New York was the star of Wednesday night’s Project Runway as the remaining designers were dispatched into the rainy city via double-decker bus to find inspiration on the streets. Fans of the show may recognize this challenge (apparently it’s a producer favorite), though this season the designers were assigned specific locations, from Times Square to Greenwich Village.
It turned out, though, that location was irrelevant for many of the designers. Rather than focus on N.Y.C. landmarks like season 1 champ Jay McCarroll (who created a remarkable Chrysler Building-inspired dress), the contestants focused on minute details like soggy magazines or graffiti.
The latter actually paid off for Terri, who designed a backless dress worn over pants that earned raves from guest judge Sandra Bernhard. (The comedian praised it as “fierce,” honey, and said she’d wear it.) But Keith didn’t fare as well with his magazine-inspired dress … a billowy creation that featured tiny pieces of stitched-together white fabric. Michael Kors compared it to toilet paper caught in a windstorm. But the night belonged to retro-girl Kenley, who won for her ’80s-inspired dress. Leanne, who was in the bottom the previous week, also made a comeback, redeeming herself with a simple, sophisticated black ensemble. The judges especially loved that she created separates because, as Michael Kors said, nobody wears a dress every day!
In the bottom: Emily and Jennifer, who created a matronly blue-and-white dress inspired by a clock. But ultimately, Emily was sent packing for her black dress with an explosion of pink and orange ruffles, which Nina Garcia summed it up best, saying she was having a “Carmen Miranda moment.” –Brian Orloff
Tell us: Emily didn’t believe her design was the worst of the night’s–what do you think? Do you wish the designers used more N.Y.C. landmarks in the challenge? And how would you rate Sandra Bernhard addition to the judges panel?
— Brian Orloff