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Epperson and Christopher

And the confusion continues, kittens.

Commenters, as is the custom with the internet, have very strong opinions about who was robbed and who was treated badly and who should have gone home this past episode. We're having a hard time signing on to any one point of view because there were two ways to take this challenge and both the designers AND the judges switched back and forth in order to justify their choices.

Model: Matar Cohen

Take this look, for example. Under any criteria, it really is a fabulous look, perfectly rendered.

Honestly, there isn't a thing about this we don't love, from the frayed ruffles to the leather (esque?) sash...

To the split skirt and the suggestion of frayed and weathered petticoats. It's all very evocative and creates a character almost instantly.

The problem is, this was pitched as a costume for a western and discussed as a topic for a western and to be perfectly honest, this would never work as a costume for a western because it's so obviously historically inaccurate.

And before anyone plays the "westerns can be set in any period or place" card, let us just say that while that's true, that's not how Epperson conceived it or described it.

He's the one that said "Western is a period" and he's the one who described the character in strictly traditional western terms.

In the end, he didn't fulfill the dictates of the challenge (at least as far as the judging was concerned) but he did produce something so beautiful that they simply couldn't ignore it.

Model: Katie Sticksel

Christopher's look had pretty much exactly the same problems, with a few extra problems added on. Let's break it down.

This look is gorgeous and romantic, no doubt about it.

We love that sash mimicking a corset and we love the romantic folds and drapes of the skirt.

And that piece on the back of her neck was beautiful and unique.

But let's get a few things out of the way before we move back to the judging issue: this is once again an example of Christopher working in his safe zone. Washed out, almost dingy colors paired with a voluminous textural skirt. If we had consistent judges from week to week, he would almost certainly have been called out for that.

Next, we have to point out that, just like Epperson did, he went toward the "inspired by" route instead of the costume route and just like Epperson did, he nonetheless described it in terms of being a movie costume. Even the judges described it as such, referring to how it would look shot from the back.

The problem is, just like Epperson, this doesn't work as a costume at all. His genre was "period" and this look only slightly evokes a hazy, Victorian-esque period of time and place. Worse, he muddied the waters significantly by blurring the genres and pitching this as a vampire wedding dress. Question: Would anyone look at this and think this was a wedding dress? Is there anything about it that evokes a wedding, period or otherwise, vampire or not?

In the end, we think that the judges settled on the "movie costume" version of the challenge rather than the "inspired by a movie genre" version because they gave the win to the most costumey of all the entries and discussed it in terms of how it would work as a costume for film. For that reason, it's puzzling that these two even made it into the top since they clearly don't fulfill the criteria that the winning look got. Basically, the judges were so in love with these looks (and rightfully so) that they shifted their criteria around however it suited them. We guess that's their prerogative but it doesn't strike us a being particularly fair to the designers.

Extended Judging:

[Photos: Mike Yarish/ - Videos: - Screencaps:]

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I wasn't as blown away by Christopher's as others, but I adored Epperson's. But I agree, it's hard to decide which outfit was best when the challenge itself wasn't clear.


I loved both of these garments and I really covet Christophers dress. So beautifull and romantic....hmmm perhaps his genre should have been "cover of a romance novel".

I was confused buy the dictates of the challenge too so I am ignoring it and just going by my favorite. Christopher was robbed :)

BTW you have a valid point about his repeat outfits. I really think he is benefitting from the revolving door of shitty judges.

If they went for "movie costume" instead of "movie-inspired", then why did they dump on Gordana, who made the only outfit from any contestant that could have actually been used in a movie? Nicolas's certainly couldn't have.

And what was all that about "well, it looks cheap, but it'll photograph well"? Photograph well, my ass.

I loved both of these looks, but there's no question that the challenge wasn't clear, and the judges seemed more enamored of the stories of the characters the designers created than the actual designs.

"Period" could mean anything. When the judges began talking about how they loved the way some designers made their genre designs modern and updated, I was lost. Were the designers supposed to be making costumes for movie characters or their own take on genre costumes or something else entirely?

Nobody seemed to know. But I did find it strange that the winning look was a costume, period, and Gordana's look, which was a costume, period, was dumped on for being a costume, period.

Gordana's look wasn't dumped on for being a costume. It was dumped on for being so basic.

I'm much more impressed with Epperson's due to the screen caps ... very nicely executed with lots of thought obviously put into the concept, however historically inaccurate. I did find something vaguely 1983 Stevie Nicks about it, though ... but an amazing job nonetheless.

I had the same reaction to hot Christopher's dress ... beautiful but well within his comfort zone. I hope he pushes his boundaries a bit because I think the results could be amazing.

Since the judges switched their criteria from dress to dress I see why people wanted either Epperson or Christopher to win, because while they don't necessarily meet the "costume" criteria, they made beautiful dresses.

I initially liked Christopher's better than Epperson's, though it was really a toss up in my opinion, and I like Christopher's "washed-out and used" palette and pretty punk aesthetic, but have come around to liking Epperson's more.

Denim ruffles should, by all accounts, be a train wreck, but he rendered them so beautifully and he has such an artful aesthetic that, costume or not, it really should have won.

The one thing I do believe, though, is that even if they chose to reward the best "costume" that Nicolas STILL shouldn't have been in the top because Carol-Hannah's assassin garb was awesome, and even Gordana's "boring" flapper dress looked like something Colleen Atwood might create for a 20s period movie.

Hm... Epperson's look actually made me think of the space western tv series/movie Firefly. Don't know how well this would have flown with the judges, but I wondered whether suggesting more of a sci-fi/fantasy twist respectively on their genres would have fit better, or at least given them more room to argue for playing fast and loose with the elements.

I probably would've given Epperson the win based on my own criteria, which would've probably leaned more toward "inspired by a genre." But I hate-hate-hated Christopher's, which looks like everything he's ever done but worse.

"The problem is, this was pitched as a costume for a western and discussed as a topic for a western and to be perfectly honest, this would never work as a costume for a western because it's so obviously historically inaccurate.

And before anyone plays the "westerns can be set in any period or place" card, let us just say that while that's true, that's not how Epperson conceived it or described it."

Doesn't matter, as far as I'm concerned. The garment stands on its own-- having them come up with a "story" behind their garments is always a bad idea, because a good story doesn't make a garment better and a bad story doesn't make it worse.

Agree with most above. I am not completely in love with Christopher's because of that corset-type thing. It looks too loose. It should be up under the bust, showing where her boobs are. Instead it sort of droops and her bust looks unsupported.
Loved Epperson's.
Judging = arbitrary.

In the Australian version, the judges are very particular with one thing: Did the designer "meet the Brief"?

