Sunday, August 17, 2008

It's a jungle out there

The first team challenge of the season coincided with the first product placement. In this case, the "product" was Lipstick Jungle, NBC's horrid Sex and the City rip-off (NBC is Bravo's parent network.) The designers had to create a look for Brooke Shield's character, movie studio exec Wendy, to wear in an upcoming episode.

Jerell and Blayne are two of this season's strongest personalities but they worked well with their partners, Stell-vira and Leanne respectively. All the other teams were at each other's throats.

The issues between Korto and Joe and Terri and Suede seemed to result in more polished designs on the runway. Korto's jacket was described by Tim Gunn as a "giant sweet potato" and panned by Joe in the work room but the garment looked a lot more streamlined on the runway. Terri made Suede do-over their ruffly paisley top, which looked great in finished form.

Meanwhile, Kenley and Daniel further established themselves as this season's villains in the running.

Despite their differences, Kenley and Keith won the challenge, with this garment:

But Kenley spent most of the episode picking on other designers and generally trying to cause arguments. I cheered when Tim Gunn backed up Keith in panning the lurid flowered fabric that Kenley picked out at Mood. Kenley is very confident, but I don't think she quite has the talent to back it up. All of her designs (including the garments she wears on the show) are all about 1940s glamor and construction. We have yet to see proof that she can do anything else.

That said, Daniel kind of deserved Kenley's giggly outburst when he started bragging about his impeccable taste on the runway. His work has been completely forgettable so far and he was lucky to still be around after last week's disaster.

The design Daniel created with Kelly was definitely her aesthetic. But Daniel seemed to give up on the challenge as soon as Brooke didn't choose his design. I can't imagine that he was much help to Kelly, who proved her talent with a winning design in week 1.

Bye Kelly! I'll miss you, but this was awful:

Props to Blayne for taking responsibility for his design, rather than throwing Leanne under the bus. It looked fine but I think the outfit was more suited to a 20-something spending a day walking around New York City than for 40-something Brooke Shields playing a business executive.

Seriously, I think this entire look is for sale at Target:

I would have given the win to Jerell and Stell-vira. They made three pieces using a different prints and fabric for each. But the design looked completely pulled together on the runway. Kelly should have taken note of the skirt, which was a good example of animal-print done right:

Quotes of the week
On Kelly and Daniel's garment:
"Slutty, slutty, slutty" -- Michael
"It just looks so much cheaper than I thought it should look" -- Brooke

Next week: Designing for drag queens! I'm almost glad that Daniel wasn't kicked off because I'm sure he'll thumb his nose at this one.

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