Lifetime

'Praying To All My Ten Thousand Gods'

When Swapnil struggles with a difficult client, Tim Gunn is no help.

What a maddening episode! We will get to Tim Gunn in a second, belieeeeeeve me, but my primary issue is with the contradictions built into the challenge. It's a real-woman/makeover challenge, albeit as vague as you might expect ("workday to runway" is not a...thing?), with the lady crewmembers from the show as models -- but it's a Sally Beauty-sponsored makeover only, and the spirit of it doesn't translate to the challenge or to the designers' brief on how to collaborate with their "clients," several of whom present as completely unwilling to try anything new, thereby hamstringing the designers. Tim, meanwhile, is protective of the crewmembers' feelings and comfort to a disproportionately combative degree, whinging at Merline on Katie's behalf that her look is a compromise, not a marriage, like, 1) it's neither, since Merline made a jacket Katie said she didn't want, and 2) what do you think marriage is?

Swapnil would have gone home regardless, I think -- but given how much everyone struggled with the boundaries between making the client happy and not doing something fashion-backward and expected, and how bitchily flabbergasted Tim was that any of them had a problem drawing that line and therefore was less than no help to those who would really have benefited from a "fuck the client, save yourself" push Tim very clearly had no intention of giving? The problem here is not necessarily Swapnil, or not all Swapnil. I'd have thrown my hands up too after Ixnay McDishrag hated three looks in a row with no vision for what she did want.

...Who got smoked? The rankings, first to worst.

Posen faces

They're baaaaack!

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Kelly

First of all, she's bringing it on the styling front her own self this week. That necklace is the booming business.

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She notches another win for a clean, edited take on Ashleigh's typical overall. I hate overalls and don't care for pleather and I'd still consider buying those; nice work, though she's likely being rewarded for most improved.

The judging

Great to see UnREAL's Shiri Appleby and Constance Zimmer, and gratifying to have Zimmer say verbatim what I had in my notes a couple times. They could have given the designers the benefit of a larger doubt in terms of how much flexibility they had with reluctant/unadventurous clients, but overall, pretty good despite hitting the hooker-stroll "jokes" about Candice's too hard.

Edmond

The coat and dress don't go together, quite, but that aspect is overstated IMO.

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Both pieces look pretty good, took some skill and creativity, and fit properly, though I'd have scotched the ruffle, whose placement points up exactly what it's meant to streamline. Nina's right that it's "not effortless," but again, they oversubscribe that.

Merline

Hey, Katie: do you want to get paired with Merline?

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Fair. I thought this would win, but the judges responded far more to her hair revamp than the outfit (Nina did really like it and think it looked expensive). I don't think this is the skirt shape for Katie's hip story, but I love the vest and think this is the best job of acclimating to the client's (sometimes irrational) wishes while keeping some measure of the designer's own brand in there. Katie loves it, too.

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Candice

Way overdone, too matchy with the hair...Posen's "the alleyway of Comic Con" snap is right on. She looks like a comic-book character. Hilariously, I grabbed these screens during a Candice VO about how much Monique obviously loves the look:

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Oh, is that what that face is. 'Cause it looks like "grounded" to me.

Ashley

Woof.

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I'm a little surprised she didn't get the auf as well; the panel's clearly over it with telling her to buck up and stop crying, and while this isn't as bad as Swapnil's, it's quite poor: ugly, cheap textiles; every cliche of plus-size fashion but poorly translated. The peplum isn't placed properly to do its ostensible job, so it looks like a dust ruffle. And what's with the tomato-red shoes?

Swapnil

Understand: it is in fact terrible. He did give up.

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But he gave up after three iterations of looks that she had asked for, nixed, and failed to offer anything in its place based on the materials and time he had. She just wanted everything covered up, like, did they purposely select Jen for Swapnil so that he'd finally go down in a heap? We don't see how everyone gets paired off, only that certain pairings seem destined for conflict...and Jen's smug face when the judges rip apart the outfit on close-up would tend to bear that out.

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Like, good job, Sourpussy Galore, you got 'im out like they told you. Uch.

...Again, he needed to go. He wasn't raising his game like he needed to, and Posen's "...fuck off" face when Heidi's blowing talent sunshine up Swapnil's ass yet again kinda says it all.

GIF: PTV

GIF: PTV

But I smell a production rat here, an unnecessary one.

Tim

His anger at the designers' inability to turn on dimes (read: "accede to their clients' uninformed and often dowdy ideas") is not a good look. Even grading on a curve of his wanting the crew clients to look and feel beautiful, sneering at Candice and then raging at Swapnil isn't all that productive a strategy, is it? He is their mentor, after all. It's entirely possible that Swapnil was a handful production-wise, and Tim won't get along with everyone, but the blaring "bullshit!" and demanding to know "what's the fucking point?"...I don't know. Maybe Tim would like to explain how Swapnil is supposed to create drama when Jennifer wants a full, loose sleeve and no leg showing. Not fair or realistic. He's definitely asked designers why they're there before, so he's full of shit on that score, too. What I've never seen before is a clean-up-your-space moment this frosty.

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Tim makes no move to hug him. Doesn't say they'll miss him. Not sure what else is going on here but it's not wearing real well on Mr. Gunn.

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