Last week on Project Runway, the designers had to craft a red carpet look for Heidi Klum. In addition to that, Maya quit the competition, saying she needed to “develop” more as a designer before she was ready for the big time. As per the rules, the most recently eliminated designer was asked to take her place, which meant Anthony got to come back. In another interesting development, the judges had a split decision, so Emilio and Anthony wound up sharing the victory, while Jonathan was sent home.
The next morning, Anthony wakes the guys. He can’t believe he won, and he notes that he needs to keep the same thought process that had allowed him to win. Emilio knows that the upcoming challenge is the last one. So does Mila, who is excited by the prospect of being a finalist.
At the runway, Heidi tells them what they already know: This challenge will determine who goes on to Fashion Week. She then sends them to a tent, which turns out to be a circus tent. Specifically, it’s Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey at Coney Island. Tim meets them there and describes this week’s challenge; they are to design a high-end runway look inspired by the circus. Tim emphasizes that this look should not be a costume. After Tim finishes, some of the circus performers put on a show for the designers. Jay is particularly impressed by the male tumblers, while Seth Aaron likes the clowns and the motorcyclists.
After the show, the designers get the usual thirty minutes to sketch. Emilio decides to use a lot of dots and stripes in his look, since many of the performers wore outfits with dots and/or stripes in them. He has worked as a costume designer, so he knows what circus clothes are like. Mila decides to base her look on the ringmaster’s costume, presumably because that would let her make a fancy coat. Anthony wants to do something inspired by the acrobats’ blue tights. Jay loved the exaggerated looks of the clowns’ costumes, so he decides to make a jacket with a waistband and big cleats.
Then it’s off to Mood, where the designers will spend thirty minutes and three hundred dollars. Jay wants to use fabric suitable for menswear and finds some leather with gold trim. Emilio hunts for striped fabric and finds some that he likes. Anthony believes that his return to the competition means his destiny is in Bryant Park. Tim, seeing some of the fabrics he’s considering, advises him to “turn up the volume.”
Back at the workshop, Tim Gunn tells the designers they will have two days, and they are delighted to hear that. Anthony sees that he’s the only designer working with a blue fabric, while his fellows are all using stripes, black-and-white fabrics and bright red and yellow materials. He hopes that the judges appreciate the fact that he’s doing something a bit different and send him to Bryant Park. “Different,” I’m afraid, isn’t always the same as “good.” We shall have to see what the judges think of Anthony’s color choice.
Emilio plans to do a showstopper. He tells us that he came to this competition with one purpose: to win. Mila comments that Emilo’s wins have given him confidence, but his ego is getting bigger, too. She doesn’t think he needs to gloat so constantly. Emilio asks Anthony to have a look at his gown and Anthony is impressed. Elsewhere, Jay talks about how disappointing it would be to get this far and then not go to Bryant Park. Thanks for the newsflash, Captain Obvious.
Tim comes in to make his rounds and starts with Seth Aaron, who explains that he was especially inspired by the ringmaster and the jugglers. He’s planning to make an elaborate overcoat, tie and top hat. Tim reminds him that the results should not look like a costume.
Tim loves Emilio’s fabric and Emilio explains how he’s making the bodice. Tim likes it, but asks, “Where’s the color?” The designers had just been to the circus, so Emilio’s look ought to have color. Emilio explains that he’s used color in other challenges, and has therefore decided to use black and white in this one. Besides, he saw lots of stripes and polka dots at the circus, and he is using those. He firmly believes he has a showstopper.
Anthony confesses that he’s worried about being the only designer using blue while his peers are all using black, white, red, and yellow. He’s also concerned about pumping up the volume, and doesn’t quite know how to do that. Tim advises Anthony to follow a “visceral” rule: If it doesn’t look right, scrap it. He urges Anthony not to force the “contrivances”. Anthony says he will buy a dictionary when he’s back home. Heh.
Mila shows Tim her coat, which is made of a shiny fabric. Tim likes it, but he doesn’t like the ivory panels on the front. He recommends that she use the striped fabric from the back instead. Last up is Jay, who was inspired by the clowns and the ringmaster. He’s making oversized pants and a detailed jacket with strong colors.