That's very helpful for both the judges and the designers, I think. No dress that didn't meet the challenge criteria does ever get to win or be in the top 3, no matter how gorgeous. That's really how it should be.

I loved both the looks, and I really believe Epperson was robbed. But to be fair, I think both looks are more Steampunk than period. Still, Epperson wuz robbed.

I understand how he was able to say wedding dress simply because all white dresses for weddings are a rather new idea, same with the diamond engagement ring.

Still, a wedding dress is supposed to be striking and something to attract all the attention. The vampire wedding dress wasn't that.

even I have noticed that Christopher makes the same kind of thing ... I like him a lot, but it is getting boring, and there was nothing vampire or wedding about his dress. It was gorgeous though.

I was really surprised that Epperson didn't win.

Honestly, I'm just happy that Louise wasn't auffed

"I understand how he was able to say wedding dress simply because all white dresses for weddings are a rather new idea, same with the diamond engagement ring."

I don't think he said it was a wedding dress. I think he said she was getting married tomorrow, or something.

Amen I say Amen. The criteria is so friggin muddled. These were beautiful garmets, as was PP's. The problem is I don't get why they dissed Gordana's, then, since it was as "costumey" as PPs, perfectly rendered, and without any real confusion as to historical accuracy. In the end, I think she failed to present a good story about the character (she's a space alien who landed in the 20s!) and that was what finished her. Or something else. I can't tell.

Just to wave the geek flag for a moment: Nicholas's was not sci-fi, it was fantasy based. I wouldn't have dinged him for it, since the two are often confused with each other, but it does make me wonder what was in their notebooks.

epperson's is a rtw design inspired by the genre. it's just that gun sling that's making it a little costume.

and i know christopher has a lot of fans, but i don't really see him as a serious contender..anyway his design was also rtw to me. especially the top.

the only people who made costumes were shirin, logan, carol hannah, louise, and gordana.

"epperson's is a rtw design inspired by the genre."

Okay, I'm going to sit here for a bit and try and figure where on earth you'd wear something like that. Rodeo prom?

"Create a look inspired by a movie genre."

That's what it said on the screen to describe the challenge at the beginning of the episode. Was that look to be a costume in a film or just a piece which borrows the tropes of any given film genre but is in fact just a "look?" Wish the judges had asked the question, because the ensuing choices were as inconsistent as this week's Nina and Michael-less panel.

My take on it was that Christopher and Epperson nailed the challenge because they truly made looks "inspired by" the genres. Were they historically accurate? Of course not - and why should they be, they're making an inspired piece, not a costume. Which makes Nicholas's win for his Blades of Glory Ice Dancing Queen costume from K-Mart win all the more flummoxing. Okay, I'm not saying anything new, just ranting anew. Blech.

P.S. I thought Epperson nailed the challenge and should have nailed the win.

yeah! ho! wah!

i have to say, i dont really like the top of eppersons dress. the boobs vanish and the shoulders are accented - doeasnt work at all for me.

the skirt is beautiful, though.

mll (another lulu)

I loved Epperson's, as TLo said, gorgeous no matter what the genre. Epperson has proven his versatility with the different challenges. Fabulous skills. My winner for this challenge. And I disagree. IF there had been fashion shows in the old west, all the ladies woulda been drooling over this.

I hated Christopher's. While it has some very attractive individual elements, I am so TIRED of his voluminous skirts. We get it, you taught yourself great skills. Now, STEP IT UP, GET OFF YOUR COMFY DESIGN COUCH. He would SO have been raked over the coals by LaNina/PersimmonPrincess by now.

The judging! Grrrr!!! But seriously, can't anyone make sleeves this season? Or are sleeves not in-vogue these days? Sleeves would have done a lot for historical accuracy (even by Hollywood standards) for many of these garments.

Yeah, the vampire neck thing confused me because the neck treatment on Christopher's dress didn't look nearly high enough to hide any fang marks.

Loved Epperson's.

Christopher's dress is truely nothing special. It's nothing we haven't seen, it's nothing new, it makes the model look like she is 6ft2in of mid section. Eppersin's is beautiful. It evoked "western" but had a modern "Epperson" sensibility. All the commenters who remarked about Firefly are spot on.

Not completely related to the post, but can I just say that I really love the talent on this season? It's refreshing that there are so many strong contenders for the finale in Bryant Park.

I love Epperson's dress, by the way. It looked beautiful and really conveyed that feeling of "tattered, but strong and beautiful." I feel like Nicholas won more because of his story rather than his sewing and design skills.

My criteria being, "Do I like it or not?"....I would totally give the win to Epperson, followed by Christopher, with the white K-Mart Halloween costume coming in somewhere in the middle of the whole pack.
Silly, convoluted, contrived challenge this was. If explained, judged and designed well, it could have been a knock out challenge.
Shoulda, coulda, woulda...seems the theme of this PR season.

Epperson's is just plain stunning. Now that I'm looking at the close-up pictures, I can see even more the gorgeous amount of detail that went into that outfit. He was absolutely robbed of the win on this one... unless the challenge was actually supposed to be making a literal costume. I don't get it, either.

Maybe they just picked the looks they liked the best, but gave the win to nikolas because he produced a great costume that met the challenge the best.

I'm guessing on the scorecard there's several categories. How is it executed, is it new, does it express a point of view, does it meet the challenge.

So while nikolas may have falted on some of the other categories, he excelled in the "fits the challenge category"

Both Epperson and Christopher took risks by creating looks inspired by their genre and just bs'd that it could be in an actual western or period piece.

I actually didn't care for Christopher's that much because of the colors, but as fashion I can see why the judges liked it.

What else should have been up there? Other entries may have fit the challenge better, but they didn't stand out nearly as garments.

Yep. I was right there, chin on the floor, eyes crossed. Period piece? What? Where? I don't see any period pieces. It was just plain weird. I loved Nick's costume. He knew he'd have free reign with science fiction, and he snagged that genre card and ran with it. I am getting pretty upset with all of the guest judges. It's all a random crap shoot on any of the challenges this season. You can't even design for your audience, because the audience (the judges) keep changing.

Anony 1:46 pm you nailed it! As soon as Matar turned down the runway all I could think about was the Firefly episode "Heart of Gold." Take away a few ruffles and add a tight pair of pants, you've got Zoe's entire wardrobe. Being a geek of my caliber, I loved it :) Glad I'm not the only one!


Epperson's outfit could have walked right off of the set of Firefly, which is a sci-fi western, true, but still. Whereas Nicolas' created a sci-fi look that's not relevant to any kind of science fiction happened since Barbarella or Flash Gordon, which is why I think Epperson should have won.

I think the reason Epperson didn't win is just because this wasn't simply a costume challenge, it was a make up challenge. Nicholas had the most unique make up, paired with a interesting and pretty dress.

