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Under the Gunn, Episode 8: “It’s an Unconventional Beach Party”

Sam's winning design proved to have great proportions that would be flattering on many women.

In last week’s episode, Natalia finally got the chance to make the knitted dress she had been dreaming of, that is until time managed to catch up with her. Likewise, after seeing what Mondo had to say about his half-sewn garment, Sam decided to start over last-minute. Can you guess which one of these talented designers was able to make a comeback?

The setting for this week’s episode was a lovely California beach. With surrounding umbrellas, beach balls, a volleyball net, and more, it was pretty evident from the get-go that this would be an unconventional challenge. Designers were given 10 minutes to grab as many materials as possible and one full day to make a California beach-inspired look.

For the second week in a row, Georgina Chapman was the guest judge. Both of Anya’s designers were safe, meaning another mentor would end up with only two team members by the end of the episode. While the judges agreed that Stephanie and Michelle’s outfits did not incorporate enough of the challenge’s materials, Stephanie was ultimately sent home. Sam and Asha, on the other hand, made the top two designs. Both presented fashion-forward looks that were well-executed. Once again, the judges left the verdict up to their mentor. Mondo decided that since Sam was able to bounce back from such a tough beginning, he deserved to win. Sam was also awarded the season’s second Benefit Cosmetics $1,000 prize for having the most fun and free-spirited look, as decided by the judges.

On to the designs…

The Top:

Sam’s winning design (team Mondo), made from a bamboo beach mat, beach chair, pineapple, and volleyball net:

Sam's design

Asha’s design (team Mondo), made from straw hats, woven table liners, palm leaves, and leis:

Asha's design

Oscar’s design (team Nick), made from straw fans and a beach mat:

Oscar's design

The Bottom:

Stephanie’s losing design (team Nick), made from melted leis:

Stephanie's design

Michelle’s design (team Mondo), made from inflatable rafts:

Michelle's design

Natalia’s design (team Nick), made from rafia and a beach umbrella:

Natalia's design

The rest of the designs:

Shan’s design (team Anya), made from a beach umbrella and an inflatable raft:

Shan's design

Blake’s design (team Anya), made from a woven table liner and straw hats:

Blake's design 

More often than not, I would say that I like the unconventional challenges. Not that I think I’d be good at them, or that I really see the point (especially when the judges only want to see functional garments), but it’s always so interesting to watch how creative the designers can be with their given materials. That being said, although I think Sam did a spectacular job with his outfit, I was more impressed by Asha’s creation. In just one day, I couldn’t even imagine creating such a meticulous look.

What did you think about this episode? Are you a fan of the unconventional challenge? Did you think Sam deserved to win? Please share your comments below!


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  1. User avater
    Soli | | #1

    In all honesty, I don't care for the unconventional materials challenges. I find them gimicky, and while they might indicate perseverance and style in the best cases, too often we see a bunch of ugly stuff walking down the runway. I didn't care for Sam or Asha's looks at all. The skirt made from tatami mats looked like one of those little umbrellas that gets propped up in tropical drinks. The bikini top was ok, but unoriginal. There was nothing remotely flattering about Asha's top and I felt like the skirt looked too tribal and not in a good way. With the exception of the shoulder covers/pads, I felt like Oscar's look was the most successful, albeit a bit bland because of the color. As the show goes on, I'm finding that I just don't like Jen Rade as a judge. She's trying to fill the Michael Kors snarky judge role, and while wit is appreciated I question her taste - I'm always surprised at what she likes and dislikes. I think Michelle did deserve to go home, because there was a fair amount of the muslin bases left exposed on her garments.

  2. User avater
    iris68 | | #2

    Agree with Soli - I am not a big fan of unconventional challenges either. And IMHO Oskar's look was the best - clean and beautiful.
    Same here on J.Rade!

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