This episode had more twist and turns than a telenovella or the Bodies Exhibition itself. (This exhibit was the single thing that made me give up social smoking forever.) With Calvin being removed from his house and placed in to Nami, and Cesar deciding to jump ship to help save Emerald after Mike’s meltdown, all I can say is, “Let the games begin!” And this is only the second episode!
Fashion Show #1: House of Emerald Syx becomes House of Emerald
This house, filled with its histrionics, could at least agree on one thing, and that was “losing sucks.” Oh, and dropping the Syx from its house name, as Calvin had suggested on the first episode (though Isaac gets the credit for motivating the name change). During my first consult with the newly named H.O.E, I learned that Jeffrey was crowned head designer, though to me it really seemed as if Cindy was truly in charge of the house’s direction. The house chose red to represent the flood of blood though the body, and they wanted to focus on the ribcage and collarbone (which only Jeffrey truly did successfully, with his sophisticated off-the-shoulder number and its unique ribcage detailing). Golnessa felt strongly about using a pulsating heart as the background, and she chose to focus on the back on the body, especially the spine. H.O.E. wanted to opened the show by projecting a quote from the Bodies Exhibit on the screen as the audience was being seated: “Our bodies are the only things we carry. From the moment that we are born, till the moment we die.”
Based on those references, I decided to make their fashion show feel as if you were traveling through the human body on the rear projection/LED screens, starting with a spinning, rotating heart that morphed out of the graphic quote, to create an art exhibition feel. I pieced together a video of a pool of blood (ode to Dexter) that flowed up and down the rear projection screen. Though slightly gruesome, it was poetically beautiful, and worked with the house's blood reference. As for the runway, I loved the idea of the spinal cord and vertebra as a graphic element to elongate the lean, narrow catwalk, which I flanked in black plexiglass, to exaggerate the point. The TV director made a joke to me about spine reference and the models and clothes traveling through the body and coming out the other end…you get the point.
This frustrated house (note about the veiled faces: three out numbers two when it comes to voting) created a non-cohesive collection that was a bit Mother-of-the-Bride in parts, which would have been fine if that was the mood they were looking to achieve, but it wasn’t. Calvin’s outfit was a crowd pleaser, causing applause during the fashion show, plus it fit the challenge (good for him!), which may have saved from elimination this week. I think Tamara and Cindy, whose dresses had similarities, were in danger. Luckily for H.O.E., Mike on Nami had a melt down and saved them all.