With this challenge, I didn't hate the judges--I liked the non-bitchiness of the two designers and the thoughtfulness.

But. OH. the criteris--the WTFness of it all.

I ended up thinking in terms of how an outfit would work for something really *theatrical*--where a mood and character are supposed to be evoked, but not realistically. I preferred Epperson's of these two for that reason--Christopher's top was so modern that it wasn't about character, but about fashion. Beautiful though.

It's unfair to ask for a strictly costume challenge simply because some genres--period--require research and unusual/older techniques and others (film noir) don't. So it has to be "inspired by"--but then you can't talk about things as if they were going to be actual costumes. Sigh.

There was a neat challenge stuck somewhere in there--but it was never clear what it was. I kind of blame the producers here for not thinking it through for consistency. That was a problem with the surf challenge as well. Even the newspaper challenge.

I feel for the designers. They're a more talented bunch than the previous season (LeAnne and Korto being the obvious exceptions to the rule.), but they're not getting a chance.

I agree with Anonymous 1:46 - Epperson's dress would have been perfect for Firefly. I can see Zoe rocking that outfit. It really is unfair to some of the designers that they did seem to move the goal posts around post-workroom. There was no way to insist that the designers be accurate for the time period (when that applied, I mean what could you consider accurate for sci-fi?) and so I think the judging is whack, end of story. Nicholas's won because it completely embodied the character he invented, so I don't necessarily think anyone was robbed. Christopher's was just too washed out for my taste, and it didn't look like it fit the model very well - it seemed loose. I would have been thrilled to see Epperson win, though.

Sometimes, my inner home sewer comes out and I just have to say, "Dude ruffled denim."

It's not easy to ruffle denim and make it look sophisticated. So I'm more impressed with the technical expertise that went into Epperson's look than Christopher's.

But I have to register a big fat MEH to these nebulous challenges. There are too many variables going in for there to be multiple interpretations of the end product.

If this is a best costume challenge, Carol Hannah wins.

If this is a best garment inspired by a genre challenge, Epperson and Christopher can duke it out.

It is the best bullshit story to accompany a costume challenge, then Nicolas wins, hands down.

Fnarf said: If they went for "movie costume" instead of "movie-inspired", then why did they dump on Gordana, who made the only outfit from any contestant that could have actually been used in a movie? Nicolas's certainly couldn't have.

I think that depends on the production value of the movie. A better made version would work quite well. In a B-movie, or lower, the original would just help up the camp value.

And what was all that about "well, it looks cheap, but it'll photograph well"? Photograph well, my ass.

I do agree with that.

I couldn't care less about the historical accuracy of the clothing. Costner busted his ass making "Dances with Wolves" historically accurate (Mary M.'s 80s perm notwithstanding), and the movie still sucked. I wonder if any of the designers even know enough about the details of any given period of fashion, especially western and Victorian, to have been truly accurate.

I get the complaints about Christopher doing the same thing, but, on its own, I think it's still a great dress. I give a pass on no sleeves. Vampires are all sluts.

Epperson's is even more fabulous when I see it up close. I want that coat, tatters and all.

I'd definitely nominate Matar for the Best Actress award this week as she took "working the hell out of it" to a whole 'nother level.

And, yes, I think Epperson's look was stunning, would have given it the win to him for taking what he was given (last again, what is it with the producers picking on this man) and making it work in such a forceful manner.

I notice, too, that Wifetime is advertising the return of the Duchess on their PR website. y'think they may have picked up the fans' dissatisfaction with the MIA judges??

I loved Epperson's dress so much. I would wear it. As another commenter said already, as someone who sews, I know that making those frayed denim ruffles was NOT EASY.

It did not look like a one-day-challenge dress. It had tons of intricate details and layers but looked wearable and chic. Bravo, Epperson! I've forgiven him his horrific maternity schmatte.

Maura, you took the words right out of my mouth: realistic period pieces would require a lot of prior knowledge and a lot of research. They definitely didn't have time for the latter and who knows how much any of them really had of the former (it's one thing to know a style from a particular period and another to know what was or wasn't acceptable in that period).

That said, I agree with Epperson that Westerns are essentially period pieces. In that light, let me nerd out for a minute: if there was a Western that actually showed what the Wild West was like rather than a masculinized, mythologized version of it, his piece would be nearly perfect (minus the denim, tho I personally didn't even know it was denim until the judge mentioned it). The women of the Wild West weren't just prostitutes or cowering pioneers; they filled a lot of other roles that we associate solely with men now, like entrepeneur and farm hand. In which case, their clothes had to be equal parts practical and still feminine for the time period, so I could totally see a female rancher in 1860s Montana wearing his dress or something very similar.

Actually I felt Epperson's was 1 step away from being a good steampunk outfit. It just needed the right accesories.

Christopher's was the same basic look and probbaly why he didn't win. Heidi might have been thinking that in the back of her mind no matter how much she like it. However it was 1 step away from being cliched steampunk with that little hat on his model. In fairness victoria gowns could be sleeveless but Halter tops are a different matter

Speaking of Steampunk I thought if Louise had gotten sci-fi she could have rocked a great outfit from that motif.

I'm just sorry this challenge didn't go off better. it was a good idea in theory

BTW Gordana was dinged for creating something they felt was pretty but generic. They felt she didn't bring any personal POV to the design.


I loved Epperson's, and I think it would work as a costume for a steampunkesque Western (they do exist!), at least, albeit not a traditional one. I would rather he won than Nicolas, if for no other reason than that's a gorgeous dress (and, I give some credit to Matar for working it, too). And way more interesting than Christopher's.

I am starting to get bored with Christopher, sadly. I do think he's good at what he does, though I didn't like this dress as much (something about it feels off, like the bottom didn't quite go with the top, or the transition was wrong, or something). I also think if he wanted 'vampire', he went with the wrong fabrics and probably should've gone more dark or all white. Or, y'know. Picked a color. I don't really mind his being in the top I guess, though he wouldn't have been my pick if it were up to me, but honestly I don't feel he was robbed. (But Epperson, well...)

What I have to add is that this challenge was the challenge with the 'hairstyle challenge' on top of it. Both these looks lacked the styling Nicolas' did.

I did not like Christopher's at all. I don't get why some people are all over it... He's just really boring me now.

I did like Epperson's dress though and it would be a strong contender for the winning design but styling was what helped Nicolas win.

As a graphic design student I have to say that I'm used to blurry criteria of judging when it comes to art. Very often we are given an assignment and someone does something that would be very wrong for the assignment but it looks awesome and it just works. That's how it is, I agree that the judging was very unclear but what the exact assignment was doesn't really matter if you produce something beautiful. I understand why the crazy judging criteria is annoying but I'm sure those designers are used to it.

