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Sorry for the delay in posting this. I didn’t get to watch the episode while I was on vacation, and once I had seen it I wasn’t too motivated to post – pretty underwhelming overall. By the way, I’ll try to post some vacation photos tomorrow.

This challenge didn’t produce anything that I could get excited about, and I honestly think Suede got the shaft – there’s no way he should have gone home. Terrible decision.

  • Suede: I actually thought his outfit wasn’t bad. It wasn’t particularly innovative, but it was well-executed and I thought he did a better job of portraying his genre than a couple of other designers.
  • Jerell: I probably would have given him the win, although I wasn’t terribly impressed by anyone this round. I thought he did a good job of nailing a certain type of pop aesthetic, even though I didn’t like the vest.
  • Leanne: I’d say Leanne had the most difficult challenge, because how do you convey an identifiably country look these days without being too costumey? Plus, most country stars these days really have more of a pop aesthetic anyway – the traditional country look has become a cliche. With that considered, I’d say Leanne did a marginally passable job. The skirt wasn’t the best choice, and having both a necktie and a blouse that tied was too much.
  • Kenley: the fact that Kenley didn’t go home for this ridiculous look is a travesty. It wasn’t remotely hip hop, and it wasn’t well-executed – those pants were a disaster.
  • Korto: her look wasn’t bad at all – I liked the treatment on the pants. I just didn’t feel like she did anything new or innovative at all.

Overall, this whole episode was just meh. I really hope the designers can step it up because this season has been a pretty big yawn.

We’re in Florida visiting Eric’s parents and sister. They have a dial-up connection, so posting will be even lighter than usual this week. We got here on Saturday evening and already I have a small pile of baby gifts to bring home. Yesterday we had SOS for breakfast (my favorite – Eric’s dad makes it, and it’s two meals in one – I never need to eat lunch when I’ve had SOS for breakfast). The temps are mercifully down in the 80s this week – totally bearable, even with the humidity. And yesterday I got to take two naps before having a big dinner and catching up with some extended family. Ah, vacation!

Getting down to the wire and we still have some riffraff to clear out…not a bad challenge, although I thought involving the mothers was kind-of pointless. It seemed like they were just hoping to get extra drama out of that. Whatever – just show me some good designs!

  • Jerell: very nicely done. I liked this look a lot, I thought it was appropriate to her chosen profession and her personal style as well as Jerell’s.
  • Joe: glad to see him go. I just don’t see that he has any imagination at all – I honestly have NO idea what he’d send down the runway at Bryant Park, but neither do I have any curiosity about it. It was a poor choice, poorly executed. Dated and ugly.
  • Kenley: cute. For once I liked the print she chose, but there was nothing about this that wowed me. It was appropriate for her client, but I would have like to see something a little different.
  • Korto: my only real issue with this was that the proportions were off a little – didn’t quite flatter her client’s body. The dress needed to be a little longer, I think. But the jacket was beautifully done.
  • Leanne: a bit of a misstep, but not a total disaster. Again, the proportions (with the jacket on) didn’t suit her client’s body – it made her look short and stocky. The jacket MIGHT have worked on someone else, but it definitely wasn’t Leanne’s best work.
  • Suede: oh, Lord, that jacket was awful. Really dated, totally wrong with the dress, and just ugly. I liked the print of the dress, but didn’t get a good feel for the detail. The sleeves on that jacket were a nightmare.

So, we’re down to five, and no one is totally rocking my world right now. I think both Leanne and Korto are strong, and Jerell could pull off something really cool or totally crash and burn. They are the three I’d most like to see at Bryant Park.

Interesting challenge – a defined inspiration that’s not too kooky. It could have been a real winner, but I was pretty underwhelmed.

