The next day, Althea and Irina go to the workroom at Parson’s. They talk about how quiet it is with just the two of them there. Carol Hannah arrives and warns them not to hug her as she’s still contagious.
Tim stops in to make his rounds and starts with Althea. He is amazed by how much work she’s done. He thinks a sequined jacket is matronly and tells her to get rid of it. He advises her that all her pieces should look as if they were made for the same customer. He likes her knits and reminds her to be as cohesive as possible.
Carol Hannah shows Tim an outfit she doesn’t like. She thinks the dress is too simple and doesn’t like the accompanying jacket. Tim advises her that given all the detail on her other pieces, a simple piece is a good idea. In other words, show the dress, but toss the jacket. He questions the inclusion of a grey dress and wonders aloud if it goes with the other items. He advises Carol Hannah to make her collection cohesive.
The last up is Irina who talks about how hard she’s worked. She has managed to solve the t-shirt problem with an original bird design and a list of reasons she loves New York. Tim is concerned by the number of black clothes and the fact that her leather pants resemble chaps. When she shows him her finale dress, he thinks the top looks precious and overworked, but that the skirt looks modern.
Afterwards, the women cast their models. Althea wants young, fresh, confident girls. Carol Hannah is excited by the models she’s selected.
Back at Parson’s, Nina Garcia and Michael Kors make a surprise visit and give the women some pointers. Nina tells them to focus on newness. Althea asks about the order of her outfits, and Michael says the collections’ order should feel like a ride: Start with a wow piece, but let the audience breathe between big looks. Nina warns that an all-black collection can be difficult from an editorial perspective. (I remember, back in Season 4, that one or two of the judges had found Christian’s collection monotonous because he’d also used mostly black. He won anyway, but black dress after black dress after black dress probably does get old.) Irina decides to go ahead with her all-black collection. This may be a mistake on her part, but given that she’s already had to revamp her shirts because of the Coney Island problem and that Fashion Week is only a few days away, I can’t exactly blame her for not wanting to make major changes now.
The designers get back to work. Carol Hannah hopes that her illness won’t keep her from finishing. Three days before the show, Tim tells them to choose outfits for their “muse model,” that is, the one they’ve been using all or most of the season. He explains that the muse models will be wearing the outfit that goes in front of the judges after the show proper. The models come in to try on the various outfits.
Heidi and Tim come in, and Carol Hannah worries. She becomes even more worried when Tim compliments the designers on their ability to work under pressure. Heidi and Tim have one final surprise for the designers: They have to conjure up a thirteenth look for the show. Their “muse models” will cast the models for the new look. As Tim and Heidi are well aware of the time crunch, they will also provide assistants: the designers who’d been sent home during the last couple of challenges. Althea is given first pick and chooses Logan, as they’d worked together before. Irina picks Gordana, leaving Carol Hannah with Christopher.
The designers and their assistants have thirty minutes to sketch. They will then have thirty minutes to shop at Mood, where they can spend up to $250. Althea wants to do a jacket that will go with her sweater coats. Gordana will help Irina finish all of her garments, while Carol Hannah decides to make a gown. She knows that’s expected of her, but she loves making them – and I expect she’s thinking about the time, too. She needs to come up with something she can make in a couple of days while feeling decidedly below par.
Back in the work room, Althea has Logan drape pants. Carol Hannah follow Irina’s example and assigns the finishing work to Christopher so she can concentrate on her gown, which will be made of a deep green fabric.
That night, back at the hotel, Carol Hannah loses her struggle and gets sick in the bathroom. Althea tries to soothe her and puts ice on the back of her neck.
Next week: The show at Bryant Park! Plus, we finally learn who wins this thing.
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