"The Essence of New
note: Due to preseason football on my local CBS
affiliate, and the rebroadcast of this episode not on
at its scheduled time, I wholeheartedly thank and
credit cbs.com for it's assistance in the preparation
of this episode's recap.)
We are now down to 7 designers. After returning to the
loft, they meet Tommy the next day in the cold at
Empire-Fulton Ferry State Park. This location provides
all sorts of people from photographers to filmmakers
to TV Producers the perfect spot to capture the
greatest city in the World... New York City. He tells
a story about how he created his iconic image by
getting the "perfect shot". He says, All the other
designers were using older models done up in stiff
poses, he notes. I used very young, hip, cool kids.
I let them have fun. I let them choose their own
clothes. We developed an image and an attitude like no
one else." Which leads to this week design
But wait, Tommy is going to switch up the mix a little
bit. Instead of teams, everyone is going to work
individually. He is tired of blaming and the
backstabbing. "No more pointing fingers at your
teammates, he says. No more deflecting blame, no
more leaning on teammates. You are going to be judged
individually. Now we head to the assignment:
ASSIGNMENT: Create an "iconic" advertising campaign
that captures the essence of New York. The designers
will have their own photographer and model. They will
also have $2,500 to use for hair, makeup and clothes.
The teams will have to shoot it, print it and bring it
to Style Forum for it to be judged by Tommy himself.
He says, "It must be bold, it must be memorable, it
must be like no one elses. You have 48 hours and if I
were you I would move it. So the designers go to the
photographer agency and each of them select the
photographer they want to work with. The next step is
to go to the world famous modeling agency, the Ford
Agency. Each of the 7 designers meet with a modeling
agent to pick the best model to fit their image. Chris
C. is looking for a model to be "Lost in Harlem.",
which is his concept. "I am going to dress the
All-American Girl in Hilfiger Gear and put her in a
location that makes her pop out." The modeling agent
is impressed with Chris's ideas and he more ideas than
any of the other designers he had spoken to.
Everyone is on working on their individual concepts.
Shauna had a daring concept on a tugboat with the city
in the background. But that idea was not working. "I
am about to have a nervous breakdown." With 24 hours
remaining, the photographer gives her an idea of
shooting her model coming out of a New York Taxi in
the middle of Times Square. Shauna agrees. Chris
shares his idea with Liz and Wes. They are stunned
when they hear he is going to pose a model in the
freezing cold in the middle of Harlem--in a Tommy
Hilfiger bikini! Chris C gets upset when they inform
him that the concept was to create a campaign for NYC,
not for Tommy. Wes says, I really felt like Chris dug
himself a grave. This is about what you can bring to
Tommy Hilfiger, not about what he already has.
Liz's concept is
"waiting." She shoots her model in the middle of Grand
Central Station in a ball dress made from American
Flags by a seamstress she met in a previous episode.
Its the idea that we live in America and we hurry up
and wait all the time," Liz said. Wes shoots his model
in the only indoor batting cage in NYC at Chelsea
Piers. When I think of New York, I think of baseball
and hot dogs, Wes comments. His male model is eating
a hot dog dripping with mustard wearing a baseball
uniform. Felix is on the Staten Island Ferry getting
an action shot of his model with the Statue of
Liberty. His model is dressed from an Army-Navy store.
He was hoping to create an image of someone coming to
a great place to, hopefully, make a great life for
themselves. Due to his models limited schedule, the
amount of time Felix has to get the shot is halved.
Deanna wanted her photo to be autobiographical. Her
image is described as "this youthful, powerful girl
dressed crazy with just total sense of self walking a
white cat with all of these bags in the middle of
Fifth Avenue. We switch to Wall Street, where
Princess is shooting her model in front of the New
York Stock Exchange coming out of a Mercedes. She sees
the model as a reflection of herself. I am going to
be that woman that takes over the fashion industry,
says Princess. I want to be the first big name
African American female designer." Later that night,
Shauna is in Times Square gives her photographer the
creative freedom to direct her photo shoot. I think
the toughest decisions were to sit back and say,
Shauna, you hired the right people, theyre going to
do their job,". Everyone has picked up their prints,
but Felix is not happy. "My ass might be on the line."
The teams enter Style Forum. Tommy introduces a
special guest to critique each photo. It is the world
famous fashion designer, Karl Lagerfeld. As well as
being one of the most famous fashion designers in the
world, he is an avid photographer as well. He likes
Elizabeth's image as "most beautiful." He says there
was real atmosphere in that photo. He felt the most
"iconic" belonged to Felix's baseball player blowing a
bubble. "You get the image and the message in a
second." He did say it was very hard to judge the
photos. I always say to myself, In life, never
compete, never compare.'"
Karl leaves and it's time for Tommy to judge. He likes
Chris's "Lost in Harlem" Photo. The advertising image
jumps off the page. I like it very much."
Felix: "The idea
sounds like a very good idea, but you didnt execute."
It didn't look like an "iconic advertising image."
Elizabeth: "Your Grand
Central Station image is Fantastic."
Shauna: " Your imagery
with the yellow taxi cab does not belong to you or me
or anyone else other than Donna Karan in the fashion
business." Oh boy.
Wes: Your image is
memorable and hip and cool for now."
Princess: "It looks
very upscale and would sell product very well."
Deanna: When he saw
the image "I thought Paris Hilton immediately. I
believe that is so familiar to what is going on at
this moment in time and it may not span globally.
He declares Elizabeth the winner! He calls Deanna,
Shauna and Felix into the pit. Felix offered himself
for sacrifice because he totally misread the
assignment. " I was focused on image more so than the
branding aspect, said Felix. Tommy dismisses that
idea, stating that Mr. Lagerfeld thought his picture
was beautiful. He chastises Deanna for creating a
"trendy for today" picture. Deanna tries to defend
herself, but Tommy shuts her up. "You have to think
about what theyre thinking about in other parts of
the world, as well as what theyre thinking about on
Melrose Avenue. You have to expand yourself.
He then turns to Shauna and notes that the
photographer told him that she gave up control of her
assignment to him. Tommy told her, Everyone else
controlled everything they did except you, he says.
Shauna, I think the taxicab is absolutely DKNYs
branding. I think you left everything in the hands of
someone else. Youre out of style. Take the runway.
And with that, Shauna is out of the competition.
Shauna ends with that fact she liked her print. " I
thought it came out great regardless of what happened.
Ive always felt from the beginning that there werent
that many qualified contestants for this. In terms of
experience, Im clearly the one who is very qualified,
but it wasnt meant to be, so something else will come
He tells Felix never to be that dumb again by putting
himself down. He appreciated the honesty, but it was
dumb. He ends with this, "don't get too comfortable,
because I have a big surprise for you."
(Recapper's note: Again, a big thanks to cbs.com for
assistance in this