I HATED Ms. Crissy's and didn't understand all of the fuss over it. It didn't look Western, just messy.

Easy Sewer did a better job with the leathuh and did something that looked more Spaghetti Western Whorehouse, even if it wasn't Western per say.

But then again, the judges change the rules so fuckin' fast until *I* don't even know what to look for anymore.

I normally agree with your opinions, but I'm sorry, Christopher's just looked like a tall pile of hair scrunchies.

I thought this challenge had so much potential, but I'm pretty underwhelmed.

I was very surprised by Christopher's "vampire wedding dress" description, because the absolute first thing I thought of when his model came around the screen was "Victorian prostitute, victim of Jack the Ripper." But updated and given a runway edge--in other words, "inspired by a genre," which I mistakenly thought was the challenge.

When Epperson drew "Western", my husband looked at me and said, "He's screwed, isn't he?" "Not really," I replied. "If I were him, I'd take it in a future/space/Asian direction, sort of like Firely."

And then out walked a dress I would wear if I were taller and that, as several of you have noted, would look spectacular on Zoe from Firefly. I wonder, has he come up with a "future space western" story-line, would he have won? I'd have given him the win anyway.

And one day later, I still hate the white, derivative, non-sci fi dress that did win. A pox on these new stupid judges.... I want Michael and Nina back.

mll (another lulu) said...

IF there had been fashion shows in the old west, all the ladies woulda been drooling over this.

Actually, there were fashion shows, or rather catalogs, and those women wouldn't have touched his dress. Much too Steampunk, like Gorgeous Things said. Women in the old west fell into two categories. Those who wanted serviceable clothes and those who missed the "civilization" of back East - clothes that made you look dainty and pretty and like you never did a day of work.

Rillion said that Epperson's dress would have stood on it's own, but these outfits weren't supposed to. As an outfit to be inspired by the western movie genre, it does not fit. And that should really matter even for a gorgeous dress. They were supposed to be specifically inspired by a movie genre and I really would have preferred that they use the costume standard, especially since they had a costume expert there. I think that several other designers stayed much more within the bounds of their genre than either Epperson and Christopher. Inspired by is such a loose criteria, but you can get too far from your inspiration. Those that stayed close really should have gotten more credit. And then, some of those models acted the heck out of their role. Those guys really should have scored off the charts.

And their criticism of Gordana really rankled. Choosing a flapper is boring. Why exactly? And even so, that shouldn't have landed a perfectly executed garment that would have fit into any 20s movie at the bottom.

If I was one of the designers I would be POd that the requirements for the challenge keep changing.

I would put this problem squarely on the shoulders of the production team. This issue was not as obvious, nor as bad in the previous seasons of PR.

That said, I too love both Epperson's and Christopher's outfits, taken at face value without constraints or a rubric to follow.

Good god, both these outfits (while beautiful on their own) were so historically inaccurate, the history nerd in me started screaming "SLEEVES ASSHOLE, SLEEVES!" at Christopher and Epperson. Was I the only one who wasn't confused by by the requirements? Make a costume for the genre, that's it, what the fuck is so difficult about that? Who told Christopher and Epperson the challenge was steam-punk couture?

It wasn't until the Victorian era than women began wearing what we would call a traditional wedding dress. Many women just wore their Sunday best. It wasn't until Queen Victoria herself wore a white gown that it became popular.

C'est moi, c'est moi Lola

TLo, I see your points about judging criteria, etc., when explaining how these looks were rated so high by the judges.

I know I am in the minority, but I did not love these looks, mostly because I am not a fan of voluminous garments. The idea of ruffled denim gives me hives, and I just thought Christopher laid on a BS story to justify doing the same old look we seem to be getting from him. Since it seems to be the same look over and over, that's why I am so disappointed with Zoe & Heidi and judges. I'd figure by now Duchess and/or Nina would have called him on it already and made him stretch his abilities. Plus, Christopher's just looked sloppily done.

Anyway, I've got to rush out, and I'm so DONE with trying to find some reasonable explination as to why we go the results we saw this week. Let's hope Duchess bring some reason & sanity to the judging panel on Thursday.

Anonymous said...

It wasn't until the Victorian era than women began wearing what we would call a traditional wedding dress. Many women just wore their Sunday best. It wasn't until Queen Victoria herself wore a white gown that it became popular.

Well he did say it was Victorian era.

But I'm gonna go with Anonymous on the missing sleeves being the big problem. Even if you know the bare minimum about history, you know that people were big on covering up. With all of Hollywood's inaccuracy, at least their period pieces use sleeves.

Love you guys. Love Epperson. Really didn't like Epperson's garment. Only like the incredibly inaccurate blouse on Christopher's.

These people all need to watch more movies!!!

Both of these looks were 'inspired by', rather than being literally what the characters in question would wear.

Epperson's looks like it is for Stevie Nicks starring in 'Annie Get Your Gun'.

And Christopher's looks like two different dresses to me. Actually two different dresses from two different classes of the same British period film: The top of the dress is for an Upstairs character & the bottom half is for a Downstairs character.


I actually liked Epperson's a lot. You can see his inspiration, great execution and somewhat perfect for the challenge.

TLo, you two put ten times more thought into what this challenge means than either the producers or the judges. My guess is they said "It's LA, it's the movies, let's do movie genres" and that's about as deep as the analysis went. And I'm going to use the same shallow criteria as the judges. I loved Christopher's the most, both front and back. I also loved Epperson's, but a smidge less than Christopher's.

Both were better than the winning outfit which was dramatic, but styling shouldn't be the reason someone wins. This judging panel seemed to spend a lot more time on the entire look rather than the garments. I'm not sure that's a good thing unless the hair and makeup people get to share the $100,000.

I hated both of them.

It's a shame that we need your justification to make sense out of the judges decision. Isn't that something we show see/hear on the show?puddycorreo

Anonymous on 9/26/09 at 1:46 PM said... Hm... Epperson's look actually made me think of the space western tv series/movie Firefly

Actually Epperson's design reminded me of the Mad Max movie series. I could see whoever or whatever ran the bar (Sharon Stone??? Miss Jay Alexander??? Tyrone Banks???) playing the "Miss Kitty" character wearing this dress/costume.


I love both of these outfits and thought Epperson should have won (the "inspired" by a movie genre criteria of course) but I think the problem is that some of the challenges are presented very vague and the judges are changing criteria every 5 seconds.

This show needs to be stricter on the dictates of challenges or it's going to devolve into "judges pets" and "make a pretty dress" challenges every week.

Regardless of how the judges approached it, I've decided that the challenge was to create a costume that visually establishes a character. This woman walks on screen and boom, you know who she is and what she's doing in the story.

