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Welcome to Tommy Hilfiger's world of high fashion, where style is substance, and only the best make the cut.

Recaps by Jason Block, GSNN

Host: Tommy Hilfiger
Creator: Darren Maddern, Craig Piligian
EP: Craig Piligian, Peter Connolly
Packager: Cut Productions, Pilgrim Films & TV, Lions Gate TV
Airs: Wednesdays at 8:00pm ET on CBS

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"The Essence of New York" - August 12

(Recapper's 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 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 challenge...

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 else’s. 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. “It’s 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 model’s 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, they’re 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 didn’t 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 they’re thinking about in other parts of the world, as well as what they’re 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 DKNY’s branding. I think you left everything in the hands of someone else. You’re 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. I’ve always felt from the beginning that there weren’t that many qualified contestants for this. In terms of experience, I’m clearly the one who is very qualified, but it wasn’t meant to be, so something else will come along.”

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 for assistance in this

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