Gifts we’re interested in getting this holiday season: a Miu Miu Hobo bag; an hour of Tim Gunn’s time in which he complains to us (in iambic pentameter) about liars. What we’d rather not receive: paper slippers. For this week’s challenge — explained by L.A. Times fashion critic Booth Moore, looking disconcertingly like a soccer mom — the designers had to construct garments entirely out of newspaper. They were allowed to incorporate dye and muslin into their designs, and Tim even gave them a pep talk about the history of paperwear, dating back to 1968 (at which time it still didn’t look any comfier). Everyone is a bit confounded, yet most of the designers embrace the challenge, using pictures and patterns creatively. And then there’s Johnny. His first dress is scrapped after Tim calls it a “craft project gone awry.” Then, after a few hours doing a crossword puzzle, Johnny tells his model that the first dress was ruined by an overactive steamer. Nicolas calls bullshit on this fabrication (pun intended!), going so far as to confront Johnny on the runway when he repeats the bogus story. The most wonderful moment of the evening comes right after Johnny exits, with Tim's surprisingly harsh, yet beautifully poetic, judgment. “I’m incredulous of that utterly preposterous spewing of fiction that Johnny did on the runway. It’s ridiculous!” An amazing line from an amazing man. And now a look at the final designs, none of which are nearly as entertaining as hearing Tim talk shit behind Johnny’s back.
THE ARCHITECTURAL EMPIRE STATE DRESS
It’s pretty incredible that Althea managed to create this pattern out of newspaper. We love the sheen, and the shape flatters the model’s figure. Guest judge Eva Longoria points out that it “accentuates the bum,” which she views as her “asset.” Sadly, we don’t think she noticed her own semi-clever pun.
WONDER WOMAN ATE A HAIRBALL
Tommy Hilfiger, who’s guest-judging because he has a new Macy’s line, calls this dress “a wow.” And it’s not at all wearable, so of course Zoe Glassner loves it. We like the fitted gray bodice, but the skirt looks like homemade streamers to us.
ARIEL GETS HER LEGS
Taking a cue from her namesake, Daryl Hannah, CH creates a mermaid-inspired ballgown in a bright-orange hue. We had a Calypso skirt that looked just like this our freshman year of college (remember those skirts? They cinched at the waist with a tie, and could be worn different ways), so our nostalgia fills us with positive thoughts about this over-the-top design.
GEISHA WITH A YELLOW HANDBAG
We are confused.
THE POLITICALLY NEUTRAL MINI
Thank God Tim put the kibosh on Gordana’s embarrassing Time to Change statement dress. And yet this tiered mini-halter could have used some spicing up. She’s committed the mortal sin of making a dress “wearable,” and for that she is banished to the bottom three.
Irina — the Winner!
NEWSPAPER IS THE NEW FUR TRENCH Irina was smart to choose a design other than a dress, as her trench stood out among the sheaths. The coat “looks like Coco Chanel meets Laurent meets Givenchy in the sixties and seventies,” says Hilfiger, which doesn’t really make sense, but is a nice compliment. The scotch tape holding the back together is somewhat jarring, but the judges ignore the construction missteps and crown this the winner!
Johnny — the Loser!
THE RED MESS REDUX
In addition to being an egregious liar, Johnny is a horrible designer. Heidi calls this shapeless dress “a mess overall,” and we’re with Eva when she says she doesn’t like the pointy part at the bust line. Johnny says his first dress was “hard core” (it wasn’t), and that it was ruined by a steamer (it wasn’t), and that Nicolas is a jerk (he was).
THE SUSHI WAITRESS IN BLUE
The blue pattern is pretty and the shape of this dress is fine, if not a little boring. That said, we’d remove the half-fans near the bust and bottom, as they’re distracting.
THE HIGH-NECKED TUTU
What is it with Louise and high necklines? There must be some creepy psychological explanation for this obsession. Louise didn’t love this design, and neither do we. The hair rollers stuck to the neck area look mighty uncomfortable. And why is the model wearing pigtails? Cruel.
COCKROACH DOES PUNK
The picture of Nicolas in his “East Village punk” days made us laugh. How is this dress punky? The judges (and we) want to know. Zoe says it looks like an insect, which it does. Also, Nicolas, cool it with the shit-talking. You lost, buddy.
This is our favorite look of the night — the patterns Ra’mon created are very cool, and the fit of the top over the mini really works, proportion-wise. We’d actually wear that paper skirt, though paired with a black top.
THE SKIRT THAT ATE LOS ANGELES
We get what Shirin’s going for with this architectural, origami-like skirt, but it’s just too ginormous.
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