From that perspective, Nicholas and Epperson were both successful, and Christopher less so.

I dunno I liked Epperson's dress and I think it could work as a costume for a character in a Western, like maybe she needs to be tough yet femenine and there for has a dress made from like recylced work pants...? Okay I know that's stretching it... I will say though that Christopher in the top 3 made me rage, because it was so not Victorian, and I make Victorian dresses, also the way the judge was talking about how it would look on film, if it was supposed to be a costume I could understentioning that but his wasn't one to me. Maybe it could pass for Steam Punk... but Victorian movie costume... no...

I couldn't care less about the historical accuracy of the clothing. Costner busted his ass making "Dances with Wolves" historically accurate (Mary M.'s 80s perm notwithstanding), and the movie still sucked. I wonder if any of the designers even know enough about the details of any given period of fashion, especially western and Victorian, to have been truly accurate.

Did you not mean Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves rather than Dances With Wolves? I think you did.

I liked Epperson's the most. It was like Oregon Trail meets high fashion. :)

Hate these judges. Hate, hate, hate these judges.

Epperson's dress = gorgeous, but I agree with the win b/c can you see ANYONE, even in a period western, wearing this beauty to "take care of the house?"

Christopher is boring me. Same silhouette every week. He can't do anything else but a poofy skirt and plain top (or, as in the first episode, a poofy top and plain bottom). While the end look was pretty, I've seen it before and I don't think he can do anything else, so he needs to shake it up next week.

Oh, I'm so glad to see the pictures. Thank you, TLo. I have much more appreciation for them now--especially Eppersons, wow! It's fabulous.

The judging was indeed odd -- now that I see them in detail, these are much more complex and sophisticated (in terms of concept) designs than Nicolas', so it seems especially odd that neither won (esp., I now feel, Epperson's). But, yeah, as an actual costume for a sci-fi-adventure film, I guess Nic's took it. They did, after all, have a costume designer as a judge.

MoHub on 9/26/09 at 5:48 PM said..."I couldn't care less about the historical accuracy of the clothing. Costner busted his ass making "Dances with Wolves" historically accurate (Mary M.'s 80s perm notwithstanding), and the movie still sucked. I wonder if any of the designers even know enough about the details of any given period of fashion, especially western and Victorian, to have been truly accurate.

Did you not mean Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves rather than Dances With Wolves? I think you did."

I thought maybe you were talking about The Postman or Water World. Come to think of it Epperson's dress would have worked in The Postman.


Actually . . .

Nicolas' story was more typical movie-pitch fare. Uncomplicated, easy familiar enough, and a bit creative (the sister queens live on Orion's belt). I think the judges gave a lot of influence to the story.

Did you take a closer look at the bust on Epperson's? Freaking amazing!! My new goal in life is to write a western screenplay to be made into a movie with his character as the lead. Totally robbed!

I have to second all the Firefly comments. My first thought when Matar hit the runway was "Ooh! She looks like Zoey!" And now I miss Zoey, so it'll probably be Firefly watching on Hulu for at least part of the rest of my evening.

Vampire wedding immediately makes me think of Werewolf Bar Mitzvah for some reason.
Boys becoming men, men becoming wolves!

I also do not really like the vampire wedding neck treatment. For me, it ruins the lines of her back and looks like a a pillow for using on an airplane. And the cape ruined the lines of the front. I don't get it.
But that model walked the shit out of that dress (again, I swear Christopher gets all these volumigowns in the top by on the strength of his model alone).

Oh Epperson - I didn't like how you treated Qrystal, but you've won me over because you made me think of Firefly. Henceforth, I'm rooting for you and Shirin all the way!

Mohub said: I couldn't care less about the historical accuracy of the clothing. Costner busted his ass making "Dances with Wolves" historically accurate (Mary M.'s 80s perm notwithstanding), and the movie still sucked. I wonder if any of the designers even know enough about the details of any given period of fashion, especially western and Victorian, to have been truly accurate.


Did you not mean Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves rather than Dances With Wolves? I think you did.

I have, blessedly, mostly blocked Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves out of my mind. When Dances with Wolves (Or, as Pauline Kael called it, Plays with Camera) was released, there was a huge deal made about Costner's attempts to make it as historically accurate as possible. RE: Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, wasn't that full of inaccuracies, not the least of which was Costner's accent?

Mohub, I'm not sure if you asked me about that because of my comment about historical accuracy, or because I said it sucked. To clarify, it's the only movie I've ever walked out on.

Anyway, my larger point was that I don't care about inaccuracies in fashion, unless they're so blatant they can't be ignored. I couldn't have told you that denim was inaccurate in Epperson's dress, or what a woman in that time would wear instead. And I have to assume that they're somewhat limited in the kind of fabric they can use due to their budgets, so they do what they can with what they have.

This is, after all, Project Runway, not the Society for Creative Anachronisms, the members of which are exceptionally nitpicky about the accuracy of their costumes.

Enough gasbagging from me. Epperson was robbed. :)

Epperson's looked like something Zoe from Firefly would wear if it had a little less frill. OK, maybe a lot less thrill....

To me the judges should have settled for the "inspired by a movie genre" criteria because they can't really expect the designers to come up with a look that what suitable for a movie without any feedback. I mean how can you create something to be used in a period film let's say if you know nothing about how people dressed in the past? But if they chose that version then they should have sent home the designers whose looks where too costume-like! it was f@cked up, the whole episode was simply f@cked up! btw i miss the dutchess!!!!!

I liked Christopher's, but he needs to start thinking outside his accessories box.

I really liked both of these, but again, the judging criteria was wonky and, ah, who the hell knows what's what anymore.

mll (another lulu)

Rainwood said: TLo, you two put ten times more thought into what this challenge means than either the producers or the judges. My guess is they said "It's LA, it's the movies, let's do movie genres" and that's about as deep as the analysis went.

Good point, and exactly why I haven't weighed in on the drama of what the criteria really were for this challenge. I'm more confuddled than anything. But I loved the concept.

Anon at 4:30
I think you are doing a disservice to the women of the old west. While women certainly needed serviceable clothes there, it might have been the very same woman who also missed the civilization back East and her pretty clothes. So these are just limiting stereotypes. Wasn't it men who made most of the decisions to move west? There were the women who went with a great sense of adventure, or who went kicking and screaming, or with all the emotions in between. Everyone on those wagon trains possessed all the variety in personality and desires and dreams that exist in the women (and men) who comment here today.

Just saying....

Anyway I was just having a bit of fun, mainly because if I had been in the old west going to the Saturday night dance in town I would have rocked this dress by Epperson.

