I have decided that I do not like Angela as a host. There's nothing terribly offensive about her, but she's so unnatural on screen. Instead of projecting with normal intonation, she starts speaking in a loud monotone and it grates on my nerves. Petty? Maybe. But if you're talking a lot on TV, your voice should not be hard on the ears.
Is it just me or were the designs this challenge uninspired and drear? It seems to me that one would be steeped in inspiration when considering not only a country's flag, but its history and culture as well. In fairness, with a time-crunch it would be easy to fall into the trap of cliché and stereotypes. (I'm looking at you Jerell and Michael.) But the fact remains that not one of the designs made me sit up and say "boy-howdy"!
Mondo's was the best this week with his Jamaican flag inspiration, so his win was deserved. (At the moment I can't think of a harder dress to wear, but when has runway fashion ever been about wearability?) I disagreed with Isaac's opinion that the geometric strap down the back "ruined" the dress by being too literal. If Mondo had presented this dress outside of the flag inspiration, I don't think that would have been an issue at all. If anything "ruined" the dress, it was the styling. It's time for me to admit to the hard fact that although Mondo is a great designer, he can't style worth beans. His clothes speak volumes so he doesn't need heavy styling, and I wish someone could pull him aside and explain that to him. (Side note: Mondo's own hair was so fantastic this episode.)
As a point of interest I looked up guest judge Catherine Maladrino's American flag dress, and what is it if not literal with a pretty flowing fabric and a nice cut? (Apparently celebrities and socialites wore it to express patriotism after 9/11, but I don't recall seeing it before now.)
I didn't hate Kenley's Chilean flag dress, I just didn't see what it had to do with the challenge. Sure, she used the colors in the flag, but I didn't and don't get "Chile" from that dress. She gave some explanation about current street-style in Chile (which I'm sure she hasn't researched), but I think it was mostly a cover story for her penchant for sameness in her designs. I was happy that Isaac called her out on that issue. Let me be clear, I don't think Kenley is a terrible designer, but an obnoxious one whose inspiration is so narrow that it ends up doing her a disservice.
Michael rounded out the top three with his Greece flag dress. Everything that the judges said about this dress was true. It was too low and wide in the back opening, it was borderline pageant, and it had too much fullness in the draping. However, it was a nice enough dress. The white sequined trim was gorgeous.
I was shocked Jerell didn't go home with his mess of an Indian flag dress. The judges thought he had some good but unrefined ideas in the jumble, but I didn't see it. Anything he did have going for him was nulled by that overly blousy, green sari sash. There was nothing flattering about it. That green shade was a little sad and dusty for India as well.
Austin, oh Austin. I like him so much, but the more I'm exposed to his aesthetic and designs, the less talented I think he is. Not only did his dress look tortured and overwrought, but the color palette was too dusty for his Seychelles flag inspiration. His styling is really always about the old lady look. In the end I thought his design looked more inspired by the grecian urn scene in The Music Man.
Mila went home this week with her Papua New Guinea design. She kept referencing "freedom" in the episode, but freedom certainly didn't come across in her finished design. Jerell was right saying that the dress looked more inspired by communism, especially when you consider the styling. Mila suffers the same malady is Kenley, meaning that Mila's narrow focus on color blocking and geometrics often does her a disservice. I will say this, Mila's construction skills are fantastic. Her garment looked sharp and polished as far as construction goes.
"This isn't 'Greased Lightning,' this is more Greece frightening." Mondo about Michael's dress.
"I could feel his suffering in the workroom." Georgina Chapman talking about how tortured Austin's dress looked.