Tag Archives: Under the Gunn

Under the Gunn – Finale

What a disappointment the UtG finale was! There was plenty of time for ads, promotions, a re-cap of the prizes, and drivel from the “surprise” judges, but precious little time to show the designers, their assistants, advice from the mentors and the creations of each collection. The editing was choppy, irritating and not nearly enough about the designers or their designs.

I was expecting something more in line with Project Runway finales, maybe even a double episode, but no. For instance, on PR, for the final challenge designers who have been eliminated come back and assist the finalists in creating and sewing a mini collection. UtG was similar in that each designer had one former team mate come back to assist, but other than a few glimpses of the eliminated designers we saw nothing of them and that was, IMHO, a mistake. Some of the most entertaining moments on PR are the conflicts between the eliminated designers and the finalists.

Oscar got the well deserved win and he and Nick were obviously over the moon about the win. Oscar’s collection:

UTG01-ep13-episode45While it was an expansion of some of his “best of” looks, every one was better than the original and overall it was a very cohesive collection, deserving of the judges’ praise.

While she wasn’t really shown on the episode, Natalia was there assisting and cheering Oscar to the finish line:

Natalia_Nick_OscarOverall I was disappointed with UtG and if it comes back for a second season I hope they hire some new editors and give us more of what we love the most about Project Runway.

Nick’s Take can be found here.

Under the Gunn – Episode 12

For the penultimate UtG episode, the theme was Superhero Fashion. The designers were to use inspiration from Marvel superheros to design a wearable look. Oscar chose Gamora as his muse and he was off to Mood to choose fabric.

The final result? Fabulous!

This three piece outfit is totally wearable and classic! The coat is made of felt but looks like an expensive wool.

Oscar was the clear winner of this episode and Asha should have been sent home – all three mentors would still have been in the finale – but instead the judges (or the network?!?) decided that the Final Four designers would ALL be competing for the championship. Not only that, but no winner was selected for this episode and no prizes were given. A bit of a letdown, really.

Who will win the competition? My bet is on Oscar, with Shan coming in second and Sam third. Asha should have gone home long ago, but since no one asked me, there she is.

Nick’s Take can be found here.

Under the Gunn – Episode 10

I’ve been too angry to post about last week’s UtG episode until today, waiting to see what’s being said around the interwebs, deciding if my anger was justified. I think it was. As you all know by now (unless you live under a rock somewhere, in which case, good for you!) Natalia was sent home last week.

The challenge was to work in three teams of two and collaborate on three designs – a mini collection for hip retailer Francescas. Natalia was paired up with Asha and Asha was not a bit happy about it. Sam and Blake moderated their comments about Natalia on this episode, but Asha made it very clear that she was pissed at being paired with Natalia and, IMHO, she went into this challenge with one goal in mind – get Natalia sent home – and she did a wonderful job. She was likely guessing that she could survive (another) Fashion Fail, while Natalia could not, and she was right.

The trouble started at Mood where Natalia’s fabric choices were flatly turned down by Asha and continued into the work room where Asha took over and dictated exactly what Natalia would be allowed to do. The result? A cute dress that had a lot of potential from Natalia –

The front had some fit problems, but the back was great and totally Natalia –

We got only a glimpse of the cute, well fitting shorts underneath Asha’s hideous dashiki and we got a lot of finger pointing by Asha on the runway, making sure the judges knew what Natalia was “responsible” for – way to look like a Team, eh?

The judges rightfully hated Asha’s awful outfits and asked which of them should go home, their team being in the bottom and one of them having to go.

AshaNataliaAsha started to cry and plead with the judges, telling them how much she wanted to stay, when Natalia spoke up and said that she should be eliminated so that Asha would not blame her for getting sent home. And you know she would have moaned all over the interwebs!

Natalia showed amazing grace under pressure – you know she wanted to stay but felt bullied and disliked by the other designers and mentors. She looked so tired and just ready to go home. I love her parting line, “Under pressure, I’m a good person.” And she is.

If you’re following Natalia on Facebook or Twitter you know that she’s designing and creating like crazy and that at least one of the dresses embellished with my yarn is now in Europe being worn by someone fabulous – more info as she’s able to share 🙂

Oscar and Shan were a wonderful team, working together seamlessly and turning out the winning looks, models of sewing perfection, as we expect from both Oscar and Shan –

Oscar_Shan1The blazer and maxi dress are in Francesca’s shops and online for purchase and each of them won a $5000 prize. Well done, gentlemen! We here at SODesigns are still rooting for Team Nick – good luck tonight, Oscar!

Read Nick’s Inside Scoop on his blog.

