Saturday, March 15, 2014

UNDER THE GUNN.....Nick's Take: Episode 9 "Trouble in the Lounge", My Inside Dish!

Team Nick: (L to R) Designers Natalia Oscar Gracia-Lopez and Nick Verreos--Episode 9 "'Trouble in the Lounge" Lifetime Network's Project Runway: Under The Gunn

This week's "Project Runway: Under The Gunn" was DRAMA-filled. As I like to say, it was a DOOZY. I will get to the Natalia Getting Bullied/Mentor Lounge Drama--as well as the Fashion--but first, let's discuss the actual challenge. This week there was a sponsor tie-in with Glade® Customizables  and therefore this was the Glade Customizable Challenge: to create a Day-to-Night look...

Smelling Good: This Glade product is all about alternating between two fragrances daily in ONE holder, therefore the "tie-in" of making TWO fashion one.

Now time for my "Inside Dish" on the episode:

Hours after filming the "Challenge Introduction" and the designers trip to Mood, Tim comes into the Mentor's Lounge, after seeing how the designers did at the fabric store and recommends a "Socratic" approach to me. He tells me that Oscar and Natalia were a mess and feels that they might be possibly too reliant on my advice and style suggestions. I'm sick to my stomach that yet again, Tim has bad news for me and am rapidly trying to process the whole thing. When Tim suggested the "Socratic" Method in this episode to me, it
finally clicked (maybe it was the Greek Analogy that worked on me!). I
went into the workroom with a new method and it was a success...

Nick Verreos, Fashion Designer NIKOLAKI, with models in his designs

I think that one of the hardest things for an audience to grasp, is that while this is week 9 for the viewer, we have only been filming for about 16 days. Things move FAST! While I make no excuses, I came into this project as a Fashion Designer (as did Mondo and Anya). While I have been a Teacher in the past, my main profession is as a Designer. That is very different than being a Mentor or Teacher. My whole life has been about putting pencil to paper and sketching. I draw constantly. So when I arrived to the set of "Under The Gunn", I wanted to try to help my designers in the best way I knew how, and that was through my vocabulary of sketching and patternmaking. I, in no way wanted to dictate to them what I thought they should be doing, but only wanted to communicate my suggestions in the best way I knew how. Obviously, as we have all seen by now, this was the wrong approach. But with the advice from Tim, I was ready to get into the workroom and embrace a new approach:

Tell Me What's Wrong: Nick Verreos and Natalia Fedner--Episode 9 "Trouble in the Lounge" Lifetime Network's Project Runway: Under The Gunn

Ever since last week's challenge--the "Unconventional Beach Party Challenge", I sensed that the rest of the designers were not  happy that Natalia had stayed and was deemed safe; I heard rumblings that they felt Natalia's straw beach look was not to their liking. I also got the same sense from my fellow mentors, Anya and Mondo. I correct myself... it wasn't a sense, they told me outright. I was sad that one of my designers went home (Stephanie), but happy to still have Natalia and Oscar. But unfortunately, the negative energy was in the air, and Natalia was the target.

Shake It Off Natalia: Tim Gunn and Nick Verreos with Natalia Fedner--Episode 9 "Trouble in the Lounge" Lifetime Network's Project Runway: Under The Gunn

Knowing that, I wanted to make sure to nip all that negative stuff in the bud, confronting Natalia before beginning my "Mentor Critique" with Tim. Natalia was feeling very down--and yes, bullied by the "you shouldn't be here " feeling she got from her fellow designers. I tried to tell her that the judges kept her because they liked her originality and to try and suppress all the "Mean Girls" environment around her and rise above it.

Runway Day:

 How You Doin' Oscar: Nick Verreos and Oscar Garcia-Lopez--Episode 9 "Trouble in the Lounge" Lifetime Network's Project Runway: Under The Gunn

By the way, this whole time, Oscar was doing really well. I was happy with his Day-to-Evening concept and excited at the prospect of this multimillionaire heiress going from a board meeting to a fundraising gala. He was basically done THE NIGHT BEFORE and when I got to the FIDM workroom on Runway Day, part of his look...

was covered and hidden with dotted pattern paper (photo above). It was always really funny to come into the workroom and see that (he did  that almost EVERY time!). Oscar hid his design (or part of it) by covering it with pattern paper. He wanted to do a "reveal" later.

Benefit Cosmetics and Blow Pro "Pretty Room": (Left) Model Ivana lounging in the Benefit Cosmetics "Pretty Room" and a behind-the-scenes look at filming at the Blow Pro area as models get ready for the runway--Episode 9 "Trouble in the Lounge" Lifetime Network's Project Runway: Under The Gunn

Mentor Waitin': Mentors Nick Verreos, Anya Ayoung-Chee and Mondo Guerra waiting in a bench in Grand Hope Park outside of the FIDM campus, while Runway Judging Filming is all set--Episode 9 "Trouble in the Lounge" Lifetime Network's Project Runway: Under The Gunn

Natalia Fedner: Natalia rocked it out!!! She created a fun, sporty and young Day-to-Evening look consisting of a gray ribbed knit sweater front and top/sleeve panel and cowl neck that when removed, folded up into a purse, and underneath, was a black/silver color-blocked knee-length dress perfect for going out. I loved it and was very proud of Natalia for pulling it off.

Oscar Garcia-Lopez: Oscar's design was SUPERB. It was chic, perfectly made, doubled (lined) and he used very luxe fabrics. I LOVED the whole transition, with the flip-up of the peplum and flip-down of the neckline. And, of course, the turn over of the cape. His model did look like a Euro Heiress ready to go from a boardroom meeting to a Fundraiser Gala. Perfection. Oh, and I'm not sure if you noticed that the sequined boutonniere that accented his day look, turned into a Fascinator in the Model's hair:

Fab! Oscar Garcia-Lopez' look--Episode 9 "Trouble in the Lounge" Lifetime Network's Project Runway: Under The Gunn

Oscar Won! I was so happy for him. He deserved it--Episode 9 "Trouble in the Lounge" Lifetime Network's Project Runway: Under The Gunn

I was also very happy that Natalia was on top as well. Once back in the Mentor's Lounge, I thought it would be a "celebratory" feeling and I would get "Hey! Congrats!" from my fellow mentors. But nope, Mondo and Anya came at me; they told me that Natalia shouldn't have stayed and so on and so forth. To be delicate: I was shocked at their feelings and I was especially surprised that Anya was part of it, since none of what occurred had anything to do with her designers, in terms of who went home. I also felt like a "Mother Lioness" protecting her babies when they were being so negative toward Natalia. I just couldn't believe it.

That's it for now! Don't miss next week's "Project Runway: Under The Gunn" and make sure to RSVP to the Special "Under The Gunn" Screening Party I am hosting at FIDM on Thursday March 27...Join me in watching a brand new episode of "Under The Gunn"!