The Tom & Lorenzo Archives: 2006 -2011
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Very Good, Good, Not So Good

We're running the gamut, kittens!

Gotta say, after the first two episodes, Emilio is the clear front-runner from where we're sitting.

Model: Holly Ridings

Because THAT is a knockout of a dress. And all the people who had less-than-kind things to say about Holly's looks can shut it because that bitch's walk can knock a house down.

More than just having superior technical skills and design skills, Emilio's also got a surprisingly strong sense of style. She's the epitome of looking put together.

We like how he used a technique similar to the one he used last week - overlaid panels of a contrasting fabric - but made a dress totally different from the previous one.

And it fits her like a glove. Shouldabin a top 3 at least.

Speak up, Ben. No, really. "Quiet" gets you auf'd. Loudmouths get camera time. Honestly, do we have to teach you everything?

Model: Sophia Lee

It's alright. Ben described this as a classic dress that can be worn now or ten years from now. Well, we kinda had a strong negative reaction to that idea.

This is, after all, a design competition. When you deliberately go for a design that's so classic it doesn't fit into any time period, that's another way of saying "I'm playing it safe."

There's nothing really wrong with the dress. It fits. It's a pretty color. It's cute. But it's just kinda boring.

And we don't think he accomplished the "upside down tulip" thing he said he was going for.

Anna seems sweet, but she really needs to take a deep breath, find her center, and lighten the fuck up.

Model: Cerri McQuillan

Because while this dress demonstrates a technical precision, it is one morose-looking garment. A Dorothea Lange photograph in dress form.

And we don't think it's the dye job. She actually wound up with a subtle, sophisticated print and she could have gone in a lot of directions with it.

But going the "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?" route was probably not the best use of it.

Not to mention, the fit wasn't all that great. It kind of hung on her body. And that drab ribbon was a horrible choice for trim.

We think her earnest, intellectual approach has a place at the table, but in the end, you have to make clothes that people enjoy looking at and want to wear. These over-studied pieces of hers aren't going to keep her in the game.

Tim Gunn's Workroom:

[Photos/Videos: - Screencaps:]

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First! I...actually didn't like Emilio's dress that much. This week or last week. Just not my style, I guess.

second! Like ^ up there I didn't like Emilio's dress at all.

I adore Emilio and I've been rooting for him since you guys announced the designers.

I've loved both his dresses so far. Can't wait to see more.

Cannot wait to see the TLo comments on Anthony's dress.


I thought Anna's dress looked almost the same as last week. Same silhouette, same color family.... and I found both of them utterly forgettable. She bores me, and not only on the runway.

TLo said: "And it fits her like a glove."

yes, you could put a picture of that dress in the dictionary next to "fit." Although to be honest, I wasn't as hot for the way he did the different panels. But that dress was surely well made!

I liked Anthony's little red dress much more than Ben's. [sigh] come on, Ben, ya gotta do better than that, show folks that one of the FL boys has talent & skill!

Anna's little frock had that print going for it but otherwise it just had too much of a Depression-era feel to really stand out. The styling didn't help at all.


Emilio's was nice and interesting. Probably just missed the top 3. While Holly has more masculine features compared to the other girls, she is a good model. But I will say the makeup job did her no favors.

Ben's was nice enough. He needs to push things a bit more. Same applies to the model.

The last one I think we have is the problem with her being so new to designing clothes. I liked what she did with the print but the silhouette is so boring and blah. I think she could be a good designer in the future but she doesn't seemed to have found her artistic voice yet.


Emilio's I loved.

Ben's looked like in wandered in from last season's maternity challenge.

Anna's had a good print, but was a sad little dress.

yeah! ho! wah!

emilio: like last week, im not all that fond about his choices of colours and prints. still, thats purely subjective, and i have to admit, he is clearly one of the frontrunners.

ben: she looks pregnant.

anna: its the same dress like last week, she needs to show some range. that being said, its a cute dress, and well made.

EMILIO - Agree he'll be a contender, don't seem him necessarily as the frontrunner. The dress was very well done, and he established an aesthetic that to me was not totally clear from only the previous challenge. As far as I understand it, his vibe is total Carolina Herrera: posh Latino in 5ht Avenue. It's not an aesthetic that interest me in the least, and it's not so much about fashion as it is about clothes and yes, put-togetherness, but it's a valid niche and he seems to fit it seamlessly.

BEN - To me definitely one to watch after the first two efforts. Yes, this was perhaps not top-3 material, but I like the range he's shown with both his looks, I think he has taste and skills, can do edgy but was not uncomfortable going into classic, and strikes to me as the type that will grow into the competition. I loved his fabric treatment in his previous look, his penchant for strong shoulders, the draping in this look… He is good at styling, he’s focused and I’m definitely interested in his design aesthetic.

ANNA - It's just the same dress as the previous challenge and we're going to start doubting she can produce anything else...

- Don

Love Emilio! Love his clothes. What a sexy, sophisticated dress. And Holly has a fab runway presence. Anna's dreary dustbowl aesthetic is seriously bumming me out.

Emilio did a great job, again. I'm afraid Anna will make the same dress every week.

