We've reached that inevitable point of the season - yes, it's when the remaining women vow to see a man eliminated next. But before that can happen, it's time for the producers to amp up the drama...I mean, the judges to pick new teams based on which designers they want to see working together. There are seven contestants left, so there's no way to divide it up evenly. Stanley is paired with Patricia, Daniel is paired with Michelle, and Samantha, Layana, and Richard are still stuck together. Awwwwkward.
This is the Lord and Taylor challenge, which means there are many boxes to tick off at once. Reference the iconic Lord and Taylor rose! On Spring 2013 daywear! That can retail for less than $250! Winner to be sold at the actual stores! But at least each design can stand alone - the teams don't need to coordinate their looks.
Right from the start, Patricia does not appreciate Stanley's guidance. She takes the classic tactic of "nod and smile until he goes away, then disregard." Stanley is no dummy, and quickly gets wise to her, culminating in him snapping "you need to listen!" to the accompaniment of raised eyebrows around the room. On the other side, Layana and Richard can't quite bring themselves to speak to each other, leaving Samantha dangling in the middle. However, during Tim's visit, they actually are able to be quite civil and give reasonable feedback on each other's designs. In the interview, Richard says that Layana's is pretty, but has a meh textile. Layana for her part says that Richard is doing the same jersey colorblocking he's done before.
Daniel is making a jacket in a PINK PINK. Michelle hates it and does a terrible job of concealing that fact. Tim thinks it looks like Joan Collins but "that's not an insult." This leads to Michelle trying to convince Daniel to rework his look to get younger. At first this seems to go fine, and Daniel decides to remake the jacket into a dress, but his mood gets darker and he eventually breaks down in tears over having to take the jacket apart. Then there is an extended snit where he tries to blame Michelle for supposedly insisting that the look must be for "a twenty-one year old", and her insisting that's not what she said at all. But he gets a snack, gets some sympathy from the other lads, and they all move on.
On the runway, Patricia sends out a youthful, fluffy, flippy top and not-so-youthful shiny capri pants. Stanley has made a simple pink sheath with a slight drape in the neckline. Richard has his colorblocked dress, which at least looks well-made, and Layana has a drapey floral dress with black leather details. Samantha, though, sends out a very odd, ruffled minidress. She had issues with the seams so it is much, much shorter than she intended. Fortunately, the editors are very kind to her and her model, and refrain from including any shots that show it from the hips down from behind.
Daniel produces a pink dress with a bold shoulder. Michelle has a cute chartreuse dress with a leather grey hem and neckline. I'm not sure how it references the rose, but I don't recall that criteria getting mentioned in any of the judging, so perhaps that's not so important.
Patricia and Stanley are safe. Daniel and Michelle are the winning team! So alas, the awkward trio is in the bottom. Richard's is too generic and beachy, looks cheaper than the target price, yet too dressy for day. They like Layana's leather pieces, but the print reads too old. Judge Rachel Roy likes Samantha's, but the other judges don't - it looks wilted and junior.
Heidi wants to buy Michelle's dress right now. They think Daniel's looks too much like a bad Marilyn Monroe costume with the way the model is styled. He does say he's very grateful for Michelle's "pants-kicking." Michelle is named the winner!
The losing team must go through the "who should be out" name and shame on the runway. Samantha says Richard, since his looks are usually simple. Richard says Samantha, for construction issues. Layana says she'd name Richard, since she wants to see more from Samantha. The judges pick Samantha to go.
Next episode - it's the design-your-own-print challenge!