The last time on Project Runway, Rebecca Romijn, who was carrying twins, challenged the designers to make chic maternity clothes for her. Shirin won the challenge, and Malvin was sent home for making an unflattering egg suit. Mitchell got a stern warning from Heidi to stop landing in the bottom and to prove that he belongs on the show.
The next day, Ra’Mon ponders his near loss and worries that a bad decision could send him home, while Mitchell is frustrated with his losses.
At the runway, Heidi reminds Shirin (and viewers) that she has immunity. She announces that it’s time to send the designers on a field trip and advises them to take sunscreen. The designers correctly guess they are going to the beach. En route, somebody spots the Santa Monica Pier. Christopher, who hails from Minnesota, tells us that he has never seen the ocean before. I first saw the ocean when I was a kid, but, then, I’m from Maryland.
On the beach the designers are met by Tim (who is wearing sandals) and Philip Carreon from Garnier. Tim tells them that the challenge is to create a surfwear look and hairstyle. The challenge is sponsored by Garnier, and Philip will advise the designers on suitable hairstyles. The designers will work in teams of two. Ra’Mon hates this last part, as anything can happen. “Anything” generally means getting stuck with an incompetent or difficult partner. Yes, boys and girls, that is foreshadowing. There is always at least one team that can’t get their act together in this type of challenge.
As last week’s winner, Shirin will be one of the team leaders, and she gets first pick of teammates. The other team leaders are Logan, Nicolas, Mitchell, Althea, Qristyl, and Johnny. Shirin then chooses Carol Hannah as her teammate. Logan picks Christopher, Nicolas chooses Gordana, Mitchell picks Ra’mon, and Althea picks Louise, who’d been in the top three last week. Qristyl chooses Epperson, and Johnny is left with Irina.
Tim gives the teams twenty minutes to caucus with each other and with some actual surfer girls. Althea and Louise promptly do the latter and learn that surfer girls prefer functionality and comfort over fashion. Another girl tells Logan and Christopher that she likes colors reminiscent of sunsets or reefs. Ra’Mon isn’t happy about being stuck with Mitchell, because of the latter’s track record. Epperson thinks he and Qristyl should focus on out-of-water styles, which I guess means he doesn’t want to do swimsuits or the like. Qristyl feels like Epperson is treating her like a student, and she tells us, “I’m not a student.” Heads up, we have a generation gap! At least, I’m guessing that’s what the problem might be. At nearly 50, Epperson is a lot older than most of the other designers. Nicolas doesn’t understand what his and Gordana’s surfer advisor is trying to tell them– which isn’t a good sign.
The designers spend fifteen minutes shopping at Mood. They have a $50 budget. Mitchell admits he chose Ra’Mon because he wanted a strong partner who could “carry him” this week. Jerk. I hope that so-called strategy blows up in his face. Carol Hannah and Shirin plan to make a dress that turns into a swim suit. Qristyl and Epperson and Mitchell and Ra’Mon disagree on materials. Mitchell politely comments that he and Ra’Mon have different aesthetics, and that he fears the worst.
At FIDM, Johnny and Irina decide on a “bohemian chic” look– something that looks good, but seems effortless. Nicolas and Gordana agree not to do any animal prints. He wants to bring back wraparound pants and hand-dye a bathing suit. Epperson and Qristyl have a bright green fabric, and Epperson tells us that he would not use that color, but has decided to keep his objections to himself as he’s the assistant. Ra’Mon tells us that he feels like he’s become the team captain, which isn’t what he wants.
Tim comes in with a message from Heidi: “Create a second look.” The second look is to be an avant garde piece that corresponds somehow to the surfer look. The designers have the rest of the night to continue working. The next morning, each team will send a member with $200 to shop at Mood for twenty minutes while the other one continues working.
The designers get back to work– except for Qristyl and Epperson, who get back to bickering. Qristyl tells us that she doesn’t feel like a captain; Epperson has taken over. Ra’Mon comments that they just got a large taste of “expect the unexpected.”
The next morning, half the designers go to Mood for more shopping. Ra’Mon and Mitchell’s avant garde piece will be inspired by a wetsuit. Back at FIDM, Mitchell has a good idea in his head, but knows that he’s in trouble. Nicolas is happy to see Gordana’s progress with the macrame on their top, but he’s worried that his new fabric will make the model look like a transvestite. Epperson and Qristyl are still arguing. Ra’Mon and Mitchell split up their tasks with Ra’Mon working on the avant garde piece. Mitchell hopes Ra’Mon knows what he is doing. Can anybody say “irony”?
Tim drops by to tell Carol Hannah that her model is skipping the fitting as she has another job. He offers Carol Hannah the option of picking another model and she chooses one of the eliminated models to work with, as she does need to make certain that her look will fit somebody. Moreover, she feels under pressure since her partner has immunity.