This year's collection of auditioning designers was the best ever, says Tim. They have to narrow these semi-finalists down to fifteen people. I hope the exposure on this episode helps the people who don't even make it to the show. Tim says that it's not about personalities; it's about the work. We see the judges mulling over the portfolios. We don't see whom they're talking about, but I'll bet a designer would recognize his or her own portfolio sitting in front of Michael Kors as he's flipping through saying, "Boy, we've got some oddities here." Commercial break.
Here are the designers. We've got Alison Kelly, Bradley (yay!) Baumkirchner, Jeffrey Sebelia, Keith Michael, Laura Bennett, Michael Knight, Uli Herzner, Vincent (crazy. Yay!) Libretti, Kayne of Many Colors Gillespie, Malan Breton (when he introduces himself, he says, "I'm thirty-two years old. Thank God for Botox." And he laughs. He actually doesn't look younger than thirty-two), Bonnie Dominguez, Angela Keslar, Stacey Estrella, Katie Gerdes, and Robert Best. Nina says that she really likes the variety of designers. We got street. We got sophisticated. We got it all.
Now for a little montage of advice from past designers. Jay tells this year's crop to know who they are as people and as designers. Austin tells them to dress up, compliment Heidi, and be nice to the judges. I miss Austin. Chloe tells them not to look stressed, and to listen to Tim Gunn. Santino thinks that they should put Nina Garcia in her place if she starts "yapping off at the jib." Kara Saun thinks that they should respect the years of experience the judges have had. Nick also thinks they should just "smile and nod" at the judges. Jay adds in a tone like "this should be obvious" that they shouldn't be arrogant. Santino counters that they should be like "fuck off" without saying "fuck off." Chloe's last word is that, no matter how big a bitch one of your fellow designers is, they should be nice. And Jay thinks that, instead of manipulating fellow designers, they should "play the production. I did. Look where it got me." It's Chicken Soup For The Fashion Designer's Soul.