The challenge to outfit an up-and-coming bluesy rock band is a set up for failure, and every last contestant sinks to the occasion. They ignore that it’s a pseudo “team” challenge, but they’re so outside their comfort zone that working together still wouldn’t save the challenge or their dignity. Even the designers think Lammie was on point (check out the video above).
Some designers manage to suck less, but no one captures the gritty spirit of rock or the vintage essence of the ‘60s and ‘70s that the band prefers. Passable individual pieces notwithstanding, no total look rises higher than derivative at best or Halloween costume at worst.
Lambert and the band member victims are the only people on the runway who seem to understand the challenge, and it’s not like there are rocker-vibe contestants this year who could work it out like past winners Seth Aaron Henderson or Jeffrey Sebelia.
Sadly, the rest of the judges are just as out of their element as the contestants, and it shows. Even when the client/model/fashion victim says that Viktor’s pleather jacket (top photo) isn’t for him, the judges jump in with comments about how “expensive” and “fashion forward” it looks. Viktor’s execution is flawless, but the padded shoulders and fringe belong on Wynona Judd or in a hair band video from 1987. Sadly, it’s the highlight of the runway.
The judges also love Bert’s look (second photo), the top half of which would make the lead singer look like Dorothy from “The Golden Girls” if Bert didn’t make it worse by putting the guy in super-odd pigtail braids. The effusive praise continues for Laura’s dude-looks-like-a-lady blazer and scarf better suited to Steven Tyler than these less showy musicians.
In our estimation, Joshua (third photo) and Anthony Ryan (bottom photo) almost get it, sort of, but jump on the costume bandwagon by adding fru-fru. It’s no surprise by now that Josh’s vest has too many baubles, bells and whistles attached, but Anthony Ryan throws us a curve with fringe on the back of a sleeveless shirt. Speaking of fringe, Viktor’s Steve Perry from Journey jacket takes the win.
Kimberly and Anya battle it out for Worst Kaftan Ever, and they earn their place in the bottom three. Anya’s sewing is so bad that her pants are falling apart on the runway. Olivier is a little kid in a grown-up world, and after two weeks of bigoted remarks about people who don’t wear a size zero, he too lands at the bottom of the barrel.
At least the horrible runway results give Michael Kors and Adam Lambert a great setup for one-liners. Lambert’s comment about an “8th grade production of ‘Hair’ the musical” is spot on. Kors is on a roll with his funny critiques – “Pocahontas,” “Peter Brady at the Harvest Festival” – but good quips aside, even he is just talking out of his ass when it comes to judging the actual clothes.
What makes this season of personality over substance interesting is how tough it is to predict which designers are the frontrunners. Early on, we would have put Olivier among the most talented contenders. And while his western shirt and pants don’t fit his model, we think the looks by Kimberly and Anya are actually worse. Still, Olivier’s giant ego, lack of time management, outright bigotry and curious obsession with gray, yellow and cream ultimately do him in. He’s sent packing.
Next week, Michael Kors screams like a small child. Can’t wait to find out why.
Click any image for a larger view, and check out the all of this week’s looks on the show’s “Rate the Runway” page.