Project Threeway .4

Challenge: The designers were tasked to design a three piece look for Macy's International Concepts label. Like most of the team challenges, each designer had to sketch a design and present it for approval. In this challenge, four designers were chosen to lead a team featuring two other designers.

Since there were only four looks on the runway, I'll discuss all four instead of discussing my Contenders.

Losing Team:
Team Leader Bonnie, with partners Bradley and Uli, offered a look that defied the INC design philosophy. Bonnie's look is nowhere close to contemporary or stylishly retro, it's just tired. The somewhat modern jacket is the lone exception, but it can't overcome the retro time field that emanates from the pants. And all goodwill is sucked into the gaping wormhole of the turtleneck top. I really don't understand what happened with Bonnie's design. She would have been safe if she had just copied her own dress from the Dog Challenge. It was young, modern, sleek; everything INC expected.

Bonnie appeared to be an inept team lead, too. She made serious errors at MOOD Fabrics. The color palette and fabrics are too safe, too boring. Upon returning to the workroom, Bonnie seemed somewhat overbearing. There is a fine line between inspiring or demanding a teammate to succeed. Bonnie's importunate leadership did not inspire Bradley's best. Instead he was reduced to the role of a fashion scullion. Uli's immunity allowed her to avoid conflict with Bonnie, removing a critical voice from the team's dynamic. It's unfortunate that Bonnie should leave so soon, but she failed every facet of this challenge.

Team Lead, Angela, with assistants Michael and Angela.

Angela desparately wanted to redeem herself after the last two challenges. While she's still one of my Contenders, her design philosophy isn't working for the judges or the other designers. Fortunately, Angela hit a home run. Every aspect of this look is killer. The scrunched sleeves on the shirt, the flipped collar on the jacket, the dark charcoal fabric... The final product is fashion-forward, contemporary, and wearable.

Angela definitely owes part of her success to her assistants Laura and Michael. These two have undeniable style and construction ability, and Angela could not have picked two stronger teammates. Did they overpower Angela and overhaul the design to suit their fashion ethos? Or did this team work together as equal partners? I'm not sure. If this was a team featuring one of my Contenders, I would suspect the power would tilt in favor of the Contender. However, this is a team of two Contenders and one Honorary Contender. I think this was a collaborative effort that resulted in a big win. Good job, team!

Not The Winners
Team Lead(?) Keith, with assistants Alison and Jeffrey.

This team faced an uphill battle with the loss of its leader, Keith. I've already posted my thoughts about his dismissal so we can just focus on the runway submission here.

Keith's offered a very strong design spec that appealed to the visiting VP from Macy's. The look is sporty, modern, and sophisticated. After losing Keith, Alison and Jeffrey had to step up and 'make it work'. The final look was nearly enough to score a win, but I think the top's side loops are a little 'fashion-forward' for the INC line. Kudos to Alison and Jeffrey for their execution of Keith's design and overcoming the loss of their leader.

Not The Losers Team Lead, Robert, with assistants Kayne and Vincent.

Oy. I'm not sure what to say about this look. On the bright side, one could argue that the end result is better than one might expect given the calculus involved. Two Queens + One Space Cadet Could = Courtney Love :(

Fortunately, it wasn't a disaster of epic proportions. Each piece is well constructed and stands on its own merits. Unfortunately, the combination of the three elements left me confused. The skirt and blouse say, "Let's meet for cocktails after work!", but the jacket says, "But I'll need a ride because my Corolla is in the shop."

Robert's runway look might have been confusing, but at least it was rooted in this decade. He stays in. Bonnie goes home. And the show goes on.

Past Episode Commentary

Hot Tuna
Episode One
Episode Two
Episode Three
Episode Four
Episode Four Keith

Episode One


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