It’s morning, the birds are chirping, the girls are bickering and the guys are betting – on whether Andrae will cry again on national TV. (Last week he burst into tears on the runway for no apparent reason).
In the girls’ room Guadalupe, the freelance fashion designer who kinda reminds me of Emo Phillips, and Kara from South Africa are in a snit – each accusing the other of projecting too much nervous tension. Kara thinks it’s so bad that she may have to change rooms.
But they must put away the petty fight because it’s time for a real challenge.
They go to the runway to meet Heidi who tells them they will be designing for one of fashion’s “most important and stylish icons.” You see their faces light up as they try to guess who it might be and there is a collective “ooooooooooo”.
They are told they will take a field trip to meet her and find out the rest of the challenge then.
But before they can leave Chloe (last week’s winner) has to decide whether she will keep her model or trade her. No drama here. She keeps the red-headed Grace for another week.
Back in the studio, the designers try to guess who the “fashion icon” is: Gwyneth Paltrow, Grace Jones, Linda Evangelista… ???
Co-host Tim Gunn comes in and tells them that they are going to meet the icon at her house. The designers get even more excited.
They gather their things and follow Tim out the door … down the street… they keep walking and walking … until they reach Times Square. Now the designers are totally confused. What fashion icon lives in Times Square?
Tim points over to Toys R Us.
Still they don’t have a clue. They start guessing it’s going to be Sarah Jessica Parker or Alicia Keys … (now why either of them would be living in a toy store?).
Finally when they get to the giant Barbie House display they get it.
Barbie is their fashion icon.
A designer from Mattel tells them their challenge is to design a garment for their models based on the “My Scene” Barbie, a doll that is targeted at older girls that aspire to be teenagers.
She’s all about “fashion, fun and friendship,” they are told.
The Barbies are dressed in hip NYC street wear reminiscent of the Carrie character in Sex in the City (so maybe Sarah Jessica Parker was a good guess after all). Each of the designers gets to take a doll to use as their “muse.”
When they get back to the studio Tim notices that Kara is missing. He’s told that the hat from Kara’s Barbie had fallen off and gone between the cracks in the escalator.
So for some reason Kara stayed at the store to get the security guards to try to fetch it out. No one is sure why. Tim says “What? Is she in some wild panic?” And they answer him with a resounding “yes”
The designers have two days to create the outfit and $150 dollars to shop for fabric.
At the fabric store it is a mad rush. And Andrae is so overwhelmed he nearly bursts into tears again.
Back at the studio, the focus is on Marla, the 51-year-old self-taught designer from Allentown. She’s very insecure and needs help from the other designers because she is struggling. It seems she has yet to learn the basics of putting a garment together.
The other designers try to help her out but they are also snickering behind her back that she can’t do even the most simple tasks.
At the beginning of day 2… The designer for Mattel comes to visit and tells the group that they now want the designers to create a matching dress for their dolls as well. Mattel will then sell the winning doll in limited quantities with the designers name and picture on the box.
The pressure is on. And it seems to have brought out the cruel side of Santino who makes fun of Marla’s “small, limited bag of tricks.” (Santino won the first challenge last week.)
Daniel Franco, the return contestant from last season, is doing what his competitors call the “Daniel Franco shuffle”. He pins on a piece of fabric then stands six to 8 feet away and admires his work. Back and forth. Back and forth.
At about 3 hours until quitting time, Tim comes to talk to the designers. He asks to speak with Andrae privately. And expresses his concern over the crying jag Andrae had the week before, “It seemed like a contrivance” Tim says. Ouch. Andrae doesn’t think it will happen again although he admits he’s a person who doesn’t hide his feelings.
That night at the apartment Santino and some of the guys are sitting around dissing the other designers and their Barbie creations. Marla is the butt of the biggest joke: They laugh at the “Wickety Wack” trim that she used on her dress.
Then it’s the day of the runway competition.
Daniel is the least finished. He used elastic thread to hem his dress and it now needs to be repaired. He has a lot of work to do and ends up sewing his model into the dress
Santino is still dissing Marla saying that she’s “grasping at straws… I can’t believe she’s made it this far.”
The models are provided with long blonde wigs to look more like Barbie. Andrae decides not to put one on his black model.
At the runway judging the Mattel designer Lily Martinez joins the judges panel.
Here’s a brief synopsis (the photos of the dresses can be found here: Bravo.com – Project Runway Episode 3)
Santino did a delightful purple confection.
The top and bottom this week were: Andrae, Santino, Nick, Raymundo, Marla, and Kara. They had to defend their designs with the judges.
Santino who says he “grew up with 3000 Barbie dolls in my house. I played with Barbie, I dressed Barbies,” got only compliments from the judges including the Mattel designer.
Andrae wasn’t so lucky. They asked him why he didn’t put a blonde wig on his black model. And was told his dress was a bit too couture. To which he retorted “I disagree. I can’t even say.”
Kara is told that hers looks like a fabulous children’s wear project… but not like Barbie going out with her girls.
Nick said he tried to guess what “uncle Nick” would buy for his niece. And so he designed a dress that looked like something worn by the “daughter of a European mogul who went to Capri and hangs out with her girlfriends.” The judges love it.
Raymundo is told by Heidi Klum that his creation looks like “My Scene Barbie’s mother”. She actually looked more like Barbie bag lady to me. Judge Michael Kors says the dress looks like a Halloween tablecloth. ( I don’t think that’s good).
Marla is chastised for using cranberry colored fabric, saying it looks too serious and not hip and cool.
The designers are sent away and the judges deliberate. They love Nick’s and Santino’s dresses.
Kors says Raymundo’s looks like “barefoot Appalachian lil’ Abner Barbie” and that Marla’s reminded him of a mother of the bride.
The designers are brought back out. Nick is the winner of the challenge and Santino looks stunned when he is told he made the cut but didn’t win: “I can’t believe that &&%&*)” he says as he sulks in a corner of the waiting room.
It comes down to Marla and Raymundo… and Raymundo is sent home.
He says he is leaving with his integrity. Well, at least I hope they let him keep the doll, too.
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