The Most Important Challenge

Fern Mallis shares her disappointment with the designers' attitudes. What did you think of this week’s challenge concept overall?
I actually think it was probably the most important and essential challenge yet!

If these designers really want to be "designers," they need to dress real people with real bodies, and real issues. They are not creating clothes for Barbie, or only for a tall thin model on a runway. After seeing how the designers reacted to the challenge, do you think Isaac was accurate in describing it as "sizist?"
I completely agree with Isaac and I was shocked and very disappointed to see how they reacted to this challenge. Their attitudes and hostility towards these women was horrific.

Saying they never design for real women, or were so uninspired by them, and dissed them so much was not pleasant or professional. I was, however, as the show progressed, pleasantly surprised to see that for the most part they did come through after their bitchy comments, seeing their fear and virtual breakdowns. Which looks stood out to you for better or for worse?
As we selected Daniella's dress to win ... and so did the audience ... it did stand out for me. It was very appropriate, looked very slick, and really did the trick as a "makeover" dress ... transforming her model and making her look and feel confident ... and it successfully addressed her body issues. It was even more impressive after seeing Daniella breakdown and feel overwhelmed by the challenge. Do you think Daniella made the right choice in her nomination?
Yes — I think Angel's dress was very disappointing. It was sloppy, and didn't really deal with the issues of her model ... and she is capable of so much better. Also she could have selected someone she just doesn't like, like Merlin, but she used her good sense to stay focused on the clothes only. Do you think there is one "problem area" that is hardest to design for?
Not really ... it is generally a combination of things that don't work. A big bust, or hips, or long legs, or short waist, or flat chest, big butt — are all things that can be dealt with ... Obviously please add anything else about the episode that you’d like to.
I loved the Mini Challenge and laughed out loud when Isaac surprised them after they all thought they absorbed the details of Isaac's dress and in fact they needed to have paid more attention to Kelly's dress!

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