embraces her anglophilia on cycle 18 of America's Next Top Model
, which will pit British contestants against Americans
when it premieres Wednesday.
"This is a boxing match between two regions," says Banks. "It's interesting to see these them battle it out to get on top."
Sure, every season has a makeover episode that comes with the requisite tears and resistance. But this season, the girls will be forced outside the box with amped-up style overhauls.
"One girl will get pink hair, another girl will have half her head shaved off. Another girl got 'America's Next Top Model
' shaved into her scalp," says Banks, whose style team will pull inspiration from the punk rock aesthetic and pop stars like Lady Gaga
and Katy Perry
. "Instead of normal makeovers, we're calling them 'takeovers.' "
"There will be tears, emotion, and some girls will be pissed off," adds the fashion mogul. "You can only imagine a girl finding out she's getting half her head shaved."
And as for the personalities to watch, Laura on the American side will likely ruffle feathers. "She's a crazy, in-your-face girl," says Banks. "She actually has 'pirate' tattooed inside her lip."
Ashley, from Scotland, is "really funny," though Banks confesses, "I can't understand what she's saying. Her accent is so great but it's like you need subtitles."
Contestant AzMarie's androgynous look will "definitely have some of my viewers going, 'Whoa, I'm kind of titillated right now,' " says Banks.
And the Americans will face stiff competition in their costars from across the pond. "The British girls are very competitive," according to Banks. "They have some spunk."
America's Next Top Model: British Invasion
premieres Feb. 29 (9 p.m. ET) on the CW.