Add me to the bitching about the ever changing judging criteria, and the historical inaccuracies. The only Victorian dresses without sleeves (or more likely with sleeves shorter than elbow length) would have been evening dresses and worn with full-length gloves. And the halter silhouette DID NOT exist in Victorian times.

I am ok with C & E having interpreted the challenge as "inspired by" since the terms of the challenge appear to have been vague, but then the judges discussed them (particularly C's in the extended judging on-line) in terms of them appearing in movies, and no historically accurate movie sent in the 19th century would let these within 50 yards of the set, let alone on-screen. (By way of credentials, I have helped to costume several Victorian-set plays, and no woman in any of these shows was sleeveless.)

Ok, done with rant. Glad we get The Duchess back this week.

I absolutely loved Christopher's! He should've won this week.

GabĂș said: Vampire wedding immediately makes me think of Werewolf Bar Mitzvah for some reason.
Boys becoming men, men becoming wolves!

Hysterical! Maybe that will be Christopher's next look!

I had to come on here and mention this ...


I was at the Mall of America (in Minnesota, near his home town) and he walked right past me into a store. He was standing by a rack of stuffed animals. I went over and said "we're big fans", and he said "of these?" pointing to the stuffed animals. I said "no, of you!" and he asked if we watch the show every week. I shook his hand and said "sorry to bother you" - but he was very gracious and friendly. And even more adorable than on tv. And he was with another cute dude.

There were only two outfits that instantly showed who the character was. One was Peppermint Patty's - seeing his model I knew it was an evil snow & ice queen/witch. The other was Epperson's - I knew she was a western/pioneer woman struggling on her own, no man in her life. I was okay with either of them winning because it all fit - outfit, styling, story.

Christopher's - a victorian lady who had her sleeves ripped off by Jack the Ripper? I never thought wedding, and certainly never thought vampire. It was too much like his avante garde dress too.

The rest of the outfits were the same - you didn't know who the character was. Except maybe Ra'mon's - the monster that crawled from the toilet after his neophrene-potty dye job.

What you two said.

Plus, even though this isn't her post, and even though it's been said ad nauseum: if movie costume was the desired challenge, Gordana should have been in the top three, if not the winner.

I really liked these two dresses. They should've given it to either one of them.

mll (another lulu)

I'll give you that there were all kinds of women, and I probably shouldn't have said that there were just two types of women. And, yes, many women would have liked both the back east styles and aimed for the sensible. BUT I still maintain that none of them would have touched Epperson's outfit (though it would have fit perfectly on Firefly).

There's nothing serviceable about his outfit and I can't get over people saying they could see it on a frontier woman. Yeah, she would have limited materials, which is why she wouldn't waste her time on silly ruffles, and those petticoats-- No way! At that point she's ripping them up for other uses. Probably her time of the month or baby swaddling. She would not waste them by wearing them, especially in a way where they might get tangled in her feet. That outfit would be too much of a hassle for any frontier woman to wear. And no sleeves! I guess I can understand how someone who hasn't ever done field work in his life would think that might work, but use your head man! Sleeves in the Old West were not about modesty, they were about practicality.

Interesting pieces, especially Epperson's.

Well, if you are going to go and be logical about the whole thing...

No, really, I can't fault your reasoning. But you are taking all the righteous out of my indignation, here. Damn it, I want to say -- Christopher and Epperson made clearly superior garments, and one of them should have won! But it's true that Nicolas's worked better qua costume.

But it still feels so damn unfair! To Epperson especially. His dress was stunning and perfect, and I'm fairly certain that's the first time I've ever said that about a denim dress.

mll (another lulu)

Anon 10:58
Well, I can see that you're taking this pretty seriously. I totally agree that on the frontier there was no fabric that went to waste on something as silly as fripperie. Swaddling and time of the month were serious business, and I surely agree that sleeves were all about practicality.

Why don't we just say that I'm interpreting it a little more loosely, say, avant-garde on the frontier? Geez, it's all just in fun, as I already said. I'm not going for the historical accuracy either, but I still maintain a gal could dance in it : )

Well, I'm going to call it a night. Sleep tight ya'll.

mll (another lulu

sorry, I meant anon 10:48 not 58

Christopher's looked like a hot mess that he threw together in 2 hours. I don't see the ~fabulousity~. Epperson's however.. daaaaamn.

-story about meeting him at the mall-

"And he was with another cute dude."

Sounds like it could've been his partner. I think his name was Ronnie IIRC from the home-visit video.


Another vote for Epperson here (though my Minnesota pride gives Christopher extra points for still shopping at the mall of America). I realize I suck at photoshop but I couldn't sleep so here's Zoe from Firefly in Epperson's dress:


mll (another lulu)

Australopythia—hey THANKS!!! Awesome. I've already copied it to my desktop. Now I'll probably dream about the dam thing.

Someone probably has already mentioned this, but Epperson's dress would work on Firefly, which was a futuristic space western.

I found it interesting that Christopher ended up in the top three even though he disregarded Tim's advice about the sleeves. What Christopher made was not a period piece, nor could it have been used in any kind of period movie, because it was so far from Victorian, what with that wacky back treatment and the bare arms. I really didn't like it at all.

Epperson's, I loved. *sigh*

Well, Epperson's couldn't be in a movie any more than Christopher's could. I love them both. Victorian women commonly wore sleeveless ball gowns, btw. (With long gloves, usually.)

Christopher's dress made me think that Jack the Ripper was going to jump out of the shadows and nab our pretty little tart for some dissecting.

Matar looks like she's ready to pull a rifle out of that scabbard and put one between Nicolas's eyes.

I'm not any clearer on what the challenge called for than anybody else, but I think having the designers add their own style to the designs would have been a better approach, and is what they have done in some past challenges. I mean, how can we expect them to be historically accurate without being able to do research? Not everyone is conversant with various historical periods. (Besides, how many movies are all that historically accurate--especially with makeup and hairstyles?) And not all of these genres are historical, so that's problem right there, giving the "action/adventure" and "scifi" people an advantage. For that reason, "modernizing" the designs doesn't make sense, either. "Inspired by" makes the most sense.

This could have been a great challenge with more definition. As it was, I think everybody did fine with the small amount of time they had. It's amazing some of the ornate designs that got produced in such a limited time.

Full Disclosure: I do a lot of period costumes for various clients.

I understood the challenge to be: Make a costume for a film of this genre. Not Make Something Inspired By, but Make a Costume.

Gordana made a dress that would fit into a 20's film, and was called on it. But a saloon girl sashyed down the runway, and was OK.

Not one of the Film Noir pieces were even remotely close to Film Noir.

Epperson & Christopher made things that would only be fit for a Uwe Boll film. A real Western/period piece film director would kill them if they brought those things to the set. I disliked both looks, and when they were in the final 6 I figured they'd be getting a good going over for missing the task so badly.

