Screens: Lifetime

Baring The Brunt

The JustFab challenge catches one designer with her figurative pants down.

A JustFab challenge could so easily turn into a sponsor-fluffing nightmare, but this one's relatively well thought-out: last week's winner, Candice, assigns herself and the other designers styles of JustFab girl (bombshell, girl next door, etc.); JustFab will sell the winning look, but because it's an affordable brand, the budget is $100. I mean, it's not great -- you'd rather see them working with a luxer company like Saks -- but the show's past that point, and the challenge is a nice shot of realism re: working in the industry. Not the "design your label on this [brand] fabric printer!" part, but I'm-a just ignore that because it's obvious who-cares filler. I mean, yeah, Candice's probably violates Coleco's copyright, but anyone with ties to that IP is probably just happy anyone remembers it, even an old like me. Hee. ...Jesus, am I still talking about this? MOVING ON!

The results are mostly unimpressive, but the judges can't agree on aaaaaanything, which leads to a couple good debates about marketing, ideas versus execution, and so on. Zac Posen's not having a great week, hardly pulling any rubbery faces and going for the cheap Muppet-fur joke about Kelly's vest, but JustFab's fashion director, Yuchin Mao, brings a valuable perspective to the panel. Solid ep, overdue result.

Ashley

No doubt JustFab looked at what it would cost to make the pleather jacket and punted on it,

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but the judges' retro-engineering a reason not to give her the win because she "didn't fight for it" is horseshit. This is the best look and the easiest to sell. I don't disagree with Tim Gunn about the pediatric-scrub-top fabric; I can't argue that we've seen this same silhouette from Ashley more than enough times at this point. It's not brilliant, but it's completely on point for the client, the back flounce on the jacket and the parallel panel on the crop top are smart, and it's just got broader appeal than Edmond's.

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The judging

It's conflicted, and Ciara isn't a huge help, plus Posen is off his game a bit as I mentioned before -- but the whole is greater than the sum of those parts, because they disagree, they argue, they reveal their snobberies/guilty fashion pleasures and have to defend them, they zhuzh the imperfect looks, they get real about the demographic. I liked Mao a lot; I wish they'd have a retailer on every week.

Merline

The properly-made version of this I would buy today, in four colors.

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The idea is there. The judges object to said idea being everywhere the last couple of years, but you could say that about almost anything on that runway, and I'd rather they have spoken to her color choice and styling (it needed a shot of primary somewhere, like a bib necklace or a skinny belt, something).

Kelly

Nothing I would wear, but it would sell like hotcakes with a few tweaks, for sure -- a different color on the fun fur, a little less of a simplistic shape for the legging.

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It's a chic mix of prints, though, and looking junior isn't bad. My issue is more that you could buy that shteez at Forever 21 today.

Edmond

I like him; I like his foxy dad;

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I know it won because it's less expensive to produce;

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it's still BS that this is the top look. The fabric and its color do all the work, and the fit is good, but I've seen that cut on Bluefly for years now, and I don't know who the judges think is going to buy that dress. I'd have to put on shapewear to even look at it online. I wish he'd worked in his original fabric somehow, given it a '70s funky vibe. This is boring and, IMO, a little trashy.

Candice

The editors don't do her any favors with the patronizing talking-heads; she doesn't do herself any favors with her fabric choices (yeah yeah, she only had $100; so did everyone else).

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Every one of the textiles looks cheap, and I don't get what "trend" this is setting -- dollar-store merchant-marine?

Swapnil

My favorite Posen moment this week is when he's like, I've had it with the lack of focus -- and as much fun as I've had screencapping his yikes faces, I have to agree. I realized I don't have any idea who he is as a designer. As a roommate/colleague, sure. But what is A Swapnil Original? Everything he sends out lately is...discouraged-looking.

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I couldn't get a good grab of the dress; it doesn't really matter. It doesn't read "bombshell"; it doesn't read as much of anything. He edits the wrong things out. It's afterthought without a thought first.

Laurie

Oh, boy: no. It showcases exactly zero skills, the top is too revealing, and I would say the sexy-librarian idea of it is tired, but I can't say I see any idea here at all.

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I think she may have hit a wall. It's disappointing; I thought she had promise.

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