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The Zoe Report Recaps: Amazon's Making The Cut, Season 3 Episodes 5 & 6, Plus How To Shop The Winning Looks

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Spoilers for Making The Cut, season 3 ahead! This week’s two episodes of Making the Cut are some of the most dramatic we’ve seen thus far. So grab your coziest loungewear, snuggle up, and prepare to be amazed by some of the season’s best, worst, and most confusing designs yet — then head straight to the Making the Cut store on Amazon to shop for the gorgeous winning looks and companion pieces.

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Episode 5: “Festival Wear”

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Recap

I never thought a fashion competition show could moonlight as a horror series, but here we are. Episode Five — the optimistically entitled “Festival Wear,” ironically — opens with the episode’s ominous end, during the culminating judging panel, in which Jeremy Scott expresses his disappointment in the contestants for a subpar runway show. “You wanna know what I wrote in my book?” Scott says, angrily ripping up his judging book. “Nothing! I wrote nothing! I was so uninspired. That was a waste.”

Cut to a shot of a spooky full moon and a transition to 48 hours prior to Scott’s chilling message, where, in the work room, the designers are riding high off the previous episode’s runway show, which was such an unmitigated success that all of them were kept safe. Oh, how the mighty will soon fall.

Runway Show at Vasquez RocksJames Clark/Prime Video

Amidst this celebratory mood, Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn deliver the designers’ next, fittingly celebratory challenge: A two-look “festival wear” collection, which they’ll have one day (and a team of two seamstresses) to complete.

The theme is promising on so many levels. As Gunn notes, festival wear has long since flown the fields and deserts to become a season- and event-agnostic aesthetic. It’s virtually supplanted resort wear for millennial and Gen Z shoppers, and global brands from ASOS to Mango to Levi’s have created year-round festival-inspired lines. That said, the name of the game is drama. The designers are given license to showcase the full extent of their creativity, and the judges are expecting nothing less than a spectacle.

Perhaps those expectations are simply too high to realistically fulfill in such a short period of time. Indeed, many of the looks at the episode’s runway show — which takes place at the breathtaking Vasquez Rocks Natural Area in northern Los Angeles, a perfect mash-up of Burning Man and Coachella — are rife with fit and construction issues. Overall, though, there’s an issue of vision. The judges find almost every look lacking inspiration. “[I’m] really sad for all of you guys for a missed opportunity,” Klum tells the designers during the judging session. Scott gives it to them straight: “Tonight was shocking. Every one of you disappointed me.”

Still, a winner must be crowned — and the show wasn’t without its high points. Jeanette’s runway look, a fiery red crop top and maxi skirt with dramatic double slits, earned an audible gasp from Klum when it appeared, and Scott loved how the ensemble reimagined her signature, expertly draped evening gowns for a truly festival-worthy look. But the accessible dress was a letdown; it’s clear the designer scrambled to put it together. So Jeanette earns this week’s win, but with a catch: A more wearable version of that show-stopping runway look will be made available on the Making the Cut store — not the accessible look.

The subsequent designers bear the brunt of the judges’ frustration. Rafael narrowly makes the cut based off the strength of his architectural, holographic mini dress, but Scott deems the shoddy construction of his accessible look — complete with visible pins — “shameful” (as was his decision to put the model in a pair of lumpy panties underneath ill-fitting chartreuse mesh pants).

The judges are also excited about Yannik’s fluid, Mad Maxian nylon cape and the slice of au courant underboob in his runway lingerie, but they’re not nearly so generous about his accessible bodysuit, which the judges deem neither interesting enough for a festival nor particularly accessible. “It was awful,” Scott tells Yannik. Then Scott directs his frustration toward all of the contestants, delivering the outburst teased at the top of the show. Yannik ultimately makes the cut, but Scott leaves him with a message: “Don’t do it again. Dig deeper.”

On yet another unfortunate note, Sienna’s stab at menswear results in a confusing, cotton candy-inspired concoction lacking in either coolness or cohesion. And Curtis’ attempt to create something other than the typical rainbow- or leather-festooned Gay Pride Parade looks ends up reading “basic rave,” according to Ritchie. Both designers are sent home.

The remaining designers (and Gunn, perched on a stool behind the designers like a fashion guardian angel) are left shaken by that tough judging session, after which Scott delivers his version of the “I’m not angry, I’m just disappointed” message every child dreads to hear from a respected parent.

While the contestants are sent to their workroom to think about what they’ve done, we’ll be over here indulging in some shopping therapy. Scroll on to shop Jeanette’s versatile winning look and complementary pieces, all of which are equally well-suited to dancing the day away at Afropunk as they are to an intimate date night at home.

Amazon

The Winning Look

Jeanette’s signature draping is on full display in this cropped blouse, while a single sleeve slipping coyly off the shoulder adds a sultry touch. At just $70, this luxurious, expertly crafted top is the definition of a steal.

