Barbara Nitke/Lifetime

The designers must use unconventional materials (metal!) to create an avant-garde look

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December 02, 2016 at 01:14 AM EST

Only six designers remain, and they are eager to get to the end. But it may be even sooner than they all think: When the designers meet Heidi on the runway, she tells them there are only two challenges left — which means either four designers are going to NYFW or there’s going to be another double elimination. We’ll have to wait and see!

Heidi then sends the designers to a warehouse in who knows where. There’s apparently barbed wire and a guard dog around the structure (I’m dubious). Inside the warehouse they see Tim Gunn and a man from Lexus standing by a couple Lexuses and a few on-fire trash cans. It’s…odd. “I feel like I should be doing cartwheels and pulling out machine guns,” Mah-Jing says in possibly the best quote all season.

They learn that, obviously, this is the Lexus challenge, which means they need to be bold and innovate. Can you guess it’s avant garde? Because it is. But that’s not all, Tim tells them. This is an unconventional materials avant-garde challenge. Mind = blown.

After scrambling around the warehouse to get all kinds of metal — except for Laurence, who likes to not run and take her time — they all jump into the Lexuses to drive to Mood, where they buy fabrics while Swatch barks at nothing and tricks Tim Gunn into getting on his hands and knees to help him. I really appreciate Tim’s love for Swatch, y’all.

Back in the workroom, they all start working on their visions. Mah-Jing is using denim to create a mermaid in space/galaxy queen/fairy/space goddess/something he can’t quite put his finger on. Cornelius is doing a butterfly with metal tubes, and Erin is doing a paper-doll-style dress because of course she is. Then there’s poor Rik, who has never done avant garde and seems quite lost. Luckily, this is a two-day challenge, so they all can take the time to suss out their ideas.

They come in the next morning and find that Erin’s flowers have glue bubbled up all over them. Mah-Jing tried to tell her, but she didn’t listen and has to start over.

Tim comes ‘round for his critiques and is into Erin’s mesh-chic look but is worried she’s going to hurt the model. Erin swears to not harm her and says she just wants to do something risky.

Rik is doing the opposite of risky, but Tim doesn’t hate it — he just wants it to have more refinement. Meanwhile, Mah-Jing is warned not to go too costume-y, and Tim doesn’t have much to say about Roberi and Laurence’s looks.

But Tim has literally nothing to say to Cornelius. He’s speechless until Cornelius asks him to talk. Tim says the circle in the front says “put baby bump here.” Obviously, not the look Cornelius was going for, so he scraps the butterfly idea and goes to “parasite” — which doesn’t seem like much of an improvement to me, but what do I know?

Mah-Jing is really confused by the costume comment because he thinks everyone’s looks are costume-y: After all, he’s got Robocop to his left with Roberi’s look and a paper doll come to life over at Erin’s station. But he continues working toward his vision, and when the model comes in, he figures out how to tailor the dress to his model’s body so she can hold the weight of the copper.

NEXT: Be bold or be gone

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Karlie Kloss and Christian Siriano guide undiscovered designers through the harrowing rites of fashion.
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