Welcome to the Fun Haus
Come along as we look at this week's designs through the pop culture lens.
First of all, thanks for stopping by. I'll be sharing my pop-culture obssessed thoughts on each week's barrage of outfits (and drama, as needed), here. So we'd love it if your reveled in the looks with us.
This week's episode opens with everyone a bit pensive. The times, they are a-changing at the Ultimate Collection apartments. Even Calvin's questioning his previous actions, thinking, "Snap, maybe I goofed by being so cruel." Cesar doesn't want the House of Emerald to think of him as the team’s savior. And despite the new team Tamara's still got the jitters.
But before you can say, foreshadowing, the teams were off to Brooklyn (in fashion speak, that's like Idaho, but it's not far. I live there! The Real Housewives of New York City were fashionable there. I've been to Galapagos Art Space and I didn’t have to take an Amtrak. Don't hate).
When they get there Iman is even more imposing than usual. Cloaked in smoke-machine fog and crinkly gold lame, it's was clear something was afoot. And then she lets it loose: IT'S A FEMME FATALE EPISODE.
This should have been like an Oprah's favorite things moment for the designers, with inspiration dropping down from the ceiling wearing angel wings. Barbara Stanwick, vampires, Mata Hari, Jessica Rabbit, Nico, Sharon Stone, Delilah! There's myriad options. Dazzle me with coquettes!
Oh also, you have 24 hours, Jack Bauer-style, so make it sultry and speedy.
The newly minted House of Emerald arrives at disco vampire, which to me conjured up images of Studio 54-meets-Interview with a Vampire (it could have worked: imagine mini-Kirstin Dunst's taffeta outfits tarted up and paired with Brad Pitt's ponytails).
Meanwhile, Nami decides to take on vampires as well, but instead of mingling theirs with disco dust (TCJD Zac Young, never forget), they choose to merge their vixens with '40s cinematic glamour, in a palette of purple and film noir.
At the fabric store, Emerald puts the picking in the hands of Cesar (except for Tamara, who was not leaving without her leather). Have we learned nothing about trusting everything to men named Cesar? Jewel tones can be tricky, and his choices (not to mention his decision to go with bargain-basement lace) are the first things Isaac mentions back at the workroom. Instead of picking lustrous hues, he ended up with a Disney princess/birthstone range that the judges didn't fall for.
Also, let's talk for a second about a few things Isaac said. One, he loves a good bra top. Who doesn't? Two: he does find inspiration in party girls, which just makes us all the more similar. We find inspiration in Party Girl. Then the big reveal, Isaac's never done drag. Really? A man that loves headbands that much has never gone beyond bandanas?
Tamara mentions her femme fatale is Mary J. Bilge, who I adore, but we would have told Tamara to heed her anthem "No More Drama" and go along with the rest of the group -- that's the sort of streetwise knowledge that should have been percolating.
House of Nami really made it look easy. Dominique proves her cries of 'that's so cool" are warranted, with a glam lavender hooded jacket/dress combo. Calvin brought his game up to the rest of the house with a dramatic gown, albeit with movement issues (and a collar from the Eduardo playbook). Meanwhile Ro's tulle dress is very au courant (Black Swan, Kayne's "Runaway" video, my nightly ballet dreams that are shattered by klutziness) and sexy. And of course, there's Eduardo, who utilized some of his extra time to sew a structural neck-piece that got Iman's approval.
So it was hard to imagine this going any other way.
The House of Emearld was sent down the yellow brick road of shame (Golnessa's dress had striking similarities to the Ozian outfit I wore in my high school production of The Wizard of Oz). Their rainbow collection reminded me of another movie about the undead: Death Becomes Her (full disclosure: most things do). I kept waiting for Golnessa's models to have a suspicious hole in her stomach, or for Jeffrey to recite all of Isabella Rossellini's lines ('It's the right choice! It's the only choice!"). Then there was Cesar's dress, which looked like Batman villainess Harley Quinn, and Golnessa's that was the evil opposite of Dita Von Teese's (her teal should have been that turquoise, fabric-wise), plus it ripped, yikes. There were some bright spots: Cindy's dress (minus the zipper, we agree with you Dita), and those Beetlejuice headpieces.
Aside: Did anyone else want Dita to talk more? Like a lot more? I had never heard her voice before and was so curious. She had a non-regional dialect and wry wit that had me longing for her to pour herself a martini, and just talk us through the rest of the season.
Beyond the Vampire in Brooklyn collection, this episode was really about friendship. And what a sea-faring vessel it was! We're starting to see Cindy and Golnessa work- relationship expand. And then Cesar's mentoring Ro, which now crosses house lines (learn something from those politics, Senate). But most endearing of all was Calvin and Tamara. They are the cutest little pals, talking about 42nd street broads (which made us wish Tamara's dress had been more Sweet Charity), and ribbing on each other like real chums do. And when the King of Mean, offered to bow out for her, our heart grew Grinch-style. After Eduardo tossed him to the chopping block (much to the judges' chagrin), we were worried. He had shown he could do good work (with minimal diamante), and be a team player. We wanted more, so him staying was bittersweet. (Note: Self-sacrifice is very trendy this season.)
But what did you guys think? Were the judges right to not let Calvin toss himself out? Did Tamara deserve to go? What's a disco vampire's favorite song (probably Cheryl Lynn's "Got to Be Real" so it's legit human blood)?