Episode 3: Say yes to the “mullet dress”
“We want you to create your brand’s version of a three-piece modern bridal collection,” co-host Heidi Klum told the eight remaining contestants at the outset of this week’s “Making the Cut.” Two of those pieces, she explained, would be runway looks for the couple’s big day, while the third — the one headed to Amazon’s Making the Cut online store — would be an accessible version of one of those looks. The hitch in creating this wardrobe to get hitched in? Instead of working individually, the designers would have to collaborate in teams of two. Episode 1 winner Gary Graham was paired off with Poland-born designer Raf Swiader, Episode 2 winner Joshua Scacheri with Paris-based Lucie Brochard, Colombian designer Andrea Salazar with New Orleans’ Olivia OBlanc and LA's Ally Ferguson with Brooklyn’s Andrea Pitter.
Given Pitter’s background as a bridalwear designer, not to mention her strong showing in the first two episodes, she seemed best positioned to walk away with the win. And the runway looks — which consisted of a white, tuxedo-like suit and a wedding dress that quickly converts into a feather-festooned jumpsuit — were easily among the best of the night. But good fashion collaborations, like strong marriages, only work when both parties are on equal footing, and in the end Klum and fellow judges Jeremy Scott and Winnie Harlow saw too much of Pitter’s hand and not enough of Ferguson’s to give that union their blessing.
The judges ultimately said “I do” to the collaborative efforts of Brochard and Scacheri, giving the latter his second win in a row, and citing specifically how each designer’s handiwork was evident in the finished runway pieces. Brochard ran point on the white wedding dress with its architectural top and voluminous free-flowing skirt, while Scacheri focused on the perfect-for-a-Disney-prince suit with its bright blue, double-breasted shawl-collar jacket and matching shirt paired with white trousers with a blue tuxedo side stripe. Both designers’ aesthetics melded in the accessible look, a breezy, pleated mauve and white chiffon shift dress with a high-low hem that ended just above the knee in the front and just below the knee in the back — a business-up-front, party-in-the-back detail that caused Scott to dub it “the mullet dress.” Brochard’s architectural style was evident in the soft pleats and the silhouette, and Scacheri’s penchant for color and graphic prints could be seen in the pale mauve and gray graphic print that subtly incorporated a palm-frond-on-pavement shadow he’d photographed on the sidewalk outside Beverly Hills City Hall.
Although the episode drew to a close without any designers actually departing the Malibu fashion bubble, the final few seconds found two contestants — Ferguson and OBlanc — very much in the hot seat.
The takeaway: Marrying the design skills of Brochard and Scacheri didn’t just win them a challenge, it created an easy-wearing party dress ($99.90) that begs to be invited to the wedding, either as an after-party frock for the bride to rock or the rare bridesmaid’s dress you’ll wear more than once.
Episode 4: “It’s a cruel, cruel world”
A quickie wedding followed by a paternity test isn’t unheard of, and that pretty much sums up the direction of Episode 4, which marks the halfway point in the slightly shorter second season. “You two are going head-to-head,” Klum explained to the two designers on the chopping block. “We want each of you to design a three-look collection that shows off what you do best.”
“So we don’t want plain vanilla,” added cohost Tim Gunn. “We don’t want imitation. We want it to be your DNA.”