This episode picks up the drama right where the last one left off, with Christopher starting to feel guilty about how much he chastised Andrea at the judging, unaware that she already slunk out of the competition in the middle of the night. So he feels pretty bad when Tim tells them all that she's gone, and proceeds to overcompensate later by offering "helpful" suggestions to another designer - specifically Buffi. Because what do independent-minded creative types like better than unsolicited advice?
This was the Michael Kors challenge, meaning Michael Kors got to deliver the description to them. Before he does that, though, he and Tim give the designers a pep talk since they are all seeming somewhat oppressed by Andrea's exit - not helped by the inevitable onset of physical and mental exhaustion at this point in the competition. Micheal Kors gets to deliver one of those lines he has that seem calculated to get edited into promos - "Fashion's not for sissies!"
Once the designers get back to the workroom, the discussion is of course around Andrea and they all try to work out their feelings on the matter. Right in the middle of that, Kooan suddenly announces that he is leaving the show too! Tim comes in, simply to announce that Raul will return to take Andrea's place, and gets plunged into the middle of this second emotional whirlwind. Many tears are shed, Kooan is gone, Raul is back. I'm not sure why they didn't also bring in Lantie to replace Kooan, but certainly not disappointed! How is that going to work later on, though? Did they have a double-elimination planned that will have to get dropped?
That's basically it for drama. After that sequence of revelations, the designers seem too emotionally wrung out and inwardly focused to push each other's buttons. The actual challenge, by the way, is to make an outfit that can be worn all day by a glamorous woman through all kinds of activities - shopping, work, plane trip, cocktails, etc. So basically something dressy from Travelsmith.
Sonija makes a draped black jersey dress. Chistopher makes a draped black jersey dress with a black shrug. Nathan makes a draped pea soup green jersey dress. Dmitry makes a dark grey jersey dress with some woven strips on the front. Fabio makes a black and white minidress with a black shrug. Mellisa makes a many-layered gray and black jersey ensemble, something like a modern hipster Stevie Nicks would wear.
Ven makes a beige dress with the same starburst pleats he's put on all of his designs. Elena makes a big stiff coat with the same seaming and huge shoulders that she's made for all of her designs. Alicia makes a shirt with a high, weird collar that would drive me insane within 30 seconds, much less a full day, and a curved hem perfectly shaped to reveal your side muffin tops. This is paired with gray pedal pushers. Gunnar makes a busy, busy outfit with a ruched top and tons of layered petals on the skirt, which causes Kors to literally sniff in disdain as it goes down the runway.
Raul makes a disastrous three-piece outfit: a vest with
pointed flaps on front large enough to take flight, a crummy shirt, and
badly-made pants. The pants! He actually discovered the waist was a full
four inches too narrow at the very last minute when putting it on his
model. He commenced sewing leather panels into the gaps in the sides.
This caused Gunnar to form possibly the most insufferably smug
expression ever seen. The styling is terrible too - and I usually can't tell if styling is good or bad to save my life, so you know it had to be exceptionally bad.
Buffi belts a translucent pink sack over a zebra-print dress. Christopher's unwelcome advice was to remake the sack in black instead, which Buffi calmly rejects to his face, and soon after rejects more forcefully out of his sight in the sewing room. However, he can still hear her, so he leans into the room with his best "devastated" look. Buffi plays it off by basically saying, thanks for giving me that advice that I totally disagreed with, since it strengthens my certainty that I'm being true to myself! Christopher demonstrates his eternal optimism by saying he's not sure if she's lying to his face.
Pink or black, Buffi's look was doomed the moment Kors said it looked like a hairdresser's smock and proceeded to invent a story on why a woman would be wandering around with such a thing belted over her normal clothes. The dress underneath has so many visible sewing issues, the judges immediately assume Buffi only added the smock at the last minute to cover this up. Oh no, she assures them, this was my design from the beginning! Oh dear, they say - that makes it even worse.
Sonija, Christopher, and Dmitry are in the top. Fabio, Raul, and Buffi are in the bottom. Fabio is clearly way ahead of those other two, so no sweat there - the main criticism is that it is too generic and doesn't show his point of view. Christopher gets a little too on-point by describing his look as being for a mother of four who's on the go - but Heidi totally eats it up! His and Sonija's are the definite favorites, with tons of praise from the judges. Dmitry's is a little too safe for them - they would have liked to have seen it in, like, an actual color. Sonija is declared the winner! The editors do everything they can to make us think Raul will be eliminated - again - but Buffi is the one who is out.
Next week, another dreaded team challenge.