The Challenge: In one day, design a baby outfit to be sold in Heidi’s Babies ‘R Us line, because Heidi is too lazy to actually design things herself and she’s desperate to make even more money off the Lifetime mommies watching. She’s so unwilling to design her own collection that she’ll pick two winners (a boy outfit and a girl outfit) – when there’s only six damn people left in the competition. But at least the designers are working with real-baby clients, who are real-baby adorable. Oh, but while you’re sewing, you have to pretend to be taking care of horrible screaming toy-babies, in one of the stupidest contrivances in the show’s history. But wait! There’s another day to the challenge, so make a mom companion look, but you won’t actually be judged on it, so feel free to make it as tacky and ill-fitting as possible.
Guest Judge: Hilary Duff. Seriously? There are only a BILLION celebrity moms out there, and we had to suffer through Hilary fucking Duff? I get that you’re saving the A-list names for All Stars, producers, but could we at least get a B-lister instead of this bullshit?
Seriously? FOUR wins for Christopher? What a crock of shit. He’s a winner by default, and we all know it, because the other two baby girl outfits were atrocious, and Heidi needed a girl outfit for her collection. To win a challenge this late in the game for such a bullshit, meaningless reason is not only lazy and insulting to the viewers, it’s fucking embarrassing. I mean, more embarrassing than spending half the episode filming screaming toy babies. (Memo to the producers: No one, not the contestants nor the audience, signed up for these kinds of bullshit, time-wasting shenanigans. Show us some fucking fashion already.)
I don’t have a before picture, but I am 100% sure that both the mom and her baby looked infinitely more stylish before they met Christopher. His mom-client was over-opinionated on her own dress (you’re not actually the client, honey), but she wasn’t wrong – that print does look like a 1970s tablecloth, and the dress is horrible on her. The fit and proportions were extremely unflattering – I didn’t even notice she was full-figured until Christopher put her in this hot disaster. And her adorable baby? She went from funky, fresh, and adorable to . . . stuffy, old-fashioned, and unreasonably event-specific. White is so incredibly impractical for a toddler – you only need to spend ten minutes with a child that age to know how goddamn fast that outfit will be ruined. And let’s be honest – this southern-belle-at-church thing looks like it was designed by Gunnar, not Christopher. But apparently, that’s sufficient to garner a win when Heidi is desperate for free labor. How sad.
Dmitry’s initial one-liner responses to this challenge were hilariously frustrated and on-point. “Heidi has, like, a hundred and five kids.” “It’s like you’re making an outfit for a cat – literally.” At the end of the day, he managed to design something supremely kid-friendly – the hood unzips into a little superhero cape, which the moms on the judging panel adored, knowing how much a little boy would love that. But although it was graphic and cool, it was also pretty cheesy and borderline costume-y. I guess that was the point, but it just didn’t read as chic or remotely stylish.
Visually, this was a full-on disaster. Not a single piece had anything to do with any other piece – it’s not so much baby sample sale as it is baby flea market. Even the astounding cuteness of her baby-client couldn’t save Elena, who I’m relieved to see go home. I know she’s creative and has talent, but she’s never been good at displaying that in a one- or two-day challenge. But this was a hodge-podge of 1980s baby fashion, and after several weeks of disappointing looks, it’s no surprise she got the auf.
By far the funniest moment in the episode was Fabio defending his noisy toy-baby with, “I’m polite, my kid’s polite – he’s just going through something.” And if there were going to be two winners for this challenge, the second win clearly belonged to Fabio, whose versatile, adorable, functional onesie had an old-school sailor feel with a modern, fun vibe. He used the print beautifully, making something that’s easy to dress a baby in but won’t show spills and stains like most of his competitors’ looks. And he was one of the only designers to make the mom look like she had some semblance of style.
I find Christopher’s sound bites too rehearsed and forced to be truly quotable, but he said it best in regards to Melissa’s outfit: “Why are you putting a baby in a cocktail dress?” That is the primary question behind this look, followed closely by, why white? Why so short that the poor kid’s diaper was exposed the entire time? Why rouching, which so obviously will not work on a baby who’s all chub and diaper and can’t even really stand up straight? And why, god, why were there side zippers? Melissa is lucky she’s one of the only designers left with skill and talent (though time management is clearly not one of those skills), because she could have easily gone home for this hot mess if it weren’t for the strength of her prior work.
This was the clear winner, and not just because Sonjia’s little client was the hammiest, most charming, most adorable little supermodel on the planet. (Seriously, skip the rest of the episode and just watch this kid strut down the runway. It’s marvelously delicious.) But Sonjia’s adorable, incredibly comfortable and versatile outfit ruled the day. That little blazer – oh my God, it was just perfect on him. The matching pants look totally hip but cozy as can be, and the fun, printed tee keeps it firmly in the baby zone, so he doesn’t look like a teeny adult. All in all, a killer baby look. (Not like, BEWARE! KILLER BABY! Just in the cute way.)
Judges’ Top 3: Sonjia, Christopher, Fabio
Diva’s Top 3: Sonjia, Fabio, Dmitry
Judges’ Bottom 3: Dmitry, Melissa, Elena
Diva’s Bottom 3: Christopher, Melissa, Elena