Making the Cut isn't taking any prisoners, is they? We lost someone unlikely to win but we're still gonna miss them, you know? Onward we roll into Opposing Forces, which is...armour-based? Something with Kevlar? Let's find out after the break in Making the Cut S1:E06 Opposing Forces recap!
The designers contemplate their current situation; they're in Tokyo, far away from their loved ones and half of them have already gone home.
They meet with host / judge Heidi Klum and host/mentor Tim Gunn by the Shoji Temple for the low down on this week's challenge. Heidi and Tim explain the concept of opposing forces, or dichotomy or even yin and yang. Basically, WE NEED MORE THAN A LITTLE BLACK DRESS, ESTHER.
The dichotomy between old and new is the framework of the challenge too, they're starting at one of the oldest and most storied parts of Tokyo, but the runway will be digital, a background chosen/taken by the designers as they wander around.
Everyone hits the streets to take pictures of weird things then stands around on their phones looking for the right backdrop. First come first served doesn't really mean anything in this group, Rinat Brodach, the winning designer last time, stitched together the look of the runner up Jonny Cota, in the last challenge. They're gonna collab it out regardless.
Rinat's opposing forces are Buddhism and Judaism...hmmm. Okay, most of what I know about Judaism I've learned from Faye Kellerman books and a friend, but I was raised Buddhist and I have some questions. Are they really opposing forces? I mean, they're different, but are they opposing? If there was a streetfight, would Buddhism be swinging a chain while Judaism rolled up on a Harley? I don't know.
Esther Perbandt takes pictures in black and while because of course she does, her backdrop is water, which makes her idea to place a temple inside seem super unfortunate. I mean, you CAN make an aquarium look, but should you?
Jonny's finding walking the streets in Tokyo and this area with all its religion on display quite emotional. He was raised Catholic and while he has and had a lovely, supportive family he grew up with a deep depression perhaps based in the dichotomy between being gay and being in a religion that is not supportive of that. He's always used the contrast between light and dark in his work and in his life.
Fabric shopping and Esther *hold on* has gold cloth in her hands. Nobody breathe until she pays! Wooooo we're out of the store and everything! Go Esther!
I'm confused that Sander Bos thinks the design is to make cheap t-shirts...oh wait, they gave him a hard time over the last challenge where he didn't make one of his looks commercially accessible.
A quick rundown: Making the Cut comes from Amazon Prime; Amazon is obviously sponsoring the competition to the tune of $1,000,000.00. (I can only hear that in RuPaul's voice). Each episode, the designers create two looks (they're calling it a mini-collection but whatever), one has to be "accessible" which means commercial, which means Amazon is selling that exact garment right after the show airs. I go back and forth on this, on one hand it's an amazing opportunity for designers to sell their work immediately, I just hope they retain the rights and most of the money from said work. Also, does it cheapen a design competition if you can buy the product?
I think it's an awesome opportunity to be able to own some of the work we see created, I would have loved that opportunity for some of the looks on P**j*c* R*n*a*y. Not that I could wear any ever, but it's a connection to the blood sweat and tears we've seen shed on the show, tres cool! But I see Sander's point about the cheapness, he's thinking of fast fashion and its execrable short shelf life. He's an artiste, he's above the money, we get it!
But if you want that sweet, sweet million dollars from Amazon, give them something they can flog on their website, you dig?
Rinat's using colour (and wants all the kudos for it) to make her flowy Hassidic jew outfit, hmmm.
Ji Won Choi is doing two opposing cultures, I hope they're actually in opposition unlike some otherswewon'tnamebutyouknowwhoI'mtalkingabout. She chitchats about Sander to Jonny, who doesn't care what Sander's doing.
Interessssting. The claws are starting to come out.
Megan Smith hears Sander puffing and panting about accessible in the fabric shop too, she's over it as well. You have to be able to sell things as a designer, or you'll just be flipping burgers and calling yourself a designer.
Oh. Sorry, Sander.
(I still love him, but youth: you know)
Heidi meets new judge Chiara Ferragni at a Robot Restaurant? Chiara looks ADORBS with her little hairclips and twisty buns. ADORBS! She and Heidi battle a troupe of "evil" Japanese drummers and emerge victorious, as statuesque blondes are wont to do.
The designers only have a day and a half this time, the judges are cranking up the heat on the way to the final.
Ji Won is making 3D cutouts of her name for on top of her runway look, she's been riding center of the pack since the first challenge and she wants to break out.
Sander is still really, really pissy about having to make an outfit an actual person could wear, in the way that only a 12 year old burger flipper can be.
Oh. Oh Megan. You're using a space backdrop so you're using the fabric equivalent of aluminum foil and calling it futuristic? Oh no, honey, no.
If one more designer calls using colour "pushing" themselves or "taking a risk", I shall scream, but quietly as my children are sleeping. Nobody was slapping a merit badge on Martha Gottwald and her multicolour oversized sequins.
