In The Mall: Designers and Mentors in front of Francesca's Collections store in the Manhattan Village Mall: Manhattan Beach, CA--Episode 10 "Crossing Teams" Project Runway: Under The Gunn
This week on Lifetime Network's "Project Runway: Under The Gunn", each Mentor has two designers left on our "teams". Therefore the producers decided to do another "Team Challenge" in which each team would consist of two designers, each of the designers from different mentors.
Francesca's Collections, the retail partner/sponsor of "Project Runway: Under The Gunn". The location for the "Challenge Introduction" was the Manhattan Beach location of Francesca's in the Manhattan Village Mall near Los Angeles.
So, let's get to my weekly "Nick's Take"/Inside Dish on this episode...
"Nick's Team": Designers Natalia Fedner and Oscar Gracia-Lopez--Episode 10 "Crossing Teams" Project Runway: Under The Gunn
My designers Natalia Fedner and Oscar Garcia-Lopez were paired with a designer from another mentor. When Tim got that dreaded black velvet button bag out, I knew EXACTLY what was happening. In last week's episode, Asha was not very nice to Natalia (along with most of the other designers and two other mentors) unofficially becoming the leader of the "Under The Gunn Mean Girls" group. Therefore, it didn't take a brain surgeon to know that these two were definitely going to be paired up.
Cross Mentoring Caucusing: Mentors Mondo Guerra and Nick Verreos with deisgners Asha Daniels and Natalia Fedner--Episode 10 "Crossing Teams" Project Runway: Under The Gunn
There was never a direct statement that we, as mentors, could "cross-breed" in terms of offering mentoring advice to the designers who were not ours. I guess that was all depending on the mentor. I was very careful with this --remember, I have already been labeled by Tim Gunn as being "too hands-on!" and since Mondo has a very strong personality and we had just come off of his ranting about Natalia the previous evening, I decided to try and stay calm and level-headed. In other words, I was more of a "quiet" mentor here and frankly, just afraid that Mondo might come at me again and blame me if anything bad was going to occur with this pairing of designers.
Think Young and Cool: Oscar Gracia-Lopez, Shan Keith Oliver and Nick Verreos at Francesca's Collections, Manhattan Village Mall--Episode 10 "Crossing Teams" Project Runway: Under The Gunn
Oscar Garcia-Lopez was paired with Shan Keith Oliver and I was much more comfortable with this pairing. I still had hesitancy in how to give my mentoring advice to Shan--not because of him but because, just like with Mondo, I didn't want Anya coming at me as well. My only concern with Oscar was that I had heard "rumblings" from Tim that his looks were possibly "Too Couture" and maybe verging on looking too sophisticated for the market, so I wanted to make sure to give him direction to THINK YOUNG, cool and hip.
I do remember asking Asha during this critique, if Natalia's "nervous behavior" was spilling over onto her and making her tense and edgy. This was not in the final edit of the critique session one saw in the episode but trust me, I remember asking her. It was my way of subliminally telling Natalia to try and relax and not get shaky and nervous.
I did not want to step on Mondo's toes and offer any of my advice on Asha's designs other than suggestions on making the three looks be more cohesive. At one point, Mondo (and Tim) just LOVED this rust-red trim Asha was using on the top she was making. But to me, it looked "whickety-wack" and "too-mucheey". I definitely knew that I hadn't seen anything like that at the Francesca's store and it was for a good reason. But since Mondo and Tim adored it, I just kept my mouth shut. I don't remember a "What do you think Nick?" question coming from Asha. So, that was my overt sign to leave her alone...with Mondo. It must be said, however, that Asha was always very cordial with me during all of this.
Oscar Garcia-Lopez and Shan Keith Oliver's Looks--Episode 10 "Crossing Teams" Project Runway: Under The Gunn
Oh, and yes, he WON with this dress which was put into production and sold at Francesca's
And yes, I was soooo proud of Oscar that I started crying like a little baby! I was so overcome with emotions (especially after just losing Natalia--see below) that well, I lost it (sorry!)
Asha Daniels and Natalia Fedner's Looks--Episode 10 "Crossing Teams" Project Runway: Under The Gunn
So proud of you Natalia! xoxo