Full of gorgeous movement, you’ll reach for this floaty maxi skirt in every season, and for every occasion — it can go upscale with the complementing crop top and strappy heels, or more casual with a racerback tank and flats.

The Companion Pieces

Another endlessly versatile piece, this midi dress, complete with an elegant sash belt, is a refined choice for day or night. The floral print above transitions beautifully into fall (that dusty red shade is just moody enough for goth season); in black, it’ll become your new favorite LBD.

Everyone needs a few “special” tops in their closet for dinners and events, and this crossover blouse perfectly fits that bill — pair it with flared trousers, dark denim, or a fluid skirt, add some jewelry and heels, and you’re good to go. And if we can’t get our hands on Jeanette’s actual winning runway look, this crossover blouse is absolutely the next best thing — and it’s arguably more wearable, assuming you’re not going to Coachella every day.

As the season dictates, the bigger the pants, the closer to the fashion gods — and these pleated wide-leg pants are positively heavenly. Expert tailoring keeps that ultra-wide-leg silhouette from looking costume-y.

Episode 6: “Social Media Content”

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Recap

What would a fashion competition show about becoming the next great global brand be without a social media challenge? In Episode Six, the five remaining designers have two days to record and edit “video campaigns” on their phones — aka, TikToks — that represent their brands. The videos have to make enough of a visual impact to compel a potential customer to stop scrolling and start watching (at least for a couple of seconds). Of course, they also have to create the customary two looks, both of which will be displayed in their campaigns.

After earning particularly harsh critiques in the last episode, Yannik has to prove to the judges that they made the right decision in keeping him on. Per Scott’s advice to “dig deeper,” he leans fully into his brand’s gender-inclusive ethos and sends a male model down the runway in a high-fashion overall dress (or a “pant leg dress,” according to Klum), while the female model rocks a pair of ultra-wide-leg pants and a high-neck tank top, both in his signature white shade accented with cobalt paint splotches. The judges, joined this week by pop duo Chloe x Halle, prefer the runway look to the accessible one, but they recognize the artistry in both and commend him for consistently retaining his creative vision. As Richie declares of the runway look: “This is art.” And while Klum is underwhelmed with his video, which shows the models swapping clothes in the bathroom and then slapping an all-gender sign on the door, Chloe Bailey likes its raw, unpolished, home-grown look — that’s what grabs viewers’ attention these days.

Tim Gunn talking to designer Georgia Hardinge.James Clark/Prime Video

Georgia also feels the pressure to make an impact, as the London-based designer has only received feedback from the judges once thus far. Happily, this week’s showing launches her from her usual spot in middle of the pack straight to the top. The judges are relieved to see how she’s reimagined her signature pleating in her high fashion look, a white sleeveless mini dress crafted of three-dimensional, Iris van Herpen-esque folds. It’s the perfect centerpiece for her stop-motion video concept, which the designer describes as “the awakening of a dark sculptural angel.” Meanwhile, the accessible look — a long-sleeve jersey maxi dress — is an ingenious, two-dimensional adaptation of its high-fashion companion. Klum proclaims it represents the very best of the designer. Based off the equal strength of her two looks, as well as her eye-catching video campaign, she’s named the winner of this challenge.

Rafael and Jeanette also both make the cut, but neither have particularly strong showings. The fabric Rafael uses in both his frill-forward looks is too stiff to drape correctly; Richie deems his accessories “terrible”; and Richie is also confused by his use of color, particularly because it’s usually his “thing.” (Maroon accessories, magenta pants, and pink and blue eyeshadow does not a cohesive palette make.) Meanwhile, Jeanette incorporates both her calling cards — draping and rich colors — and while she succeeds in the latter, showcasing a plum shade in her runway look and merlot in her accessible one, the judges find the fit and flow in both looks lacking.

This leaves us with Markantoine, who enters this assignment feeling confident in his ability to appeal to an online consumer base. But his stab at glam-punk going-out looks isn’t reflective of his modern sensibility. The judges find his accessible look unnecessarily complicated, unsophisticated, and overly styled, finding it difficult to understand what’s being sold. (For what it’s worth, the scarf-hem skirt paired with black tights and a bomber jacket, rendered in a purple-and-black palette, brought me right back to Hot Topic circa 2003 — not a good thing, in this context.) On the whole, the effect “looked like a student project,” according to Klum, and that relative lack of refinement gets him the boot.

And that leaves us with only four designers and one episode to go until the grand finale on September 9. In the meantime, scroll on to shop Georgia’s brilliant winning look.

Amazon

The Winning Look

Georgia’s bespoke print is a stroke of genius, and its futuristic, sci-fi vibe becomes totally wearable in the form of her winning maxi dress and five streamlined companion pieces. Take your pick from three colors — space gray (pictured), cobalt, and kelly green — and a range of silhouettes, from a versatile bodysuit to the coolest slip dress your closet will ever see.

The Companion Pieces