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Playing Catch-Up

Real Housewife of NYC Alex McCord sizes up The Fashion Show competition.

By Alex McCord

Hey Bravo fans … our show is over and we’re off the hot seat for a little while. Show madness is morphing into bookwriting, work, and life madness, and I’m kind of excited that I get to be a TV viewer again for a bit!

It’s absolutely true that prior to doing RHoNYC Simon and I didn’t watch reality TV. At all.  Once we finished filming season one of our show, we then started watching pretty much everything on Bravo. For a while we literally recorded every show, and what stuck? Project Runway, of course. Out of the whole Bravo lineup it was the one that became must-see TV for us, so when the whole Lifetime thing happened we had to do the gentile version of sitting Shiva for it. Sorry folks, it was a great show but I’m not flipping to Lifetime for it! That’s why we were beyond excited to hear about The Fashion Show. Designers who have been working for a while and want to go wide with their work, professional models (yay Cory!) and of course Issac Mizrahi, with whom I’ve been a little bit obsessed ever since Unzipped. Don’t worry Issac, I’m not showing up at your apartment. Yet.

Playing catch-up this week with two episodes, so here goes. We meet the designers and go straight into the little black dress challenge. So excited that I loved Keith’s LBD, which brings a disclaimer — not only do I know Keith, I’m actually wearing one of his dresses out tonight. But I will be objective, I promise! I liked James-Paul’s garment bag idea. So shoot me. But not with the safety pins. 

With the first team challenge it became obvious that one issue with designers who have already been working professionally is that some have gotten a little too comfortable with having cutters and sewers. Loved Issac’s line in Episode 2 that you can’t write recipes without knowing how to cook. Out of the three must-have pieces, the bolero jacket was the clear winner. I wanted to like the tube dress, but if a professional model needs Spanx to get it on, it isn’t working. Harem pants? Would not buy them. I did like the collection Team Harem built, and liked the idea of choosing something really bizarre as a must-have piece, but they looked liked shiny pajama pants. Reco’s attempt was the strongest. 
Let’s go back to Team Bolero. If I were Daniella, I would have skipped the necklace and hung a cat o’ nine tails around the model's neck after Merlin’s ridiculous “male domination” comment.  Didn’t love it. Fave piece of Angel’s look was definitely the skirt; I’d throw that on for a meeting. As much as I hated him for his mouth, I thought Merlin’s look was adorable and I’d wear it in a heartbeat. Loved Lidia’s look – I’m still upset about a certain Harper’s Bazaar shoot last year when I had to change out of a Philip Lim with a big neck ruffle. It’s a detail I love but no stylist and certainly not Simon will ever let me go out in one. Finally, James-Paul.  hat was such a fabulous outfit – sassy, cool and fun. His work reminds me a little of a more geometric and avant-garde Faycal Amor.

Elimination time – it had to be someone from Team Tube Dress, and I wasn’t surprised that it came down to Jonny and Kristin. I would have eliminated Kristin myself, and wasn’t sorry that she decided to leave. While Jonny’s look was badly executed, it was more saleable than Kristin’s. Also, I thought Jonny was really cute. However, his strength is menswear and I wouldn’t put Simon in his jacket or shoes. They’re both gone; let’s move on.

In my opinion, you only feel badly about being ganged up on if you know there’s underlying truth.
I thought the Bank vs. Budget exercise was kind of a time-waster, although it set up the $40 budget for Tinsley’s looks. Interesting to see that Laura’s hair was basically standing on end from the moment she knew she’d be designing for a socialite. Doubly interesting that she kept coming back to the red tulle despite everyone telling her no, and got upset about being ganged up on.In my opinion, you only feel badly about being ganged up on if you know there’s underlying truth. Which is why I rarely feel badly about anything. Bwahaaha. Anyway, my top two designers from last week were some of my least faves this week – didn’t like James-Paul or Merlin’s designs. Really loved Angel’s origami detail and I’ve seen people go that dressy at art openings; just depends on the artist and the crowd. I thought Anna’s skirt was to die for.  Loved it. Daniella’s jumpsuit was beyond fabulous – I loved it and would happily buy it. Keith’s dress was my favorite long gown – really liked the detail. 

Of Team Haven, I liked Haven’s look quite a lot – thought it was really cute and I’d wear it.  Liked Reco’s though not too sure about purple as the accent color. Nice design, though.  Which brings us back to Laura. I don’t have a problem with tulle. But tulle mixed with mesh mixed with polka dots and weird fitting issues, plus her attitude made me agree wholeheartedly with the judges’ decision. This doesn’t give Johnny a pass – that safety pin debacle should not have happened, and his response to constructive criticism was appalling. NB to Johnny – shape up or ship out.

Keep it coming, Bravo – can’t wait to see what happens this week!
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