"Is Everyone in this
City Gay?" (or "How Not to Win Friends and
Influence Tommy Hilfiger") - June 23
has just been eliminated and we see our remaining
fashionistas head back to the Soho Loft for drinks and
the soaking of feet. Chris C states that the
assignments are very clear and they show how you are.
According to Wes, Princess is all talk--no action. He
realizes now that on his team, he doesn't need all the
strongest players--but one or two weaker ones to pick
off so he can go further. Wes and Deanna have a bit of
therapy about Princess. He thought she was crazy at
first, but she is his favorite now.
The next day the teams meet in front of the Cotton
Club which was one of the most influential jazz clubs
of the 1930's. Tommy is waiting. He explains how in
designing collections there might be a theme to it. In
researching an era you may have to watch old movies,
research in the library or on the internet to learn
about that era. Authenticity breeds credibility.
So we have this week's design challenge:
CHALLENGE: Recreate two clubs from two different
eras. One team will recreate The Cotton Club, the
hippest club of the 1930's. One team will recreate the
disco era staple Studio 54. You will have $7,500, 72
hours and 40 extras to recreate the atmosphere.
Tommy said he went to Studio 54. This assignment will
combine lifestyle, accessories, apparel, attitude and
We have a coin flip between Felix and James who were
picked first last week. Felix wins and picks the
Cotton Club. James gets Studio 54. James also picks
first. Here are the new reshuffled teams:
JAMES: Tommy (who said both teams wanted him because
he oozes talent and style. He sashayed over to
James.), Chris C, Rob W, Chris S (who is quiet, but
values teamwork) Julie and Jessica.
FELIX: Wes, Elizabeth (who exudes class and is very
experienced according to Felix) Shauna, Deanna,
Princess, and Jeff(who was picked last). He was picked
a leftover. This was the first time this happened to
Shauna was mostly happy with the team, except for
Elizabeth. She and her do not get along.
But there is another social invitation to attend to.
Tommy has 4 invitations to a party in the Hamptons
with his friend and fellow fashion designer Alex
Garfeld (of Garfield and Marks design at
will not be judged on the design assignment, but will
be judged on your social interactions. 2 invitations
will be given out per team.
James picks himself and Jessica who he calls "arm
candy". Felix picks Jeff and Princess. Princess said
she wasn't "feeling" the last assignment. Her social
skills will redeem herself. Princess, here is a little
reality check. You had the opportunity to meet
Fabolous and get to know him, but all you wanted to do
was get into his pants. You nearly got your ass sent
home last week, and you weren't "feeling" the last
assignment?!?! Give me a break. Wes says
intelligently, "I am glad she is going...because if
she is as half as bad as she was last week, she is
gone." Julie wonders who will be running the show now
that James is gone. Jame felt guilty about leaving,
but he needed to take advantage of this opportunity.
The Cotton Club enters the club and sees there is a
lot of work to do.
Studio Team sees Studio 54 and Chris C sees it as an
opportunity to recreate history. Tommy--"The Feng Shui
is really bad here!" Chris S said he took a class on
Studio 54 on college and he took over as leader. Tommy
said he had a lot of ideas and although the space is
smaller than the actual club, we can emulate the
feeling, the hedonism, the decadence and the "circus
sexulous" of the club.
The Cotton Club team says this will put no personal
style into this. They have to replicate and mimic the
club. Elizabeth's sister just got married and the
theme was a 1930's supper club. That may help, she
says. Deanna was upset at Elizabeth's insistence on
horseshoe tables. Felix notice that Shauna/Deanna/Wes
were turning on Elizabeth. She walks out.
60 Hours to go--Deanna and the Cotton Club team go to
the prop house to get props. Shauna says Elizabeth is
"not my favorite person. She has no clue how to do
anything. She "says" she is a designer." The Studio
Team gets props. Tommy said he had trouble
communicating the era. "These Gen X people have never
experienced Studio 54." The theme they decided on a
theme of "Steve Rubell's Birthday." (And Chris
S...it's ru-BELL, not
RUBE-ell.) Chris C says Chris S is quiet, but has
We switch to Alex Garfield's house. Jessica, James,
Princess and Jeff meet Alex Garfield. Alex says to
call him Alex, not Mr. Garfield. Wine and toasts
36 hours to go. The Studio Team knows lighting is
30 hours to go. Tommy--"Fashion is my forte." So Tommy
and Julie go to the costume shop to get 70's clothes.
Julie says he is smart, but loses focus. Tommy starts
fooling around spouting French phrases describing
outfits. They then go to a wig shop where the owner
was as gay as Tommy was. Julie sees a wig that the
owner calls the "Drag Queen." Julie seems appalled.
She explains that she comes from St. Louis, married at
20 and you don't really meet gay people. She hangs
with moms and dads. Julie wants to put a wig on Tommy,
but Tommy will have no part of it. Tommy tells her not
to, but she does anyway. Tommy said she liked to tease
me, but her talent was beyond mediocre. They then
argue in the taxi. And Julie asks the dumbest question
"Is everyone in this city gay?" (The answer to this
question from this native New Yorker: Every other
Tommy said Julie felt threatened by him. She stated
that he was the first gay person she spent an extended
time with. And she did have black people she knew.
Back at Alex's house, the party is in full swing.
