The morning after Alison’s departure from the show, Jeffery’s sad, puffy-eyed face betrays the fact that he may possibly have been shedding a few tears after losing what seemed to be his lone ally on the show. But not Michael.
Michael, fresh off his back-to-back win, was rocking the permagrin, so much so that he “grinned [himself] a headache.”
Today’s challenge: To design an outfit for the “everyday woman.” Catch #1: This woman is each of the designers’ moms or sisters. Of course, Angela busts into spazz mode. Catch #2: The designers don’t get to design for their family member.
The moms/sisters walk in, and everyone’s crying. Most of the moms look how I’d imagine a moms to look, with the exception of Laura’s mom. Like mother like daughter!
- Michael picks Robert’s sister
- Laura picks Jeff’s mom
- Vincent picks Uli’s mom
- Angela picks Laura’s mom
- Kayne picks Michael’s mom
- Uli picks Kayne’s mom
- Robert picks Vincent’s sister
- Jeffery picks Angela’s mom, and Angela starts tearing up. Oy, enough already from her!
The moms/sisters come into the workroom, there’s much hugging and the speaking of German, and crying. Michaels plays Show and Tell with his mom over his winning dresses.
The designers and the moms/sisters join Michael Kors and his mom for some champagne at Tavern on the Green. Momma and Baby Kors have matching blazers on!
Over flutes of champagne, the moms reminisce over their designer kids’ childhoods. Kayne’s mom busts out with incriminating adolescent photos, during which we discover that Kayne was a little chunk! Jeffery’s mom shares with us that her son is a recovering alcoholic and that she’s so proud of how far along he’s come. We even find out that Kors is an only child, and that Michael takes cute school pictures and is a Mama's Boy.
Laura drops the bomb that she’s carrying child #6 [Good Lord, woman!], and that she found out she was prego while filming the show. The woman is 42 years old! What kind of fertility drugs is she taking?!?
Back to the workroom!
Robert jokes that he’s going to bust out with some non-boring, head-to-toe zebra print. And yet …
Laura’s mom says she wants something Audrey Hepburn-ish, and Angela’s like, that was SO two challenges ago.
Kayne said Michael’s mom had the brightest outfit and rhinestones on her shoes – “I knew we were going to get along, ” Kayne says.
“Uli’s mom has this European air about her,” Vincent says. Maybe … because she’s from Germany? Just a thought. He then suggests that he go with a black and tan dress, and I begin to suspect he’s had one too many black and tans himself.
“I don’t speak German, but she knows well enough what I’m trying to get across.” If by "get across," you mean, "I have a boner for early 80's fashion and bad investment choices," then yes. Mission accomplished!
Jeff’s mom just got back from a cruise from Fiji, so Laura goes out on a limb and decides to do a cruise ship-themed outfit.
Angela’s mom says that Jeffery and she present a challenge within themselves because they have such different styles. Moms always know best! Jeffery admits he hasn’t designed a dress for a woman that size, but pretty much ignores every idea Angela's mom throws at him. After the allotted 30 minutes for client consultation, Jeffery still doesn’t have a design, and Angela’s mom wants to cry because she feels like she’s hindering him. You know, because she’s tried to make it pretty clear about what she likes and doesn’t like. SO not helpful.
After a trip to Mood, the designers go back to the workroom. Laura’s scoffing at the other designers, remarking on how she can tell that the other designers are stuck in a “basic muu-muu dress with a colorful jacket on top” rut.
Kayne and Robert are trippin out over proportions, because they’re used to creating garments for models who obviously need to eat a stick of butter, or five.
Vincent, in a moment of lucidity, said that the designers had to be able to delivah on clothes that fit normal women, because quite frankly, they’re the women who actually wear your clothes. Amen, brotha.
Sidebar: I joke about Vincent and his mental state, but he really impressed me in this episode . His compassion for the differences in women's bodies, and also how he tried to help mediate in the stupid, unnecessary drama unfolding before our eyes between Angela's mom and Mr. Arrogant Tatt earned Vincent a spot in my cold, rotting heart.
With 10 hours to go, Tim sends in the moms/sisters.
Vincent says of Uli’s mom: “She’s very comfortable with me. In spirit.” But in person, she’s what, exactly? But more importantly, Vincent, does she turn you on?
Angela’s mom is concerned that her dress will look matronly. She’s never worn powder blue in her life. [Really? How can one person never ever wear blue in their lifetime?] She tries to assert herself and tell Jeffery what she knows works for her. In typical Jeffery fashion, he blows off her opinion and says basically, I’m going to make the dress I’m going to make for you, and if you don’t like it, tough titties. So, let me get this straight, Jeffery: If our client is, say, a beauty pageant contestant who tells us what she likes and doesn’t like, we design around that. But if an older, more fleshy woman --- who happens to be Angela’s mom --- tells you want she likes and doesn’t like, you get defensive and begin to argue with her. You know, your client.
Right. I can clearly see how he’s such a successful designer.
Back in the sewing room, Jeffery tells Uli:
“That crazy bitch is in there telling Tim she doesn’t like the colors. It’s very apropos. I don’t get along with her daughter, why should I get along with her?”
How does he get along with anybody, quite frankly?
Angela and her mom have a little pow-wow in the break room, and her mom starts crying because Jeffery was basically a dick to her. At this point, I want to bust a Sadako and go through my TV to give her a hug. And then go after Jeffery and do that thing Sadako does.
I’m so over Jeffery. How are you gonna go make a mom cry?
“She’s not being nice, why should I try to be nice?”
Waaah, poor Jeffery, always misunderstood.
In this episode, we’ve been hearing a lot about Jeffery’s troubled past, about how he lived on the streets and had a drinking problem. Am I supposed to feel sorry for him now? Sorry, but Making Mom Cry trumps The Trials and Tribulations of a Former Alkie any day.
