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Project Runway recap: Fast & Furious

The designers are faced with yet another unconventional materials challenge: Create three looks for a mini collection inspired by Lexus

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Project Runway
Barbara Nitke/Lifetime

Project Runway

TV Show
Heidi Klum, Tim Gunn, Nina Garcia, Zac Posen
Current Status:
In Season

We may have expected a quieter and less hostile workroom with Sandro’s Runway flee, but tonight’s unconventional challenge number three had some designers’ blood boiling…

A sparkly Heidi — rocking a stylish belted black dress, glitzy jacket, and sleek ponytail — informs the remaining 12 designers that they are headed to meet Tim in the Meatpacking District. But after her evil little eyebrow gesture and “proceed with caution” warning, it sounds like the challenge trauma is about to continue.

And by trauma, I mean product placement. Enter Brian Bolain, corporate marketing manager for Lexus. But the real star being introduced to the designers in the Gansevoort Plaza is the all-new 2014 Lexus IS Sedan. The cars will be their transportation during the challenge, which turns out to be a whopping 15-20 minutes of driving to and from the stores. But don’t get too comfortable in those hot rods, designers. It looks like there will be some workroom friends riding in the passenger seats.

It’s time for another team challenge. But this time, Tim reads off pre-determined groups of three:

Team 1: Ken, Alexandria, and Sue—Sassy Ken doesn’t seem too pleased. But who can blame him? Sue has yet to demonstrate her sewing and styling abilities. The amateur designer’s only top three spot during the parachute challenge was admittedly somewhat of a draping and sewing accident. Alexandria has a certain quiet evil about her, but maybe she will end up being a force to be reckoned with. But Ken, are you one to trash talk? We haven’t seen much of your personality on or off the runway.

Team 2: Kate, Jeremy, and Karen—Karen who? Our elusive redhead is lucky to be paired up with the veteran. And after a distracted and emotional week in the bottom three, Jeremy might benefit from the Kate blessing as well.

Team 3: Justin, Dom, and Helen—As Dom said, “Looking around at all the other teams, it could have been a lot worse.”

Team 4: Alexander, Miranda, and Bradon—Bradon has been kicking some Runway butt and could make a great leader of this crew. Miranda, you might want to take the backseat of that Lexus on this one.

Each team is responsible for a three-look, high end, mini collection. Within each team, individual designers are responsible for a single look of their own. Tim’s magic word when it comes to team collections? Cohesion.

Now this moment of product placement might be the most laughable of all: “You can use these beautiful Lexus cars as an inspiration if you choose, but it isn’t a requirement.” Translation: These cars serve zero purpose in this challenge, but our new sedan needs that 15 minutes of fame.

With a suggested budget of $1500 and a fancy schmancy GPS-programmed vehicle, designers are to pick and then drive to two of three locations where they can shop for materials. Keep in mind, folks, there is only one Mood in New York City…

NEXT: A recipe for disaster