Tim enters with a lady and introduces her as Tracey Trachta from HP. She's the head of global marketing. Tim says that they've downloaded the photos for them because a personal dossier will be important for them in this challenge. They're going to be creating their own textiles! I love this challenge. Other Michael remembers the challenge from last season and has been dying to create his own print. Tim says that the point of departure for the design of the print should be a moment in their lives that they found especially profound and inspiring. The look that they create can be anything they want, but the print should have a special meaning. Valerie says that it's exciting and daunting to be her own muse.
Tim and Tracey leave and the designers start looking at their photos. Other Michael says the pic of him in the underwear was taken on a day when he was twirling around in a skirt and his mother ripped it off of him. And, I did not just make that up. He remembers that he was crying and then his mother apparently felt that was a good time to start taking pictures? He interviews that he is very tight with his mother, though there was a time when their relationship was strained. There's a photo of Mondo at five wearing a matador's outfit with a mustache drawn onto his face. Someone asks if he didn't wear that same outfit for the first challenge.
Valerie says that her favorite of the photos of her is one of her and her sister when they were tiny. So cute. They are in the driveway of the first house their father built for them. She thought quite literally that he was Superman. He has inspired her to work hard. Her textile is based on the blueprints that he used as a builder. Other Michael has a brother named Spanky and a sister named Peaches. Yes. They wear red bracelets with a dot that is an evil eye. That's going to be his pattern. Gretchen grew up in the southwest and is basing her pattern on a graphic interpretation of a sun bonnet. I know not of this sun bonnet, but it looks pretty cool. April's pattern is based on her parents' divorce -- "dark and romantic." She gets a little emotional when she shows it to Gretchen. She says that the divorce was her first taste of reality and how things aren't always rosy.
Mondo explains that he came out to his mother when he was 17 and her response was to tell him that he shouldn't tell anyone else in his family. Also, she said that she wouldn't tell his father. That incident instilled him in him the idea that he couldn't share who he was with people. He interviews emotionally that he loves his mother, but he has to be able to let people into his life. You know, I can't help but think of all of the kids we've heard about lately who have killed themselves after being bullied for being or appearing gay. Looking at Mondo and thinking about what he's gone through and also how immensely talented he is -- I wonder what those boys would have been able to give to the world if they'd been able to have any hope for their futures. Also, a reminder: Words hurt, especially when you're a kid. Mondo's not telling anyone what his print's inspiration is. April thinks it's very "Mondo" though.