I have really liked Emilio's dresses the last 2 weeks. I'd definitely wear either of them! I liked that his this week was to the knee, which is long for usually PR cocktail dresses, but it was totally tasteful, sexy and appropriate for an industry event.

I bet he JUST missed top 3.

I love Emilio's dress. I find myself responding very strongly to his aesthetic. I like the combo of somewhat tradition silhouettes with surprising fabrics and patterns. I can't wait to see more.

Seriously, Ben, speak up! I was looking at the contestants over at My Lifetime and when I got to Ben I was like, 'Did he even show up for the programme? I feel like I've never seen him before in my life.'

Totally with you on Emilio. He's creative and interesting and has the technical chops to back it up. Hope he stays the course.

Loved Emilio's dress as well. Better than Milo's, but perhaps the idea was too similar to last week's even though it was a completely different dress.

Anna's dress looks like the little girl who had a cute pretty dress and got it all dirty. The print is fine, it's the direction she took the dress in that made it seem like that. She should have went edgier with that print. Doesn't work with girly girl.

See, I'm not so sold on Emilio yet. I like this weeks entry a lot better than last weeks, but both dresses there just seems to be something "off" about them that doesn't quite click for me.

I can't really pinpoint it in this weeks entry but last weeks I really disliked the print he used and it kind of ruined the whole dress for me. I appreciated his idea and his technical skills but there was no way i would ever even give the dress a second look on the rack.

This weeks I liked the pop of color and the graphic detail was much more my style, but it still didn't deserve a top 3 from me. Just something off, like he was 90% there with the design and he needed just another hour or so to give it another look.

Either way he is still someone to look out for!

emilio could have won, that dress is awesome...

oops, shoulda said Mila. That's what happens when I don't proofread.

Loved Emilio's, and I like that he's almost got a little mini line. I love it when they look at a designer's whole portfolio at the end and you can see that it's almost like a collection. Of course, with only two looks it's far too early to determine if Emilio's going that route, but I like what I see so far.

Ben's bored me to tears. I was really expecting such a structural fabric to get more exciting treatment from him.

I was excited to see Anna doing something so clever with the fabric treatment and creating a print, but, then again, I was also excited with Pamela's dye results, and neither of them did much with their promising materials in the design department.

Exactly what Greencat :)

I loved Emilio's - it just looked classy and sophisticated.

Ben's - Oooh a preggers model! Where did she come from?

Anna's: Sad and forgettable.


I thought that Anna Lynette's design was too close to her design for the first challenge, and there were the fit issues.
Perhaps, as another poster remarked, this reflects her inexperience in fashion.

Liked Emilio's more for the shape and how well it looks on her and fits. The print was just so-so to me.

Love that shoulder on Ben's, but think that maybe on his and Anna's there is something wrong with the length of the bodice. They seem a little unflattering on the model's, so anyone larger would look bigger.

But up close I think Anna's looks better than far away.

I am definitely on the Emilio bandwagon...

I had forgotten that a Ben was in the mix. Maybe it's because of that dress?

Anna's dress was uninspiring. Emilio's dress wasn't my favorite this week, but he's certainly a strong contender.

Come on, Anna! Step it up! Represent Milwaukee! We want to see you in the top 3 so Tim can come visit the Cream City!

Emilio's also my favorite so far. Of the 2 dresses he made, if I had the body for them, I'd wear both those dresses in a minute.

That last dress looks like something that Maria would've made from curtains for the Von Trapp children... or something from a somewhat stylish Auschwitz. Technically good, but it makes me sad to look at it.

The red "tulip" dress made the model look fat. Or pregnant. That was one cataclysm of gathers, waist height, and belting.

Emilio's is a very basic sheath, very well done. It works well with the dress he did last week with out being a copy. It isn't my favorite, but I would have placed it above Mila, and maybe even Jay.

Loved Ben's. I would have put him in the top three. Best use of color too. I also liked the way he used the sculptural quality of the burlap for the tulip shape. My only criticism is the placement of the brooch detail -ackward.

Anna- I admired her forsight for picking up the potato to make a print and I expected to be blown away by it. But it looks like the muddy potato prints my kids brought home from pre-school. The dress looks like the one she made last week, except the hem is better. Bottom three.

Emilio was my fave-o last week, and a close second to Mila this week. Love him, love what he has done with the fabric both weeks, and like an earlier post, can't wait to see if his entire collection has a cohesive theme to it.
- Shannan

I think the only reason Emilio didn't get top 3 was because he had immunity, so they decided to feature some other designers instead. I agree that he is a strong contender for the win with this look.

Anna's dress looked like a repeat of last week's. Drab, sad, boring, and floppy.

Emilio's was *stunning* to me. I liked Mila's a lot, but this should have been in the top 3 with Jay and Amy.

The others... eh.

Emelio's dress was my very favorite out of all of the designs. Shoulda been a top contendah.

Gentlemen, I'm in agreement on your top and bottom choices from this group, although I think I though even less of Ben's Burlap Bridesmaid look this week than you did.

I really can't figure out why I am so annoyed by Anna, other than it seems the only reason she was cast is because she's cute. She is capable of making exactly one skirt and seems to have no sense of color at all. I sincerely hope she steps it up soon, but I think that her 3 weeks of fashion experience is going to limit her for as long as she is with us this season.


