After last week’s boring strut through Times Square, a place where actually fashionable people would only brave if Anna Wintour sent them a personal invite to the Condé Nast Building, we were blessed with an UNCONVENTIONAL CHALLENGE! As can be expected, this year’s Unconventional Challenge brought out the best and worst in the designers. They took a trip to Dylan’s Candy Bar—owned by Dylan Lauren, daughter of Polo-peddler Ralph—to gather materials for a sugar rush-inducing dress. Usually, I expect the designers to use as little fabric as possible in this type of challenge, but since they were working with sticky materials, a little muslin went a long way. I know models aren’t like us normal humans, but some of them might have traces of body hair and sweat glands, which never mix with cotton candy.
Some of the designers were good about choosing legitimately unconventional, non-thread-like candies. Sonjia grabbed handfuls of Gummi Sharks, and a couple of people scooped some candy LEGOs. Surprising to absolutely nobody: This year’s dark and dour designers made a beeline for black liquorice. Come on, it’s a candy challenge. Can’t we take a break from the joylessness, just for a moment?
Side note: Did anyone else get Katy Perry music stuck in their heads while the designers were running through the colors and swirls?
Back at Parsons, the designers got busy glue-gunning and hammering their candy. Or in Lantie’s case, dismantling Dylan’s Candy Bar rain boots, Dylan’s Candy Bar laptop cases, and Dylan’s Candy Bar umbrellas. Way to take the least creative route possible. Honestly, Lantie’s attitude about the challenge bugged me far more than Gunnar bitchiness ever did. Tim rightly told her that re-jiggering already-made fabrics was the last thing she should be doing. Lantie said, “There’ll be a little bit of candy. Probably not a lot. Whatever.” That line would have been cute coming from April Ludgate, but not from a 48-year-old up-and-coming designer.
Andrea also had an unpleasant consultation with Tim, who said, “I don’t have the adequate words to tell you how completely underwhelmed I am by this.” Oh no she didn’t! Tim was probably a bit too harsh, but he had a point — Andrea used a bunch of sheets of Candy Buttons that were glued together sloppily, and even though she used an unconventional material, she used it in the most fabric-y way possible. Andrea was so upset she had to tell the producers to stop rolling the camera, Behind the Music-style. But like a big girl, she went back to her table and cut up her “Victorian candy bar clerk” apron.
Elena also had a dramatic time in the workroom — she strikes me as a dramatic type in general. She dropped some hot glue on her thigh, which is indeed painful, but she really milked the moment, acting like she needed a Silkwood shower and calling herself “tired,” “defeated,” and “hit by a bus.” Chris wasn’t particularly sympathetic: “WHY ARE YOU WEARING HOOCHIE SHORTS TO WORK?” (I’m so glad I’ve never had to say that to any of our EW interns).
NEXT: Hold onto your skivvies. I’m doing screengrabs of EVERY runway look of the night.