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Under the Gunn, Episode 6: “Pompeii Team Challenge”

Feb 23, 2014
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Oscar and Natalia work together on their first team challenge.

Talk about drama. At the beginning of this episode, Nick’s group members were given the opportunity to reflect on Isabelle’s departure. Natalia and Stephanie, in particular, were surprised that Nick didn’t stand up for Isabelle, and were pretty concerned about whether or not he would do the same for them. Regardless, the results of this week’s competition left everyone shocked.

Tim Gunn and Emmy nominated costume designer Wendy Partridge met at the Getty Villa to announce this week’s challenge. After watching the trailer from the movie Pompeii and seeing some of the designs Wendy came up with for the film, each team was given time to explore their surroundings so they could design garments based on the movie, the villa, and Wendy’s designs. That’s right, this was the designer’s first team challenge, meaning each mentor’s group had to work together as a team.

The groups were as follows:

Shan, Nicholas, and Blake (team Anya): Overall, this team appeared to work extremely well together. They capitalized on the fact that they were a team by all agreeing to use the villa’s black and white tile design as their inspiration, checking in with one another before buying their fabrics, and working together to make their collection cohesive. They had nothing to worry about.

Shan’s design:

Shan's design

Nicholas’ design:

Nicholas' design

Blake’s design:

Blake's design

Oscar, Stephanie, and Natalia (team Nick): Once the challenge was announced, Nick took complete control of the conversation and pretty much discouraged his designers from voicing their opinions. As a result, when it came to making their outfits, the designers couldn’t agree on anything, and just started working on their own designs. At first, Oscar’s dress was considered eveningwear, Stephanie’s was resortwear, and Natalia’s was on the casual side. When they looked to Nick for help, he completely neglected them.

Oscar’s design:

Oscar's design

Stephanie’s design:

Stephanie's design

Natalia’s design:

Natalia's design

Sam, Michelle, and Asha (team Mondo): This team had a vision for their work from the beginning. As soon as they chose the villa’s mosaic stones as inspiration, Sam decided to dye fabric to create a similar-looking marbled effect. Everyone supported him in his pursuit, and Mondo was very proud of his group for working so well together.

Sam’s design:

Sam's design

Michelle’s design:

Michelle's design

Asha’s design:

Asha's design

Wendy Partridge guest-judged on this episode. As it turned out, Nick’s team exceeded all expectations when it received the highest scores, with Oscar’s design winning first place. Mondo’s team came in second, and Anya’s team was in the bottom. While either Nicholas or Shan was destined for elimination, the judges decided to save both designers because they knew they were capable of more.

This was Nicholas’ second experience in the bottom and Anya’s second instance of redemption. I find it odd that only her group has gotten special treatment from the judges. In addition, I couldn’t believe Oscar’s design ended up winning. He appeared to be the hardest team member to work with, and was the least willing to compromise out of everyone in his group.

Do you think Anya’s special treatment is fair? What went through your mind when you saw Nick’s team’s collection? Which designer were you most disappointed with this week? Please share your thoughts below!

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  1. user-626014 February 25th

    The only thing that impressed me with the winner this week was the fact that they could work together.
    Time and again this has been a failure with all the designers for all the runway shows.
    As for Anyyas group, I got the message here but I thought the dye work(?) was not bold enough. Of course sitting in my chair at home may have that affect.
    Mentoring is a hard job but Nick wants to DO for his designers. They may only learn how to get along together from him and be wary of believing he is trying to help them.

    Mondo has a better way with people but we haven't seen him get crossed, however , he is the only mentor that explains how an idea can be enlarged or changed without making his people foolish or doubtful.
    Anya may be worried about herself instead of her designers but has been able to pull an ability our of her people that might teach them how to put an idea together and not lose their creating skills.
    I marvel at all the designers for having the ability to do what they do in the period of time given.
    I have enjoyed this format and enjoy Tim Gunns ability to be so considerate of each loser.
    However I agree or disagree I do watch everyone of the shows and can complain if I choose and enjoy .!!!!

  2. User avater Soli February 24th

    No, I don't think that the treatment given Anya's team has been right, especially considering that Nicholas has been in the bottom two twice now. I don't particularly find his work exceptional, and I don't care if they're inspired by his menswear portfolio - he hasn't been able to execute to the requirements of the competition, and by all rights he should have been gone by now. I really wonder about what sort of instructor Nick is at FIDM, as he does seem to steamroll all over his designers, then backing off to the extent where his interaction was minimal. Maybe that was the kick his team needed to come together; once they realized that he wasn't going to give them anything to work off of, they had to pull it together out of fear, more than anything else. I did like Oscar's winning look. Quite frankly, I didn't like the textile made and used by Mondo's team. Also noticed that Asha seemed to do the same bodice design lines this week as in her winning piece from last week. Next after Oscar's ensemble, I really liked what Blake designed. Don't think too much of his teammate Shan, but for whatever reason Team Anya seem to be the golden children. I'm hoping to see most of them eliminated, as well as Anya, because I just find her annoying. I think that it takes months and months before someone perfects the art of mentoring and giving constructive feedback. Considering the past successes of the three mentors, I believe they're still adjusting and trying to find the balance between having the boss/teacher mindset telling people what they thing needs to be done and encouraging and guiding their individual designers without injecting too much of themselves into the process. If Nick teaches the way he mentors, I'd hate to be in one of his classes.

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