After three dramatic exits from designers last week, the competition is definitely heating up and the remaining contestants feel the pressure. They met Nina and Heidi on the runway to hear about their next task. Nina explained the concept of Marie Claire At Work to the designers, and asked them to create a capsule collection that would be both editorial and wearable for the fashionable working woman.
The designers were split into two teams and given the extra challenge of directing a photo shoot for their collections. The winning team's photo spread would appear in Marie Claire. So the stakes were high as the contestants went off to Mood.
Drama ensued right away as Team 6 realized that they'd lost one of their bags of fabric, forcing Elena to change her design and use another team member's scraps. Gunnar felt like he was being micro-managed and overlooked. And as always he was complaining to the camera non-stop. Raul proved especially uncooperative throughout the challenge, refusing to sacrifice his own aesthetic for the sake of the team. After a long day of designing and fighting, the looks were ready for the photo shoot and then it was runway time.
The way it worked out, one team was all men, including fan favorites Ven and Chris. And the other team was mostly women, including Melissa and Sonjia. The feels of the collections were also very different. The episode could have been called "Color vs. Prints." The men made their statement with soft, feminine patterns, including Ven's favorite color hot-pink, while the women's team, which included Dmitry and Raul, focused on color and texture. Their hue of choice? A bold, eye-grabbing cobalt.
The teams defined femininity and power differently. Team 5 opted for soft lines, girlie prints and fabrics. Team 6 went for a fresh, modern approach, including strong shapes and points of view. Ven's handprint was clear throughout Team 5's collection. And, though his individual look was strong, for the first time his overall point of view seemed a little dated - especially in contrast with the sharp tailoring and palette of the other team.
The designers met on the runway where they were introduced to guest judge Joanna Coles, editor-in-chief for Marie Claire. Team 5's collection was praised by the judges for its easiness and cohesiveness. The standouts were Christopher's printed skirt and Fabio's effortless colorblocked dress. The judges had problems with Nathan's origami pleating and Gunnar's dress that looked cheap and out of place.
We loved Team 6's modern-yet-commercial approach. Melissa's cobalt dress with a statement neckline was edgy and editorial, and definitely deserved the win. We also adored Dmitry's fabulous color-blocked dress. This man definitely knows how to flatter a woman's shape!
Team 6 won the overall challenge, but that didn't stop Raul from getting eliminated for the second time. We have to admit, this time we weren't sorry to see him go.