Concurring with Emilio. His dresses manage to stand out and yet maintain a classy reserve. Can't wait to see what else he'll be sending down the runway.

I liked Emilio's very much. The fit is fantastic. But I think he missed the top three because the fabric still looked like burlap but with overlay. (The good side of the Jesus coin, I guess.)

I liked the color and drape of Ben's dress (who I just call Todd Oldham because I can never remember his name and he looks like him). While the dress style was ho-hum, I think he transformed the fabric more than Emilio did.

On Anna's, I loved the print. I like the dress okay...not love not hate, just meh. She struck the middle note of making burlap look like fancy burplap. I think she has some potential, though.

Loved Emilio's dress. It was sexy, sophisticated and had an almost 50's vibe to it that was modernized. Awesome job. The only beef was that the "red" read "dark orange" on the runway and I didn't care for the color.

Ben, Ben, Ben. Pregnant is not the way a model wants to look going to an industry party. While I loved the raspberry color, the design was not flattering.

*sigh* Anna, sweetie, same dress, drab, boring, blah, forgettable. Why didn't you punch it up with some color?? Brown on burlap? Seriously? With beige trim?

Question for those who know fabric:
Does dying the burlap make it drape better? I feel like the dyed dresses had a certain "hand" that the others did not. That would probably make them easier to work with?

I know when I first dye my hair, it is very soft and bouncy because the cuticles are all filled up...would the dry burlap fibers behave the same way?

LOVED Emilio's dress; such a sexy silhouette.

I'm so glad someone else already mentioned that Ben's dress looked like a maternity dress.

I LOVED Emilio's dress. Totally shouldabin in the Top 3. And THANK YOU Emilio for a knee-length hem. She looked hot AND classy. I get so tired of shortshortgynecologicalexam skirts (and I don't mean Ping's "her buttocks are showing" skirt).

I was skeptical about Emilio last week; I wasn't sold on those bias straps, and the situation with his videos is weird. But this look was excellent, so simple yet so striking, and so different from anything else last week. Absent a Christopher-style crash and burn (or one challenge where Heidi's in a bad mood), he's a finalist for sure.

Ben's was cute. But so were most of them.

Anna got on the show in no small part because she learned the basics with such lightning speed, and that likely reflects real natural talent. I doubt she's picked up enough tricks to seriously compete with this bunch, though, not if these simple and inoffensive frocks are the best she can manage.

I don't get the maternity vibe with Ben's dress... Maybe because I've never seen a pregnant belly start around the waist...

I LOVED Emilio's and thought it should have won. The pattern provided visual interest, and the fit was perfect.

Anna's miserable school girl thing is getting boring, and Ben's failed by gathering too much fabric right around the belly, making it look maternity-style.

It's funny; I was really digging Emilio's dress and thinking he was a front-runner right up until the camera went close and you saw those floral inserts. WTAF? They looked so wrong and just killed the dress. Now I'm wondering if he might have taste issues. I hope not.

Ben's dress was well constructed, but so dull. The metal nipple explosion on the left wasn't very nice either. And ugh, Anna's dress… Heh, Dorothea Lange just about sums it up. I loved her idea of using potatoes to make potato prints, and I guess that's where all the inspiration went.

I thought Anna's dress was depressing and I thought the print made the dress dirty looking, like she'd been rolling around on a nasty floor. And to top it off with that drab ribbon, ugh, did not like it at all.

quigley (the cat)

SIGH...I've decided to air one of my pet peeves here.

Maybe it's just me, but the majority of dresses/clothes produced so far, and on every other season of PR and all the other fashion shows almost always utilize one or more of the following elements:

plunging neckline
no shoulder (don't know the proper name)

These all have in common either NO BRA or strapless bra. I've lived through several decades of fashion now, and I've NEVER regularly dressed this way, at any age. My girls aren't super large, but they do need real bra support. I despise how it feels to wear a strapless bra. I only go sans bra at night, or schlupping around at home. Sorry for TMI ;-)

This discussion (if one ensues), is not about any particular outfit. I have equally loved and hated many dresses/tops that have these elements, for lots of reasons. I'm just super frustrated that so many of the clothes that are designed can't translate into my real life, don't inspire me to get out the ole sewing machine and try to re-create it.

I understand that the judges/producers are looking for the next great fashion designer. But what has happened to clothes that are appropriate for occasions other than parties? (and, yes, I realize this challenge was for a party). Why don't any of these designers go there? Are they so sure that they wil be aufed? Or is it just a sign of the times? Or does it have to do with what is taught in fashion school these days? Or is it because there is so much celebrity influence? Or is it that even cold-season clothing gets skimpier all the time?

Frankly, I'm kind of bored. I want to see some more variety and creativity in how the upper part of the body is (ad)dressed. I realize that there are some very nice exceptions that have appeared over the years to my elements list. I've just got a feeling that they predominate.

Anyone out there want to weigh in????

luv 'n hisses,

I predict that Emilio is this season's winner.

LOVED Emilio's dress. I've been so surprised to read negative comments about it on the internet. I feel vindicated that TLo love it as well!

I agree about Emilio. I think he and Seth are the two front-runners in the competition.

