As episode 9 of Under The Gunn unfolded viewers were drenched by venomous comments from castmates on the show. It was easy to assume this week’s challenge was to explain why everybody hates Natalia. “I don’t think Natalia deserves to be here. I’m not sure who she is as a designer,” explained designer Asha Daniels. “I don’t think she’s trying to bring anything new or different, or take any risks.” Another Team Mondo designer, Michelle Uberreste added, “Natalia should have gone home, there are other people here with a lot more talent and a lot more drive.
””I’m perceptive,” defended Natalia Fedner choking back tears, “I can tell they don’t like me, at the same time I so badly want to show everyone what I have. I know the other designers don’t see me as a threat.” Her perception is on target though her designs falter. Mentor Anya Ayoung-Chee chimed in with two-cents saying Natalia delivers “inconsistent work, incomplete ideas.” The slinging of hot grease at nervous Natalia was nonstop.
Designers were required to create a garment that transforms from a daytime look to an evening statement. Judges Jen Rade and Rachel Roy were joined by recording artist Macklemore for the task of applauding and slamming the final designs.
The bacchanal around Natalia was a distraction from the focus on the complexities of negotiating the design challenge. Meanwhile, mentor Nick Verreos was ambushed for nurturing co-dependency with his mentees. Finally, Tim Gunn ushered Nick to an Ah-Ha moment by suggesting he use a socratic approach and pummel mentees with questions such as, What do you think? How do you feel?
After runway judging of the transitional garment challenge the playing field was leveled, each mentor supports two designers. Oscar Garcia Lopez from Team Nick stole the show with his sleek, black shimmery design for an heiress of a philanthropic family. “At the end of the day I’m happy to go home on something I love,” admitted Michelle from Team Mondo, who was eliminated.
While Anya is usually critical and complimentary in the same breath, her observation of Shan’s design was conservative and borderline clueless. “I still think there are issues with the construction, at least there is thought and innovation,” noted Anya as the dress that revealed mid-section cutouts and a zippered skirt sauntered down the runway. In the end, the judges felt: “It has a sexy, cheerleader feel to it; this met the challenge. It’s youthful, super successful in a really modern way; great construction.”
Judge Rade felt Blake Smith’s evening look befit an ObGyn’s office, not a runway. Macklemore reinforced that sentiment with his vote: “Would I want my girlfriend to go out in this, absolutely not!”
Credit Natalia for this week’s takeaway: “Although I am at a disadvantage at being able to edit and construct quickly, the judges see a lot of imagination in me and for that reason I’m still here.” In other words, having ideas matters.
After the runway cleared mentors Mondo Guerra and Anya stood defiantly to show their disagreement with the verdict of the judges. Mondo argued, “Why should someone stay who depends so much on their mentor!?” Anya vowed the judges will regret their elimination decision. Then hundreds of viewers raced to Facebook to ignite a firestorm of critiques that denounce Anya and Mondo as ‘bullies,’ ‘disappointing,’ ‘appalling,’ ‘despicable,’ ‘immature,’ ‘arrogant,’ and ‘shameful.’ Read for yourself, visit Tim Gunn: Official Page, Mondo Guerra Fan Page and the Project Runway Page.
We’re tuning in to see if an underdog can shutdown the antagonists and if Anya will be forced to eat her words.
© SEAN DRAKES
[ 404.654.0859 | SEANDRAKESPHOTO@gmail.com ]