Previously, on Project Runway, the designants were given “regular” people as clients to design for. Ven was a total asshole to his client because she was “plus sized.” Fabio won the challenge; Nathan was out.

The episode opens with the designants getting ready in their apartment…you know, the yooj. Everyone talks about how they’re sad that Nathan left, but glad it wasn’t them. Do we really need this commentary? Isn’t it kind of obvious that everyone would feel this way?

Heidi Klum meets the designants on the runway and tell them they will be meeting Tim Gunn and a “special guest” on 5th Avenue. They go to the Lord & Taylor flagship store. Tim is there with Bonnie Brooks, the president of Lord & Taylor. Beside them are 9 mannequins – each represents a season of Project Runway. For the challenge the designants must create a cocktail dress that fits in with the other mannequins. The winner will have their creation sold alongside the other dresses as part of the 10-piece Project Runway Capsule Collection at Lord & Taylor. Additionally, the winning dress will be featured in the window of the Lord & Taylor flagship store.

The dresses must be retail-priced between $200 and $300, so the dresses have to be simple enough to be manufactured for that price. Instead of going to Mood, the designants are provided with fabrics from JS Collections, the company that creates clothing for Lord & Taylor. Christopher camera talks that he’s going to make “the best gown ever!” And then he says he sounds like a tool. And he won me back a little bit. But we’re still fighting (he just doesn’t know it) (but he knows what he did). The designants head back to Parsons and the studio is filled with fabrics, thread, etc. They have till 11:00 to make their dresses.

From the start, Elena is kind of a problem child. She says everything she drew back at Lord & Taylor can’t be made using the fabrics they were provided with. Elena also complains that the last few challenges have been tailor-made (no pun intended) for Gunnar. Sonjia is very stressed about the challenge because she was in the Bottom 3 last week. Ven camera talks that in general men are stronger designers while women are “more practical.” WTF, Ven? Are you TRYING to be hated by everyone in America?

Tim Gunn comes in to talk with the designants. He tells Alicia her dress is looking “a little Joan of Arc.” He tells Elena that if he was Bonnie Brooks he would say her look was “too one of a kind” and that it couldn’t be produced for a mass market. Elena starts crying and camera talks that she’s worked for so long to make such a unique look that she doesn’t understand why she keeps landing at the bottom. She storms out of the workroom, but Gunnar comes out after her and cheers her up.

Most of the designers are making black dresses. Christopher’s gown features the “feathering” effect that he’s done on two other designs already, which could be a problem when it comes to judging. Tim discusses Melissa’s brocade fabric with her, saying with her choice every dart and seam shows. He tells her to see how it moves and looks on her model before changing her fabric.

The models come in for their fittings and the first thing Melissa’s model comments on is how pretty the fabric is, so she decides to stick with it. But then she says she’s not happy with the fit of the dress and she’s going to have to re-cut the dress (but still use the same fabric). Gunnar says watching Melissa work is like “watching a car crash happen.” Ouch.

The next day is the day of the runway. Christopher camera talks that Elena’s dress is like her, “it’s trying to be sweet but then crazy bitch. Who puts a harness on a baby-doll dress? I don’t get it. I don’t want to get it…I don’t like her…” Ok, me and Christopher can be friends again. All the men are like skipping around finished with their dresses while all the girls are running around the workroom like chickens with their heads cut off. Sonjia starts hysterically crying because her dress won’t go on her model. Then Melissa starts crying because her dress isn’t finished. It’s just a big shit show. Tim tells Sonjia to just fake it on the runway and “channel your inner winner.” I must remember that…Tim Gunn is so wise.

On with the runway show! Bonnie Brooks is the guest judge. Fabio was the winner last week, so he can’t be eliminated. Ven, Dmitry, and Sonjia are in the middle – I’m super surprised by that. Today they have 4 clear top scores and 2 clear bottom scores.

Top 4 Designers:

Fabio Costa

  • “I think that it’s a very versatile dress.” – Heidi Klum
  • “I think the asymmetrical thing is really tough to do well…and I think that you handled it in a way here that a lot of women would say, ‘ok, I’ll give it a try.’ It’s well cut, it’s well fitted…I think it’s an easy dress, in that as Nina said, you can dress it up, dress it down, change accessories.” – Michael Kors
  • “I think that I would wear the dress.” – Bonnie Brooks
  • “It’s a dress that you could wear to work. It’s a dress you could wear to a party…you could make it more funky and cooler…it has a lot of legs.” – Nina Garcia

Christopher Palu

  • “I like the idea that it’s a gown that looks like separates…it’s very well made, very well crafted.”– Michael Kors
  • “I thought that it looked elegant, sophisticated…I don’t think that this dress would work on many people, but I do think it would be a very nice addition to the collection that we already have for Lord & Taylor.” – Nina Garcia

Melissa Fleis

  • “I think this bronze is a smart way to have kind of dark glamour. I like the neckline because I think it’s surprising…you perhaps went a little too far with the asymmetry.” – Michael Kors
  • “I think it’s definitely a show stopper.” – Heidi Klum
  • “I think it’s ingenius that you were able to make a strapless dress with that type of bodice treatment and shoulder treatment…I think it would look great in the window.” – Bonnie Brooks

Elena Slivnyak

  • “I think that this is a very sellable dress. I think that a lot of women are attracted to this kind of silhouette. It’s a little bit of a girlier silhouette…I think it’s a very flirty and fun kind of dress.” – Heidi Klum
  • “The back is extraordinary…I liked it very much.” – Nina Garcia
  • “You here found this dress that’s kind of a ying-yang…she’s nice but she’s nasty…I don’t think it’s a dress for a 45-year-old woman.” – Michael Kors

Bottom 2 Designers:

Gunnar Deatherage

  • “It is very expected…I think you’ve done it very elegantly, but I’ve seen this dress so I don’t need to see it again…I’ve seen this dress in every price point.” – Nina Garcia
  • “It’s kind of a very typical evening trick…and it can turn a little mother of the bride…I think you can push yourself much further than this.” – Michael Kors
  • “I just think lace is incredibly unforgiving as a fabric.” – Bonnie Brooks

Alicia Hardesty

  • “I think that it’s a perfectly fine, SIMPLE dress.” – Heidi Klum
  • “I think it looks a little too mature.” – Nina Garcia
  • “You ended up with something that looks almost like a field hockey uniform.” – Michael Kors

Heidi announces the winner of the challenge: it’s Christopher! Despite his overuse of feathering (although he’s been warned not to do it anymore). She says Alicia is in, but then she says Gunnar is also in! Everyone met the bar of the challenge so everyone gets to stay (and also like 17 people left in one episode, so they need to keep some people for a few episodes).

Next time, on Project Runway, the designers are going to be working in teams of three. Poor Dmitry has to work on a team with Elena. The designants have to beg for money for fabric?