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DVF was this week's guest judge; Kenley with her model
The Challenge: The moment Diane von Furstenberg started walking down those never-ending high-gloss white stairs, Kenley was already tearing up at the pressure and excitement. This week: create a look for DVF's fall collection, inspired by 1948's A Foreign Affair, set in Berlin and starring Marlene Dietrich as a glamorous singer/performer/spy. The winner gets to have her/his look produced and sold exclusively to AmEx cardholders "thanks to" DVF's "long relationship with American Express"—you've seen the commercials where she's (stylishly) wandering the wilderness taking pictures. Part of those proceeds will go to the CFDA Foundation. The designers get 15 minutes to pull from DVF's sample room to select and cut fabric, as well as a lookbook of the fall collection. VP of IMG Fashion, Fern Mallis, is subbing for Nina Garcia as judge.
Meanwhile, cut to Kenley—still crying. And Leanne is uncharacteristically playing spy in the studio, hiding behind tables and tiptoeing around, perhaps retreating to her own world herself, as she notes: "It's interesting to see people get competitive and closed off," after Stella won't tell Terri what she's working on.
The Winner: Leanne again, now for the second week in a row! She pulled together a deep sapphire gown with a deep soft 'V' and a flutter of ruffles down the back, and topped with a short shawl collar jacket. From DVF: "I think it's a very pretty dress...and the ying-yang—a man's jacket with the woman's sexiness, that's always nice...there's a lot of good design in it." From Fern: "The ruffles down the back are a surprise, it brings a pretty softness." Heidi thought both pieces were well thought out and beautiful: "You did a very good job."
Kenley also scored high marks for her printed dressed with contrast high-collar, waist and hem, which she thought she "pretty much nailed it." Heidi started out with a criticism however: "It's a very pretty dress, but looking at Diane's lookbook I thought everything was a bit more about layering." To this Kenley responded a bit defensively and tactlessly, saying to DVF: "I thought you needed just a dress walking down the runway—something with a little more color." DVF responds with a little edge: "Well, I'm glad you figured it out." Despite the slight, DVF likes the dress and later says she likes that Kenley fought for her design: "It's simple. It's pretty. You're true to yourself." Fern concurs: "Very simple but very chic. Very wearable."
Also in the top tier was Korto with the most DVF-esque look—a black-and-white print gown with a pop of yellow underlaid in the skirt and the neckline, and topped with a short black jacket with delicate tie. DVF likes the choice of bright yellow, and Heidi and DVF both adore the little black jacket. From Fern: "The print is captivating. It's international and New York."
The Loser: We new it was coming sooner or later. Stella lost it with a drab wool trouser and vest, and topped with an unflattering black cape. Tim tried to warn her, reminding her that last week's look was not cohesive. Stella came back with a dig at Rachel Zoe, saying "the stylist with the oversized muumuu dress and the waistband didn't know any better." We actually thought Zoe was rather generous as a guest judge, so this came off like sour grapes. And this week's look was even worse. DVF compared the cape to "Dracula," while Michael said it was "More Transylvania than Shanghai."
Nearly gone this week was Joe with a trashy red open-back blouse, black skirt and hooded shawl. DVF immediately says she doesn't like the back. Heidi thinks "It looks messy." From Michael: "This is 'What was she thinking from behind.'"
Suede made a couple missteps this week with his camouflage-ish printed gown and oddly paired herringbone vest. From DVF: "She has no hips at all. It's not a flattering skirt. It's too much fabric at the hip." Michael wants to know why he chose to put a slit in the dress. Heidi thinks the slit is too much also. Again from Michael: "...people would wonder if she got dressed in the dark."
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