| Last week on Project Runway, the designers had to craft an outfit worthy of being shown on a Marie Claire billboard in times Square. They also took part in a photo shoot, which would also be judged. Gretchen established herself as this season’s early frontrunner by winning her second challenge in a row, while Jason and Nicholas were both sent home.
Ivy congratulates Gretchen on her second win, and Gretchen tells us that everybody has been very supportive and understanding. Um, no. Both Sarah and Peach are annoyed by her victories. Gretchen does realize that the bar has been raised and she will have to stay on top of her game. Valerie is happy for Gretchen, although she wishes she’d won herself. Andy isn’t happy, as he’s been doing his best – and the judges seem to be ignoring his efforts so far.
On the runway, Heidi starts off by bringing out the winning and losing designers’ models. She offers Gretchen the choice of keeping her model or swapping for one of the losers’ models. Gretchen, unsurprisingly, keeps her model, and the other two girls are sent home.
Afterwards, Heidi sends the designers to meet Tim, “who will throw them a party.” Actually, they meet him at a store called “Party Glitters,” which should tell anybody who knows anything about this show that it’s time for the “unconventional materials” challenge. Tim tells everybody that they will have $100 and thirty minutes for shopping. He also warns everybody that the judges frown on designers who take the easy way out and use stuff like table cloths or wrapping paper.
A.J. is excited, as he uses unconventional materials all the time, while Gretchen is feeling lost. Casanova asks Tim if they can use muslin as a base, and Tim assures him that he can. Casanova also ignores Tim’s warning and gets some table cloths anyway. He also grabs a bunch of stuffed animals.
Back at the workroom, Peach is feeling confident, as she has everything she needs plus a plan. Michael C. is also feeling confident, while Gretchen vows to stay true to her aesthetic. A.J. fears that he and Mondo will end up doing the same birthday dress, and Mondo assures him he’s doing a quinceañera dress. Before leaving the designers, Tim tells them they will have a day to finish, and that they will be competing for immunity for the first time this season.
Casanova totally dismantles his stuffed animals, to the horror of some of the other designers. Mondo feels comfortable with this type of challenge, while Andy has begun braiding ribbons for his look. He’s not sure how he’ll incorporate it yet, but he knows he needs impressive technical work in order to win.
Kristin comments that A.J. should do well, as he’s used to working with oddball materials, but he’s worried about his work looking messy and silly. He’s not used to working under a time constraint, and he babbles about what he usually does with unconventional materials. Michael C. and some of the others wish he would shut up.
Elsewhere, Valerie is using black and white napkins. She’s pleating them and sewing them together to make a skirt. An impressed Gretchen notes Valerie is her main competition. Sarah wanted to avoid using table cloths and is thus using palm trees instead. She is spray painting them.
Ivy and A.J. are impressed by Andy’s braided ribbons, but they wonder if he’ll finish in time. Michael D. tells us Gretchen is an opinionated buttinsky, and several other designers assure us this is true.
Tim comes in to make his rounds, and he starts with A.J. Like everybody else, Tim believes this is A.J.’s challenge to win or lose. Nonetheless, Tim is concerned that A.J. may not be able to pull his design and materials into a coherent whole. A.J. is using a vinyl hat for his skirt. (One hat?! That’s going to be a very short skirt.) Next up is Valerie. Tim likes her work so far, but talks her out of using teal. He thinks she should stick with black and white.
Andy has a problem: He doesn’t have enough braided ribbon to make a full dress. Tim suggests that he make a skirt and urges him to watch his time. Kristin is making a green and yellow outfit. She’s using “animal wooly balls” as decorations, and this phrase has Tim in hysterics. Ivy is trying to make a flower with Mylar balloons. Tim likes the effect and color scheme, but there’s a lot of work left. Christopher is concerned about the specks of ribbon in his skirt, but Tim assures him that it’s fabulous. Peach wanted her design to be subtle, and Tim reminds her that this is a party favor challenge; “subtle” probably isn’t a realistic option this time around. He advises Peach to loosen up and have fun with the challenge.