Mike Yarish/Lifetime
February 05, 2010 12:00 AM

OhI just added Korto Momolu’s show to my fashion week schedule and it hit me that the Project Runway finale show is next week! It’s so strange to think about how season 7’s top three designers are feeling right now.

Quite frankly, I’m glad our season wasn’t airing while we were finishing up our Bryant Park collections. Too many feelings! Too much craziness! It’s hard enough to deal with the pressures and insanity that comes with either of those situations. The thought of dealing with both simultaneously? Well, let’s just say I can understand a little better why Kenley resorted to cat throwing (not that I’d recommend it).

I’m looking forward to attending the finale next week. As of right now, my guess for the top three (based on … well, probably not enough at this point) is Maya, Mila, and Amy. Good luck fellas! The boys have a lot to prove after two consecutive seasons of all women finales. Things aren’t looking hopeful for them this time around either, but we shall see!

All joking aside, my friendly advice to the lucky designers showing next week — Think about what YOU want to show … not the judges, not your competition. Don’t you dare compromise your vision!

Onto this week’s episode!

Heidi gives out the challenge. Then the Campbell’s soup lady adds to it. Then Tim adds to it. And then Tim adds to it some more. Yowza. SO! We have:

-Make a dress for a Fashion Week gala -For the Go Red! Campaign -With Campbell’s soup branding -For a client impacted by heart disease -To be sold on projectrunway.com for charity

These types of challenges are interesting because they depend a lot on whether a designer has much experience dressing real women or has worked mostly off of the mannequins. Grading (the process of growing a pattern to different sizes) is not something that everyone has done. You can get an entire degree in grading. There’s a big difference in knowing how to make a dress on a form and knowing how to make a dress for a person. Plus, trying to satisfy a client’s vision while maintaining your own can be quite a quandary.

I had mixed feelings about the judging on this episode. I really did not like Mila’s design, and I was sure Emilio was going to be in the bottom three. His was one of my least favorites by far. I did think that Amy did a really good job and deserved the win. Her dress was very well made, completely appropriate for her client, and met all of the many challenge requirements. Jesus was the right choice for the auf’. Not to beat a dead horse, but his aesthetic simply lacks taste in a lot of ways. Being able to make clothes and being able to make fashion are two very different things.

Find out the PEOPLE.com StyleWatch editor’s favorite look of the episode!

Tell us: Whose dress would you wear? Did the judges send the right person home?

Here are the answers to your questions from last week’s comments:

From Sara:What can you tell us about the non-televised portions of the judging? Does the at-home audience get a fairly accurate representation of the runway show and judging, or is there quite a bit that we don’t get to see?

That’s a good question! They do give the audience an accurate representation overall, but the judging portion takes hours. They aren’t flip about it, and they want to make sure they have the whole picture in terms of your thought process, why things went wrong if they did, and any drama that may have happened along the way. Even when they love your look, they almost always have constructive criticism, which is great because you can learn so much.

From Joanne:Are contestants given written instructions regarding each challenge, or are the directions only those verbally shown on screen? CH, your writing is very enjoyable to read — clear, friendly and informative.

Thanks, Joanne! Glad you are enjoying the blog. Regarding the challenge instructions, we only get what you see. Sometimes we were given a dossier (a collection of information and pictures) to make sure everyone understood the challenge, which they show from time to time in the episodes. For example, for the Michael Kors challenge where the design was based on a place, we had photos and brief descriptions of the locations. Other than that, you’d better pay attention when Tim and Heidi are talking! It’s fairly easy to get distracted, especially if you are on a field trip or somebody like Bob Mackie is standing in front of you.

From Nina:Occasionally we see a designer scrap their half-finished design and start over from scratch. How did they have enough material to do that? Do PR contestants routinely buy large quantities of extra fabric at Mood “just in case”? On the show, did you ever have to decide between buying some expensive but beautiful material in a yardage that would leave you very little room for error, or buying more of something cheaper?

Yes, you definitely buy more than you need most of the time. I often wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted to make while at Mood, but I usually had a general feeling in terms of color story. I would buy as much of as many different things possible and just wing it. As the competition progressed, you realized you needed to add some buffers into your plans.

See you next week! –Carol Hannah WhitfieldMike Yarish/Lifetime

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