I've got something to say!" (Bonus points if anyone can identify the actress who cries that line repeatedly through Strangers With Candy. Hint: Jay wants to design for her.)

First off: Pods? PODS?!?!? What the Christ loving fuck? PODS!! This was the brilliant idea to bring unity to the collection? You've got to be kidding me. The color scheme was a better idea than that, and still, it was tenuous. The idea of protection was great, from the elements and from each other, and some designers really pulled that in. High collars and martial-looking profiles (thanks to harsh shoulders, mainly) served that purpose. If that had been recognized earlier as a way to unify things, perhaps over all it would have gone better. When did they think they would have time for PODS??

Overall, they rose to the challenge, some more successfully than other. I couldn't help but think how much Nora would have fit well into this challenge, because the scheme, in the end, revolved around fashion meets protection, or Form-and-Function, Nora's credo.

Kevin - Thank god he's gone. I didn't like him, and when Kara Saun pegged him as a passive-aggressive, I nearly cheered. He didn't take the leadership role well at all, and ended up having the outfit most unlike anyone elses. In Tim's take, he correctly points out that Kevin DID understand the ideas - he had warned Austin about the lack of deconstruction in his piece, but then failed to heed his own warning. The second he was called leader (in a move that has some questioning if it was rigged by the producers), I knew he was gone. His piece was interesting, but in the end, he was a poor leader. The extra pressure on him as leader did make it a bit unfair, but how much (more) support could he have gotten from Kara Saun or Jay if he had just asked?

Robert - whatever. Skipping by again. At least all the other designers are starting to realize that he's not really suppost to be there as well. Some elements of his design were nice, but they didn't come together for me. At the same time, it didn't stick out like a sore thumb among the other pieces of the collection.

Wendy - I thought her piece actually looked nice, though the skirt did go a little too Annie Oakley for me. The strings on the shirt were cool, though, and I wish she had done more work with the belt. Yes, she plays two sides, yes, the world seems unanimously against her, but I have to agree with what she said about Kevin. He WAS a poor leader, he WAS giving them too much free reign. It was her call to speak up, where as others clearly decided to stand a unified ground, won over by the idea of this as a 'group collection'. I don't think Wendy is a bad person. I think Wendy has talked circles around herself until she's convinced herself this is what she's got to do.

Austin - lovely outfit, but also did not fit the collection very well. It seemed like it belonged to a future woman so sheltered that her wardrobe didn't connect with the earthier works of the 'real world', ie the other pieces. Don't get me wrong, loved the outfit. It's just Austin being Austin, though, and that worries me. He was asked to step outside his bubble again, but this time he barely stuck his toe out. It may be because when he's being himself (retro feminine queen) he's won big, but when he really challenges himself (the wedding dress) it looks awful. Well, if he stays timid and on his path, it may hurt him more than help him.

Jay - dammit, I want this boy to have unlimited resources and time! This challenge was made for him, but he kept butting up against the constraints. His final piece was quite nice, but I agree with him that he could have done so much more. He needs to chill out at the same time, accept what he's given and work, not fight himself so much. I loved the collar, and his and Kara's pieces are the two that really do look like the same collection. While Austin's beiggest enemy is his repoitoire's comfort zone, Jay's biggest enemy his is own frustrastion. His eccentricity is an obstacle, but it's also a boon.

Kara - i'll admit it, I creamed myself a little bit when Jenny walked on stage in Kara's piece. First off, Jenny for the third time in a row? It makes me happy to see some loyalties building in the two competitions. Tim described Kara's piece as "Matrix meets Dune" and I love that description. It was edgy, powerful, definately feminine, with touches of both the familiar and the alien, which is what really sold it as a piece from the future. She also nailed the form-function idea, as the collar comes off and the jacket is undone once she is inside and 'safe'. No wonder she wins. 3 times now, baby! She also took control of a floundering group (not to spite Kevin, but to try and give everyone the best chance of staying.) When she was asked about Kevin's leadership, she took the diplomatic approach. At first, I was disappointed that she didn't fess up to how much Kevin had dropped the ball, but as the Angel pointed out, if you were really listening to what she said, she said it all. Without coming off as a bitch, like Wendy did. BTW, the outfit is on auction, the current bid is $205.

Finally, Morgan is gone, thank god, and model/designer relationships are solidifying. I can only hope I'll make it to next week. Once again, if you made it to this point, eat a box of cookies!

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First of all, thank you for not making me feel like the only one who though the Pods were the most hideous thing I'd ever seen. Wendy's though - I've got to disagree with you there. The strings on the sweater were horrible! Oh god. The skirt was all right, though, no problem there. And Kara Saun's! I almost died. It's the coolest thing I've ever seen in my life! Oh, man! I also thought Robert's was horrible. I couldn't believe how ugly the outer sweater thing was. It was just wretched. I can't decide if I want he or Wendy to go out next week. If it's anyone else I'm going to be extremely upset.

For me the pods where a symptom of something I hate: plans that don't go anywhere. Wendy was right on when she said that Kevin didn't do a lot of directing (though she unloaded, like you said, while the others were more diplomatic). One of the nice things about the group is that they did a lot of group direction as to what the collection was going to look like, and the slackers for the most part have already been dismissed. They didn't need a lot of policing but they could have used some more than they got.

Giving Kevin the position of leadership was easily his kiss of death. But, I think if it had fallen to anyone else, Wendy would have been kicked out. I think her outfit was even more off than even Austin's and she has a real conivving way about her, trying always to keep the appearance of being part of the majority, but never really doing anything professionally or personally to distinguish herself. For example, the way she aligns herself against people like Jay rather than with anyone (she just sort of envies Kara Saun and Austin). Nothing of hers has stood out (not in a good way) since the Banana Republic challenge (though the wedding dress was ok). I think she dodged the bullet this week. It's clear barring some horrible accident that Wendy and Robert are next. Kevin said it best at the beginning when he looked around and wondered why Robert was still there.

Kara Saun's outfit was hot hot hot. I wanted to see it on a tough female in a sci-fi movie. She and Jenny are the dynamic duo. Austin's outfit just barely made the cut and I think the judges were almost too understanding about Austin's difficulty with stepping out of his style niche, though the juxtaposition of gold with paisley could be viewed as contributing (maybe... I guess...) to a futuristic vibe.

The previews for next week looked great, but also heavily suggested that Wendy was going to have more problems with the group and be in danger of losing her spot.

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