So now Jeffery’s mom goes into the break room for some damage control and basically explain the ins and outs of her tattoo-necked offspring in an attempt to comfort Angela’s mom, who by now is surrounded by the other moms/sisters. Then Jeffery’s mom leaves, comes into the workroom, crying [I’m hoping those are tears of humiliation, honey]. She gives Jeffery a kiss, and then leaves.
Hold up: Did I just witness a slick form of Motherly Guilt? If so, that’s probably the best non-verbal guilt trip from a mother I’ve ever seen.
Honestly, I don’t know how Jeffery is able to sustain a client base if this is how he works with them. Angela’s mom knows the kinds of clothes that work best with her body type – most women do. But for Jeffery to disregard that and tell his client that what she likes is based on her own insecurities, that’s just not professional.
In the sewing room, Angela confronts Jeffery. He says that her mom was going out of her way to make him look bad. Paranoid much?
Ugh. Enough of the ugliness.
Robert looks like he’s making a red cape. And Vincent’s sister says that she loves her some red cape. Insanity runs in the family, apparently. WHAT? I said enough of the ugly!
Let’s go to my happy place: The runway!
Angela’s mom tries on Jeffery’s finished outfit, and Angela reminds her that she has the right to be honest when the judges question her. The outfit looks horrible on her. Too. Much. Fabric. The seams don’t look right, and it doesn’t drape her body in a flattering way. Instead, it looks basically like a navy blue, floor-length, and shapeless v-neck column dress. And Angela’s mom is short, so a long dress? Not cute.
Jeffery also realizes his dress sucks, and tries to do a proactive save face by saying that if he gets kicked off from the show because of this challenge, that he’d be OK with it. I swear, if he busts on fat chicks in his exit interview, I’m going to bring out my Jeffery voodoo doll.
Kayne’s mom says that it’s every girl’s dream to go down the runway, and she is intent on embarrassing him on the runway. “If you’re gonna do it, you better do it right,” she says.
Sidebar: I want Heidi’s dress. Where can I get it? Seriously. Hook me up, Heidi.
Our judges for this episode are Michael Kor’s mom, Kors the Son, and NINAGARCIA.
I didn’t get the “cruise ship” vibe from Laura's dress, but I thought it looked like something one would wear to work. That scarf was superfluous. The judges marvel over how well the tailoring was on this outfit. Laura’s mom says she’d wear it out to dinner. Kors thinks the look ages her.
Uli’s outfit for Kayne’s mom consisted of a subtle paisley, see-through chiffon top that evoked, for me, a “kimono-meets-daishiki” feel. Kayne’s mom loved it. So did Kors the son. The judges all agreed that the most important thing to remember was that this essentially plus-sized outfit still had the Uli stamp on it.
Vincent’s flyaway-collar dress looked just OK from the front, but from the back, the dress to me looked very simplistic, very home sewn. It would have been more elegant had the collar gone all the way around the neck or something. I don’t know how you’d effectively construct that, but a better designer could have tied the front and back looks together. Vincent would have done better to add another dimension to that dress by paying some attention to the backside. Heidi asks Uli’s mom something in German, but we don’t get any subtitles. Whatevs! One of the Kors thought the dress was age appropriate and flattering. The other Kors thought it was chic and sleek for an adult. NINAGARCIA thinks he did a “great job.”
Kayne’s outfit for Michael’s mom, with the cropped pants and flowing shirt, looked alright. Kayne was concerned that she wasn’t smiling as she was walking down the runway. NINAGARCIA and Michael weren’t fond of the coral/salmon colored top, and Michael reminds us that there are other ways to trick the eye, using the draping of the fabric and showing some skin. I think that the judges have to say “matchy-matchy” at least once every season. It’s written into their contracts, or something.
Angela put two layers of fringe on Laura’s mom’s outfit. Fringe? Fringe embodies the spirit of “casual elegance?” NINAGARCIA thought it wasn’t age appropriate, and not at all like Audrey Hepburn. Way off the mark again, sistafren. Kors the Son agrees:
“This is more Stevie Nicks in black.”
Robert’s outfit was a nightmare in red and black, one of those super-plus-size outfits you see in the Chadwick’s catalog or something. And as Robert describes the outfit, NINAGARCIA gets her trademark sour face. Vincent's sister sticks up for Robert, saying the dress reminds her of a dress from her childhood. Michael Kors actually snored. SNORED!
Michael’s reversible shirtdress for Teresa was nice, but for some reason, the front of it looked weird. I don’t think the way he tied the belt around her waist was flattering at all, but I think Michael was more concerned with working that “reversible dress” angle. Kors thinks Michael’s idea is great, but the belt is matronly. Agreed.
Props to Angela’s mom for working that outfit down the runway as well as she did. Heidi asks Angela how she thinks her mom looks, and Angela said it was "embarassing." It would have been more interesting to hear Heidi ask that of the other designers, don't you think?
Angela’s mom says a lot was lost in the translation, and that she felt she looked matronly. In defense of his design, Jeffery says that his goal was to make his customer happy, which is the biggest bunch of bullshit I’ve heard on this show since Santino tried to defend that unfinished jumpsuit he made for Kara last season.
Kors the Son, ever the insightful one, boils down the tension between Jeffery and Angela’s mom into one simple equation:
But wait, there’s more:
Pleasing Jeffery + Pleasing His Client = Confusion
“It looks like Comme des Garçons goes to Amish country.”
Old Comme des Garçons maybe, but I'm with you. Did I mention I’m glad Michael Kors is back?
Vincent wins this week’s challenge. SERIOUSLY?
Robert gets the zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…
Sidebar: Did you catch Tim Gunn’s lip quiver when he was saying goodbye to Robert??? I almost died!