The designers must use pool party supplies to create posh looks
Credit: Barbara Nitke

It’s the middle of winter — what better time for a pool party?

“I don’t like showing my body and I don’t like the sun, so this is perfect,” says the perfectly sarcastic Tieler. He won’t have to worry about being exposed for too long, though, because the kid designers are only at this pool party long enough to grab supplies.

That’s right: It’s unconventional materials time! Hannah and Tim tell the designers they’ll have five minutes to grab whatever they want from the pool party supplies to create a fun, posh, playful look.

Once Hannah sets them loose, they start grabbing up pool floaties, throw pillows, straw paraphernalia, and more. Lucas tells the camera he’s most excited by the pillows because they’re the closest to actual fabric and every viewer slowly cries “Nooooo” to their TV.

Back in the workroom, the gluesticks are flowing and bright colors abound. Tim walks in and says it’s like “beach blanket bingo meets Gilligan’s Island.” And for the second season in a row, the designers have no idea what Gilligan’s Island is. Kids these days!

But one thing these kids do know is how to work together. Chris shares his seashells with Izzy, who really doesn’t need help since she has immunity. And they all support one another when they begin their looks.

Most people are working on just one look — Tieler is doing a ‘70s palm tree thing, A’kai is doing a Taylor Swift girl squad thing, and Molly is doing a straw thing — but Lucas is working on many. By the time Tim comes around for critiques, he’s had about four different iterations of his look. And none are great…

…Tim agrees. His feedback to Lucas is he’s working with the textiles as if they’re just fabric from Mood. (We tried to tell you through our TVs, Lucas!) He tells him to transform what he has — because currently, his look has “‘send me home’ written all over it.”

Tim heads over to Cartier next and she tells him “unconventional is my thing,” which immediately makes me worry for her. If there’s one constant on any Project Runway show, it’s that the one thing you’re supposed to be good at IRL will always be the thing you’re the worst at on this show.

The critique Tim gives the designers most is “do more.” He’s worried they aren’t pushing it enough. So, with two hours left in the day, many of them step it up. A’kai starts painting his whole design and peppering it with flowers, Molly adds fringe to her shorts, and Lucas makes his ninth (or is it 10th?) look of the night.

NEXT: It’s a fashion pool party

The next morning, A’kai changes his mind and rips the flower petals off his design as his model repaints the dress while wearing it. Cartier has a hot glue gun/zipper emergency but is able to sew her model into her dress at the last minute.

On the runway, Hannah asks the designers how their first unconventional challenge went and re-introduces them to the judges.

After all the looks walk the runway, she has Molly, A’kai, Cartier, Lucas, Tieler, and Hawwaa stay behind for critiques — which means Allie, Chelsea, Chris, Izzy, and Rene are safe for another week.

Credit: Barbara Nitke/A&E Television Networks

Playing with the water theme, Cartier created a look that mimicked ripples and waves using an ombré petal effect. And despite her “I’m the best at unconventional” comment, it turns out there was no reason for us to worry about her. Aya says their mouths dropped when the look walked out. Hannah says it looks like a fish — in a good way. And Christian loves how she made the dress look so light.


Earlier in the episode, A’kai said he likes fashion because “You don’t want to look like a roach.” He definitely has a way with words. But, here, when he presents his look to the judges, he’s lost that spark. He’s nearly crying as he explains he didn’t know what to do and ended up with this. Aya says she can tell he was fighting with the materials because it’s unfinished. Hannah says he needs to think more about his proportions and Christian wishes he’d gone more “crazy.”

Credit: Barbara Nitke/A+E Television Networks

Lucas explains he went through many variations of this look, but the judges are confused how this was the final product. Christian says they were blown away with his blue gown last week, but this feels “Disney costumey.” Kelly says he obviously struggled with the fabric, Hannah says he needed more fabric in the shorts, and Aya says it overall just doesn’t reflect his taste level.

Credit: Barbara Nitke/A&E Television Networks

After Molly explains her pillowcase-and-hula-skirt look, Christian tells her he loves a “Tina Turner moment.” (Who else thinks Molly has no idea what this means?) He goes on to tell her it’s gold and shimmery in the best way and he loves the back. Kelly says it could have been tacky, but Molly turned it into a solid look, and Aya tells her she balanced the look with just the right amount of skin and volume.

Credit: Barbara Nitke/A&E Television Networks

Hawwaa explains her floral two-piece and watermelon jacket to the judges, but they don’t give her the response she was hoping for. Hannah says it’s a little too costumey and they wanted something more inventive. Aya says the jacket doesn’t go with the two-piece look and Christian agrees.


Tim had been concerned about Tieler’s astroturf-faux-foliage look, but he didn’t need to be. The judges love it. Christian says it’s fabulous and made him go into a dream world. Kelly loves the shoulder effect he used, Hannah says it has a simple but great shape, and Aya says it’s fun and sophisticated. That’s why it’s not that much of a surprise when Hannah announces…

Winner: Tieler

Out: Lucas

After debating between Lucas’ complete look and A’kai’s creative, yet unfinished look, the judges went with the one that was more inspired. And, personally, I’m thankful. A’kai is one my favorites, and after I doomed Ruby to go home last week by picking her as my favorite, I was worried I had cursed him, too.

What did you guys think of this week’s designs?

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