Oh my, I didn't notice how beautiful Ben's dress was, except for the decoration on her left boob.
Anna's dress is kind of a draaaaag. I adore the colours she uses but everything else is so childish. It's like children's clothes in golden girl tones.
Emilio needs to pull something else out of his bag of tricks. He's showed the best so far but what else you got babe. I would love to see it!

Technical nit: You identified Anna's model as "Anna Lynett" when it's Cerri.

So far, Emilio is showing taste and execution. Let's see how he holds up under the pace of competition.

I liked Anna's print -- sort of tapestry-looking. She needed a richer color for the trim instead of that sad beige.

I loved Emilio's dress and was surprised not to see it in the top 3. He's got a strong sense of style and good sewing chops.

Also agree on Anna's. The print turned out great, but the end result was a bit dour.

I liked that we got to hear how Emilio was thinking about his model's physique and that he'd chosen the profile that would deemphasize her shoulders (was it just in the extended workshop?); I thought he did really well with it. I haven't watched previous extended workshops, but if other designers considered this sort of thing particularly I don't think we got to hear all that much of it?

I like a lot of elements of Anna's (print, trim detail, pleats) but though it is a cute dress, I did blip over it as it came down the runway--it was conscious, too, I knew I was ignoring it for other looks. :(

I do think Anythony's pink dress is better, and when they are both short and that color, it's almost not fair. ^^;

Holy is a GREAT runway model BTW!
Loooooooong and lean.

I'm impressed with Emilio's construction and I like his silhouettes but I'm not crazy about the asymmetrical strips of fabric. I don't like the prints he chooses either.

Ben's looked limp when it should have had more structure for the tulip effect he wanted to create. I didn't like his spiky shoulders thing last week. It also seemed a bit limp. Ben seems to want to create architectural dresses but doesn't quite have the skills.

Anna's dress is too similar to the basic little dress she made last week and the print didn't do it for me. With only six months in fashion design, I feel like she needs more time before she is ready to compete at this level. I think she has talent though to be this good that fast.

I liked Emilio's dress as well. I wonder if the reason he wasn't top 3 is because he won with a similar technique.

Ben's dress is nice, but I don't like the placement of the gold.

Anna's dress is too similar a silhouette to the one she made last week and I hated the bow in the back. I wish she had introduced some color and used the blue trim instead. In fact I think more of a turquoise color trim like the one Jay used would have worked even better, sans bow of course.

ChelseaNH said...
Technical nit: You identified Anna's model as "Anna Lynett" when it's Cerri.

Fixed. Thanks!

Scarlet 1:02pm, same here. I guess you can't argue taste, but Emilio's was certainly the most eye-catching dress up there, along with Amy's.

Many of my current favorite designers were ones I never would have expected. My top three are Emilio, Seth Aaron, and Amy at this point - two quiet types and one I thought would be obnoxious.

This season is really looking awesome, they found a diverse and creative group this time, for sure.

I agree with TLo that Emilio should have been in the top three. I saw photos of the challenge before I watched the episode, and Emilio's design caught my eye right away. Loved how he infused a mid-century modern graphic vibe to his dress. Not to mention it was perfectly styled and executed.

This comment has been removed by the author.

I like the shape of Emilio's dress (loved the way he made the length look elegant, not dowdy), like the color, love how it fits - but something keeps me from loving it. After a lot of cogitation, I think it's the halter-effect straps. But I don't know if it's the halter aspect or the fact that they are so red. Neither *ought* to bother me as much as they do.

I do say that so far Emilio looks as if he might actually come through the season and not only "show his point of view" in his body of work, but come darn close to making it look like a collection despite the random elements thrown in by the challenges. But I am probably getting ahead of events.

The still photos improved my opinion of Ben's because I could see the work in the bodice and of Anna's because I could see what a good job she'd done with the dye. Nonetheless, neither were exciting.

Anna' dress looks like it was splattered with mud. I don't get the love for her "print." Good idea, maybe, executed awfully.

Emilio's dress looked great on the model for the most part. It wasn't one of my favorites but I wouldn't be surprised if it just narrowly missed being one of the top 3.

Anna's felt the same as last week, only more drab. A shame, when I saw her starting to create her own print, I thought she might come out with something interesting.

I actually quite enjoyed Emilio's work - his sense of style and color is fun. I thought the whole show was such a drastic improvement over last season. Ben's dress made his model look pregnant. I like how he dyed it. That model needs to go, she's so morose.

What's wrong with Holly's looks? She reminds me of Bacall, especially in that second picture. Granted, too much eye makeup gives her that drag queen vibe, but that's true of many women with well-defined jaws.

Emilio's dress should have been not only in the top three - it should have won. It was better than anything up there.

And he did rock the styling and his model did rock the runway.

TLo said "Dorothea Lange photograph in dress form"

BAHA! It totally looks like something from the grapes of wrath.

Emilio's was fabulous.

Emilio's dress was the only one I would have picked.

Then again, I'm not a model and I don't go to "industry parties."

But I could wear that to a concert, the theater, work, even.

QTC - I agree with your post. (I have to wear a bra all the time and have frequently been annoyed that so many of the clothes won't allow it. (and then I get beat up by the people who claim that strapless bras are wonderful - but for my shape and size they do not work, esp if I might actually need to move).

