Captain Planet

We reflect on Calvin's future desigining maternity wear, and the grade the designs based on how easily one could dance to Earth, Wind, and Fire while wearing them in this week's blog.

In the words of Europe (and Gob from Arrested Development): It's the final countdown

This week the final four set sail on a casual boat cruise. But it's not all "I'm On A Boat" reenactments, there's a challenge in here too. The Final Four must work in teams one last time, and create outfits inspired by earth, wind, and air.

Faced with this Captain Planet challenge the designers fist bump their ring fingers together, and the collection appears magically, as though it was created by Mother Earth after a brief nap.

Well not exactly, but on the whole it was a rather drama-free festivus. Dominique decided it wasn't worth the huff and puff with Calvin and let him take the wheel as though she was Carrie Underwood and he was Jesus. And since Jeffrey and Cesar have been peas and carrots since day one, there was minimal conflict (save the rare time when Cesar called Jeffers a drag queen. A moo-moo does not a drag queen make Cesar!).

But just because the houses weren't in conflict doesn't mean some of the outfits didn't have us conflicted.

Let's just get straight to Calvin's pregnancy/cancerous dress.

calvin preggo dress

This is one of those times were the wearability of a garment really needs to come into question.You could do a survey of every woman in America and find that they do not enjoy looking pregnant (save Angelina Jolie). I love Mother Earth as much as the next granola-cruncher, but the idea of wearing a dress that makes me look pregnant, especially the kind of pregnant that results in carrying one's unborn fetus in the sternum is the opposite of the right thing to do.

However, if Calvin wants to design a maternity wear line for expectant mothers looking to forge a new society in the wake of a post-apocalyptic society a la Children of Men, he might have found niche.

Sorry to go all Ricky Gervais on you, but one more barb: If someone was actually pregnant wearing Calvin's prego dress, it would look like a two-scoop ice cream cone.

If you want more hatred towards this maternity monstronsity, see this week's incredible judges-filled quote gallery, but we here shall move forth.The rest of the House of Nami had me divided. I appreciate that they were a little outside of the box, using black for water (as Calvin's illustrious feng shui knowledge has taught him) and camel, which I love, always, for everything.

But Dominique's girl scout in the snow outfit really gave me some pause. Sure there was something modern about pairing a windswept poncho with a pair of uniform shorts, if modern is Katniss Everdeen in the The Hunger Games (I was waiting for her to pull an explosive bow from behind that Ghostbusters Marshmellow man shirt any second and yell follow the Mockingjay!). Combine all of those issues with the Marcel Marceau makeup, and it was just a lot for me to process.

But some how, I liked it.

Even though the black tsnaumi dress was rather Madonna "Frozen" (never a bad video to steal from), and Calvin's camel coat was a little too shapless Olsen for my personal taste (at least combined with the billow black beneath), there was something so ballsy there it had to be rewarded. I would in fact wear that jacket-o with some skinny black pants while carrying a skim trenta Starbucks latte as though I had just trapised off the NYU campus and was on my way to cash a Full House residuals check. (Note: Maybe Calvin stole Dominique's jacket-making gene this challenge).

Over at the house of Emerald, things were not quite so grand.In the uber-expected sea of greens and blues, there were a few things had me screaming Man Overboard!

Cesar's hand-dyed jacket and dress combo looked as though it had dried stiffly after being pulled from the Titanic wreckage, while his seafoam green outfit looked like it had been belted with a stray piece of seaweed dredged from the bottom of that ship as well.

And then there was Jeffrey's Poseidon princess, who apparently just got off a 1980s tennis court with her white jacket. Perhaps it was one of those cruises with the tennis court on the boat and she had to wear it for dress code regulations.

Sure, their dresses were not horrifically offensive. I wasn't trying to avoid pregnancy for the duration of my life in fear of being forced to wear them like Calvin's dress, but they were also right bornng. Jeffrey's jazzy geometric dress and his skirt (which got it's moment in the sun later--don't hide your sarong under a bushel Jeffrey!) were really the only things that felt vibrant and new. Cesar's assymetrical dress was a triumph of mastery, but it also felt a little been there, toga-partied that. Hence, their barnacles were intertwined in the embrace of the bottom team.

But how would the judges decide who would go home. . .why with a B-A-N-A-N-A-S challenge: Remake the losing outfit in 30 minutes. 