It's obvious that the judges didn't understand the challenge, and the designers were left to deal with it as best they could.


Again, all this hating about the quality of the judges. There's a reason none of you are sitting on those judges' chairs.

I have a bigger complaint about the quality of judges from Season 5. Sandra Bernhard? LL Cool J? Apolo Anton Ohno? What exactly makes them more qualified or credible than Monique Lhuillier, John Varvatos, Max Azria, or Tommy Hilfiger?

I understand that the lack of constancy may pose an issue, but so far I am agreeing with the eliminations, save perhaps for Melvin...and Nina was present for that panel. And there were many instances in past seasons when, despite the constancy of judges - designers who should have been sent home earlier ended up staying way past their sell-by dates. Wendy in Season 1, Vincent in Season 3, Ricky in Season 4, and Stella and Blaine in Season 5.

And have any of you considered that having different judges can also be beneficial in that it forces the designers to not grow complacent and always present the best and most intriguing work possible? The one constant will always be that they must bring their 'A' game...and having different judges is conducive to that. As previous seasons have demonstrated, some designers can easily find ways to deal with Nina and Michael once they established a rapport with them and can have a working idea of what their criticisms, likes, and dislikes will be.

I enjoyed all of the Top 3 dresses, and all were worthy to be the winner. Nicholas, Christopher, and Epperson all created costumes, but also made it special and did not neglect to inject FASHION into their characters as well. Granted the errors in historiography, but they also needed to design something special for a character. Whereas these three designed for a characters, I felt the others just designed for an extra. And wasn't it Tim who initially made the Victorian reference, not Christopher? The absolute worst group were the three designers who did film noir. All three were miserable failures in my eyes and did not evoke any comprehensible essence of film noir whatsoever. Althea's was especially disappointing. Her look was all about the styling, and not the actual garment she created.

There was such a misunderstanding about this challenge between the designers and the judges, everything just went sideways. Whether you understood it to be about an inspiration challenge, or an actual-costume challenge, you were right. And of course those are two very different things.

The judges contradicted themselves several times - Christopher's was somehow fitting as a film costume but Gordana's wasn't? So frustrating.

Love Epperson's -- one of my all-time favorite looks on Runway.

Feel like the judging is symptomatic of Bunim-M's inexperience as producers for the show -- here and on the surfwear challenge. On that challenge, designers thought they were to make surfwear (with swimsuits, etc.) and then on the runway it was clear that judges expected to see *surfwear-inspired* clothing.

There was a similar confusion on this challenge.

I think this is why we're seeing such a disconnect between Tim's critiques in the workroom and judges' comments too. There's no clear vision of the challenge that's being communicated *to everyone*. Hopefully, this will improve as the season continues as it's FRUSTRATING to watch the muddle.


Just want to add to the "Christopher's dress is not Victorian" choir. If he wanted to be inspired by it, he still missed the common denominator of Victorian fashion from 1837 to 1901. Not only did the dress lack sleeves, it lacked a corset. That bulky waist belt does not qualify for what the corset did to Victorian fashion--creating a tight, sleek bodice to play off the volume of the skirt. That's still a popular trope in fashion, so if he did something that dramatic it would not seem too dated (though physically binding his model would be!).

Additionally, he seemed to have wanted to do both a bustle and a crinoline; crinolines are wide around, but I usually think of bustles as being rather slim in the front to offset the volume in the back.

Finally: The colour choices were off, as the Victorians were a big fan of dyes. Also, though the Victorians of various decades liked high collars (I'm thinking of Mitchell's Mrs. Havisham dress!), the blouse on Christopher's dress I thought was more Edwardian than Victorian.

Clearly we need Tim to do a "fashion history 101" lecture every episode. :P

oceans and stars

I adored Epperson's and, actually? The moment I saw it, I thought of the movie it would belong to (Serenity, funny because it's western/sci-fi). Matar totally looked straight out of a border world.

I agree that Christopher's dress didn't invoke wedding(human or vampire)whatsoever-even a Victorian bride would've had something a tad more modest and with sleeves. It would be fine for a music video but not a straight on period film.

Epperson's outfit was great and I've seen a few modern day Westerns that stretch the fashion boundaries(Bad Girls,with Drew Barrymore and Madeline Stowe comes to mind)so even the sleeve issue wouldn't be a big deal. It looked better than that "action adventure" number with the red slashes that resembled doll stuffing,seriously.

And I didn't get the Gordana hate at all-that dress was gorgeous and the model looked as if she stepped right off a movie set. My sister was walking by the TV when the judges were ripping on it and her comment was "F---you,it's pretty!" She doesn't even watch PR on a regular basis but her statement was the best of the night:)

"BluntDiplomat said: And have any of you considered that having different judges can also be beneficial in that it forces the designers to not grow complacent and always present the best and most intriguing work possible?"

I'd say that would be true, could be true, IF the guest judges that they pick are knowledgeable, bring their own 'A game' (actually have an 'A game' to bring in the first place), and understand that this gig isn't about THEM. I think the problem with that editor woman (I can't remember her name) from the last few weeks is, she acts like she's auditioning for her own show. There is no weight there.

Now, the costume designer that guested this week was excellent. But the rest, meh.


I gasped when Epperson's came out, the way I did last week for Irina's. His unique perspective is a breath of fresh air. Also, we've seen that same damn obi-belt-thing on a dress from Christopher's audition video.

I get the confusion, but it seems more a fail of editing than of judging. The challenge was to make a runway look inspired by a movie genre, not a costume.

The top 3 all had runway looks that immediately evoked a character, whether or not it would make a good costume. I love Gordanna, and she made a gorgeous flapper dress, but it had zero design innovation. The judges, right or wrong, found PP's look good for the runway, and how they felt it would look on film was just a bonus element.

We still need Nina and Michael back!

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Astralopythia, Gina Torres looks fabulous in that dress. It is a little too ruffly for Zoe's everyday work of kicking ass and being generally awesome, but I can still see her wearing it when she wants to feel a little bit girly. I was going to say "for Wash", but ... *sob*

9/27/09 11:55 AM "I'd say that would be bring their own 'A game' (actually have an 'A game' to bring in the first place)"

GT-No Shit! I agree 100%! You nailed the problem! Most of the guest judges do not have an "A Game" or like Tommy Hilfiger are not cut out for TV.


Christopher's dress was just another version of the exact same dress he's been sending down the runway for the past 4 weeks. Unimpress!

Epperson's was just good all around and yea i can see it as an inspired western or as an actual costume piece.

People - remember that this is entertainment.

The producers love challenges which have the "wiggle room" to justify almost any outcome.

