HOUSTON - The mentors lived up to their titles this week, and worked with the designers one-on-one during the "Mentor's Choice" challenge. Each contestant was tasked with designing a piece that would highlight their strengths and push them to create a design the mentors and buyers had not yet seen from them. And, as happens in fashion, some looks were trè chic, and some were trè heinous.
Kara Laricks has done some remarkable work this season, and Terron from Saks Fifth Avenue has the most intense and unabashed crush on/obsession with her. Like, we get it. Y'all are in love. Her challenge this week was to create a full suit, with Nicole Richie as her mentor. The über-hip, über-low-crotch, plaid suit situation clearly went over the head of a mere fashion mortal such as myself, because I thought the proportions were a bit ridiculous, especially in the wide plaid short pant. But I suppose the off-white suit was actually kind of stunning in an I-wear-my-suit-as-pajamas sort of way—the whole thing was oversized and the pants hung incredibly low, but I found the overall look very editorial. I can't really see a real human wearing it, but apparently Terron can because he bought the suit for $100,000.
Ronnie Escalante also had Nicole Richie for a mentor, and he was challenged with creating an evening gown, an area in which Nicole felt he should be more than comfortable and could really excel. From the color choice (black, white and red) to the silhouette to the incredibly familiar collar detail on the shoulder and back, this was a clean, elegant, incredibly wearable dress. Also, who doesn't love a thigh-high slit? I know I do. This look went to Macy's for $50,000.
My girl Orly Shani is BACK, baby! She left her convertible gimmick at home this week when John Varvatos suggested she focus more on her brand which seems to be a mix of hard and soft. Orly interpreted this suggestion in a column dress with a peek-a-boo back zipper detail in three unique looks. My personal favorite was the pattern/yellow version of the dress, with a longer skirt (and slit up the leg, obvi, hello) with a wrap-around front and zipper detail in the back. All three versions of the dress were beautiful and interesting and I'm just glad Orly has found her way back into the mentors'/buyers' good graces. Saks and H&M went on an abbreviated bidding war, with the look ultimately going to H&M for $70,000.
Luciana Scarabello also found success this week, executing Jessica Simpson's structured dress challenge to a tee. The fabrics/patterns were perfection, the proportions were spot on, and the defined shoulder was sleek and sophisticated and all three dresses (by which I mean the exact same dress in three different patterns) were gooooorgeous. Give me. Give me all of them. The dress ended up with H&M for $70,000.
The other four designers that didn't make a sale—Ross Bennett, Nzimiro Oputa, Sarah Parrott and Nikki Poulos—were left to face the mentors and buyers and perhaps elimination.
Nzimiro Oputa designed what I found to be a rather charming two-piece suit with a few questionable details that landed him in the bottom four this week. But he's a mentor favorite, which is why it was no surprise they saved Nzimi-mi from elimination this week.
I could not possibly be more over Ross Bennett. At first, I was rooting for him as a fellow Texan, and I thought his cocky demeanor and preppy bowtie situation were appealing. But now he just seems like an unjustifiably arrogant idiot with an outdated sense of fashion. But I suppose his not-so-elegant flowy gown wasn't quite offensive enough for the buyers, because he scootched his way into next week's show with a save.
Nikki Poulos is in the bottom four for the second time in a row after her mini-maxi-dress failed to impress. And it was basically the same maxi dress she always makes just cut in half. Come on, Nikki. Suck less. But she lives to design another day as the buyers save her from elimination.
Thus, Sarah Parrott is left to take the walk of shame this week. Sarah had a pretty incredible run with H&M, selling to them (and only them) five weeks in a row totaling $300,000 in sales. But her constant insecurity and self-doubt was less than inspiring for the buyers, and they gave her the boot this week.
Only seven designers remain! Who will be the next to take a stiletto to the heart, ending their dreams of fashion stardom? Only time and fabric will tell.
Thanks for reading, and as always, thanks for watching KPRC Local 2!
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