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Under the Gunn, Episode 7: “Steampunk Chic”

Shan's winning design fit his model perfectly and was unlike anything the judges had ever seen.

The mentors have once again transformed their roles in an effort to save their teams. The nice, sweet Anya, for instance, was finally fed up with Nicholas’ shortcomings and confronted him about whether or not he actually made the designs in his portfolio. Although he confirmed that he did, Anya wasn’t sure he had the passion to make it in this competition. On the other hand, Nick has once again pulled back from his designers. Now that he sees how capable they are, there is no reason to guide them every step of the way.

Travel Town was the inspiration for last week’s challenge. As everyone gathered outside of the museum, Tim announced that the designers would have to design an avant garde look influenced by the steampunk genre of design. For those of you who don’t know, steampunk is a sub-genre of science fiction that focuses on the Victorian era–when steam powered machinery was invented–from a futuristic viewpoint. To complete this challenge, the designers were given $300 and two full days to work. And for the first time, the mentors were asked to accompany their teams to Mood.

Last week’s guest judge was the designer and co-founder of Marchesa, Georgina Chapman. Mondo’s entire team was safe, Anya had two designers in the bottom and one in the top, and Nick had two designers in the top and one in the bottom. Once again, Anya was asked to choose one of her designers to send home. This time Nicholas couldn’t be saved. Meanwhile Shan’s design was the judge’s favorite.

On to the designs…

The Top:

Shan’s winning design (team Anya):

Shan's design (team Anya)

Natalia’s design (team Nick):

Natalia's design (team Nick)

Oscar’s design (team Nick):

Oscar's design (team Nick)

The Bottom:

Nicholas’ losing design (team Anya):

Nicholas' design (team Anya)

Blake’s design (team Anya):

Blake's design (team Anya)

Stephanie’s design (team Nick):

Stephanie's design (team Nick)

The rest of the designs:

Michelle’s design (team Mondo):

Michelle's design (team Mondo)

Asha’s design (team Mondo):

Asha's design (team Anya)

Sam’s design (team Mondo):

Sam's design (team Mondo)

I thought the designers really pushed their limits with this challenge, which made for a spectacular runway show. Natalia, in particular, did everything she could to amaze the judges, and she actually succeeded. Despite Nick and Tim’s advice to forgo the hard work it would take to make the adjustable contraption, Natalia stuck to her instincts and pulled off a fully functional design. Way to go! As for the other designers, I think they created some striking avant garde looks. For the most part, you could tell that they used the two-day timeline to their advantage.

What did you think about Natalia’s dress contraption? Did you initially think she was capable of constructing it? Have you ever made a steampunk outfit before? If so, what inspired you? Please share your comments below!


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  1. joseswife | | #1

    I had never heard of steampunk before and I was hopeful that Natalia would pull it off and win.

  2. User avater
    Soli | | #2

    I haven't made any Steampunk inspired outfits, although I think it's a fun look. The museum where I work had a Steampunk exhibit back in 2011. I think that if I ever get around to going to the SciFi convention that I've been thinking about attending, I'd do a steampunk inspired cosplay outfit. Personally, I think that Natalia should have won, since she got skirt working. With the cloak, it looked like something out of French Lt.'s Woman; perhaps that was the issue with the judges - maybe it did look too costumey. I didn't like Shan's outfit at all; it did look a bit more fashionish than steampunkish. Thought that both Sam and Asha's entries made their slender, slender models look fat and dumpy, which can't be easy. I don't understand why they were safe. I really don't think that Anya is a good mentor. Interesting that after being saved twice, the judges made Anya decide Nicholas would go. Considering this was his third time in the bottom two, he didn't deserve one more save. Really loved Oscar's gown, except for the revolution thing, but the color and hat and belt would have fit in perfectly at any League of Steam event.

  3. User avater
    JetSetSewing | | #3

    I get a kick out of the Steampunk look, and people from that community do some amazing sewing. When I wrote a tongue-in-cheek article about making a "Steampunk Chanel" jacket (at jetsetsewing.com), I received a number of nice comments from the Steampunk world. I have to say I'm not in love with the winning entry; a number of the other designers did a better job of interpreting the look.

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