I should've paid closer attention to The Fashion Show's official website--while I knew judge Fern Mallis was blogging (somehow) her thoughts on what transpired on the past episodes, I didn't think they'd play so crucial a role until now. And by that, I mean a slight elaboration on the results of last week's episode, where the final four designers showed their collections to a wider audience, especially since it all goes down to a popular vote--and proceeds to eliminate Reco from that poll for reasons I actually couldn't understand much.
So we shall begin quoting Fern right now. Her latest bit had her talk about what she thought of the final four collections, and in a nutshell, they all did "an admirable job, some more than others."
First up: Anna's collection, which took inspiration from a Bosch painting and continued to be sprightly. "I liked Anna's collection a great deal, as it is very saleable, colorful, wearable and feminine," she began. "[It] was quite ambitious and inspirational, but her clothes did not have much of a connective thread through the collection. I was pleased, however, to see how Anna emerged as the season progressed. In the beginning she was quiet and unassuming, never seemed to be in the fray, and she ... got better and better and became more of a [designer] we wanted to hear from."
Next up: Daniella's collection, which continued to fuse her androgynous tastes with her homage to the women in her family. "Her collection truly held together as a 'collection'," Fern said. "She hit on several strong fashion points and used her fabrics in an interesting way. She 'treated' her leathers, layered her looks, [and] made the shoulders a focal point which held throughout the collection. She is definitely going to be someone we will see again."
Next up: James-Paul's collection, which was inspired by what he described as "indigenous tribes wearing Western clothing". "James-Paul did a very thoughtful and interesting collection," she said. "I am also very partial to some of his designs ... I like his intellectual take and perspective, and clothes that are loose, and cut in clever ways ... They are, however, very difficult to explain and present on a runway. His clothes need to be in a presentation format, where he explains them all, and shows the way the folds happen and how the wrap becomes a hood or a papoose."
Finally, Reco's collection, which drew inspiration from the Aztec Indians, but wasn't enough to keep him in the final three. "While I feel like he has become an audience favorite ... I was not overwhelmed with his final collection," Fern said. "I thought for sure he would blow the roof off Cipriani because we all know how badly he wanted to win. But I felt he thought he had already won, and the clothes were almost secondary. I do think Reco is a talented designer ... but he lost me with his Aztec references, and his collection just didn't hold together or hold up to what I believe he is capable of. He needs to quiet down a little and just work and let the clothes talk!"
Those comments have triggered some sort of backlash. Well, I've been reading these blogs intermittently throughout the show, and everyone's appreciated what Fern had to say, but now it seems like almost everything's flipped. Perhaps a sign of how many people were disgruntled when Reco got the boot last week, eh?
Some thought she was being biased towards James-Paul. Some thought she found arrogance in Reco and confidence in Daniella--two similar contestants, I must add--and she judged based on attitude rather than aesthetic. And some have, inevitably, called this a conspiracy theory to tilt the vote in favor of the ladies--and some have even called this a racist move! Well, to be fair, some also thought Reco deserved to go because of how disappointing his collection was. (On a personal note, I was disappointed, but I thought Anna's fared a bit worse look-wise.)
Maybe Reco's elimination's had a bigger impact on The Fashion Show itself, which is a pretty sucky legacy for a show that's trying to find some footing. So, well, with the Reco-wuz-robbed! debate continuing while the votes trickle in, well...