Because there was no Lost last night, I get to give you two times your usual Thursday dose of modeling show recaps! Hooray!
This week’s photo challenge on Make Me a Supermodel was all about recreating the atmosphere of the 1960’s, particularly in the context of one of Andy Warhol’s factory parties. The very concept of the Roxanne Lowit shoot befuddled Mennonite Salome because, when given Yves St. Laurent, Andy Warhol and Madonna as connecting threads in their pre-shoot clue (as in, Roxanne Lowit has photographed all of those people), she was only familiar with Madonna. For some reason, this made Laury think she was fake, although I don’t know why. I’ll allow Salome’s cloistered and religious upbringing to excuse her from the knowledge of certain things, depending on what they are. I believe that she knows who Madonna is only because she’s in the tabloids constantly and her name is rather ubiquitous. I believe that she doesn’t know who Andy Warhol is because she’s had no exposure to pop art in her upbringing. However, I am deeply concerned that someone who wants to be a professional model doesn’t know who Yves St. Laurent was. Not only did he change the face of women’s fashion in the last century, but his name was mentioned on the show only a few episodes ago as the inspiration for the skinny suits in the gender-bending catwalk challenge.
Kathryn, an ANTM hopeful with a pen collection who didn’t end up making the show, was grilled by Tyra in the casting special about her fashion industry knowledge. The girl couldn’t name any other working models than Agyness Deyn, but she could name a grip of designers. I think it’s fair to assume that someone going into a profession – any profession – has done some cursory research on big names in the industry and their contributions to the field. And I certainly expect a model, whatever her background may have been, to enter into the modeling industry with knowledge of that industry. I certainly don’t expect Salome to know designers and labels like Rodarthe, Rag & Bone, Philip Lim or Jason Wu. I do, however, expect her to know names like Yves St. Laurent, Roberto Cavalli, Givenchy, Diane Von Fustenberg and Dolce & Gabbana. Those are big name brands with a legacy, and those are names she should know cold. And while I wouldn’t expect Salome to know a whole catalogue of working models popular today, I’d at least expect her to know names of greats that came before her. I expect her to know Tyra and Naomi and Kathy Ireland and Heidi Klum and Paulina Porizkova and Petra Nemcova and Christy Turlington and, most especially, Twiggy. When she said she didn’t know who Twiggy was, I grew deeply concerned for her and her place in this competition. She may have a lot of natural talent, but that girl needs to do some damn research. It’s like she’s trying to be a chef without knowing who Escoffier or Julia Child are.
At the shoot, Tyson revealed this week would have a double elimination, and then set about pairing the models up for their photos. Branden paired up with Sandhurst, choosing to once again state that he is not at all gay and just chose Sandhurst because he’s a strong model. Jonathan selected Jordan, while Colin selected Kerryn and I hoped that their shoot would end in a hook-up. Mountaha chose Salome, and Amanda, whom everyone hates for some reason, ended up with Laury.
- Jonathan and Jordin: They were the most natural in this shoot, just hanging out and partying, looking like they were having a grand ol’ time. She looked totally fabulous and their final shot was the best of the bunch.
- Salome and Mountaha: They turned out a good shot, looking like floozies on Mad Men, which was totally the point. Mountaha looked the most like Twiggy and really drew my eye in the shot, but Salome looked like she wasn’t posing at all, and ended up capturing a moment where her eyes were half-closed in a laugh that was pretty magical.
- Braden and Sandhurst: The photo they turned out was fine, but Rebecca Weinberg’s styling for them did not fit the 60s theme of the shoot at all. They looked like two dudes posing for a Men’s Warehouse catalog, and that was certainly not the intent. I just don’t understand the editorial decisions that went into this shot at all, even if both men were good in it.
- Kerryn and Colin: For two people with a lot of sexual chemistry with one another, this shoot was a complete dud. First of all, the makeup artist didn’t put nearly enough makeup on Kerryn, making her look blank and completely expressionless. Secondly, while Colin tried to deliver during his shoot, Kerryn never got comfortable or close enough to him to make the shot work. Eventually, they ended up doing a dancefloor shot with him in the air. It turned out better than I thought it would, despite Colin’s extreme toothiness in the eventual photo.
- Laury and Amanda: I had another styling issue with the dress Laury was in, which didn’t look 60s at all. It was more like something you’d see a little girl wear now. Amanda, on the other hand, looked like a recording artist from that era, in her amazing black fringed dress and her very, very large bouffant hairdo. She looked gorgeous, and totally stole the final shot from Laury. Their whole pairing actually made me think of Hairspray, like Amanda was standing up for her black friend and protecting her in a largely white club.
Cory Bautista awarded Salome with the win, and she rightly chose her partner Mountaha to go with her to a go-see for Elie Tahari. Mountaha was disappointed that she didn’t win, citing the fact that she really deserves the credit for that shot because, “I spent, like a half hour before the shoot explaining to [Salome] what the 60s were about.” Neither girl ended up booking the job. Salome had the right look, but was too green for a polished show, while Mountaha looked too edgy. On the other hand, Jordan went that night to the job she booked as a showroom model for People’s Revolution and totally impressed stylist Masha Orlov, who loved Jordan’s ability to be a likeable clotheshanger.
This week’s Catwalk Challenge asked the models to participate in an avant-garde fashion show for the House of Diehl, a group of designers that prepare runway-ready outfits from found materials in under four minutes. I’m totally fascinated by this “design wars” concept and I think it was a great addition to an episode framed by Warhol’s factory parties. It reminds me of the sort of impromptu drag shows featured in Paris Is Burning, combined with site-specific performance art. I can’t even truly describe some of the things the models had to wear, but I can tell you that Amanda lucked out with the most amazing and couture-like dress made from God knows what, while Laury was covered in garbage bags and Sandhurst was outfitted in a magician’s costume made out of blankets. Actually, that outfit combined with his super crazy runway walk made him look like he was playing Caliban in some super low-rent production of The Tempest. Colin, on the other hand, was dressed like a combination of Shredder, the Dalai Lama and an inmate in California’s prison system. And it was kind of sexy. What a fucking zany runway show. Zany, I tell you!
Sandhurst, Salome, Jordan, Kerryn, Colin, Amanda and Laury were called forward as the best and worst of the week. Salome was awarded the win and given immunity because of her very professional runway stance in a dress made out of coffee filters (à la Kit Pistol), and Kerryn and Laury were sent home. It was a bad week for names with “y”s in them, and while Kerryn went out tearfully (because now she can’t molest Colin anymore), Laury got a stank-bitch attitude and refused to hug Salome when the little Mennonite girl tried to give her a goodbye squeeze. She then told Salome that she thinks she’s two-faced and fake, saying things about people behind their backs or some other completely paranoid bullshit. I mean, Salome says some weird shit sometimes, but it’s mostly just self-deprecating. I mean, she did call Jordan a bitch behind her back on the way home from the go-see because Jordan had booked a job, but that was meant playfully and there’s no way Laury could have known about that. Salome is weird, and she doesn’t know who Twiggy is, but that doesn’t mean she’s fake or two-faced. It mostly just means she isn’t culturally aware. It also means she doesn’t deserve at all of your stank-bitch ire. Have fun not getting jobs because of your stank-bitch attitude, Laury! Maybe you can do porn like the stank-bitch who was eliminated on Top Model this week. Or you can be friends with another stank-bitch reality contestant, Lil Rounds. Either way, have fun!