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Project Runway, Oct. 14 – New York, New York

Last week on Project Runway, the designers had to create three looks apiece for Heidi’s line. That’s right, Heidi Klum herself was their client. Six of the previously eliminated contestants were brought back to assist them – and Ivy took the opportunity to accuse Michael of cheating, thereby hopefully sinking her own career as either a designer or reality show star. Tim treated the baseless accusation with the contempt it deserved, and Andy won the challenge. Christopher was sent home for making one unmemorable look too many.

Tim congratulates the Final Five and sends them off to Heidi, who has a surprise for them. She sends them to a “spectacular place” to relax before the final challenge. Said place is the Presidential Suite at Mandarin Oriental, where they find a champagne toast waiting for them. After popping the bubbly, the five naturally talk about how good it feels to get this far. Even so, Fashion Week is still the main goal. April comments that it would be awesome to win at just twenty-one. She also believes that she is a stronger person and designer than she had been. Mondo feels like he has been “set free.” He and Gretchen both believe they are “supposed to be there.”

The next morning, the designers go to what appears to be the rooftop of the hotel and meet Tim, who introduces them to Mayor Bloomberg. Hizzoner issues this week’s challenge: design a look inspired by New York City itself. Tim adds that they will have a budget of $500. They will also have two hours to explore the city and sketch.

The designers split up to go check out various places. Michael promptly heads for the Statue of Liberty, because he wants to create a structured dress with the draping effect that the statue is so famous for. April chooses the Brooklyn Bridge, as she finds its construction inspiring. Mondo also picks the Brooklyn Bridge and views it from a 2D perspective from many angles. At one point, he takes a picture of a taxi driving on the bridge. He decides to incorporate op-art in his piece.

Andy goes to Central Park and gets inspired by its organic lines. Since this is the last challenge, he really wants to deliver. Gretchen feels a little under-inspired as she doesn’t want to do anything too literal. She goes to the Lower East Side, takes pictures, and reminds herself to create a look for the woman she designs for.

Then it’s off to Mood, where the designers have forty-five minutes to choose their weapons, er, fabrics. Andy decides to concentrate on texture and chooses several different textiles. Gretchen decides to make a leather jacket. Michael isn’t sure what to get, and Tim advises him not to be too literal. Tim advises to April to surprise the judges with her palette, which is Tim-speak for “Use some color besides black,” but she assures him that she has a surprise up her sleeve. Mondo, of course, wants to incorporate colors and patterns.

Then it’s back to the workshop, where Tim tells the top five that they have the rest of the day, plus all of the next day, to work on their designs. He also warns them at least one contestant will be going home. Michael feels he is under the most pressure, since he’s been in the bottom the past three times. Andy notices how careful his fellows are being, since even a minor mistake can get somebody sent home. April vows to wow the judges.

Michael is working hard on his design, a draped dress – only to have Gretchen tell him that it looks like the curtains in her house. She tells us Michael reminds her of herself five years ago. Back then, all she could do was make dresses and replicate things that she liked.

Mondo takes a long nap, pleading exhaustion. Andy wonders if this is a good idea. He wakes up at 8:30 p.m. – to the dismay of anybody who’d hoped that he would sleep through the whole workday. Even so, he’s worried that he won’t finish, especially as he’ll be using sequins for the first time ever.

Michael loves his dress, but he’s wondering if he’s playing it too safe. He has a backup plan in mind to wow the judges. Gretchen jokes about wanting to quit. Some of the designers clown around. Michael drapes some fabric over himself, creating some “Taliban chic.” Another designer does a Nina Garcia impression, while pretending to critique Michael’s “look.”

Gretchen thinks Andy’s look is a bit slutty – and he admits that he saw a sexy Asian lady at Central Park. Mondo knows he has a lot of work ahead of him and is regretting his ninety-minute nap. He’s never felt the time crunch this keenly before and doesn’t like it. On that note, it’s time to go home for the night.

The next morning, the designers get back to work. Andy has made a lot of changes to his “madame” dress, but he’s going to stand by it. Michael wants to show the judges that he can do meticulous work, and hopes that his pleated dress will get that point across. Mondo is nervous about cutting a sequined fabric. He tries, and doesn’t like the result.