This week, the designers are tasked with creating hot clothes for the summer season. To kick off the show, Elle introduces LMFAO and Quest Crew, who perform “Party Rock Anthem.” The first three designers to showcase this week are Orly, Ronnie and Barbara. Elle explains that all the designers have sacrificed to follow their dreams. Orly left her family behind in SoCal and moved to Manhattan to try to break into the fashion business. Nicole stops by the Design Studio to check in, only to find that Orly’s fabric choices are tending towards the “Grandpa Tony” school. She’s got to get more on trend and think about popping in some color. After Nicole leaves, Orly puts her head on her design table; now she’s lost.
Barbara tells mentor Jessica that she wants to make a simple shirt dress this week with a collar styled after a men’s shirt. She know she’s great working with prints, which she hasn’t tried yet. In order to get the judges to buy something, this week, she intends to open up a can of whoop ass. Nicole advises Ronnie to create a garment with “a little more construction.” Across the studio, Orly’s in tears, talking to mentor John Varvatos. After trying to incorporate Nicole’s advice, she feels lost in a sea of fabric. John advises her to mock up a design quickly and try not to get stuck. She can afford to give herself some time to clear her head. Sometimes, the best designs come out of the most stressful situations.
Of course, there’s never enough time to prepare for the runway. Minutes before it’s time for her showcase, Orly’s family surprises her backstage, bringing her to tears again – but this time, tears of joy. Orly solved her design conundrum by creating three scoop-neck sheath dresses, with popping color accents at the waistband and pocket linings. Barbara’s Shirt Dress comes in three very different looks, and Ronnie has designed an asymmetrical dress with complex fabric draping. Nicole loved Ronnie’s color presentation and fabric choice, even if it may be a little too much fabric. John recalls Orly’s panic in the Design Studio – now look at the stunning result! Jessica congratulates Orly, asking if she can order all three of her dresses. Nicole loves Barbara’s dresses, especially the print, saying she’ll be shocked if Barbara doesn’t make a sale.
It’s time to face the buyers, and Orly’s up first. Macy’s first to bid $70,000, then Saks comes in with $110,000. Terron loves this dress! Acid sherbet colors are right on trend, and he loves the details at the pocket and hem. It’s really a Saks Fifth Avenue kind of dress. Feeling much the same, Caprice of Macy’s matches Terron’s offer – so he ups his bid to $120,000. Despite her love for the dress, Caprice backs down. Barbara’s next up, and sadly, there’s no offer for her. While Terron loves Barbara’s execution of the classic shirt dress, it’s just not special enough for him. Nevertheless, he’s looking forward to her next set of designs. There are no offers for Ronnie either. Nicole loves the print choice and thinks Ronnie’s dresses have great hanger appeal, but something got lost on the runway – ultimately, it’s too much fabric.
The next showcase features Nikki, Nzimiro and Sarah. Nikki knows she needs to show off more of her tailoring skills this week. Making clothing for the summer isn’t new to her, but tailoring is. Sarah tells Jessica that she intends to make a wrap dress. Jessica suggests pairing a print and a solid to use almost like a color block. Since most menswear lacks the color and detail he likes, Nzimiro is going all out, taking chances in his shorts design with bold colors and patterns. Right off the bat, Nicole says no! His fabric screams curtains and drapes. Nzimiro decides to listen and tone it back.
Just before the showcase, Nikki is freaking out and feeling stressed. Her Palazzo Jumpsuit has a front and a back wedgie – risky! After the show, John admits that jumpsuits are never very commercial, even if they’re fun. He thinks fit is challenging, and Nikki’s execution was a little lacking. Nzimiro explains his mission to bring fun back to menswear and his bold fabric choice. Jessica admits to having a little crush on Nzimiro. She thinks his shorts are like a Hampton party in the pants, and she wants her fiance to rock them this summer. John gives Sarah credit for going out of her comfort zone, working with prints for the first time, even if he didn’t love them. Jessica disagrees; she loves the print and thinks all kinds of women could wear them. H&M agrees with Jessica, offering $50,000 for her dress – their third buy, for the third week in a row. Nicole explains that H&M is going for a glam trend for summer, and their customers will come running for this dress.
