I don’t even know where to start with this episode because I was so NOT into it. Seriously. I used to walk by the American Girl store in Chicago on a frequent basis and would feel sorry for the parents who not only had to spend time they couldn’t get back in that hell hole, but eat horrid food and spend a small fortune on crap for their girls and their dolls. It makes me thankful I have boys. I just don’t get it. I digress.
When the designers are taken to the American Girl Place store in New York City, I poured myself a giant(er) glass of wine. This was going to be a long hour and a half. Each designer was paired with an American Girl “Beforever” doll and a little girl model. Don’t ask me which designer was paired with which doll, because I didn’t care nor did I remember. The designers were to incorporate their doll’s time period, style and backstory (yes, these dolls have long life stories) and design a fashionable and modern look for a young girl…that her parents could also buy for her to match her doll and spend even more of their life savings on such ridiculousness. Again, I digress. The remaining designers had a budget of $150 and one day to complete this challenge.
Now, to quote Tim Gunn from last week…something has been weighing heavily on my mind. This season, I feel totally alienated from the judges. I just don’t understand what they have been smoking that could cloud their judgement so. How could they possibly and actually think Sandhya’s designs were worthy of consistently being in the top three? Maybe I should smoke some too. Well, luckily for me, I actually spent last Saturday morning with Tim Gunn at an Olay event in NYC (more on that in a later post) and spoke to him about my dissatisfaction in Season 13. Surprisingly, he pretty much agreed. He too was flabbergasted at the whole Sandhya love-in, but told me to hang tight. Since I love Tim, I will.
Back to the challenge at hand…you would think Emily would have an advantage because she has her own children’s line, but we all know from Project Runway history that he/she who brags too much winds up in the bottom 3. So I knew early on she was screwed. The rest of the designers were beginning to figure out that designing for little girls is vastly different in terms of proportion and fit. So when Tim came around for his first walkthrough he gave one of his famous furrowed brow looks to Char fearing the fringe she planned to add would be too gimmicky. She’s his gal so listen up! Tim had some comments for some of the other designers, but I tuned that out as I was so disinterested in this challenge. However, my ears perked up when I heard Tim give some tough un-love to Sandhya. He firmly told her he didn’t feel he could be much help to her since he couldn’t grasp her aesthetic and color choices and she just creates what she wants anyway – and the judges usually love it. Tim himself doesn’t get it and he finally told Sandhya what the rest of us are thinking “the judges are smoking something. WTF?”
On to the runway. This week the guest judge was Elisabeth Moss from “Mad Man” (who as an actress wears clothes and therefore MUST know everything there is to know about fashion) and American Girl’s senior design manager Heather Northrop (who also presented the challenge).
Kini – The judges loved his look (I forget his doll). The mismatched plaids he chose perfectly complimented his doll’s outfit and character. He wins. His own win. All to himself. Way to go!
Char – She must have been glad she didn’t listen to Tim about the fringe because Elisabeth Moss loved it and wanted the fringe vest in her size. It was fun and more importantly age appropriate. She lives another day.
Korina – Her look was one of my favorites and I originally thought she’d bomb when she admitted early on, she knows nothing about children. Her graphic dress was mostly red with little pops of yellow underneath to represent the yellow flower her doll Josefina (this one I remembered) always wears in remembrance of her mother. I thought it was pretty clever. Way to go Korina.
Sean – Oh Sean! I knew that peace sign he added last minute to the vest was going to be his undoing. Not only that, Heidi noticed it wasn’t a proper peace sign (missing a leg). Additionally his look was boring and too safe. He should have had more fun with it and gone there. Yet, we all love Sean so he is safe. Obviously.
Emily – As I predicted, she crashed and burned. Her jacket was fine, but the iridescent ruffle skirt was matronly and drab. Most certainly not for a little girl. I think Nina wanted to execute her on the spot, she clearly doesn’t care for Emily, but thankfully for her there was something worse. A lot worse.
Sandhya – The stars are obviously aligned as the judges FINALLY see Sandyha for what she is…a hack. OK, not really. But I had decided if the judges waxed poetic about her hideous Teletubby jumpsuit with ruffles at the waist I was going to turn off the rest of the season. Each judge panned her look and every time she would say “Thank you, but I disagree.” I wanted to smack the smug look of her face. Luckily the judges did – right off the stage. Sandhya is finally put out of our misery. Of course the lesson was totally lost on her. She left feeling misunderstood, but defiant and convicted of her aesthetic. Whatever. Buh-bye.
“I don’t have any relationships with children … I can’t even tell what people’s ages are … they can be 5 or 15.” -Korina
“I have a super thick skin. It will take a lot to break me…” -Sandhya
“She’s going to watch me work.” – Sean referring to the American Girl Doll on his work table.
“I think it’s going to look cheap and tawdry. ” -Tim
“Just so it’s not like I could have bought this at Kids R Us.” -Tim
“I fear they will flop.” -Tim
“Do you think it’s a little mature?” -Tim
“This is a must-make-it-work moment. Carry on!” -Tim
“I have no reference and kids are weird … shapes.” -Sean
“This is not the Avant Garde Children’s Challenge.” -Amanda
“The only work I keep saying is “cute.” Cute, cute cute.” -Char
“Isn’t the peace sign wrong? Isn’t it missing a leg?” -Heidi
“This is a McCall’s book pattern.” -Heidi
“This is super snoozy.” -Heidi
“It looks like a onesie for a baby.” -Heidi
“She Looks like a circus flamingo.” -Zac
“I don’t know a little boy or a little girl that don’t love fringe.” -Nina
“There’s something a little frumpy about the silhouette.” -Heather Northrop, American Girl
“What is that (using a circling gesture with her finger around her face) supposed to be?” – Elisabeth Moss
“For a child, there is no joy in this outfit.” -Nina
“That just looks silly.” – Heidi
“I want that coat – so bad!” – Char
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– Lauren Dimet Waters
Project Runway Photos: Lifetime