Alex's friends are drinking wine and having a good
time. Tommy enters with what looked like his wife (or
girlfriend--he is in the process of divorcing or his
divorce has happened) and floats around. Princess sees
she was keeping it real. He then has a private powwow
with Alex. Alex says if he wants the truth, Tommy
comes to him.
On Jeff: Alex says he should go home to his family. He
is not pompous, he is insecure.
On Jessica: Beauty Pageant Winner, and not real.
On Princess: Too Raw and Gritty. It would take too
long to train her.
On James: I love him. He is spiritual...and if you
won't hire him, I will!
They hug. Alex said, Jeff is a good guy but doesn't
have the goods. Next scene we see Jeff talking to
Tommy about their designs. He was being presumptuous.
Then we see Princess doing something incredibly
stupid. She sits on the couch and lets fly with a
spoken word poem that would have been more appropriate
in the "Vagina Monologues." She was bleeped twice and
after the performance, all of the people including
Alex were dumbfounded. Jeff said she was incredibly
loose lipped and hoped that Tommy saw that erotic
biography and performance. He hopes she went too far
8 hours to go...Elizabeth oversleeps and then tries to
rally the troops. Wes says that she has a lot of
ideas, but doesn't see them through. Shauna and Deanna
bitch out Elizabeth in the taxi. "I hate her" Shauna
says. Deanna says Shauna is so over the top, but she
likes that and her.
4 hours to go. Elizabeth was surprised to see so many
people in the cramped club. Deanna picked out the
clothes for every character extra. 1 hour to go. Chris
C is seen giving final instructions. We see the 4
people arriving to each club in chaos. 25 minutes to
go. More Chaos. Tommy said Tommy is not concerned with
the little things, he wants Tommy to absorb the
ambience. Wes says we paid attention to every detail.
8:30PM--It's Party Time. Let's head back into the
wayback machine to the 1970's...we have the little
people trying to get into the club while Tommy arrives
in a 1978 Cadillac Fleetwood Limousine and passes by
the "little people" and goes to the recreation of
Studio 54. His guest is Andre Harrell, the
ex-president of Motown Records and the now president
of Nu America music. You see shots of the 1970's party
and Tommy goes to the "VIP area" with a throne and
Tommy being crowned. He looked like he was having a
good time. A stripper comes out of a birthday cake in
body paint, glitter, and a PG-13 bathing suit and
gyrates for Tommy and Andre. Team members talk to
Tommy about the concept. Chris S says he felt like
they won. Tommy and Andre leave and step back into the
Wayback machine even further...
...to the 1930's. Tommy and Andre arrive in a vintage
1930's Rolls Royce. You see the 1930's Cotton Club. In
my personal opinion, they did an incredible job. You
see dancers dancing and Princess as a cigarette girl.
And Deanna, as the sexy mistress of ceremonies
introducing Tommy and Andre. They both liked the
attention to detail with the smoke, the menus and the
hair. Wes said they brought in hair stylists to
recreate the styles of the time.
Back at the loft, everyone is nervous. Tommy said, "I
came here to win. I don't know what losing means." Rob
has nerves as the enter the style forum. Tommy enters
and talks about the Hamptons party first. Tommy called
James a real gentleman, and Jessica a real lady. He
turns to Jeff who he said talked about nothing but
himself. And other people noticed that too. He saved
his biggest fire for Princess. He asked about the
party and if she spoke with Alex about business. She
said that they didn't. He asked about the sexually
laced performance. She tried to say that the company
had left. Tommy would have none of it. He called it
"very inappropriate" and he was very disappointed.
Now about the clubs...first to the Cotton Club team.
What did Elizabeth do? She said she did the research
and Wes did a "4/5" on a scale of 1-10 in
contribution. Deanna, Shauna called it a 8-9 and
Shauna asked, "Can I rate Elizabeth too?" with a grin
like the cat ate the canary. Felix said Deanna did the
least and the two factions of Deanna/Wes/Shauna vs.
Felix/Elizabeth got into it. Tommy told them to stifle
it and called them a "clearly divided" team.
To the Studio 54 team: Chris C discusses the concept
and Chris S. discusses hi college project. Tommy asks
if there was any dissent on this team. Julie speaks up
and says that she had problems talking with "those
people in that way". Tommy asked, "How do you mean?"
Julie said, "Oh, like 'What do you want, sugar child?'
I freaked out and handed the phone to Tommy. I felt he
could handle it better." Tommy says that all people
should be tolerant of all different kinds. And Julie
says that "I am tolerant of all human life." Tommy H
says you HAVE to learn to deal with all kinds of
people in this business
Onto the decision. When Tommy walked into the Cotton
Club he felt like he stepped back into the 1930's. He
didn't get that vibe with Studio 54. He felt the
Cotton Club was very authentic. He didn't get the real
glamour, energy or big feel of it. The Cotton Club
team wins. They celebrate, but he warns Jeff and
Princess that they were VERY lucky this week. I tend
to agree. Princess is on her 2nd strike.
He calls Julie and Chris S in the pit. He says to
Julie that you have to deal with and RESPECT ALL types
of people in this business. And by Chris S taking and
admitting to having a large contribution to the design
assignment... he is out of style and Chris S takes the
runway and becomes the 3rd designer cut from the
program. Tommy ends the program with this: "I won't
tolerate what I heard tonight..."
Next week: the most demanding assignment so far.