Last week: sorry, Kate, but that was a lousy dress. Oh, and Alexander also went home.
This week, we start with the now-standard hotel room scenes of people talking about how they weren't expecting people to go home. That's boring, so we go to the runway for the new challenge. This is the last challenge before New York Fashion Week, so everyone's really tense and determined. Heidi claims that Fashion Week is a sausage dangling right in front of their noses, although Tim suggests that it could be a carrot instead. Before designing, everyone's being sent off to a nature center. This season has a lot of field trips, huh?
The designers arrive at Sweetbriar Nature Center, which is a whole hour away from Manhattan. It's full of butterflies, which delights Helen. She's even got a butterfly tattoo. Billy B. (the guy from L'Oreal) is here, and he talks about a L'Oreal product. Tim tells them that they are to make an avant-garde look inspired by butterflies. And I will tell you right now that I never know the different between "experimental, daring, and cutting-edge" (which is good) and "ridiculous, over-the-top, and costumey" (which is not). I also suspect that the judges don't know the difference themselves. They'll have two days for the challenge, which is nice. Billy B. recommends they get inspired.
Sketching. Alexandria decides that butterflies are sad because they don't live very long, and she's going to use "sadness" as her guide. Justin finds a gorgeous albino butterfly (I'm not sure it's really albino) that he thinks is an outsider, which reminds him of himself. Bradon doesn't do much sketching, because it's more fun to look at butterflies.
Off to Mood! The recommended amount is $500, and I feel that it's about time for someone to run into budget problems if they're going to justify all this "recommended spending" stuff. Dom goes straight for the prints, because she's Dom. By this point in the season, she should be pretty familiar with what Mood has to offer in that department. These are the designer silks, which are more expensive than her usual fabric. Helen is working from a monarch butterfly, so she wants lots of shades of orange and yellow. She's doing a cloak with a fitted dress underneath. She assures us, "It's gonna be luxe as hell." And Bradon is buying everything in sight. It's the last challenge, so he's spending it all.
Dom spends $628. Bradon does $984. To the dickens with your "suggested spending amount," Tim Gunn! Justin runs it up to $1,167. Alexandria is at $992. And Helen is at $1,057, so the closest anyone came to the recommended amount was Dom, who was 25% over. I think it would be funny if they had an extra garment to make in this challenge and no one could afford fabric for it.