Tim Gunn asserts that Natalia was not bullied by Asha or anyone else, but what I saw was most certainly bullying. Tim said that Natalia’s poor time management made everyone crazy, but we didn’t see any of that on ANY episode, except what Natalia said about herself. One has to wonder why there was so much time to show Isabella’s craziness (and there were many more designers to cover way back then) but nothing at all was shown about Natalia’s supposed “issues.” Doesn’t make for unbiased TV now, does it? Click the pic to read Tim’s full statement and enjoy the comments, too.




Tim Gunn on WhoSay

Under the Gunn – Episodes 8 and 9

Wow. Just. Wow. I know “reality” shows are edited to showcase drama and boost ratings, but Episode 9 of Under the Gunn was harsh.

It all started with Episode 8 and Natalia’s Beach Themed Unconventional design –

She chose to use grass to create an overlay fabric and it was ah-mazing. The judges were a bit mixed on her look, but she made it through safe. I don’t quite understand the animosity of the other designers over this design, especially seeing as how Stephanie (Natalia’s team mate) went home, but there it was.

I thought Natalia’s design was unique (not a fan in sight!) and if she’d had a bit more time it would have been over the top lovely. It did have some construction issues, but the idea and execution were uniquely Natalia and the judges saw that.

Oscar won with a dress made of fans, and it was a justified win:

Oscar’s execution was flawless. Dude can SEW!!

Episode 9 was a “Transformation” challenge. The designers were to create a look that would go from day to evening. The models would show both looks on the runway and it promised to be interesting, to say the least.

Natalia’s design was, once again, very different from every one else’s –

Lemme just say that any day look that has sleeves to keep a person warm in the office is a Great Thing! I hate, hate, hate sleeveless outfits that have to be covered up with a sweater or jacket for the office – what’s the point of having a fabulous look if no one can see it?

The Evening Transformation –

The knit cowl/sleeves transformed into a purse! The body-hugging dress was appropriate for any occasion so Natalia’s Girl could go from office to wherever without having to carry an extra bag. I thought it was wonderful and so did the judges, awarding Natalia second place behind team mate Oscar who designed this little number:

It would have been better, IMHO, if the Day look didn’t have slits in the skirt, but I’m not rich and famous, so what do I know?

The real shockers were the designer interviews where everyone but Oscar ripped on Natalia’s design skills, sewing abilities and her penchant for crying. Really? I hadn’t noticed her crying until you guys started being assholes!

It was everyone against Natalia, including Mondo and Anya once the judging was over. The judges asked Mondo and Anya if they disagreed with the final decision and they were pale and trembling with rage. It was shameful. While neither one of them insulted Natalia personally (I understand they’ve gotten some negative feedback for their harsh words from the online community) I thought it was in poor taste to air their grievances in front of the cameras – it would have been so much more professional and interesting if they’d taken their opinions to their blogs, Twitter feeds, etc. and sparked a reasoned debate instead of spouting off like a couple of petulant children in front of the world.

I did disagree with the judges about who went home, however. Asha’s design was a Hot Mess. There is not a woman in the world who would buy an outfit that makes a model look pregnant both coming and going. The sewing was atrocious and the whole look was just ugly. Her fabric choice was good, but as soon as that skirt was turned up it was a disaster – the print was All Wrong and left me shaking my head. It was so bad I’m not even going to link to a picture. The sewing alone should have sent her home – she knows better and has shown that she can sew. It’s like she was phoning this one in.

The judges sent Michelle home because her look was “boring” and they didn’t like the color palette. Huh. Taupe for the office – that’s always going to be a winner. Her tunic dress was very well made and the silhouette would have flattered many body types –

Go ahead and eat lunch, Girl, this dress won’t make you look fat! The evening look didn’t do it for me (too bulky around the hips) but the idea was sound. I don’t understand why she went home while Asha was safe, but I don’t get a vote, either.

Nick’s Take on Episode 9 can be found here and judging by the sneak previews and commercial snippets, this week promises to be full of drama as the designers are paired up for this week’s challenge. Natalia is paired up with Asha who went into the challenge with a very bad attitude if the commercials are to be believed…

Go Team Nick!


Under the Gunn – Avant-garde Challenge

This week’s episode was a good one! The challenge was Avant-garde with a Steampunk twist. Several of the designers submitted very good designs and a couple of them clearly did not understand Avant-garde OR Steampunk. They ended up safe, anyway.

Natalia was robbed of a win this week. Robbed! She totally understood the challenge and her design was a marvel – it had a cape, a lovely gown with lace accents AND a mechanical device that changed the length of the hem! I’m not the only one who feels Natalia should have won, according to the poll here.