Nikki’s up next. While Saks and H&M don’t bite, Caprice offers $50,000 for her jumpsuit. She likes the color choice and print, and even though they’ll need to work a little on fit, she thinks the jumpsuit will do great for summer. Further, she salutes Nikki for getting out of her swimwear box and responding to the buyers’ advice. Nzimiro is thrilled when H&M bids $50,000 for his shorts. Nicole is convinced the customers will come running to buy them.
After two weeks with no buys, the pressure is on for Ross. Usually very stubborn about his fashion choices, he’s decided to listen to everything the mentors and buyers have to say and go out on a limb to create double-pleated trouser shorts in luxe fabrics. In the Design Studio, the mentors warn Lisa that her Couture T-Shirt might not impress the buyers – and they are correct. Luciana’s Color-Block Dress shares the same fate. After his showcase, Ross thanks the mentors for their advice – which finally pays off for him. Both H&M and Macy’s put up bids of $70,000. Macy’s raises their offer to $90,000, and H&M counters with $100,000. Ross is jumping up and down when Caprice ups her offer to $120,000; she’s convinced Ross’ shorts are going to be an absolute win.
The next showcase includes Edmond, Kara and Lizzie. Earlier in the week, Edmond decided to make three variations on a maxi dress, inspired by the loose airy dresses the Southern women in his family used to wear. Jessica recommends that he take more time with his fabric choice. Last week, Terron asked Lizzie about her identity as a designer. Lizzie explains that she’s tattooed, she loves heavy metal, and she lives in the suburbs; so she’s going to incorporate heavy metal into a dress. She’s hoping the buyers will see she’s coming up with a clear message about who she is.
Across the studio, Nzimiro jokes that Kara’s like a little mouse – but the kind of mouse who takes the biggest piece of cheese. As a closeted gay teacher, Kara wasn’t able to be out as the person she really was, but now she can stay true to herself, even if she has to step out of her comfort zone. All she wears all year long is black, black, black. She wants to make a tuxedo pant, and luckily, John is on hand to help her with a new color palette. Finally, it’s time for Kara, Lizzie and Edmond’s models to hit the runway. Kara’s looks are the first to be scrutinized by the mentors, and John just loves her menswear-inflected pant – it’s another home run. Jessica loves the ivory pant, and claims she’s jealous of Kara’s skill as a designer.
Nicole congratulates Lizzie on moving outside of her comfort zone, even though this dress isn’t her favorite. Nicole is pleased to see that Edmond stepped up his fabric choice and hopes he sees an offer tonight. While H&M and Macy’s pass on Kara’s tuxedo pant, Terron offers $50,000. He loves the modern take on the classic pant and commends her sophisticated use of fabric, and evolving with speed. Sadly, no one’s interested in Lizzie’s dress. Caprice explains that the design was awkward, especially the zipper placement. Nevertheless, she loves the draping and encourages Lizzie to keep heading in that direction. Elle is particularly confused when none of the buyers bid on Edmond’s Maxi Dress. Why?! Terron explains that the bodice is awkwardly constructed, and fabric choice is not the best.
Elle calls the bottom three designers to the stage: Edmond, Lizzie and Luciana. Lizzie tells the other two that no matter what happens, everything’s okay, but they don’t seem convinced. Now the mentors have to decide which designer to save from elimination. Jessica’s excited but a little nervous to announce that the mentors have decided to save Edmond, whom they see as up-and-coming. Now Lizzie and Luciana have to face the buyers. Caprice explains that the buyers are concerned about Lizzie’s range and whether she has the ability to design for all three stores. Lizzie’s response: “I can only do what I’ve done.” Nicole tells Luciana that the buyers see the effort she makes each week to rise above her native Miami design aesthetic, but they’re concerned because she hasn’t hit her mark yet. In the end, Caprice lowers the boom, sending Lizzie home. Lizzie graciously thanks buyers, designers and mentors for a fantastic experience.