Photo: Barbara Nitke / Lifetime

Future Shock

The designers create looks inspired by 2034, 1994, and Deep Space 9. Sarah ranked 'em first to worst.

The main challenge -- design looks for 2034, inspired by Marie Claire covers from 1994 -- is a bit strained as far as trying to include the sponsor in a natural way, but it's not a bad challenge aside from that. "Future" challenges present specific opportunities and pitfalls, and because I can't predict trends and have a super-limited visual imagination, I like seeing what the designers do with them, even when their stated "inspiration" is retroengineered or off-topic.

It's more problematic when it comes to the judging, of course, because you hear the same lame sci-fi "jokes" over and over, and the epithet "costume" is both more apt in a future challenge than elsewhere, but also more likely to mean "not my taste."

I've ranked a bunch of the episode's elements from far out to far off. Let's see who's lost in space.


Would rank high just for taking Clueless as her inspiration and saying that "Angela stresses me out," but I loved the coat (though I would have done it in a color less reminiscent of the Men's Wearhouse sale rack). The way the bottom panel of the dress picks up the pattern of the coat fabric is great.


I'm liking her more than I thought I would, despite those shiny pleather gaucho monstrosities she had on on the runway. I would wear her clothes. She gets a perfect fit on the jumpsuit, her model obviously loves it too because she stomps it flat, and I love the cowl. Simple, flattering, and practical, although I don't care for Emily's perpetration of the fiction that jumpsuits are "really easy to wear." Maybe if you don't have a bladder.



Samantha and Char

Zac Posen

I'm glad some people weren't so caught up in making nonsensical Planet Of The Apes references to Alexander's dress ("She IS the ape!" What? I…no!) that they couldn't point out Alexander's problems with the grain line of the fabric. I like that he addresses technical/engineering issues and trusts us to get it instead of…being Nina.


So excited to go to Mood "and choose fabrics that WE want." Hee. J'adore that capelet, though the cut-out shoulders on the blouse aren't '90s in the good way.


It walks way better than you'd think from the workroom, but I don't see why this is editorial and not costume. Her idea is pretty good, citing the recycling we'll have to do in the future; her hand detailing is pretty good; the placement of the pockets that the wearer can modify by adding a belt is pretty good (though where you'd stick a belt in among the jetpack prongs, I don't know). But it's still costume -- and not just generally costume, but specifically a costume from Babylon 5, and that pink is terrible and cheap. Another win that feels like the judges don't want to look like they don't "get it," resulting in the judges looking like they don't get it.


Not sure how rising sea levels becomes "bubble skirt," but his course correction is solid. Nobody's actually going to wear a neoprene jumpsuit, but in the early stages of the season, sometimes "no camel toe" is enough.


A positive workroom presence whose "Garnet Hill meets David Crosby" look I hate.


C&C Music Factory.

Anne Fulenwider

The sparkly eyeshadow is too much, and doesn't go with her muzzy, badly parted bob. She's mostly on point with her comments, but: she doesn't know any women who wear black turtlenecks. In…New York. Right.


Anyone who mutters, "Bitch, why?" at his fabric can come to my house anytime; he'll fit right in. But he's extremely lucky others send out worse looks than his Russian Freddie Mercury bondage-otard, though I suppose the fact that his model's nipples don't need blurring on the runway is a victory of sorts. For the model.


I can't believe nobody on the panel gave Michael Kors's "Appalachian Barbie" comment a shout-out. I like Alexander (and specifically his squishy Midwestern pronunciation of the word "boob" -- it's almost "boab," and then "monoboob" is "mahnoboab," which has the effect of making said monoboob seem like a funny story instead of a catastrophe), and I sympathize with his plight, but I don't understand why he didn't at least belt that woobie he was calling a dress.

Those buttons behind Tim at Mood

Now we know where the Nancy Reagan Accessory Wall is, I guess.


Oh, honey. THE HAT. I mean, the "Eudora Welty goes to art class in East Berlin" contraption couldn't have been saved even with good accessorizing, but my God. Iron your shit. AND THE HAT.

The poll bug that takes up 35 percent of the screen

How are we supposed to interact on social media with a show we can't see on the screen? Shrink it, tech team.


"If you really kill it on a challenge you have immunity? And it sends a very clear message." Thanks, Professor. What does that dated Last Days Of Disco trouser and transparent shirt send -- an invitation to a rave at Studio 54?


How did this person survive for seven years on Wall Street? Probably by disappearing, which is what the "color" of her fabric does, and the length doesn't tell the same story as the hue. The seaming is all gappy in the back. She's a human flinch. Her ouster is a relief, to her chief among us.


"Houston, we have a problem." Yeah, we do, Mandy Rooney: "YOUR PUNCHLINES." Planet Of The Apes, The Matrix…it's like she hasn't actually seen a movie since Clinton was president, just hears about them secondhand. And the expression is "PHONED it in," not "dialed it in," as whoever's writing your shitty jokes can explain in cynical detail, belieeeeeve me.

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