Welcome back, fashion lovers. This week, the designers tackled both avant-garde and androgyny without a net or a dictionary.I know they’re under a lot of pressure. If someone told me I had to make an avant-garde androgynous Look for $150 in less than twenty-four hours, I would probably pee my pants. However, when I hear a chorus of designers saying “So, I’m gonna do something with men’s wear, but kind of feminine?” I want to smack them all with a rolled-up newspaper. There is a difference between androgyny and gender-bending, you’d think they covered that in design school at some point.
Maybe the producers saw this coming, though, because the special twist challenge is that they find out they have to make two Looks, one to be worn by a man and one to be worn by a woman. They will get another $150 at Mood and another day to finish everything. Being faced with male models seemed to help a lot of the designers move away from the “girly man clothes” concept.
I’m not going to detail all the drama in the workroom. My husband and I got sucked into a marathon of Ink Masters this weekend and I have had it up to *here* with reality show contestant angst. Suffice it to say, Anthony Ryan is a delight, Joshua is less insufferable than he could have been and Laura Kathleen isn’t making any new friends. Let’s just move on to the good stuff, shall we?
Uli’s androgyny inspiration was the rock star. I didn’t think much of it until I really started looking at the clothes. Any one of those pieces could have been re-sized and put on the other model and it would have still worked. The overall effect is very Tina Turner meets Steven Tyler. It definitely leans toward the feminine, but the right guy could pull it off righteously.
I’m fairly certain Laura Kathleen’s inspiration was “I don’t know what the fuck to do.” I really don’t think I have anything to say that the clothes don’t say for themselves. After the one-two punch of bad design and poor execution, the judges were not amused.
I did not hate Kayne’s clothes as much as the judges did, but then, I have a soft spot for clowns. I think if they had switched jackets and nixed the stupid white eyebrows, the two of them would made excellent extras in a Fellini film.
Joshua ended up right in the middle, and I would hazard a guess it’s because of his male model’s clothes. I would happily wear that ensemble (minus the furry blue bag) either as a whole or in parts. All I can think when I see that lady model walking down the runway is “Dear lord, what did this poor woman ever do to you Joshua?”
Ivy also took one of the middle spots with her slightly blah see-through pants and leather diaper look. When asked after the show, she replied “As a matter of fact, I did watch Superman a lot as a kid. Why do you ask?”*
Finally, something worth talking about! Emilio’s models, when they were walking together, looked fucking amazing. There were moments where I questioned who was the male and who was the female, because the only way you could really tell was by the boobs and waist. At first glance, the suits are kind of costume-y, but if I were to see these two walking down the street I would guess they were part of a performance art group rather than the cast of Guys and Dolls. Unfortunately, the photos don’t show the open backs of both Looks, or the well-muscled backs of both models. You also can’t see that the models had matching makeup; a very “smoldering 40s torch singer” look. If you didn’t think androgyny could be sexy, then here’s proof to the contrary.
Cassanova said he started with the idea of armor, and the end result was rightly labeled “gladiator.” It’s interesting, it’s well made, but no one accused it of being androgynous. He quite rightly ended up in the bottom three.
If Emilio created a vibe of sexy androgyny, then Anthony Ryan managed to capture genuine sexless androgyny. Don’t get me wrong, these people look hot, but these are not masculine clothes made feminine or vice versa. These are beautiful clothes that do not appear to be gender affiliated in any way. I am also in love with the makeup he chose for his models. It’s a touch more than regular stage makeup, but it’s subtle enough that you almost don’t see it. I have nothing bad to say about anything he did, and it’s not just because I think he is delightful.
At first I was surprised that Althea was in the middle and Uli was in the top three. I thought the semi-Imperial Guard look was both bold and gender neutral. On second look, though, Uli’s glam-rock collection of pieces were way more versatile. Uli, Emilio and Anthony Ryan all made me change my mind multiple times about whether they were masculine or feminine or neither or both. Once you see the feminine vibe in Althea’s clothes, you can’t see anything else. And the loose shlubby pants do nothing for me as well.
Emilio is the winner! A part of me is disappointed that Anthony Ryan didn’t win, because I think he nailed androgynous better than anyone else, but the other part of me is saying “Yeah, but Emilio’s models were smokin’ hot.” IMHO, they both deserved to be on top and I’m glad I wasn’t the one who had to decide between the two.
I really thought Laura Kathleen was a lock for last place, but Kayne and his clown couture were the ones sent to the workroom to pack up his tools.
Do not pass Go, do not collect a Tim Gunn hug on your way out.