  • Blayne: the judges pretty much said it all. Hideous. Bondage meets parade float.
  • Jerell: I liked the skirt and top a lot, but didn’t think it was very avant garde. The jacket looked like an old lady bed jacket.
  • Joe: there were elements of this dress that I liked a lot – I loved the colors and thought the construction on the top was interesting. I liked how it moved down the runway, but in the pictures it sort-of looks like she has fungus growing on her. Still, one of my top choices this week.
  • Korto: I really didn’t care for this look – it had a muumuu aspect to it and was a little too literal in the aquarius interpretation.
  • Leanne: I thought this was pretty cool – inspired by the sign but not overly literal. Leanne definitely used some elements she’s used before, but she made them look different enough to pull off the look.
  • Suede: an I Dream of Jeannie homage – nothing remotely avant garde about this look, and it just had a tackiness about it.
  • Terri: I thought the fur collar was too literal, but I don’t think what she ended up with was any improvement at all. It wasn’t avant garde. The model looked like Pocahontas wearing floaties.
  • Kenley: Oh, Lord, I hated this look. I don’t like the combination of fabrics at all and I hate the proportions. Plus, it was lopsided.

Overall – meh. Could have been worse, I guess, but it should have been a lot better.

This cracked me up. (Can’t get the video to embed, for some reason).

I enjoy these more straightforward challenges, because even though the designers are somewhat constrained, you get to see a bit more of what they might come up with on their own, if not limited to kooky materials. Diane Von Furstenberg has a generic enough style that I think you could hit a good look from a lot of different design angles.

  • Blayne: huh. I didn’t think his outfit was appropriate to the character – the jacket might have worked (although it made his model look bulky), but the cropped pants looked clowny to me.
  • Jerell: I didn’t much care for this look, either, and it wasn’t helped by the hat. This outfit just looked a little sloppy and muddy to me – the belt didn’t do enough to tighten up the look.
  • Joe: I hated this look and thought he should have gone home. It was terrible in the back as the judges all noted, but I didn’t like it from the front, either. The shawl was hideous and looked cheap, I didn’t like the mix of pinks, I didn’t like the fit on the top – bad all around.
  • Kenley: I just thought this was boring and I can’t see where all her time went. With a dress that simple, she really should have been able to pull off another piece. I’m surprised she was in the top two. And I wasn’t wild about her print, either.
  • Korto: I thought her look was interesting but not totally succesful – I didn’t think the proportions of the jacket quite worked with the dress, although I still think it was a better look than most of the ones on the runway.
  • Leanne: I would have been really angry if she didn’t win. I loved, loved, loved the dress and I thought the jacket was a nice contrast. I’m glad she listened to Tim and shortened that jacket – it made a huge difference. The gown was really beautiful and also had interesting detail without going overboard. Stunning.
  • Stella: I didn’t think her look was great, but I wouldn’t have sent her home over it. The execution was poor, and I think the cape was a bad choice, but I thought Joe’s outfit was worse.
  • Suede: this outfit looked really thrown together and thoughtless. The dress was not flattering, and the vest was just so wrong. Really bad combination.
  • Terri: the pants had some fit issues from what I could see. I didn’t love her choice of print. The jacket I liked, but I thought the whole look could have been a lot better with some tweaks. Not her best effort.

Well, right now, Leanne and Korto are definitely my front-runners. They are both doing some interesting work and setting themselves apart. Terri has potential but needs to step it up – ditto for Kenley. The guys have been too inconsistent – none of them are wowing me.

My sister and her kids were here mid-week last week for a quick visit, then some of my husband’s family were camping at San Clemente State Beach over the weekend, so we spent time with them as well – it was a fun but busy week!

It was really great to see my sister and the kids. My sister stayed at my house, and the kids stayed with Grandma or with Uncle Jon and hung out with their cousins. Grandma and Papa were troopers and took all 5 grandkids out several times and kept them very well entertained. The kids all got along really well and had a blast. My sister and I actually got a whole day together to shop and talk and relax. Then Papa and Aunt Carrie took all the kids to Boomers so that my sister and mom and I could go out to dinner. It was awesome! But my favorite part of the visit was the day that we went out on the fishing boat.

The kids were really excited. It was warm but overcast, so it never got too hot while we were out.

We saw hundreds of dolphins – they came right up to the boat and surfed our wake and jumped and swam in front of the boat.

They disappeared periodically and then we’d see more. We took some time to do slow rides on the inner tube, and even though it looked like there were no dolphins in the area, every time we started the boat up again they showed up and swam with us for awhile. Here’s Uncle Jon and the boys:

And here are the girls:

There was a little seasickness, but overall everyone had an awesome time. So good, in fact, that all 5 kids sacked out on the way back to the harbor.