With this season’s remaining contestants (finally) down to single figures, Heidi introduces their next challenge with the always-ominous announcement that it’ll involve designing for NORMAL people. Then, to much consternation and flat-out fear from the designers, a bunch of nonplussed-looking men walk out onto the runway. Olivier, one of the last to choose his muse, says, “I was left with all these fat people, and that is fine, but not when I'm making clothes." Remember when Joshua was grumpy last week? Well, this week it’s Olivier’s turn to be Little Miss Bitchypants. He even let a few curse words loose, which, on the sliding scale of the two’s temperaments, is just as bad as Joshua’s flame-outs.
However, before the designers are forced to stab themselves in the eyes with embroidery needles at the thought of fitting clothes on these non-model-esque male bods, Tim steps in to reveal — psych! — that the guys from the runway are just the clients. (Spoiler: From the previews for next week’s episode, menswear will be on the table.) In reality, the designers are supposed to produce looks for their clients’ wives or girlfriends. This allows for a supposedly hilarious (but not really) montage of the men entirely unable to describe their significant others’ dress sense or style in any form — be it favorite colors, clothes, or, really, anything. Straight men, goodness, isn’t it a wonder they can dress themselves at all!? It must be said that many of the designers are also struggling to comprehend a “real” figure, too — at Mood, poor flustered Olivier is forced to ask Tim what DD-sized breasts even are. Wonderfully deadpan, Tim’s response is simply that he has no experience in the matter; cue Olivier, “these boobs, to me, are trouble.” And still having the breast of times back in the workroom, Bert’s client motorboats a mannequin to illustrate his
love lust for his girlfriend’s figure. Yes, this is as vulgar as it sounds.
The first round of fittings with the assorted wives and girlfriends seems to cause problems across the board. There are requests for Barbie-pink and Barbie-style pieces, along with retro, rockabilly stylings. Joshua M. is told, to his horror, that he has to make a simple, understated look — this kind of garb is basically his kryptonite, but just not shiny or jewel-esque. Olivier is continuing to struggle the most, having apparently never designed for a client before — only theoretically and, of course, on stick-thin models. Though his assigned model and her Jersey-licious hubby do seem to want him to do well, their aesthetic couldn’t be further from his clean lines and pastel palette — and, awkwardly, both seem to assume his ethnicity implies he doesn’t understand English too well on a number of occasions. In reality, he’s ignoring their suggestions because he hates them.
Despite two full days worth of design and construction time, it comes down to a last-minute rush for most — as usual. (Not Viktor though, who seemed to have his chic set of separates all done even before Tim’s critique the day prior.) Olivier’s classy client is worried that her pants are riding up; Anya’s sewing machine is making scary odd noises; Bryce is concerned about both the “fucking bright pink” color and the fit of his dress — remade for what appeared to be the third time only the night prior. Tim even has to get very strict with a few designers, stopping them from making last-minute alterations in the corridor outside the runway set.
After a fairly sedate runway show, it’s a fairly sedate judging affair once more: There’s nothing really wow-worthy, and nothing really god-awful either. Among the three designers called safe are both Olivier and Kimberly — leaving only Bryce among the designers in danger this week. He knew it was coming, his fellow designers knew it was coming, and the judges certainly knew it was coming — so he got the auf. Oddly enough, after criticizing a bunch of this week’s fare as "fashion played safe", the judges gave Joshua M. the win (over Viktor’s near-perfect look, no less) for a look that was just that, simply because a safe design is, by default, not his regular orgy of glitter.
In his exit interview, Bryce says that while he’s not convinced he’s at the stage where he’s the next Great American Designer yet, he’ll be going home to lock himself in his room and listen to Gaga songs on repeat until he knocks out a fantastic collection. Judging by his recent Lincoln Center showing, he could do with “Bad Romance” on repeat a fair few more times.