We are about to begin our new Mini Challenge. We have arrived to this spacious big studio, we are not sure what to expect as there are many computer stations and the space is really huge and wide open. Our Mini Challenge consists of dressing a client from a walk of shame to a next morning business outfit. This time we are picked by the teams randomly yet again by the spools of thread colors, and ironically James-Paul and I ended up on the same team again. I’m very excited and happy that I ended up with James-Paul because we’ve worked with each other previously in a very positive way. Our client’s outfit as our end product came out as a very trendy professional business appropriate Harper’s Bazaar fashion employee who is ready to begin her working day without a shame. Both of us, James-Paul and I, are very satisfied with the outcome and Becki Newton liked our outfit as well. However, we weren’t chosen as the winning team, and that’s OK because you don’t know what the special prize is to be on the top and as well know it could be a trick yet again.
Our next big challenge catches us by surprise as it turns out we are actually inside Isaac’s studio and now we are going to design for his next collection based on his mood board of inspirations. There are random pictures and photos of African Culture along with actual accessories and pieces that we now need to be inspired by. Well, it turns out that the special prize for the winning team is an advantage to consult with Isaac on what the team is going to design for his collection. I secretly wish now that we would have been the winning team. James-Paul and I started to discuss what elements we liked from the mood board and in which direction we are going to go with for the African theme. We didn’t necessarily want to do a literal translation of Africa and copy an exact pattern, prints or images from the mood board, but rather to have a conceptual idea and translation of Africa from our minds by taking the elements from Isaac’s inspiration. James-Paul responded to metallic fish skeleton earrings and I thought of a photo background which resembled African desert dunes and the rusted colors of sand, and how it moves and creates waves from the desert wind. Also, both of us were drawn into the metallic textures of fabrics from the mood board.
To blend together as one complete look for our model, we’ve decided to combine different textures and fabrics and blend within our concept by keeping shades of earth tones with metallic gold accents. Since the initial idea for our concept was proposed by James-Paul, for the “fish skeleton,” I found a way to translate that concept into my outfit by keeping the colors of the desert and combining textured fabrication like this beautiful sequined fabric with metallic touches and a neon finish. James-Paul and I were consulting with each other on the shapes for our outfit that we both independently came up with for the silhouette of our look. Both of us had no problem working together as a team as we both have a mutual understanding and support of our ideas. James-Paul was making a coat based on the shape of the fish and I was making a dress to go along with the fish scales translated to a sandy dune of an African desert. Both of us were finished on time and we were satisfied with our look.
It’s time for the Fashion Show, and everyone’s outfits look very interesting and different and yet they do translate the African theme very well. It looks like the judges are going to have a really hard time choosing the elimination. Our model walks down the runway and I see that the dress pulled up on the side, and I think to myself that I wish somebody backstage would have just pulled the dress down so it wouldn’t look like she was sitting down before coming out to a runway. Surprisingly enough our team turned out to be on the bottom two; James-Paul and I didn’t expect that at all. The judges' comments were that the pieces weren’t cohesive as one complete outfit and that the pieces look just fine individually, but not together. James-Paul’s coat was critiqued on a choice of color and lack of definition of a shape. My dress looked to them as sloppy which I didn’t really agree with as it could have easily been confused with the fact that the dress just simply needed to be pulled down. The choice of having sequined fabric was just too much for the judges to handle which I personally think is a matter of personal style and taste. One the other hand our fellows from the second losing team, Reco and Daniella’s outfit was chosen as 90% of the audience wouldn’t buy it. Their pants style looked very dated, old and not flattering by the opinion of judges and audience as well. So on that note in comparison of our two teams, at least our design is not voted by 90% as the one that they wouldn’t buy as well as I think that our outfit doesn’t bring something redundant or lacking originality. In fact our outfit definitely has great potential in style invention and conceptual ideas behind it and most importantly originality. In the real world designers have much more time to develop strong silhouettes by doing research, getting inspired, working on a draping, and going back to it to see it under a different light and redefine it. Therefore I actually have no regrets that I’m not continuing in this madness of competition as I wouldn’t be proud of myself as a designer to be associated in this Fashion Show as someone who keeps doing something that was done before a million times and copied from other designer’s, as my politic was to show proof that the real talent is about in this industry.