Since that same issue is not restricted to PR, this may not be the entire reason, but I would guess that two reasons include the short amount of time they give the designers and perhaps how the judges judge and rule. We don't get a lot of great pants and some of the judges (actually most including guest judges) totally laugh at/ridicule the concept of jackets/blazers (I am thinking of the girls entering the workforce episode specifically but there have been others).

I would love a challenge that had jacket/blazer and pants or if we must do dresses - require long sleeves.

Upon review, in PRW math, Emilio > Mila. She should've been middling, and he should've been fighting it out for top spot. I think the only reason why Mila was in the top was Heidi liked the tighter-shorter-boob-flashier-ness of Mila's. I'm not a huge fan of his style, but for what he does, his work is amazing, and, as you said, gentlemen, he definitely has his own strong sense of style which he realizes very well. If Emilio keeps cranking out fab looks like this, he's a definite contender for Bryant Park.

Ben? He had a design? I'd COMPLETELY FORGOTTEN that dress. And about him. Poor Ben.

Anna's dress reminded me of some of Eudora Welty's photographs. I like a great deal Ms. Welty's photography, but I don't think it should be the inspiration of a sad little dress like that. Then again, I can imagine her writing a story about the girl who'd be wearing that dress. It would not have a happy ending.

Emilio's was very well crafted and looked great, but wasn't enough for me to want to see it in the top three. He'll need to show some variety if he wants to win this.

Ben continues to intrigue me. I loved the dye job, while not necessarily loving the silhouette. He's managed to put out two very different garments and makes me want to see more. He does need to focus a little more on detailing.

Anna, well it's interesting to see her from a competition standpoint, but I don't think she'll get far. Interesting treatment though.

Anna--pretty much same dress as last time.

Ben--I'm disappointed.

Emilio--bravo. Did not expect much from him based on is portfolio. Wonderfully surprised.

P.S. to Quigley the Cat: I feel your pain. Getting a little tired of "little dresses." To be fair, they were appropriate for this particular challenge, but I know what you mean, TMI & all.

Emilio's dress definitely should have been in the top three. It was modern, chic and sophisticated. Loved it. Love him!

For me, Ben's was a little too safe. I know that it's been the decade of the dress, but at this point it's just a plain bore.

Anna's dress was very much in keeping with the her portfolio, which is fine because it was a small sampling of her aesthetic. Now it seems that she keeps turning out the same ideas over and over again. This dress was cute, but also sad --- like Sylvia Plath sad.


Big props on the Dorothea Lange reference. Perfectly sums it up. It really was a dust bowl dress.

Holly looks like she'll cut a bitch. But in that fab dress, she'd get away with it.

We watched Iglourious Basterds the other night. With her Teutonic look, stern expression, 1940ish hair and makeup, and the retro feel of the dress, Holly almost looked like she could have walked off that set and onto the runway.


Why do so many of these designers (on this season and on other seasons & other design shows) make so many super-short dresses and teeny bodices? They manage to make even skinny, long legged models look thick waisted, short waisted, and/or stumpy. The dresses don't look as good as some of them might look -- because the proportions are off.

Stop it, designers! Just stop it!

Ben came nowhere close to his tulip because he just went short and round (compare to his sketch). On the other hand, Emilio's model looked long and lean (as she is) because he went long and lean.

Emilio's dress was one of my top two (you haven't mentioned my other one yet) and thought it would be top 3 for sure. That takes mad skills, it was gorgeous, and fit. It fit! That says TONS.

Ben's dress made his model look preggers.

I didn't think anything of Anna's. Meh.

@Anon. 1.52: Strapless bras and large breasts = sausage chest

Ben and Anna's dresses were not memorable to me. Nor are they. However, the second Emilio's dress hit the runway I thought he knocked it out of the park again. Definitely one to watch.

Awwww, be nice to Ben. We loooooved his dress. Then again, I am from Tampa so I may be a teensy bit biased.

I did an interview with him and he is actually a lot more charismatic than he seems on the show. I hope he comes out of his shell soon.

Interview with Ben and recaps/podcast here:

Emilio's dress rocks.

Ben's dunno.

Anna--there was such promise when you were stamping the fabric to make a is very sad. I am disappointed, young lady. You must do better or you vill be OUT!

I wasn't crazy about Emilio's dress this week. It was well made and fit nicely but I wasn't a fan of the pattern. I like Ben and Anna a lot and I think they have the potential to be really great (printing with a potato? kinda genius) but they definitely have to step it up and showcase their skills.

Oh, where to start? Firstly,regarding burlap: it's a base
fabric that is made up single ply (1 slight twist) of jute that ravels easily. It is
very stiff, even on the bias. The heat of dyeing or washing soften the fiber, and gives it a little "hand" so it drapes a little more, espcially on the bias.

Emilio's work is wonderful--several commenters have referred to his "prints" but they are, in fact, made of strips of carefully appliqued fabric that is so well done that it looks like a print. Both of his pieces so far show a knowledge of design and construction techniques that is most exciting.
I found Ben's dress to be sad, droopy and an far cry from the crisp design he'd shown in his design book. The colorwork was spot on, however.
While I really liked Anna's potato print on the potato sack quite interesting, I thought she fell downn a bit in te design of the piece. would like to have seen her use a more contrasting edging, sharper design in the actual piece.