So in less than the length of our show, the designers must right their wrongs (those same wrongs that helped them sew their dresses, right Kanye). Cesar attempts to soften his crunchy dress while Jeffrey disposes of

his Blane Mcdonough-collection jacket, replacing it with a sporty lavender-gray top with roll-up sleeves (want, I want).

This was really one of the more impressive things I've seen in a fashion reality competition, and just speaks to how great Jeffrey and Cesar are that they didn't just undo a seam or two and call it a day. They actually got in there and took the proverbial white-out to that report and redrafted their designs to something beautiful. Kudos to both of these wonderful men.

But in the end, there's a counting of cards and it's Jeffrey!

There's something I really love about Jeffrey's clothes. I want to live in a future where everyone wears his duster dresses, his sleek and sporty tops and long dresses. And when I close myself into my hyperbaric chamber each night, I'll smile knowing it all began with the Ultimate Collection. 

Next week is the finale and I'm so very excited. Who's going to win? What color will Jeffrey's duster be? Will Calvin actually say something nice? We have a week to ponder, so I'll leave you with those jump-offs.

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Red Red Whine

We celebrate our Ultimate Collection winner, and bemoan a missed opportunity with Mary J. Blige.

Let's start with the most important issue we need to address in this here blog: The oddly satisfying symmetry of our finale guest judge.

And I'm not talking about you Glenda Bailey (though I love me some Glenda Bailey, call me gurl). I mean Mary J. "Real Love" Blige.

If you've been watching this season (and reading this here blog), you recall that in the Femme Fatale challenge Tamara Jones channeled her inner-MJB.

How did no one ask her about what she thought about this outfit?


And Tamara was even there helping Calvin! It was just so convenient!

Did Tamara at least get a complimentary gift basket of Carol's Daughter products for her trouble? I'm muy curiouso of what MJB would have thought of the garb, of herself as femme fatale, and most importantly if she would have put it on immediately and "911" with Wyclef Jean while wearing it. Alas, like sand through our fingers, those moments passed us by.

Ok, now we can focus on the task at hand, recapping and relishing in this final episode of the Season 2 of The Fashion Show Ultimate Collection (sorry I'm inspired by Eric Ripert's always identified vlogs and wanted to make sure you knew what you were reading).

I had the opportunity to chat with our final three for The Dish this week and was just taken with how really impressed I am with this bunch. Firstly because they are a precious little triad:


(Not pictured Jeffrey's amazing cupid printed pants and leopard scarf. You didn't think he was dressed that calmly did you?)

Secondly because these three each have vastly different perspectives. From unisex space-invader, to geisha/homeless Manhattan youth, to all-black-everything, the runway was graced with three super special shows.

Let's discus. . . .

When in doubt always wear red, says Bill Blass and GB, but me I'm not so sure. I haven't worn red since kindergarten (I adored that Laura Ashley jacket) or a small scarf here and there I'm not much for crimson waves.

But leave it to Jeffrey to change my mind. His collection was flawless. Wings of an angel good. For a man that wears moo-moos, he creates incredible clothes. I don't care that Iman thought some of those furry neckpieces were a little too straight jacket-ish. Send me to Shutter Island and let's call it a day (particularly since it's been 6 degrees in NYC this week). And his dress dedicated to his mother was officially the sort of thing that brings tears to my eyes. God bless the woman that made our Little Richard Robot Jeffrey. He's going big big places that one.

As for Calvin, he did prove that behind all that gumption is a little bit of true grit. I adored his fabric selections, and even though Iman was iffy on the suit, I thought it was a touch of excitement amongst a collection that was beautiful, but not so daring for me. Now that hell has here go came, don't we all think that maybe Calvin wasn't so bad after all? Or is it just that my heart is growing Grinch style for nostalgia's sake?

But I want to take a moment to talk about Dominique. Our brave little toaster might not have won. And her outfits might have been designed for only the most slevete amongst us, I adored them all. From the fabric-pooping skirt, to the jackets (she's always with the jackets). I feel this gal can go far. Tie your little geisha sash and go forth my dear! I don't think this is the last we'll have seen of her.

And that's it! We're out. It's been amazing season, thanks for watching with us, and we'll see you all over the galaxy!

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