Sadly, I can’t find any pictures of Natalia’s model entering the runway with the cape on, but here’s the front of the dress:

And the back:

But what sent it over the top was the skirt-hem-adjuster:

Sure, she could have gone flashier, or randomly added Steampunk symbols, but she opted instead to create a look a Steampunk heroine would wear while chasing the bad guys – the anonymous cape to pull over her hair that can be flung off in an instant to follow her target into a party, where she cranks up her skirt before jumping out a window in hot pursuit. It was awesome!

The judges declared Shan the winner with this look:

Shan’s design was much more true to his style, but it’s nothing we haven’t seen before, and don’t Steampunk girls generally wear skirts?

Oscar came in third with another magnificent gown:

If he hadn’t done the whole “revolution” thing with the train he might have taken the top spot, but he was just a little too over-the-top for the judges.

Once again Anya had to make the final decision about which of her designers went home and this time she made the right choice, sending Nicholas on his way.

Under the Gunn – Team Challenge

This week each team had three members, so you know it was time for a Team Challenge – not usually a favorite challenge for any designer.

I must admit when I saw the previews and heard Nick saying, “I cannot take responsibility for this – it’s ALL theirs!” I was worried. I know the show is edited to maximize drama, but this clip had me biting my nails (figuratively, of course!) to see the show.

The inspiration was “Pompeii” but the designers were instructed not to make costumes. All of the looks had to be wearable.

It wasn’t looking good during sketch time with Nick doing all the talking. It wasn’t looking good at Mood with Natalia and Stephanie brainstorming and picking coordinating fabrics and Oscar off doing his own thing. The first day in the workroom was a disaster, with Tim admonishing Nick to do something to pull his team back together. Oscar was not listening to or working with the girls and all of the designers were cutting eyes to Team Nick and shaking their heads.

The day of the runway saw Oscar have a change of heart – he was at last a member of a team and took charge to coordinate the designs. I feel he might have been a little heavy-handed, turning it into an Oscar Collection, but in the end it worked fabulously.

Natalia’s design was my favorite:

I’m never a fan of a “romper” but I love the way they all used the little metal studs to link the designs and the order the models went out onto the runway was genius – Stephanie’s romper first, Natalia’s gown, followed by Oscar’s pure white outfit – you could see the three designs were a collection very clearly. If only Oscar could have incorporated just a little hint of blue it would have been perfect, IMHO.

Oscar’s outfit was classic and wearable:

While Stephanie’s romper wasn’t to my taste, her coordination with Natalia with the fabric choice and Oscar with the square “cape” were beautiful:

Team Nick deserved to win and I hope it’s the first in a long line of many!

Under the Gunn – Client Challenge

Last week’s episode of Under the Gunn was the Client Challenge. The designers were tasked to create an outfit for Zendaya to wear at an upcoming concert. Here she is a few months ago:

Not having any idea who Zendaya is, and not having watched any videos before the UtG episode, I was not at all sure what the designers would come up with. Natalia said she knew exactly what Zendaya wanted and designed this:

I love this look for a young performer who dances on stage and doesn’t want to have a wardrobe malfunction. Zendaya loved the ‘Z’ on the back and said she would wear it every day but that it wasn’t glam enough for the stage.

The judges were all over the place and none of them liked this look for the lead but thought it would be great for a backup dancer. Have they seen Zendaya in concert? Natalia’s look, IMHO, was exactly what you would expect to see from Zendaya in concert and some of the other designers went a little too glitzy and/or strange to match (admittedly my perception of) Zendaya’s style.

Asha won this challenge (and $5000!) with a really great look that all the judges loved. The winning outfit in concert:

Thank all that’s holy Isabelle went home! That woman is a train wreck and obviously didn’t understand what being on the show was all about – designing & sewing an outfit under a very tight time schedule while staying within the bounds of the weekly challenge AND allowing your own design aesthetic to show through using the experience and advice of a mentor who has already won Project Runway. Isabelle wanted to do what SHE thought was appropriate under HER OWN time schedule, going so far as to re-style her model’s hair (that didn’t make the final edit, but Nick talked about it on his blog) and sewing on her design until Tim Gunn dragged her model out of the sewing room! No respect for the competition, her mentor Nick, or the other designers. Good riddance!

Forgetting about Isabelle, Nick’s group did pretty well this week – Natalia hit the nail on the head (IMHO,) Oscar made a very stage-worthy design in a rocking red that would have been great if Zendaya was a few years older (I wonder if Beyonce called him up to buy it? 🙂 ) and Stephanie’s design was good, but her choice of fabric and lack of pants fitting techniques was unfortunate.

