“I knew a girl named Nikki….” — Prince
This week’s challenge had a celebrity twist. The 11 designers were asked to create a party dress for professional party girl Nicky Hilton.
They were each given a dossier and a couple of photos of her in various dresses. The winner would be selected by Nicky based on who wowed her with their creation at a private champagne party.
The designers had about 30 minutes do a few sketches then it was off to the fabric store.
Despite the hectic pace the shopping trip went rather smoothly this time – or so it appeared before they got back to the design studio.
Daniel had bought beautiful silk fabric that had geometric swirls of pink and red. He also picked up some black satin as an accent for the side panels. What he didn’t realize until he got back to the studio was that he’s actually bought “chocolate brown” fabric instead. Crisis!!!!
He asked Kara and Marla (who both were designing all black dresses) if he could have their leftover fabric. Then he was left to wait to see if they had any leftovers.
With the competition getting tighter, nerves were a bit frazzled. The designers started accusing each other of taking each other’s mannequins. It got very heated with Zulema and Marla both searching for their body forms, which turned out to be only a few feet away from where they were supposed to be.
But the real drama started when Tim showed up and started trashing people’s designs. First he warned Guadalupe that her design was just way over the top with too many embellishments. Bows and flowers and ruffles and who knows what were on this thing. Then he moved onto Marla. He accused her of copying her dress design from one of the photos of Nicky in the packet.
“And to be honest it [your dress] isn’t particularly pretty,” Tim tells her. Ouch.
On Day 2, the designers must finish up their creations for the big party that evening.
Diana our designer/geek girl is still working away on an intricately layered black dress. Chloe comments: “Diana, it looks like Stevie Nicks” to which Diana replies “what’s a Stevie Nick?”
Maybe Diana has her “Nick” names mixed up?
Tim comes back to have another look around the room. He loves Chloe’s simple blue dress with a black waist sash.
Then he sees Guadalupe’s creation. She had basically started over from yesterday because in her words the dress “looked like crap”
Tim retorts: “I’m not going to debate that.” Then he looks the new dress up and down, is speechless for a moment and just says “I’ll leave you alone” It did look like she would need all the time she could get.
He gives both Santino and Nick a thumbs up for their creations then moves on to Marla, whose dress still looks like the one in the picture. (just not as pretty). Marla doesn’t have time to do another dress so she’s stuck.
Tim tells the designers that they must impress Nicky at the party not only with the dresses but with themselves.
At the party, each of the designers approaches Nicky with his or her model. First up, is Daniel. Despite not having the black fabric, he made a stunning form-fitting dress using the fabric with the geometric pattern.
Nick was next. He did a gorgeous blue dress in Nicky’s favorite shade. It had a bias cut and was draped in the back. Nicky obviously loved it. Nick said later he was uncomfortable making the pitch to her. “I felt like a little Mexican kid in Tiajuana. Buy my gum, buy my Chicklet.”
Andrae showed her his black dress made of jersey material. It had a little bit of sparkle but was overall pretty plain.
Kara did a stunning black dress reminiscent of Marilyn Monroe. Nicky immediately said it was one of her favorites.
Diana’s “Steve Nicks” black dress didn’t get much of a reaction from Nicky and neither did Emmett’s baby doll style black dress.
Zulema described her black and white form fitting dress as a nice girl/bad girl look. Again no comment from Nicky.
Chloe’s blue and black dress did get Nicky’s attention. It had some subtle braiding on it and Nicky said she was also doing braiding in her own clothing line.
Then it was Guadalupe’s turn. A black dress with what looked like a large intestine wrapped around it. It looked unfinished at the bottom. Nicky wasn’t impressed.
When it was Marla’s turn the first words out of Nicky’s mouth were ” This looks like a dress I wore recently.” Need I say more?
Santino really impressed Nicky with his beautiful gray dress that also had braiding. He offers her his business card and tells her he is based in LA and can design anything she wants. She admires his confidence. And his dress.
The party starts to heat up after the drinks have been flowing. Nerdy Diana has turned into Dirty Diana on the dance floor. Her fellow designers are amazed at the transformation.
Then the designers decide to compete in a “walk-off” where they pretend to be on the catwalk. Everyone does some crazy stuff. Guadalupe gets on the floor and does the caterpillar down the runway. Nick and Santino (who is wearing stilettos) are the best walkers by far.
The next day, it’s time for the real runway. Nicky (the third judge) has already seen the creations but Michael and Nina now get to weigh in.
After looking at the dresses on the runway, the six with the highest and lowest scores are: Santino, Nick, Gudalupe, Marla, Chloe and Diana.
Santino is critiqued first. He says he designed the grayish/blue dress around Nicky’s own natural eye color. Nicky loves it. “it’s a killer, killer dress,” she says.
Nick’s thought was to make Nicky into a Hollywood screen goddess with his bias cut blue dress. All the judges think it is exquisite.
Guadalupe tried to describe her dress … but it didn’t work.
Here’s what Michael Kors had to say: “The tabloid press is vicious, vicious so if she wore that dress they could say ‘Are there green socks on her dress? What is that?’ They don’t know what it is.”
Chloe’s dress did well again with Nicky, who said blue and black are her two favorite colors to wear.
For Diana’s Stevie Nicks dress, Nicky had this to say: “It kinda makes a girl look like she had a big butt or something.”
The judges deliberate but Nicky gets to pick the winner. This time it’s Santino. Nick is very disappointed that his blue dress didn’t win. But at least he wasn’t Guadalupe or Marla. The choice was between those two of who would go home. In the end, Marla’s copy-cat dress beat out Guadalupe’s tabloid fodder so Guadalupe was sent packing.
But the final word goes to Santino who turns out not to be gracious in victory or defeat.
“I didn’t win the Barbie competition, but I won the Nicky Hilton competition and that’s more important cuz Barbie’s not going to buy dresses from me but Nicky Hilton might.”
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