The designers created looks based on flags from around the world. Mondo won the challenge with his completely non-Jamaican inspired look, while Mila couldn't decide between a long dress and a short number and got the boot.
It seems that since the designers are more familiar to us and to each other, the preferred jab in interviews is to talk about how they're repeating themselves. There's a lot of, "Oh here's blank making his same ol' blank again." Stands to reason that everyone kind of makes the same thing a lot of the time (especially under pressure) and maybe everyone should just lay off that insult and just talk about each others' personalities. Or personal style. Or hair.
So, Angela, whose personal charms are not diminishing for me at all, comes onstage and tells the designers that the next challenge will test their skills like nothing before. Michael and Jerell are like, "???" She says that fashion is just as much about technology as it is about thread and fabric. She says that they'll be using both as they light up the runway with their designs. Bonfire? She snaps her fingers and the lights go down and we see that there is something illuminated in her skirt. This is helpful when you can't find the remote control in the dark. Austin is thrilled. Michael says that he's never worked with electricity before. She snaps again and the lights come up. Grab your glow sticks ravers, the runway is going to black lit for this challenge. Their challenge is to use technology to create an avant garde look. Austin says that he's psyched because he is often inspired by the avant garde, because you can take stuff to another level. She goes ahead and tells us that the guest judge is style icon Pharrell Williams! That guy is such a badass. It's funny, when he was first coming on the scene, he stayed at a hotel where I was working. I remember witnessing this flirty exchange that he had with my co-worker. She sort of poked fun at him about how nice his luggage was (it was really nice) and he was really cute about it. Anyway. Now, he's the best-dressed man in the world and guest judging Project Runway! He's going to incorporate the winning design into a project with one of his artists. They'll go to a special effects store, then to Mood. Kenley says that she has never worked with lighting either.
They head to the lighting store. Michael seems confounded by all of the different names for the lighting. I admit that I'm right there with him. Jerell goes for some fiber optic stuff that he says reminds him of what he used to get from the ice cream truck. Austin grabs some fairy lights and the coincidence is not lost on him. He's very excited to be in the lighting store and Mondo, the freaking dark prince of reality fashion, says that Austin has become very high-maintenance. Maybe that's stuff that we don't see. He says that he's a prima donna. Austin interviews that he is smitten by the fantasy in fashion -- he likes to create with drama and imagination and whimsy. This confession is accompanied by the plunky music that's supposed to indicate that what the person is saying is silly, but I think that's a beautiful sentiment. I think Mondo's a really fantastic problem-solver and does some extraordinary work, but I frankly prefer the joy that you can see in Austin's work. Fine, the atomizer that he employs while at Mood may be a bit much, but I think it's clear that his process, however precious it may be, is effective. I guess this is my roundabout way of saying that Mondo can go fuck a duck. Seriously, he's going to talk about someone being a prima donna when he sulks harder than Angela Chase? Kenley has to think creatively because her initial idea is too expensive. She decides to make a plaid out of glow tape. At Mood, Michael grabs some stiff fabric, which worries him. Mondo is going to trust his instincts. Jerell goes with an unexpected mix of prints, or so he says.