Last week on Project Runway, the designers had to give head-to-toe makeovers to some female recent college graduates. Joe apparently thought the challenge involved recreating an 80’s suit and was duly sent home. Jerrell was the winner. The following morning finds the remaining contestants discussing the last challenge. The hapless Suede vows again to improve his performance after being in the bottom two yet again. Leanne tells us that she thinks it would be cool if the Final Three was all-female, but also admits that Jerrell is very talented.
Then it’s down to the runway. The first order of business is to choose models. As the last two episodes included a double elimination and the aforementioned college graduate contest, there are eight models for the five designers to choose from. Jerrell, as the winner gets first choice, and he picks Nicole. Kenley picks Tapocia and Leanne chooses Tia, much to Suede’s distress, as Tia had been “his” model. Suede himself picks Safara and Korto chooses Carrie. The three remaining models are then Auf-ed. Unlike previous model-choosing sessions, some of the designers had opted to choose different models. Leanne, for instance, chose Tia, possibly to try to throw Suede off his already shaky game.
Then Heidi gets down to business: the designers will be designing for each other. Suede will be making an outfit for Jerrell. Kenley will be designing a look for Leanne. Korto will be making an outfit for Suede. Jerrell will be designing for Kenley and Leanne will be putting together a look for Korto.
In the workroom, Tim gives them the details. Not only will the designers be making clothes for each other, but they will have to design a look inspired by a musical genre. Tim then assigns the genres. Kenley will be getting a pop look. Suede will be getting a punk look. Korto will be getting a country look. Leanne will be getting a hiphop look — from Kenley. (I’m wondering if the result will look like something from West Side Story, given Kenley’s love of 50’s and early 60’s clothing.) Jerrell will be getting a rock n’ roll look. Korto tells us that she’s nervous about this challenge, as she’s not used to doing either menswear or punk outfits.
The designers will have a budget of $150.00 to spend at Mood, and they will also have an hour to caucus with each other. Apparently, they switch off at the half-hour mark. Jerrell, for example, would have to talk with Kenley about the outfit he’s making her, and then go talk with Suede about the outfit the latter is making for him. We see Korto and Suede discussing the punk look Korto has to make for him. Leanne tells us that she’s worried that Kenley will make her something that looks like it’s from the 1950’s. She also vows to not make something too “costumey” for Korto. I hope she’s careful there, as some country singers actually do favor costumes. A lot of them dress like cowboys. Johnny Cash was famous for being the Man in Black. Jerrell tells us that he plans on making Kenley look like a pop diva like Britney Spears or someone from the Pussycat Dolls. He sounds like he has a decent plan.
Korto plans on making a two-piece outfit for Suede, while Kenley is making pants and a leather jacket. To Jerrell and Korto’s amusement, Kenely thinks her “grafitti” print tank top is hip hop — but they know better, and don’t tell her anything. Jerrell tells us that he would love to be the first designer to win three challenges in a row. Korto tells us that she doesn’t want to put Suede in anything that’s overly reminiscent of the 80’s and she certainly doesn’t want to make him look like someone from KISS. Given that KISS wasn’t a punk band in the first place, that’s probably a wise idea. Jerrell is using fishnet for Kenley’s outfit.
As the designers work, Suede tells us that he had been a classically trained cellist. Despite the blue hair, he was never a punk rocker. He is making jeans and a vest for Jerrell, and he believes that his experience in making clothes for pop stars will help him. Leanne is making a country outfit for Korto and has already picked out some cowboy boots for her to wear. I’m guessing they came from the Bluefly.com wall, which begs the question: How did they just happen to have boots in the right size for Korto? When she tries them on, they apparently fit, as she doesn’t say anything about their being uncomfortable. In fact, she does a little dance in them. Similarly, Jerrell gets Kenley to try on her pop diva outfit — which means getting Kenley to show a bit more skin than usual. Kenley giggles and is plainly ill at ease in the mesh get-up, but she does look good in it.
Tim stops by to make his rounds. He loves the silhouette in Jerrell’s outfit. When Jerrell tells him that he thinks it needs something more, Tim responds, “Only if it’s the right more.” Jerrell decides to make a blue vest. Next up is Leanne, who fears making something too “costumey.” Tim tells her that her look is actually too subtle, and he advises her to watch the proportion. Korto tells Tim that she plans to do a skinny jean, and that she wants to avoid repeating other people’s mistakes or making anything too stereotypical. Tim warns her that her look so far is too basic, and that she needs to “push it.” Korto promises to do so. When Tim visits Suede, he advises him to “ramp it up,” as you can get away with anything in rock. He also tells Suede to pay attention to detail; since there are so few designers left, even a minor misstep can get one sent home.
When Tim stops by Kenley, it’s plain he doesn’t think she truly understands what hip-hop is. He asks her to explain it to him, as if he were somebody from the moon. Kenley believes the look involves leather jackets and jeans. Tim says he thinks hip-hop clothes are oversized, and Kenley retorts that’s 80’s hip-hop. She also says she doesn’t want to make Leanne look stupid. Tim tells her to stop being sarcastic and listen, and she retorts that he just doesn’t understand. Tim says that she just thinks he’s being snarky.