In the end, the person who should have gone home did and I expect this week’s episode to be much better if only because there won’t be any Crazy Isabelle in the work room.

Get Nick Verreos’ views on Episode 5 here.

Under the Gunn – Unconventional Materials

Last week’s design challenge on Under the Gunn was the unconventional materials challenge. The designers were given a ridiculously short amount of time to choose materials from piles in a darkened, foggy landscape –

The theme was “Unconventional Vampire,” something a woman would wear to the premiere of “Vampire Academy.”

We didn’t see much of Natalia this episode, which is just fine at this point in the competition – being in the middle of the pack is safe and much better than always being on the bottom. Of course, we’d love for her to be in the top, but have faith that she will be before long 🙂

I thought Natalia’s design was elegant and red carpet worthy. It showed off her style while still remaining true to the challenge and wearable – far from a costume.

Michelle was the clear winner, but Natalia should have come in second or third, IMHO – the other designers didn’t use as much unconventional materials or the designs were just boring. Too bad I’m not a judge 🙂

It was a bit cruel to make Anya responsible for the final decision as to which of her team members went home but it did make Under the Gunn stand out from the other Project Runways.

Mondo seemed rather lost and not able to advise his designers, which I did not expect. Anya did a good job mentoring, but she sure led Brady and Nicholas down the wrong paths with her definitive statements, landing them in the bottom three with a loud thump.

Thankfully Nick backed off and let his team do their thing, which was not easy considering Isabelle is insane and Oscar has a need to overdo everything. I wish we could see more of the designers, instead of the edited version – I think the whole story is much more interesting and resent the editing for drama content.

Go Team Nick!

Under the Gunn

Did  you see last night’s episode? Our favorite designer, Natalia Fedner, made it through to the next challenge.

The assignment was “Hollywood Glamour” and the designers were to create a Red Carpet look that will be worn on the red carpet and photographed for Marie Claire. In a day. Quite a feat and some of the designs fell short with designers trying to make it too complicated and not being able to complete their looks in the time allotted.

Natalia’s submission hit the mark, IMHO:

EP 3Classic, elegant, totally wearable. The styling was understated and tasteful, but the back of the dress had some construction problems:

EP 3-2She would have been fine, but Nick was micromanaging and making “suggestions.” You could see the panic on her face as she was overwhelmed with information. She was doing fine, Nick! This particular challenge is what she DOES, for the love of all that’s holy!

In the end, she was neither in the top nor the bottom and was dismissed from the runway with no critique from the judges.

Whew! She did a great job with all the distractions and a very tight timeline and we only hope Nick takes a step back and lets her get on with it already!

Almost Famous!

Thursday was incredibly busy after a very busy Wednesday. Heck, the whole week has been non-stop running in the very best way. Lots of new ideas and projects in the hopper for upcoming events and hopefully the website will be up in the next week or two. Sleep? Ain’t nobody got time for that!

Last night I shut down the computer after putting out a few fires so I could get the last 10 rounds done on the sock for class today. It was 9:00 PM and I turned on the TV for some soothing distraction and what did I find but Tim Gunn’s new Project Runway spin-off Under the Gunn. I had looked at the cable listings and thought it was on at 10:00 – too late for me to stay up – and had planned to catch it today or Saturday. Boy, am I glad I decided to watch!

If you aren’t familiar with it, Under the Gun brings three Project Runway winners (Anya, Mondo and Nick) back to mentor a group of designers through Project Runway type challenges. Last night was the first episode and eight designers were tested to see if they could impress the mentors enough to be chosen for their team – each mentor gets to choose four designers.

Imagine my surprise to see Natalia Fedner among the designers! You might recall that I spun some angora rabbit yarn for her line back when the weather was somewhat warmer than witches’ boobs in brass bras. Here she is wearing my yarn –

Can I get a squeeeee?!? Okay, the yarn is only embellishment, but hey, it was on TV. Not only that, but they showed pictures from each designers portfolio on the show. That’s right! A picture of my yarn was in the same room with Anya, Mondo and Nick! On TV!! Tim Gunn actually LOOKED AT something I spun!!!

Yes, yes, I know that no one looked at my yarn and thought to themselves, “Gee, I wonder where Natalia got that fabulous yarn? Maybe I can contact the person who made it and have her make me some that I will buy for a gazillion dollars and make her rich and famous…” but it could happen, right?

So, yeah. I was almost on TV last night. Natalia made it through to the next round so maybe we’ll see more of my yarn on the runway.

Go Natalia!