Okay, Sander's decided to use his angst about consumerism as the theme for his designs: consumerism vs. art. Jonny likes that it's making fun of the judges. I'm concerned that he thinks selling clothing is anti-art, you can do that when you don't run a business but this competition is specifically about making a huge BRAND. Brand is synonymous with commerce.
Rinat leads a shabbat shalom with Sander and Jonny and I feel like a maroon. She went to light the candles and I thought: she's Jewish? I ask of the person from Israel designing around Judaism.
Esther finds her own moment of peace in a swimming pool, she's stretching herself in a way that feels uncomfortable and needs to chill out for a few laps.
*I miss swimming so much. So much. My hair: not so much.
It's the next day and everyone is feeling energized and excited. They only had that one kick at the seamstress's can, looks like that worked out for everyone.
Ji Won's waiting for Tim and his TimTiques; her accessible look needs help. In walks Tim right after and now I'm in the corner chanting TimTique over and over but boooooo. Nothing.
Sander is up first with his tricky concept of opposing forces, Tim holds his chin for a long time...then "I believe" and a comforting shoulder pat and Tim's off to see Esther.
Tim's shocked at Esther's use of colour (sigh) but happy with her departure from the colourless black hole she's been designing in.
Rinat explains her pieces, he's unsure about her Hassidic look. The Buddhist flowy outfit is bueno but.
Oh Megan. I've seen your Old vs. New futuristic look one thousand times and that was in the 80s alone. I'm concerned.
Jonny's darkness vs light battle is featured in one print: houndstooth and I don't know, boo. Tim's more worried about Ji Won's costumey constructions, which feature a gorgeous colour but don't really embrace the spirit of the challenge. I don't see opposing forces and I don't think Tim does either.
5 hours to go! Ji Won smokes and takes a breather, she can't get her head around her accessible look.
Ah I love Esther and Ji Won and I will be very sad if either one leaves today. Using colour is so unbelievably difficult for Esther, she compares it to an evolution.
Model Fittings! Which means only one hour until the runway and so much is still to be done. Esther sews and sews while Rinat reviews her look for the one thousandth time. She's on a high off her win, but she's also projecting a lot of confidence onto looks she clearly is worried about, so I'm concerned about her emotional state. Sander helps by calling her look "office slut" which is...a compliment?
30 minutes and we're in hair and makeup! Ji Won loves how Esther styled her model but Sander...does not.
The crew sets up for the fashion show, we have some notables in the audience including Wade Wakashige Amazon's Director of Video in Japan.
All our judges are in place: Naomi Campbell, Joseph Altuzarro and Chiara, I'm sure Heidi's wandering around somewhere. She and Tim show off the digital background, it's totally cool beans. We also have a digital influencer guest, sure. Hai Noonoouri!
What do I know, I'm exactly nothing in the social media world.
Runway time! First up is Jonny and his samurai houndstooth.
The judges love Ji Won's runway look but universally hate the accessible dress in that gorgeous colour.
Oh Rinat, I was wondering if we saw a lot of you for good or bad reasons. These...are not good looks and the judges are very disappointed. Reviews range from boring to plain bad and "who would buy that?"
Megan's second look is very Megan, let's just say that.
They LOVE Sander's work and of course, so do I.
Esther does not fare as well in her first foray into colour.
Judging/Awkward conversation time! Jonny is called up first, he's in the running for the win but I'm confused because they bring Esther up next. There is no way that second look is propelling her into a third win.
The judges appear to give her a pass for the same thing that will send Rinat home: listening to them. They loooove it when designers follow their non-designer direction.
I guess we're just talking to everyone, hai Sander!
They love his work because it's amazing, Joseph Altuzarra says the same thing I did: maybe don't treat commercialization as an enemy of art, find a way to make them work together. People gotta eat. He maybe didn't say that last part.
He wins! Yay!
Oh no, hi Ji Won. She takes a deep breath and goes into her sales pitch. I have all the respect for her for that, she keeps it upbeat and never once shows how afraid she is of being sent home.
She gets more feedback than Second Look WHAT, the judges point out that they haven't seen any eveningwear or even anything feminine, that's when she cracks a little. If she stays, she'll show them. Oh and she stays and we can all breathe again.
Rinat is called up next, ehh this is going to be hard to watch. It's hard for the judges, too, listening to her talk about her emotions as inspiration before they surely send her home. The problem is she hasn't provided a point of view of who she is. None of us could pick out her work each week, unlike everyone else left.
Naomi is the only one advocating for another chance for Rinat, the three other judges will not budge and Rinat is sent home. It's bittersweet for Sander, who won the challenge and lost a piece of his heart, that's why this is hard to watch! It's like last week, when we knew Sabato had to go home and it was still heartbreaking. Booooo. Until next time, cheers everyone.