This episode starts with Ash and his friends returning to Hearthome City for Ash's Gym Battle, only to learn that the Hearthome Gym Leader is still away. Brock begins to flirt with the girl at the Gym. Croagunk intervenes, but Brock is sad to hear that the girl does not recognize him as the Hearthome City's Top 4 finalist. Dawn immediately recognizes an Idol Pokémon Stylist named Paris and her Lopunny. Upon seeing Dawn's Buneary, the woman suggests her to enter the so-called "Hearthome Collection", a famous fashion show for Pokémon Stylists. She also tells Ash that he should enter with Pikachu. They decide to enter as it would be good experience for the both of them. While waiting in line, a group of girls nearby begin to squeal in excitement. A tall, blonde woman walks in and begins to talk about wanting to win a piece of Paris's Collection. A girl behind Dawn tells her that the blonde girl is Cocoa. Buneary runs over to Cocoa who shouts at her. Dawn runs over to grab Buneary, apologizing to Cocoa. Cocoa laughs cruelly about Buneary and the thought of a Pokémon like that ever beating her. Dawn feels hurt and confused by the ladies coldness.
Brock designs the outfit for Ash. Dawn is determined to make her own costume with her design but cannot seem to draw an outfit that fits with what Dawn wants to portray in the competition. Dawn then remembers the advice Zoey gave to her after the Solaceon Contest in Team Shocker!, "Pokémon Contests are not about the Trainer, it's the Pokémon that everybody is going to be looking at". Dawn then gets inspiration and begins to design an outfit.
The next day, the show begins. Dawn enters the competition with Buneary, Ash enters with Pikachu, Jessie enters with Wobbuffet and Cocoa enters with her Mismagius. Many people enter the Contest. First is a female Trainer with her Bellossom, a male Trainer with a Magikarp, a male Trainer with a Toxicroak and a female Trainer and her Roselia. Hermione, Paris's teacher and one of the judges, is disappointed with the lack of talent but Paris tells her not to be so harsh. Next comes Ash and Pikachu. Pikachu runs out onto the stage and taps the small container on its back with its tail. It then fires off several electric attacks. The judges praise Ash's originality and creativity. At the same time, James enters the stands and sits next to Brock, much to his horror at being discovered. After Ash is Jessie. Jessie had watched the previous competitors and decides to redo Wobbuffet's look. James is horrified at the look as Jessie comes out onto the stage with Wobbuffet. Both are covered in make-up and do not have the subtle look James had been aiming for. Jessie is marked low for the look. Brock praises James for his designs, much to James's joy. Cocoa goes with her Mismagius next. Mismagius flies out onto the stage, its dress unraveling around it, creating a beautiful sight. While she is praised on her outfit, she is marked low for the presentation. Last of all is Dawn. Dawn and Buneary are both dressed in beautiful but simple pearl dresses. Buneary performs tricks with Ice Beam and is given much praise.
The final three are announced and they are Ash, Dawn and Cocoa! They are told there are going to be three awards, one for overall winner, one for best costume and one for most originality. Just then, Team Rocket attacks since Jessie has lost, hoping to steal the Pokémon. Paris' Lopunny and Dawn's Buneary go to rescue Pikachu and Piplup and succeed. Ash and Pikachu are presented the most originality award much to Buneary's excitement, running over to hug Pikachu before Piplup can. There are just two prizes left and both girls want to win! Dawn is very worried while Cocoa is confident in her abilities to win. Dawn is announced the winner for the simple but elegant presentation and the fun that went into it. Dawn and Buneary win a tiara and pose with Piplup. Cocoa is very upset and begins to cry. Dawn is asked whether she will design clothes and enter more Stylist's competitions by Hermione. Dawn says no, she is a Pokémon Coordinator at heart. Ash, Dawn and Brock then head out for their next adventure.
- Details of this episode were made known in K-Zone, a children's magazine, before any official Japanese episode listing.
- Dawn's Swinub has been added to the opening and ending, while Ash's Gliscor has replaced Gligar.
- The outfit Ash and Pikachu wear for the Collection are based on Fūjin and Raijin, the Japanese gods of wind and thunder, respectively.
- The Toxicroak here is shown to be the same color as Saturn's Toxicroak.
- This was the last episode to air before Giratina and the Sky Warrior premiered in Japanese theaters.
- Music from Lucario and the Mystery of Mew can be heard.
- The Pokémon Collection might be a reference to the appeals round of the in-game contests, which also focus on accessories rather than the performance as in anime contests.
- Just like the last time they arrived at Hearthome, Fantina did not have a substitute Trainer running the Gym despite the fact that the Cerulean Gym was almost shut down due to there not being someone present to run the Gym by the Pokémon Inspection Agency.
- After Buneary touched Cocoa's dress, her feet are brown.
- When Jessie, disguised as Jessilina, was walking, she was still wearing her green earrings while in the next scenes they are nowhere to be seen.
- After Cocoa was shocked that she lost, her crown fell off her head. However, in the next scene, it is still on her head.
- While Lopunny goes to attack Team Rocket for the first time, Buneary's voice is heard.
- When Paris first arrived and talked with Ash, part of Ash's hair was missing.