And strategy is crucial for the designers; Christopher is smart to not get too adventurous at this point, so long as he doesn't flirt with boring Nina.

Australopythia: Love that photoshop image -- Gina does look fantastic in that dress. Of course, Ms. Torres is of an order of fabulosity that she would rock just about any outfit -- maybe even Ra'mon's.

Okay, maybe not Ra'mon's.

Well, the judges clearly didn't understand the challenge. But the challenge as I understood it was to create a look inspired by a specific character and that's exactly what Epperson and Christopher did. The fact that these dresses couldn't be worn in historically accurate costume dramas doesn't change the validity of their inspiration stories. (Though I agree the vampire bride story was stupid.)

Also, I've seen plenty of stylized period pieces that were intentionally historically inaccurate. So I'm not completely convinced these couldn't be used as costumes.

But I'm glad these made it into the top two anyway.

Yes, I am over Christopher. Self-taught designers definitely have their merit. He, however, is not showing that he has any versatility. I think that once he steps out of his Iron Butterfly box, he will be auf'd. Quite frankly, I don't think he has the skillz. Sorry, Xr.

Yeah the judging on this challenge—and as a result, perhaps the challenge itself—was bunk. Because I *so much prefer* the "inspired by" over the idea of doing an actual costume. This is fashion, not costuming, we need it to be *inspired by* or I can just go down to my local world class theaters (Guthrie, Jungle, Penumbra) and see the real deals. I *liked* NIcholas' look, I really did. But I frikkin LOVED Epperson's. SHeeeeit.

TLo, you guys are the shit. YOU TWO need to be judges, dammit!

These poor designers. I really feel for them. They have no idea whether to go with Tim's instructions and critiques for the challenges or try to guess how the judges will interpret them.

If this challenge was to bring something innovative to the table, Shirin should have been in the bottom along with Logan (Kojii looked like she stepped out of a Lara Croft movie, complete with braid) and Ra'mon (sorry, Ra'mon. You effed this one up big time) Shirin and Logan were the worst examples of cliche and boring.

I love Epperson's challenge and he should have come in second, not Christopher. The sleevelessness of Christopher's doesn't bother me so much as the deep backlessness. Um, this is Victorian?? Victorian was a very prudish time in history for social dictates for women. Even in evening wear, you would see off-shoulder cap sleeves at the least and maybe hitting the shoulder blades in the back for a "risque" look. But for an inspiration dress, this is the same old same old from this guy. I think he's a sweet person, but he needs to step up his game.

Epperson's is wild. I think Matar rocked it out.

PeppPatty won because of his makeup and hair. Period. The others didn't have a chance compared to that.

I am relieved to see the Duchess is back this coming week. Thank the fashion gods!!!

Charlie Brown's costume looked like a cheap Narnia knockoff.

So what if they were inspired, Epperson's and Christopher's were way better. This show is about design, not semantics.

I loved Epperson's look, because it reminded me of Joss Whedon's firefly so much - it's something Zoe would wear on casual mondays.


Clearly the judges wanted "everything but the kitchen sink" type dresses. And both of these dresses are that. A hodge podge of different era's and techniques. They would work for fantasy or comedy westerns or historic pictures.

I think both of these dresses look like they could be in the same collection. Remember that movie "The Piano" both Vivienne Westwood and John Gallianos did collections inspired by it. These dresses remind me of those collections.


I couldn't care less about the historical accuracy of the clothing. Costner busted his ass making "Dances with Wolves" historically accurate (Mary M.'s 80s perm notwithstanding), and the movie still sucked. I wonder if any of the designers even know enough about the details of any given period of fashion, especially western and Victorian, to have been truly accurate.

Did you not mean Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves rather than Dances With Wolves? I think you did.

Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves does indeed suck, but I watch it to enjoy Alan Rickman and Morgan Freeman having a hell of a great time with their characters, i.e., Morgan Freeman punching a door and muttering, "Damn English Oak"! And some of Rickman's dialogue had to be his own invention and is hysterically funny.

As for Epperson and Christopher's designs,no, they are hardly historically accurate. I thought that Epperson's was very well-thought out and executed. Christopher did a design that we've already seen before, from the surfwear/avant garde challenge.
And nothing about that design said vampire or wedding dress to me.

Christopher's dress wasn't unlikable but wasn't it supposed to be Victorian? Nevermind the bare sleeves that Tim objected to, what about the bare back? Even a vampire in Victorian England wouldn't have worn that. I dunno if the back story really mattered for that matter but--lame.

As the challenge was so confusing, it's hard to cast blame as you said. Is it the editing that is making the challenges unclear do you think?

Maybe Christopher should have made his character a shipwrecked, Victorian, runaway, vampire, bride. THAT would explain everything.

Loved both these garments, especially Epperson's. I think both were more inspired by the periods and definitely could not be actual movie looks. But are we really surprised the judgding was wonky as usual on this one? I would have given Epperson the win. I dig him and have thought he would go to Bryant Park from the get go.

I wonder if all the Christopher love comes from his little twinkie looks instead of skills, because he ain't that good. The back of the dress is somewhat nice, but the proportions on the top is horrid. (the paper dress was overrated as well..)

I love Epperson's dress so much I want to make a similar version for a Costume Con or something. Gorgeous!

In all fairness, there ARE plenty of movies that play fast and loose with the historical period wear. Say, for example, a vampire movie. Or any of those fifties movies set in the 19th century where the main characters wear what looks very much like fifties dresses with a few more ruffles. Or frikkin' Wild Wild West, dreadful as it was.

Of course there are also tons of ugly and boring clothes in movies too...

The judges acted like starry eyed children at bedtime, seeming much more interested in an amusing story-line than the actual garments. Which would have been appropriate for STORIES AT BEDTIME IF THEY WERE THREE YEARS OLD. Are the judges confused? Did they know this was a fashion design challenge? If Gordana had drawn out some bizzare Midas-inspired story about a golden flapper, her dress might have won. Unfortunately, she thinks she's on a fashion design show.

I would wear Epperson's dress TODAY-petticoats and all- with a concho belt and a pair of Lucchese booties. Gorgeous, romantic, wearable and it would only look better after a dozen washings.

I loved Epperson's as well. His model is even styled like Zoe from Joss Whedon's Firefly:
If she ever wore a dress, that's what she'd wear. People call Firefly a "space western" and I agree; I'd put Epperson's as close enough to western to work.

Epperson is the best

Its true he is always at the short end but comes out like a rose

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Thank you for your comments. I will check out (firefly).Epperson

I am late to the party and am catching up on episodes.

I loved Epperson's dress. It screamed Firefly to me. Epperson, you should have won.

It was very frusterating that the criteria was not better defined.

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