Better to Fail Spectacularly

NYC Wife Alex McCord gives her critique of this week's Fashion Show looks.

Oh yeah, it’s 7:30am on Sunday – Mama is up and mainlining espresso while the boys fight over who gets the red or the black cushions to make their forts. How appropriate to catch up on Fashion Show blogging!! As a confessed show addict, I loved this mini challenge. When we redid our house we built two new shoe compartments in the closets and still don’t have enough room – when Footwear News came to shoot it they laughed at us madly trying to display every single pair.

I wish that the shoe designer would have made it clearer that she’d be judging the teams based on which collection would fit best into Olsenhaus, but maybe I was just slow on the uptake. While Johnny’s pair was sleek and closely aligned with what we saw of the brand, I preferred Team Daniella’s work. Even though there seemed once again to be an issue with Andrew co-opting ideas, I actually liked Andrew’s fringe better than Reco’s. At any rate it was interesting to see everyone pushed out of their comfort zone and it was a good setup for the elimination challenge.

It was great to see the designers relieved of the team pressure; it was obvious they hated it. I can see why the show was set up that way – ease people into the process, float some of the weaker competitors because one can be a weak competitor while still being a good designer, force people to deal with each other because that’s part of heading a staff…it was time to let everyone sink or swim on their own. Off to Bergdorf’s to choose shoes!

Angel’s pattern of second-guessing herself bugs me because I can’t stand indecisiveness – I would rather make a hard decision and live with it or adapt it. However, I do really like things she cooks up, and this episode her dress was hands down my favorite. When Isaac assigned her the shoes I chuckled – they seemed light years away from her aesthetic (mine too, for that matter.) The end result was a summery little “Maggie Norris gone wild,” which I absolutely loved and wished I’d had in my bag last weekend. Reco’s dress was stark and sexy and I’d wear it with my hair pulled back and the hat on, but he also bugged me this episode. We get it that you’re confident. Sometimes that is warranted and sometimes it isn’t. Does he finish first and stalk all the other designers with big wide eyes, like a certain blonde I know?? Oops, wrong show. Keith’s dress was the first piece I thought was truly inspired by the shoes rather than made to go with the shoes, and I loved the pink and black petal skirt. Beautiful.

Haven completely redeemed herself for me this week – if I’d been at the show they’d have had to bag check me for that jumpsuit. Interesting as I’d never choose the shoes on their own but with the outfit the look really worked. What was Merlin thinking?!? There was just too much going on with that dress even though I love orange – wish he’d gone denim. Maybe if he kept the detail down the front but made the bodice tight vs. flowy it would have been more pulled together. On the fence about Anna’s look – the top was intriguing but thought the pants and shoes were kind of boring. Come on Brooklyn, step it up! James-Paul is always interesting but I was less wowed by this look than some of his other pieces, though if it came my way I’d probably wear it.

Johnny’s look was really well executed and pulled together, even if I wouldn’t personally go for a ruffle right there, and Daniella’s look was hot. That material has to either fit perfectly or be stuffed perfectly, which can sometimes be difficult, but the outfit came together without being too matchy and it rocked.

Miss Lidia. I loved the idea. It could have been rock and roll mixed with Chanel, but it was too ambitious for a 14-hour project and you bit off more than you could chew. Guess what? That’s absolutely OK and you know it. Better to fail spectacularly and show the judges what’s in your head than play it safe, which is what got Andrew eliminated. Andrew’s dress was saleable, no question. That’s not going to win a competition. It was nicely done, and nice is not a word you want to hear in reference to a runway show.

That’s it for this week and I can’t wait to see what comes next – can someone please design a fierce one-piece outfit that can be thrown on in the dark and worn out to ride big wheels? American Apparel tube dresses only take you so far!

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