I really liked Emilio's. He understands fit and movement.

A Dorothea Lange photograph in dress form.

Ha! Love the reference, boys.

I dunno, I just can't get behind Emilio's prints/fabric. The second dress looked cheap to me (and I'm not talking about the burlap).

I completely agree about Emilio being the most talented so far as we can see. He knows what he's doing and it's unique. So far I've loved both of his dresses.

Emilio has used prints. This week he used a black paisley and last week a print of circles with a mosaic pattern.

You really hit it on Anna Marie's trim, TLo.

Everything the same, but with a bright contrasting color like red or orange and with the back bow more relaxed, the dress would've been pumped up out of the drab. Not great, but not so drab.

I like her silhouettes, but maybe I'm just in a morose mood.

Emilio's stuff is so deceptively simple looking.

Ben. Aw. He's very cute, isn't he?

Quigley, I'll weigh in. Honey, get out and go shopping. There are a million bra oppportunities out there nowadays. I mean, Christine Hendricks WORE a wilma to the SAG awards only the other day (see TLo) AND she even managed to look passably decent.

Agree with the first two comments... like Gordana last season, I just don't see what's the big deal about Emilio. Eh, to each his own!

That second dress made the model look pregnant on the runway (from the side)... it looked like it belonged in last year's pregnancy challenge.

Had Ben's dress had a second sleeve, I would have declared it the winner and would be bidding on it.

Emilio's was fine.

Anna's was cute, though the colors I cannot pull off so well.

I disagree that Ben's dress makes the model look pregnant. The silhouette puts me in mind of Balenciaga's work in the early 60's. Not a copy , just in the spirt of.

You've been smoking the fashion crack on this one.

Emilio's dress was well fitted and well constructed, but not top 3 because it was boring as hell.

A stripy tube dress is never going to set the world on fire.

And personally I found the combination of red ribbon, black lace and burlap to be a little ugly.

I loved the idea for Ben's dress. It's very on trend for what is happening on the red carpet now and would have fit right in at the weekend's SAG awards. I think the proportions were slightly off and that made it a little unflattering.

I had to go back to your post to remember what Anna's name is. And I think that says it all.

Yes, I agree, Ben's dress is not empire cut. There is plenty of space between the chest and the start of the skirt. Actually, no pregnant (as in already showing)woman could possibly wear that shape...

The slightly-off waistline, place just over instead than on the natural waistline has been on trend for a few seasons now, and it was a youthfull, almost childish tounch that works well with Ben design.

Karl Lagerfeld

I guess I am going to have to be the dissenter on Emilio's dress. To me, the strips of fabric feel like a retread of his first look and I'm wondering if he has any other ideas in his little bag of tricks. This was a very basic sheath dress with an applique. He does have a bold sense of color which is refreshing. But I thought it was a solid middle of the pack effort. Nor am I a fan of his model (far too masculine for my taste, but to each his own).

I am intrigued by Ben. Yes, this effort was slightly maternity but I think he has some good ideas brewing. Now to see if he can back them up with proper construction and a flawless fit.

I am slightly upset that Anna got cast for the show. She obviously doesn't have the skills to keep up and will soon be auf'ed (probably in the next episode or two). She certainly took a spot away from a more deserving designer. I would say in about five years she might have the skills to go further...

I loved the idea of doing a potato print on a potato sack. I wish she'd done it in another colour, so that it didn't look like it had been spattered with mud, and on another dress. Would have looked great on a strapless sheath or something...

WOW, I think Emilio is the one to put the money on. His designs are chic, creative, they stand out (in a good way) and I love the way he worked with what the judges said to him for the second week. The man is listening and responding while remaining himself!

I think it was a top three dress, at least.

I LOVE Emilio's dress. He did something different than the cliched party minidress and something that fit and complemented his model's style. He can style a look, too, which doesn't surprise me, because theater costumers have to put together the entire look for a character.

I didn't like the high waist on Ben's dress, but it wasn't bad. Just dull, as TLo said. I'm expecting him to bust out some comic book looks soon, or he's gone.

Li'l Anna wants to be a fabric artist. This dress was strikingly like the first week's dress. The ribbon trim looks like duct tape. Her construction skills seem to be good, though.

FLOVE Emilio!!!!! With the silhouette and the very-mid-century graphics, I kinda wanna see that on Christina Hendricks. Emilio would know what to do with her fantastic knockers. I didn't even realize that was lace at first - which is good. Plus, he's pretty. And yes, the make-up did no favors to Miss Holly. They need to be careful with her eyebrows!

Ben's is awful. That color paired with that silhouette just screams bridesmaid to me. Yikes. And then to put the sad, droopy dress on the sad, bitchy Sophia? Not good.

And little Anna -- Dorothea Lange indeed. Model looks like an extra from Grapes of Wrath. Bump it up Anna! Tim would love to see the Calatrava, but it doesn't look like he's going to have the opportunity unless you step it up!

raisin mountaineer

As a tall tall tall woman with shoulders, I LOVED Emilio's dress. Would wear it in a minute. So often the things that go down the runway are so short that all I think the pretty girls look a little storkish. This is a fashionable, wearable dress with some happy color in it. My $$$ is on Emilio so far.

