Somewhere in Los Angeles, the answer to Heidi's clue resides. He is silver-haired and suited and standing next to Tim. Nicolas describes him as "The Legend", which sounds a lot more like a kung fu film than this dapper old man. The only clue to his identity is the giant "Bob Mackie" sign hanging over his head. I think my grandma liked him. Oh wait, Tim just said that they are actually still at the fashion institute, so I guess the shot of the Los Angeles freeway system was just for grit. Tim introduces fashion legend Bob Mackie apparently better known as "The Sultan of Sequins," which sounds really hard to monogram on a hand towel. Some of The Sultan's outfits are displayed on mannequins behind him. Tim justifies his moniker by explaining that he has designed sequined outfits for Cher, Diana Ross, and Madonna. (And my grandma.) Tim explains the basics of the challenge: They are to design an extravagant stage look. Bob Mackie parses that out: This is not fashion, it is sequins. Also, when he says hi, the designers, shout back "Hi!" like a bunch of mismatched Mouseketeers. Tim fills in the details: They have two days to design a stage look in the Bob Mackie style for a multi-platinum, Grammy-winning artist who sets style trends and her own rules. Who are the lucky designers creating a look for? Drum roll please: Christina Aguilera!! (Is there anything more exclamatory than two exclamation points?) And to think I was going with k.d. lang. The designers start giggling madly and Nicolas might just die from glee exhaustion. Christopher looks absolutely stunned. His eyes are as wide as a velvet puppy's and his jaw is resting on his penny loafers. Tim gives everyone a few minutes to sketch and as the designers begin sketching their outfits, Nicolas is literally floating on a bubble of Bob. He hugs his notebook to his chest as he twirls around the stage like a lesser von Trapp.
At Mood the designers are in fabric frenzy. They are running amok over the Mood satellite store, snatching up ever bit of bejeweled, bedazzled, and befeathered googaw in the place. Carol Hannah is feeling the pressure, but is prepared to show the judges that she can push the boundaries. Judging by the feathers and sequins and shiny leather, she is most likely talking about the boundaries of good taste. Nicolas takes a moment to sneer at all the other lazy designers who don't know how to properly emulate Mackie-style and are sullying their looks with pre-sequined materials. Nicolas knows how Bob does it, because he, Nicolas the Magnificent, does it the same way. He can't believe Bob's precious vision has to be cluttered with these pre-made fabric posers. He's sequining from scratch, dammit! I know on Top Chef that the judges slice and dice (and fricassee) any and all who dare to serve them pre-made pasta, but do the judges on Project Runway care if it is the designers or some six-year old child in Sri Lanka who is sewing the sequins on the fabric? (On design grounds, not ethical ones, obvi.) But, really as long as the dress looks good, does it matter how the sequins got on the gown? I guess we'll find out soon.