Making A Splash

Season 1 | AIRED: Jan 19 12/11c

Last time, the designers had to go big with a typical collection capper, a wedding dress. Their next assignment takes them in the opposite direction: swimwear. Moreover, their designs would have to be functional enough for a dip in the pool but sophisticated enough to wear to a fashion-industry party. Oh, and: you've only got five hours. Cue the models.

 

Kara, as last week's winner, selects Jenny with the first pick. Kevin, knowing there's a party involved, takes a calculated risk with Morgan, whom he describes as "the party monster." Robert nearly ends up last again, but instead the responsibility falls to Jay, who opts for his Banana Republic Challenge partner Julia over Joy. Karasuan aims for society sophisticated with a cream-colored bathing suit and cover-up. Austin takes his inspiration from screen swim queen Esther Williams. Miami native Alexandra, no stranger to swimwear, looks to Project Runway's own Michael Kors for inspiration. Wendy, having never designed a swimsuit, is by her own admission "flying blind." Kevin goes "avant-garde classic," with a tuxedo-inspired suit and a scuba-esque miniskirt. Robert works in blue, while Jay elects to go black and go strappy.

 

The tight deadline lives little time for workroom dramatics, though Jay does manage to squeeze in a minor meltdown, remedied by a calming cigarette break. (But remember kids: don't smoke.) At five o'clock, work stops and Tim informs the designers of an extra element to this week's challenge: they're on their way to an Elle magazine party and, while there, they need to make an impression on New York Post "Page Six" columnist Richard Johnson. Whoever gets mentioned in his column wins this challenge and gains immunity for the next.

 

But first, the models have to don their garb. Monique opts to wear her own thong (for more "coverage") than Wendy's effort, while Erin has similar issues with Alexandra's too-tight bottom. After looking at Jay's creation, Julia declares "I'm glad I shaved my bikini line." Olga and Robert discuss something, but as both chat in Russian their conversation will remain a mystery. Who will be the hero at Hiro? Can our magnificent seven make a splash? Which designer will get the ink, and which will get the boot?