Korto, who’s been listening to the exchange, tells us that you should never be rude to Tim, even if you disagree with him. Kenley tells us that she can’t listen to Tim, as he doesn’t know anything about hip-hop. Um, I’m not sure Ms. I-Live-in-the-’50’s knows anything about hip-hop, either. In fact, I’d say that it’s a safe bet that she doesn’t. Kenley also tells us that her look will be inspired by Alicia Keys — who, Jerrell tells us, is R&B, not hip-hop.
Korto, meantime, has decided to bleach Suede’s jeans and sneakers. The fumes bother Leanne, who wonders if Korto is trying to sabotage everyone. Suede nervously tells us that the judges will either love or hate his outfit.
The following morning, Jerrell admits to having considered sabotaging Suede. Um, why? Jerrell’s been the stronger performer, and Suede doesn’t seem to need any help in losing. Kenley, of course, is confident that she’ll win. Jerrell laughs as he watches Leanne put on her “child-sized” hip-hop outfit. Tim comes in and tells the designers they have an hour to get down to the salon for hair and make-up. Cue the usual montage of people getting made up and having their hair done, only this time it’s the designers themselves. Suede, of course, gets his hair dyed blue and purple.
Down at the runway, Heidi explains that the designers are also the models in this challenge. She also introduces the judges: the usual suspects Michael Kors and Nina Garcia, and this week’s guest judge, LL Cool J.
Korto is wearing Leanne’s country outfit, which includes a sleeveless lavender top, a long brown skirt, and a wide gold belt. Korto is also wearing a black and white bandanna around her neck. The shirt and bandanna do look country, but the skirt looks like it could be anything. It looks as if Leanne 1) didn’t want to try to make jeans and/or 2) simply wanted a nice neutral color to go with that bright shirt.
Kenley is wearing Jerrell’s “pop diva” outfit, which consists of a slinky, short, black mesh dress, with a silver bra and collar. Jerrell also made a short, royal blue vest.
Leanne is wearing Kenley’s so-called hip-hop outfit, which consists of high-waisted jeans, a floral print, and a small black leather jacket. Now, I’m an old fart, so I don’t know much about hip hop, but somehow I don’t think floral prints are exactly hip hop. The jacket and the jeans are also way too snug.
Suede is wearing Korto’s punk outfit. Korto had bleached the black jeans, giving them a mottled, “distressed” look. Suede is also wearing a black sleeveless top, a black leather belt, and has about a dozen chains hanging off of him.
Finally, Jerrell is wearing Suede’s rock outfit. He’s sporting a tie-dyed shirt, a black leather vest, and skinny black pants.
Afterwards, the designers all have to explain and defend their looks. Korto is first and tells them that she’d made a punk outfit for Suede. LL thinks the design has a lot of energy, and Nina says it reminds her of Marilyn Manson. Michael says it’s a good silhouette for Suede.
Suede has made a rocker outfit for Jerrell, who tells the judges that he likes the palette. Michael likes the vest, but not the pants. LL points out that it’s good for a photo shoot, but not the stage, because details like the texture of the pants are not visible from a distance. Similarly, he would have liked to see more accessories. Heidi thinks the look lacks drama, and Nina says it is too much like Jerrell’s regular look.
Jerrell tells the judges that he wanted Kenley’s pop look to remind people of Britney Spears or the Pussycat Dolls. Nina likes the silver bra cups and likes the whole outfit, because it’s sexy without being “naked.” LL does want more skin showing, but is mollified when he sees that the back of the dress is all mesh. Michael sums it up by saying that the dress is sexy but not vulgar.
Kenley wanted to make a classy and expensive hip hop look for today’s woman. Heidi doesn’t like the pants. LL says the look is not hip hop at all. Kenley declares that she hadn’t wanted to make some oversized clothes and call them hip hop, and LL responds that wouldn’t be hip hop either. Nina thinks Kenley simply missed the point. Michael says there’s no luxury to the look, and Kenley whines that she would need more than just one day to create a luxurious look. Nina reminds her that everybody had only one day to complete their look.
Leanne wanted to make something reminiscent of Dolly Parton, but give it a modern flair. Korto comments that she had wanted old school country with some elegance. Nina likes the color choices but says the outfit needs more glamor. Heidi likes the skirt’s fit, but LL isn’t sure the outfit would be recognizable as country if Korto weren’t wearing cowboy boots. Michael agrees that the country aspects of the look should have been emphasized.
Then the judges send the designers off so they can deliberate. They liked Jerrell’s look, as he managed to make it revealing without being trashy. Korto’s outfit had good texture, and she nailed “punk.” Suede’s outfit was well-made, but too safe and boring. Kenley’s outfit looked like something you’d get in a mall. Leanne had had some good ideas, but simply needed to “ramp it up” a bit.
When the judges hand down their verdicts, Korto is the winner. They tell Jerrell “good work”, and that he’s in. Leanne is in, leaving Kenley and Suede in the bottom two. Suede had played it safe, while Kenley’s garb had no glamor or bravado. Kenley had completely missed hip hop’s attitude. Still, she’s in, and Suede is out.
The previews for next week mention a field trip and show Korto and Kenley breaking down on the stage. We also learn who will be going to Fashion Week.