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Episode 3: Designers Designing For Ex-Designers

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It's Week Three of Project Runway and the designers are given the challenge of creating Red Carpet gowns for the Emmys. Each dress must be the color of a new Lexus car. First, the designers get a promotional lecture on the cars. Then, they get assigned their colors via sets of car keys. Finally, for no apparent reason, they have to ride in the cars. (We'd call it product placement, but it's more like product bludgeoning.)

Anyway, the contestants are thrilled to learn that the winning designer this week will get to accompany their client to the Emmys, but they're less thrilled to discover that they'll be working in teams of two. Yes, let the battles begin... The designers' responses are also less than ecstatic when they find out that their clients won't be famous stars, but rather former Project Runway designers—including some fairly opinionated ones: Kenley, Valerie, April, Laura, Mila, and former winners Anya and Irina. The contestants may not be happy about this, but we're thrilled at their return. Welcome back, designers!

Some of the teams work well together, like Nathan and Sonjia, and Melissa and Professor Snape—er, Dmitry, but others are more combustible. Poor Buffi is stuck with her fellow bottom-dweller Elana, whose behavior is even more bat-shit crazy this week than last. Elana explains that one has to be tough growing up in her homeland of the Ukraine. Her definition of toughness consists of crying, pouting, whining, storming out in a huff, and—last week—treating a small burn like a limb dismemberment.

Joining Michael and Nina as this week's guest judge is Krysten Ritter, the star of the ABC sitcom Don't Trust the B—In Apartment 23. We initially assume Krysten is there because she's some sort of Emmys' expert, until she shares, "I've never been to the Emmys, but I watch the pre-game on TV." Hmm...perhaps out of all the actresses in the world, the producers could have found one who had actually attended an Emmys ceremony, or if that was too challenging, one who doesn't describe the Red Carpet as "the pre-game." Krysten spends much of her judging time giving harsh, unhelpful commentaries, which interestingly, do make her sound like a bit of a "B"—or even a "C" for that matter.

For the second week in a row, our winner is Ven. His fellow designers celebrate his victory by glaring at him. Ven and his partner for the week, Fabio, make their client, Kenley, a cocktail-length '50s-style dress with a circle skirt. It looks exactly like every other dress Kenley has ever made, worn, or allowed herself to be present in the same room with. The gown includes Ven's already signature mother-of-the-bride, floral-inspired pleating. Raul questions whether Ven is a one-trick pony, but we're thinking he's more of a one-pleat one.

The Kenley of this episode is a dream client, the likeable (albeit very loud) All Stars version, rather than that nasty Season Five Kenley. She loves her dress and says she will keep it "forever"—or until the producers auction it off.

While Kenley is a much nicer version of the contestant we first saw on Project Runway, Irina is still the "Meana Irina" we all know and—well, never really loved. Gunnar and Kooan design an ill-fitting, Filene's-rejected wedding gown for Irina. Gunnar bites his normally bitchy tongue and manages to politely deal with her constant criticisms, but Irina's relationship with Kooan is more like Veruca Salt punching a teddy bear. She's so harsh that Kooan moans,"I want to eliminate myself." Irina can't stop chastising the designers about her garment. Even when the dress is chosen as top two, Irina trashes them to the judges instead of keeping her mouth shut—not a brilliant move if she was hoping for a trip to the Emmys.

When Christopher is initially paired with Andrea, he says, "I love her aesthetic and the two of us are going to win this with our eyes closed." This does seem to be how they did their work this week. The two design a hideous brown gown, which we think makes beauty queen Anya look like she has an enormous uni-boob and which Michael Kors says makes her look like "a walking Hershey Bar." Anya requested a gown that looked like something she couldn't make herself. Surprisingly, she didn't mean one with sleeves.

Our loser for the week should have been Andrea, whom Christopher completely eviscerates on the runway. This is due to her inabilities to cut, sew, or censor laughter. But somehow Andrea survives another week. Sort of. At the end of the show, we learn that Andrea is the infamous designer who sneaks out of Project Runway in the middle of the night. Yes, the fifty-eight year old Andrea is only the oldest cast member in chronological terms.

If Andrea had walked out during the show, instead of after it, then perhaps our losing designer Raul might not have been aufed. He and Alicia are tasked with making a gown for Mila. Unfortunately, they both prefer creating menswear. Mila doesn't like their original print because it's "too daytime," so they have to start over, scavenging black fabric from the garbage. There have been many dresses on Project Runway which looked like they belonged in the garbage but only a few which were made from it. This dress is the only one which completed its entire circle of life there. It's boring, ill-fitting, and unflattering. Raul seals his fate by choosing to have Mila walk the runway with unflattering long extensions in her hair. Somewhere out there, Rafalca wants its tail back.

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