Talk about career opportunities – the designers tromp through Manhattan’s Meat Packing District to meet at the gloriously sexy headquarters of Diane von Furstenberg, one of the world’s most famous designers and get their challenge right from the grand dame herself. "Create a look for my fall collection inspired by Marlene Dietrich in a Foreign Affair," commands von Furstenberg. She’s one of those fabulous at-ease-with-her-power types who is also extremely charming. Besides running her huge clothing and accessories empire she’s also the president of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, which explains the bonus of tonight’s challenge. The winner’s look will be sold to AmEx cardholders (P.S. Diane’s a company pitchwoman) with a portion of the profits going to the CFDA. How nice.
Ok, so we reviewed Diane’s fab fall line on the runway last season in Bryant Park – yes, we were there with the likes of Ellen Barkin -- and indeed it conjured up smoky drinking clubs, femmes fatales and sultry spies. Lucky designers got to raid von Furstenberg’s sample room for fabric (several very nearly killed themselves with the huge bolts). For the second week running, Leanne nailed it, and man, she deserved it. Her swank inky evening gown with ruffled back topped by a short dove-gray mohair jacket – gorgeous, beautifully constructed and most of all, Diane, a judge, liked it. We expect to see Leanne in Bryant Park and at the moment, in our minds she and Korto lead the pack.
We knew that Stella’s time on this show was limited –- such a character -- but when Michael Kors said of her pants, “the crotch is every woman’s nightmare,” well, that was the last straw. So Stella is out for her cape (“Dracula,” said Diane), vest and pants ensemble. But to be honest, we think Joe’s look was worse … so costumey … in fact his drag queen may have looked well in it, and terribly constructed. Watch out mister.
Korto’s graphic black and white gown with lemon-yellow inserts was terrific, though even better was the jacket she designed to go over it. We would buy it now. Kenley was a doggone mess – oy vey, the weeping, the Diane worshipping and then the sheer audacity of telling Diane von Furstenberg that she felt her fall collection needed a dress. Honey, the dress was cute, but hush your mouth.
Blayne had a few interesting moments tonight, though we weren’t so keen on his runway knickers. First off, he admitted to wanting to marry Mary Kate Olsen. Second, he thought Diane gave him a look over and said, “Diane loves a tan.” Hmm.
Fern Mallis sat in for the Nina tonight, and while she was good, well, we miss the Nina. And you know what, we’ll miss Stella from Astoria, because wild as she is -- that girl is the real deal. Oh yeah, and you know who else we miss? Our girl Jillian Lewis from last season. We’re calling her to see what she thinks of the season so far. Stay tuned. – Anne Bratskeir