Uh, Emilio's dress looks like a giant strip of bacon walking down the runway.

Sorry, but I think you guys are smoking crack. Good fit, but it's still bacon.

OH Anna, I was so intrigued by making a potato print and then she comes up with a pattern that looks like mud. Why not really go for some sort of color--hell, more than one--now that would have popped, even on a prosaic dress.

I also loved Emilio. Both he and Mila managed to make slinky dresses out of burlap. Let me repeat that--burlap. I wish, by the way, MOTR had had some reaction as to what it was like to wear such a rough fabric. Were all the dresses lined?

Ben's was a little busy to me. Should have worked, but felt a bit dated.

All in all, I'm still just so happy with the talent levels of Season 7. Even the bad stuff is pretty darn good. We're not going to see the bathing suit/avant-garde disaster this time.

I don't think I've seen such an overall high level ability since Season Four. What a relief.

Every so often I post my wish that everyone understood the difference between fact and opinion.

It's time again.

Someone disagrees with TLo's opinion and tells them they're smoking crack. First of all, that's rude. Second, it implies that the commenter's opinion is fact and that TLo are mistaken, when in fact it's merely another opinion.

For those of you who don't understand the difference, here's a little quiz you can take:

Good luck!

Miss Manners

Dear Miss Manners,
And how is the tilting at windmills project going?


"A Dorothea Lange photograph in dress form."

Ha ha! Perfect description!


1) I would LOVE to se a design challenge where they made the models DD or DDD (give 'em all silicone dress inserts or something.) Sorry - but strapless bras for the buxom girl are a joke. I'll cover the mechanics of cantilever beams for anyone who is interested in why...

2) Your blogger name makes me think of Alan Rickman. This is always a good thing, so thanks.


Emilio is starting to become my favorite. I love prints and a lot of people tend to shy away from them. They can be hard to use correctly, but really can add that extra pop of visual interest. Especially how he's using them with basic shapes that take them from ho hum to oh wow!

I just hope he doesn't just use that appliqueing theme exclusively or the judges may brand him a one trick pony.

Definitely didn't care much for Emilio's dress this week, in part because of the similarity to his dress in the previous episode. All three of these looks were solidly in the middle.

Emilio's dress was my favorite, and the only thing up there I, as a 40-something woman, would/should/could wear. His technical skills are great, and so far his taste level is sophisticated.
The first thing I thought when I saw Anna's was "Cold War era Russian sundress." Last seen standing in a bread line in Moscow.


Sorry. You must be smoking something.

I like his style so far but this dress was kinda ugly. I think it was the color combination. These dresses belonged where they are...

Lovin me some Emilio! my clear fave.

Emilio's dress should've been in the top 3--technically and aesthetically, it's about the same as Mila's, but he allowed to burlap to show--but Amy should have won, because she made burlap into a gorgeous dress by itself.

Ben is boring. I couldn't care less about him.

I want to love Anna because A) she's ADORABLE with a capital A, and B) because she's obviously incredibly talented, if inexperienced. I don't think this show is really what she needs right now--what she needs is a year or so of being forced to think of different designs and ways that clothes can sit on the body--but I hope that the show will be a springboard for someone to notice her and put her to good use. That being said, this dress--while pretty, and while I know people that would wear it--was sad. The potato print was interesting, but she should've gone with a different color and different trimming.

Yeah I have to admit it but I thought Emilio's dress was awful. It was too long, and the red trim, with the black lace, against the tan burlap wasn't all that fresh or young. Nor did it really fit her all that great.
Ben's was a little bit boring, pretty though. the skirt was too voluminous however, it was distracting and unflattering.
Anna's print was interesting but I agree, it was a very dour dress. Considering she's a self proclaimed "artist working in the direction of fashion" or whatever her designers are some of the least artistic and creative. It was basically the same bust as last week with a pleated skirt.

The only dress a 40+ year old woman "should" wear?! really!? In which planet? You're 40, not dead...

Hm, thinking some more about Emilio's, I have a technical-ish question for those with sewing skillz out there. Is it much easier to stick a zipper in the back of the dress as opposed to the side? Because I was looking at how the halter had continuity with some of the stripes on the bust and wondered, on the angle view, if he'd concealed the zipper in the lacey bit on the side, but then I hit the back view and hm, an exposed zipper (and a leetle crinkly too!)

How did he do the stripe effect again? Did he basically have the dress put together and then put on the stripes? Otherwise the planning that he put into having the halter strip merge into the pattern strip is kind of insane--and you know you can't have it not connect smoothly at a seam; the judges HATE that.

At the same time it seems like it would have been awkward putting the stripes onto a dress that was already a dress, but what do I know.

Sorry folks I did not love the potato print on Anna's dress. It was a nice idea but the overall effect left me thinking the model had rolled in the mud. And, maybe that is appropriate for this type of challenge as it had a farm theme. But I ain't buying it still.

