The week before Fashion Week starts, the designers return to New York and check in at the Westin Hotel. They will be staying in the luxurious Presidential Suite. Mila is the first to arrive and checks out the impressively spacious suite. She’s soon joined by Jay, who assures us again that he’ll beat her. Because they are the first two back, they will have to share a room, which makes things decidedly awkward. They decide to bury the hatchet – for now, anyway.
Seth Aaron is the next to arrive. He assures us that he made a collection the judges haven’t seen before. Last in is Emilio, who confesses that he took Tim’s advice and made some younger clothes. After everybody has settled in, Tim comes in, bearing champagne. He tells Jay and Mila to enjoy their luxurious bed, as tonight will be the last night for one of them. They will be showing their collections to the judges the very next day.
The following morning, the designers go to their new and spacious workroom. Seth Aaron and Emilio both have large tables all to themselves, but Jay and Mila have to share a table. The judges will be making their decision that very day, so Jay and Mila have just three hours to prepare their models (their usuals, plus two assigned extras). Mila is anxious, because she has to fit her models for clothes that she’s never seen on actual humans before. Emilio helps her, while Seth Aaron assists Jay, who is distressed to find that his shin guards don’t fit his model. Worse, they’re the only accessory he made. Mila notices that Jay used some color, and decides it might be a good idea to use color in her make-up.
On the runway, it’s obvious that Heidi has had her baby while the designers were preparing for Fashion Week. She is joined by the usual suspects Michael Kors and Nina Garcia, but there is no guest judge.
Mila is up first. Her first look is a long black coat over a minidress. Said minidress is made of three different fabrics blocked together asymmetrically. The model is also wearing fingerless black leather gloves. Her second look is a jacket with tight horizontal stripes and trim made of black patent leather. There’s also a snow white scarf.
Jay’s first look consists of a black vest and leggings. The model is also wearing black gloves. The second look consists of a snug silver shirt with long sleeves, a small black vest with bulky shoulders, and black pants. The third look is a snug black jacket with a high collar that obscures the lower part of the model’s face. The model is also wearing dark red pants and those troublesome shin guards that look like something from Gladiator.
The judges then question the duo. They start with Mila, who tells them she was inspired by shadows. Heidi likes the pieces, calling them simple, but with a twist. Michael thinks the designs have a definite 60’s vibe. He thinks they should look rougher, as that would make them seem less retro. He does praise Mila’s construction skills. Nina loves the fact that Mila made separates, but isn’t surprised that the collection looks less modern than desired. She wonders out loud how Mila can make six collections a year using just black and white. Michael loves the gloves Mila made, since they deliver a bite, while Nina likes the scarf.
Jay tells the judges that he wanted to feminize the samurai idea he had. Heidi says Jay pumped up the volume, while Michael loves the intricately pleated black trousers of the second look. He also thinks that the shinguards and the red pants of the third look went well together. Nina thinks Jay is an excellent tailor and she loves the pants. However, she thinks the silver shirt and odd vest “compete” with each other. Her favorite look is the clean first look. She therefore thinks Jay needs to edit.
Heidi loves some of Jay’s pieces, but she agrees with Nina that he needs to edit. Michael admires the fact that Jay’s clothes aren’t retro. Heidi notices that Jay and Mila had made similar gloves, which turns out to be coincidence. Jay and Mila then tell about how they’d managed to share a room for one night.
The judges dismiss them so they can make a very tough decision. Both Jay and Mila have made beautiful, well-tailored clothes – but only one can go on. Michael wants to send Jay, while Heidi wants to send Mila. Nina is on the fence. Michael believes both Jay and Mila have something to say as designers, but he also thinks Mila is too retro. Nina thinks Mila uses too much black and white, while Heidi declares Mila can always do something different with it.
Michael loves Jay’s ideas, while Heidi dislikes the jacket from the third look. Michael admits that Jay over-designs, but points out that he can always edit. Heidi retorts that it’s too late to redesign.
The judges then call Jay and Mila back in. They tell Mila that her work is impeccable, but they worry that it might be too one-note and retro. They tell Jay that his looks are innovative, but over-designed. Mila is in, and Jay is out. The judges give Mila a tip: Use modern make-up and hair for the big show.
Next week: Fashion Week!
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