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Our fashion critic reviews ‘Making the Cut’s’ winning looks: ‘A total shirt show’

Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn whisk the designers off to Tokyo on this week's episodes of "Making the Cut."
(Amazon Studios)

The following story contains spoilers from the fifth and sixth episodes of Amazon’s “Making the Cut.” Read our reviews of last week’s winning looks here.

Down to seven contestants, the “Making the Cut” designers head into the season’s halfway point by heading to Tokyo with hosts Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn. Plus, the panel of judges has undergone a bit of a switch up: Carine Roitfeld and Nicole Richie are MIA and Italian fashion influencer Chiara Ferragni has pulled up a front-row seat.

Episode 5: An eye-catching wrap coat

Recognizing the important part Japan plays in influencing and disseminating streetwear trends, “Streetwear” challenges the Significant Seven to pluck inspiration from the streets of Tokyo’s famed Harajuku neighborhood for a pair of looks that, as in past episodes, includes one runway look and one accessible look. To sweeten the pot even more, the winner of this episode’s challenge also lands a collaboration with the Puma label.

Rinat Brodach won the challenge — and a collaboration with Puma — with her streetwear-inspired coat.
(Keith Tsuji Photography/Amazon)

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The winning look, by Rinat Brodach, not only perfectly captured the spirit of the challenge, it did so in a way that seemed to embrace every streetwear inspiration under the sun. Pulling initial inspiration from the utilitarian aesthetic of workmen —more evident in the runway look than this one, to be honest — the voluminous dolman-sleeve padded coat ($109.90, sold out) has a silhouette that pays homage to the kimono, with a lightweight, leaf-like digi-camo green nylon on one side (designers had the opportunity to get special fabric printed for this challenge) and a punk-inspired blue plaid on the reverse that folded back to make contrasting lapels. The same plaid fabric was used for a belt that knotted at the waist. Our only, tiny quibble with the coat is that the combination of the coat’s volume, padding and plaid lining made us immediately think of the sleeping bags every other kid had in the 1970s.

The takeaway: The embodiment of all things streetwear in a single striking coat. (As a side note, if Amazon Fashion ever decides to roll out a consumer version of the pinstriped boiler suit Tim Gunn was wearing in the opening scene, we’d snap up one in a heartbeat.)

Times fashion critic Adam Tschorn reviews the winning looks from the first two episodes of “Making the Cut,” Amazon’s new fashion competition series.

Episode 6: A T-shirt gone wrong

The sixth episode of the series, “Opposing Forces,” finds the remaining half-dozen designers scrambling to create looks that pair contrasting styles — masculine and feminine, good and evil, old and new, that sort of thing. As far as fashion themes go it’s pretty standard stuff, which made the god-awful clothes that came down the staircase at Amazon Fashion’s Tokyo headquarters kind of surprising. For starters, there were Esther Perbandt’s PVC-and-jellyfish sandwich looks, though if we were handing out points for moving outside the comfort zone, the designer’s temple spire-meets-underwater garden theme would earn them all. Then there was the departing Brodach’s melding of Buddhist and Jewish influences, which went wrong enough to be an affront to both religions.

Of the lot, Jonny Cota’s light-meets-dark accessible look — a hound’s-tooth-check jacket paired with baggy trousers resulting in standout streetwear samurai gear, inspired by growing up a gay square peg in the round hole of a Roman Catholic family — would have been our top choice.

Sander Bos riffed on the T-shirt for his second win of the competition, but the result ended up being too clever by half.
(Keith Tsuji Photography/Amazon)

Instead, the winning look was Sander Bos’ nose-thumbingly clever commentary on art versus consumerism, which riffed on the idea of fashion’s elemental building block: the humble T-shirt. Instead of actually making a T-shirt, though, he took the long and spiteful road to creating a roomy, pale yellow short-sleeve nylon top with a beige wool inset resembling a T-shirt pattern ($39.90, sold out), paired with an equally basic beige high-waisted wool wrap skirt ($59.90, the two smallest sizes still available as of this writing) lined in yellow nylon. What you don’t see in the photos on Amazon’s website is Bos’ flourish of putting pockets in the skirt that, when turned inside out, slightly resemble the short sleeves of a T-shirt. Unfortunately, they also happen to look like pockets turned inside out.

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The takeaway: A total shirt show — and not in a good way.


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