Emilio - I really liked his dress. It did not have the "Jay" wow factor but I like the way he worked the overlay aspect and I thought it was flattering for the model. I definately want to see more of what he can do - maybe something more than overlays?

Ben -- I thought his dress scored exactly as it should. Somewhere in the middle. Liked the color a lot but have to agree the most interesting part of the dress was the boob doodads he had going on.

Also, where was Amy's zipper? Did she have one, or was the dress just a pull-on? I having trouble seeing how the stiff portion of burlap that made up the waist would have enough give to get it over her model's hips.... but then again, Amy seems to like skirts that have volume, so maybe the model doesn't have hips?

@kali: It is generally easier to put the zipper in the back of the dress. The back tends to flatter than the sides, esp if the dress is fitted. Also, for fitting the dress to the model, you want to be able to take it in at the sides, which is difficult if you have a zipper there. I guess he could have put the zipper in at the very end, after he fitted it to the model, but i think that would be dicey.

This is all based on my amateur sewing skills. Feel free to correct me more experienced tailors.

I actually liked Ben's dress quite a bit. I know a lot of people like Anthony's better but I really do feel this is on par with it. Not astounding, no, but very cute, and I adore the colour... it's one of the few shades of red I'd actually personally wear. Sure, it'd be nice to see him do something more interesting but hopefully we'll get there.

Emilio's again falls into the "not for me personally but really well done" pile. It's really quite interesting, even if I can't imagine ever wearing it. What strikes me most is the trim could look totally tacky, but it's so neat and clean that it doesn't.

Anna... well, I really like the print. But how it was used... there's some issues. That awful depressing trim is really taking away from the dress, and something about the proportions seems really really off, though I can't quite point to something specific. I like the pleat on the skirt, though... I think it works well with the fabric.

I was actually stunned that Emilio's dress wasn't in the Top 3 this week. This blows that fug Ice Capades shit of Jay's off the catwalk.

Is it me, or does Ben's dress make his model look a bit on the chunky side...?

Ms_flover said: ) Your blogger name makes me think of Alan Rickman. This is always a good thing, so thanks.

Mmmmmm....Alan Rickman....

I'm not getting Emilio's style. The strips appear to be randomly placed with little purpose (except the one extending from the strap).

The top of Ben's dress was cute, but the bottom was too poofy. My initial thought when it walked out was "maternity dress".

Anna's print looks better up close. From far and in motion, I thought monkeys had thrown poo at her dress. You need COLOR! Maybe a nice blue.

Another one who likes Emilio's aesthetics. Love the way he incorporated lace into the dress, superb fit that gives a polished look. However, maybe not short enough for Heidi's taste.

Emilio's dress wasnt my taste but nice workmanship.

Ben's is super cute, i love the gathered shoulder and the color. As for looking "pregnant" i have to disagree, the waistline looks too low for a belly.

Anna's is pretty but dull.

OIC Momsy, that makes a lot of sense.

1/25/10 10:19 PM

something about the proportions seems really really off, though I can't quite point to something specific.

My "problem" with it is that I can kind of see a very little girl, like 6 or thereabouts, wearing a dress with a similar shape. And then you wouldn't need to worry about bras and support! :D (OK, I don't know, there's no there there, but would any parents out there find it problematic to have their pre-pubescent kid wear a dress with a back like that? I feel like it must surely be a nonissue, nothing to see, whatever, but who knows.)

I would have liked Ben's a lot more if the skirt didn't start two inches above his model's waist. She looked chunky and I said, "feh."

- Kathryn

Emilio's dress was quite good. The others were in the middle of the pack for a reason.

Is there some requirement that they use more of the Bluefly accessories this year? Most of the models seem to be clutching clutches this season.

Emilio rocks! Love his work so far!!

I thought Emilio's dress, while gorgeous, looked like the moldings in their hotel rooms. No seriously, look at the wall as they leave the room to go to the workspace.

I would've LOVED emilios dress if those line elements weren't rectangular, but more sensitive to the female form, with the dominant colour it makes those right angles too harsh, like a rough idea needing finishing...but I can see this is a very grey area and think what will divide people on it. All the same its still a well made nice dress.

Boooo to Ben's titpin.

Emilio - Great dress, although I think there are too many strips in the back. I was really impressed with his commentary about how he collaborated with his model in coming up with the dress. It's too early to tell, but Emilio may be one of this season's b****es with his hand flip when Tim was talking to Ping and his comment during MOTR... I'll be tuning in to see.

Ben - It's a nice dress, I was looking forward to seeing the petal effect from his sketch, but it did not have the wow factor I was expecting.

Anna - Kudos for textile work, but same meh, different week.

Emilio is blowing my socks off, people. WOW. The technical precision and artistry of this dress is amazing. I have been more excited about him than any previous contestant. My fear is that he'll go down on a group challenge or something. (PLEASE no group challenges...they're dreadful and never produce anything good. Who cares if the designers can play well with others? In the end, it never seems to matter.}

I freaking LOOOOVE Emilio's dress, and I cannot believe he was not in the top 3. Boo! He's amazing.

While I love Emilio's dress more than any others this week, isn't all of the interest in the trim and not the actual burlap? I think that'd be a good reason to leave him off the top three, despite how great it looks.

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