Before we dive into this week’s episode, a brief word of praise for guest judge Katie Holmes, because you’d never know the episode was filmed a few days after she’d filed for divorce. Class act.
The designers head to the U.S.S. Intrepid, where Carolyn introduces them to this week’s clients: four U.S. Military veterans, and one service dog named Isaac. I immediately begin brainstorming ideas for a spinoff series starring the service dog and Mood’s in-store dog, Swatch. The designers are tasked with creating an outfit for an upcoming, unspecified event, which the veterans (who’ve each been pre-assigned to a designer, sparing them the indignity of a schoolyard-style pick) will model.
Joshua immediately hooks into the challenge; his brother is in the Army, and his client (Captain Leslie Smith) has a particularly moving story: She had a leg amputated after contracting a nearly fatal infection in Bosnia. One of her first questions post-surgery was, “Am I going to be able to wear high heels?” She asks for a girly dress. Anthony Ryan’s client (Officer Donna Barrios) is a communications specialist in the Air Force, and she specifically wants him to design a dress for her 40th birthday. Still, he asks good questions and they seem to hit it off. Emilio’s client (Petty Officer First Class Lisa Dalhouse) is a reservist and a jet engine mechanic; she asks for a bachelorette party dress, and they settle on something yellow, sparkly, and short. And Uli, who loves everyone, is immediately enamored with her client (Corporal Jessica Lord), a former Marine who says she’d love a dress just like the one Uli’s wearing.
After the designers have swept through Mood, everyone gets down to business. Joshua has a particularly challenging task: hand-dyeing several yards of black and white leopard print cotton green. It’s a bold move, but if something goes wrong, the only fabric he purchased will be destroyed. Joanna comes by for critiques and tells the designers that she’s going to be extra vigorous, so that the clothes live up to “the honor of dressing these women.” She wonders whether Anthony Ryan’s client might like a one-shoulder dress instead of his planned strapless, and then says, “You’ve got to give her a rocking night. The night of her dreams.” Cool, no pressure! Joanna tells Uli her look seems to be coming along nicely, then asks, “Is there anything you’re concerned about?” “Always,” Uli replies. After seeing what Emilio has in progress, Joanna skeptically asks him to convince her that his look could work. She’s slightly appeased when he says it’s a bachelorette party. Joanna tells Joshua he seems more inspired this time around. That’s true, and it’s nice to see after a long series of demoralizing challenges for him.
The morning of the runway show is even more chaotic than normal, due to some particularly discouraging client fittings the evening before. Emilio has to remake his dress, and Anthony Ryan is still struggling to balance his own idea of “flattering” against his client’s. Once the show is underway, it’s clear that they both struggled: Their looks are definitely the weaker two. Uli’s typical-Uli dress (seriously, she’s just referring to them as “Uli dresses” at this point) looks great, if a little sedate, but it’s Joshua’s client, Leslie, who steals the show. She looks amazing, and when Carmen Marc Valvo (this week’s second guest judge) asks if it was intentional for the dress to show her prosthetic, she said absolutely, because she takes great pride in her survival story. It’s a well-deserved win for Joshua.
Luckily for Anthony Ryan and Emilio, there’s no elimination this week! I’m sure this was a pre-planned “twist,” but given how incredibly snippy Isaac got whenever any of the other judges slightly criticized Anthony Ryan’s work, it’s hard not to see it as more Anthony Ryan favoritism. Again, I’m not saying his work isn’t worth favor (although this week was a pretty colossal misstep), but the judges could at least make an effort to make the favoritism a bit less blatant.
Next week, the final four are off to Paris!BEGIN SLIDESHOW
Most Viewed Stories
Report: Donald and Melania Trump Don’t Sleep in the Same Bed
Former Thinx Employee Accuses Miki Agrawal of Sexual Harassment
Am I Finally Done With White Guys?
Ask Polly: Why Does My Terrible Ex Get to Be So Happy?
Anna Wintour’s Daughter Got Engaged to Franca Sozzani’s Son
Why Millennial Pink Refuses to Go Away
Ashley Olsen Reportedly Broke Up With Her 58-Year-Old Boyfriend
What I Remember About the Moms Who Paid Me to Babysit
When Ivanka Trump Was a Cool Teen, She Reportedly Went ‘Missing’ in Aspen
3 Relationship Counselors On What Big Little Lies Tells Us About Domestic Violence
The Cut’s Latest Fashion FeaturesCiara's Wedding Dress Was Too Big for the Chapel
To be fair, it was a 13 foot-long dress.You and Rihanna Will Both Want to Invest in Dior’s New Bag
It's got something for everyone.Polo Shirts Have Turned Their Back on Ryan Lochte
Along with his other major sponsors.Ryan Lochte Will No Longer Be Paid to Wear Tiny Bathing Suits
Speedo remains committed to transparency.Laura Brown Is the New Editor-in-Chief of InStyle
After 11 years at Harper’s Bazaar.Tyra Banks Is Going to Teach a Class on Smizing at Stanford
"If I see somebody not paying attention, I’m gonna call on them."This Floating Pier Is the Most Zen Installation Ever
Walking on water in Italy.Nation Is Appalled by Matt Lauer’s Nude Ankles During Ryan Lochte Interview
What’s the opposite of “Jeah”?8 People at the Life of Pablo Pop-up Explain Why Kanye West Is a God
"I mean, Kanye West is just Kanye West. There's not more or less you can say about Kanye West. He's just Mr. West!"A T-shirt Is Enough
Simplicity, versatility, and cool. What more could you want?
She took a perfect pencil dive off a 30-foot yacht.American Apparel Is Being Sued by Former Workers
As the company considers putting itself up for sale.A Gendered History of the Tailored Suit
From Marlon Brando to Coco Chanel.How Zendaya Developed Such Great Style at the Young Age of 19
The star's best looks from Disney to now.Proof That If You’re Chic Enough, a Little Federal Investigation Doesn’t Matter
Is this the best they could do?5,300-Year-Old Mummified Iceman Probably Would’ve Been a Street-Style Star
He had several different looks and was “pretty picky.”J.Crew Has Identified 226 Shades of Pink
Even more than there are shades of gray.Gigi and Bella Hadid Merch Is Now Somehow a Thing That Is Happening
Today in Hadidiana.Gird Your Loins for the Return of Yeezy to New York Fashion Week
The season approaches.This Indie Brand Had a Great Response to Ivanka Trump
When she bought one of their cuffs, they donated the proceeds to the Clinton campaign.