Let's start with the runway looks:
I feel like I have SO much to say and yet, the judges really said most of it for me. I completely agree that Mondo nailed it and that Michael's dress was great. I also agree that April has no range and Gretchen really blew it on this one. As for Andy, I've never been a fan of his aesthetic, so I'm happy for him that the judges loved his look, but it's really not something I would ever wear. Even without his "warrior woman" styling, it's not a dress I'd ever wear. Mondo's dress, on the other hand is absolutely something I would wear (if it was longer, anyway). Mondo and Andy made very similar looks in terms of construction and yet they were SO different. I prefer the playful mix of prints that Mondo does so successfully. I am not a fan of the dominatrix "wet look" that Andy does so.... well, I suppose successfully is the word since he made it to the semi-finals.
April is young and hopefully she's also resilient. I hope she'll grow from this experience because she has a lot of time ahead of her to be successful in the fashion industry. While I agree that she's made some nice things, I also agree that they're all basically the same thing with minor variations and NONE of those variations include color. I said the same thing a week or two ago- she's never done anything other than black and she did the same thing again this week. I agree with whichever judge referred to her model as a "pregnant witch." I think that for the most part, April designs high-end Hot Topic and as Michael Kors says, "It has no joy." He's so right about that. I think it was the right decision to send her home, but I wish the judges had also sent Gretchen home. I find her to be so unbelievably arrogant that it's not surprising she's struggled so much in the industry. If you're going to make it in as tough an industry as fashion, you need a touch of humility and loads of support from friends, family, business partners- wherever you can get it. I'm only guessing here, but I wonder if her arrogance has alienated her a bit. Why would anyone want to help someone who doesn't listen, and who is so unfailingly judgmental? Right up until the bitter end, she was being snarky and rude about Michael. "He's either an idiot savant or just an idiot." Really? You really want to be on camera saying that about another person and not in a humorous setting? Really?!?!? Ivy was worse, no doubt, but Gretchen is a close second for the villain character of the season. If I never hear her speak again, it will be too soon.
Speaking of Michael, I think he nailed it. His inspiration was clear, but he didn't make a replica in any way. I absolutely could see that dress on the red carpet, even if I couldn't see it in my personal wardrobe. I agree with the other contestants that it's hard to understand Michael's aesthetic, but for them to be so against him right up to the end just makes me sad. Even when he asked them, "What do you think?" Not a single one said something clearly positive and supportive. Instead, they all said, very judgmentally I might add, "It's very sexual. Sexual." Just ONCE I wish someone (besides the judges) said, "You did a beautiful job on that dress." I was thrilled for him when Mondo said such nice things about him. Michael is genuinely touched when the other designers are supportive of him and he has had SO little support from them, I'm amazed he's not more worn out like Gretchen. Then again, maybe Gretchen wouldn't be so tired if she just focused on her work and stopped telling everyone else how to design their garments. She's insufferable and I can't stand her.
As for the semi-finals, I hope that the guys all make it through to fashion week and Gretchen goes home, however, the judges have loved some of her looks that I found positively revolting and unfortunately personality doesn't really factor in their decision, so I think it will end up being Mondo, Andy and Gretchen in the end. I hope they prove me wrong, I really hope they do.
On another note, I absolutely ADORED having Christian Siriano as a guest judge. I thought he was very insightful and articulate and he demonstrated a maturity that was often lacking during his season of the show. I hope he continues to have success as a fashion designer because it is clearly what he is meant to do.
All right, friends- only 2 more weeks until the season is over! It's been a good one and overall I've really enjoyed it. What are your thoughts on this season? The cast? The challenges? The new 90-minute format? Leave a comment!