The challenge turns out to be designing an outfit around a pair of shoes. But of course they have to try to make the assignment of the shoes interesting. They get to go to the Marie Claire offices, where they have a giant shoe "library." The producers try to make it look like they can choose from anything off all the shelves in this giant closet, but it becomes clear they only have eleven pairs in one little area that they have to choose from (obviously so it's easier to have all the possible sizes available to fit their models).
And then, because it can't be too easy, the designers each get a buzzer and have to answer a fashion trivia question before they can pick a pair. Alexandria gets to choose first, though, without having to answer. Ken is worried that he's at a disadvantage, being self-educated, but he's fast on the buzzer and gets the first question right. Dom and Miranda struggle the most, with Miranda being the absolute last - so she just gets the last pair of shoes without ever answering a question right. Ken and Jeremy have many chuckles over neither of those ladies knowing that Coco Chanel was the one who introduced the term "little black dress."
At Mood, both Miranda and Alexander end up going for red plaid. Neither of them declines this game of fashion chicken, though, so red plaid it is. They both make it into pants, causing much heartache and sideways glances, but neither wavers so two very similar pairs of red plaid pants go down the runway.
But before that, Tim's workroom visit. Miranda declines to take any of his advice, as she feels like following his suggestions instead of her own instinct is what has landed her at the bottom before. Tim warns Justin and Karen about making theirs too matchy-matchy with the shoes, and Ken and Helen about being too dated/matronly. Karen think's Alexandria's is "weaksauce" but really wants Helen's. Bradon thinks a casual outfit would go better with his shoes, but for some reason only wants to send something dressy down the runway. Tim asks him where someone wearing his look would go - a complete stumper. So he has to rethink.
Ken tries a little psychological warfare by pretending to be concerned to Miranda that the judges might object to the places where her plaid doesn't match up. He objects to any designers that are still being helpful to each other (like Jeremy) and thinks it's time to "bring out the knives and play the game as it was meant to be played." Maybe he's getting confused with the Hunger Games?
Jeremy is very confident about his look. Bradon is struggling with his and is feeling very homesick, and the others think his look makes his 19-year-old model look far older than that. Alexander has to sew his model into his skinny plaid pants, but still calls Miranda's look an "ugly mess." Ken says Miranda's model, after the outfit and styling are in place, looks like Amy Winehouse "after she OD'd." Then we get a little montage of all the last minute "hurry hurry sew sew tuck tuck augh" things going on.
On the runway:
- Shoes: lace-up stilettos
- Outfit: a black dress, made of a highly textured fabric, that has a big peplum but a raglan sleeve construction makes it look a bit too much like luxe workout gear to me
- Shoes: Beigie peep-toe platforms
- Outfit: the slim-fit red plaid pants look pretty good, but the big pleats on the white shirt seem a bit awkward and forced
- Shoes: red loafers with gold details
- Outfit: her red plaid pants and higher-waisted than Alexander's and pleated, with a belly shirt and jacket that look remarkably similar to the ones she made for the bow tie challenge.
- Shoes: multicolored creepers
- Outfit: an all-over pieced and quilted dress in the same colors as the creepers. Sailor Moon as a motocross driver. Her model seemed weirdly uncomfortable and tentative on the runway.
- Shoes: platforms with tile-like print
- Outfit: All black, so the details are hard to see. Pants with some volume at the hips, black corset top, and a leather shrug. Kind of looks like an anime villain - perhaps Dom's would be the protagonist.
- Shoes: thigh-high gladiator boots, which appeared to be too short for the model's legs and too small for her feet
- Outfit: little black toga dress with lace insets.
- Shoes: beige and yellow pumps with wide crossing straps over the ankle
- Outfit: A bland colorless jacket over a colorblocked yellow and black dress
- Shoes: gold-beaded flats (my favorite of the shoes)
- Outfit: Circle skirt over halter top with a wavy pleated treatment.
- Shoes: surreal, sculptural red and yellow shoes that appear to coil around the feet
- Outfit: high waisted pants with thigh-high slits up the fronts, with a too-tight shirt with too many busy details
- Shoes: Over the knee black boots with chain detail. Are these in style right now??? They look very dated to me - I don't even know how a normal person in the present time would pair them with clothes.
- Outfit: a very, very, VERY 80's giant white sweater with faux cable knit applique over a gold lame camisole and a black miniskirt
- Shoes: black booties with studded toes
- Outfit: A boring black sheath dress with a cape
Kate, Karen, Dom, Justin, and Alexander are safe. Kate gets to remark for the second episode in a row that they're now officially in the top ten. And speaking of things that get repeated, let me just say I'm getting incredibly sick of the auto-tuned Yoplait commercial they've been playing at nearly every commercial break, every episode. I hear "I WANNA MEET THE COW THAT MADE THIS!" in my sleep.
In the top: The Heidi and Nina love Alexandria's and appreciate that she chose such a dramatic shoe. It's cool, editorial, and the soft, whimsical dress plays off the hard shoes. Zac, however, is not wowed. The judges are unanimous about Helen's, though - everything from the fit to the styling is great, though they agree the cape is the crucial element, not the dress. I was distracted during the discussion of Ken's, because it looked like his model was shivering whenever they did a close-up. They like the fact that the top is covered up to balance out all the leg, and think it's nicely done and rich-looking.
In the bottom, they immediately call out Jeremy's as being a bang-on homage to Pretty Woman, which he denies. It's not pretty or modern, and verges on trampy. For Miranda's, Zac likes the nerdiness but thinks it didn't go far enough, Nina thinks it's Christmas all the way, and Heidi just says it isn't cool. Bradon's swing dancer is too old school, overworked, and frumpy. It's a bad bridesmaid's dress!
Helen is the winner! Exhausted, wrung-out Miranda is out. She lasted longer than I thought she would, but it seems like she didn't have much left to give the competition. At least she left on something she actually liked.
Next time - Tim dressed as a referee, three-legged races, and a visit from Heidi in the workroom!