Wow, I am more than half way done in the incredible journey. By doing so much work, you lose sense of time completely and you get completely dissolved in this process. The race for winning grows on me with every single day. Today’s Mini Challenge became even more challenging as we are designing for a high school clique, which we don’t even know yet. I was to create a t-shirt for a “nerd." I have very random stuff in the backpack I received: a ruler, calculator, book on history of the U.S., physics, and cute nerdy looking glasses. The first thing that came to my mind is to create a t-shirt that would actually promote getting a better education and for kids to love to study. In the front I put a patch of U.S. flags with a phrase “We can do it, yes we can!” just to be in the sarcastic side of it and in the back a math formula with a, b, c’s. Guiliana, our customer, is running for a president and I thought she would like this idea. But it caught me by a big surprise that now we have to use this actual t-shirt in our big challenge and create an outfit for a young woman in her 20s. I was like omg, how am I going to implement that. But then I got really inspired by the colors of the US flag, and I decided to create an outfit for a very positive nerd-looking girl who would actually be looked upon as an excellent student instead of made fun of, which I would totally associate myself with. Back in my high school I was that “nerd” who loved to study and had excellent grades all the time in a front row seat, lead my fellow students, and was an inspiration to every social and educational activity in the school. My inspiration went back to my homeland; we used to wear school uniforms as these cute aprons over a wool dress with collars and cuffs that would change. The color palette for my outfit is inspired by “Americana” — red, blue, and white. So, I created a very polished look in very modern high fashion “school” uniforms and yet very original crispy white cotton shirt with a red taffeta and blue t-shirt — what I used in the mini challenge as a “pioneer” tie that we wore in my school — paired with an English blue high-quality wool in an “apron”-inspired skirt trimmed with a red grain ribbon. I had a lot of fun with my outfit and was very satisfied with a look that I sent down the runway. Our respected judges yet again commented on my outfit and they mentioned again that they are proud of me that I continue my “A-game" in this competition. I feel very fortunate and privileged that my work gets recognition and gets commented on, and it’s OK that I’m still waiting for my audience to respond to my work, as judges' opinions count as a huge plus to me personally, and yet I’ll be patient to find my audience. I know this time will come soon. The tension however is growing in the load of work as we had only 11 hours for this challenge and the tension among the contestants is growing as well. Many people in this competition working the sense of self-esteem as they are watching what other people are doing instead of worrying for themselves. We are all tired, we are all overwhelmed and tense. It’s really surprising that so many people play it “safe” and make something, which is very redundant looking originality and sometimes a copy from very famous designers. As for me, I never play it safe, I was always an overachiever, and philosophy of my design is originality that my work speaks for itself. I just hope that the audience will see it and really choose an original talent at the end.