Wedding dresses go wild in a Dita Von Teese-inspired challenge.

Project Runway Recap
Credit: Barbara Nitke/Lifetime

All the way back in season 1, contestants had to create a dream wedding dress with their models as clients. A few seasons later, the top three finalists had to include a wedding dress and a bridesmaid look in their runway collections (winner Leanne Marshall went on to create a wedding collection that is now sold on BHLDN). And in season 6, designers had to create a new look for divorcées from their old wedding dresses.

Season 13 designers got very lucky with their wedding dress challenge. All they had to do was create an “alternative wedding dress”… plus a corresponding dress for the reception… with a partner. Okay, maybe they didn’t get so lucky. However for as difficult a time as the designers had getting their models down the runway in time, there was surprisingly little drama between the teams. But that’s no thanks to Korina.

The episode starts in a very Real Housewives fashion (lest you forget the show’s Bravo roots). Korina has said something off camera—or at least the editors chose not to show it—about Amanda being “phony.” Amanda seems to handle it fairly well in public, but sheds a few tears in confessional. Project Runway is similar to Survivor in this way: The longer the contestants stay on Parsons Island, the less sleep they get, the more energy thet expend, and the more tears and emotion come out. Viewers seem to either love or hate Amanda, but no matter how you feel about her, I think we can all agree: Korina is a mean girl. We’ve known it since the season premiere; she’s hidden it better since then (or the editors decided to give her a better edit), but once a mean girl, always a mean girl.

The tension between the roommates is awkward for everyone involved, so of course they end up being paired together in the challenge. (Does Runway use weighted name tags or was that dumb luck?) Aside from Sandhya and Charketa, the other couples—Fade and Emily; Alexander and Samantha; Kini and Sean—all seem to be equal matches in both skill and taste.

Alexander and Samantha settle on a dark and romantic bride, who they’ll dress in an oxblood lace and cream pairing, which might not even be “alternative,” but Samantha wouldn’t know because she’s never been to a wedding. Alexander is just concerned about covering his model, so the judges and audience don’t get a “sneaky peeky cheekies” again. (Don’t worry—Char has us not covered this week.)

Emily and Fäde work well together, but they essentially work on their own near each other. Emily’s long dress includes lace, a hood, ballooning sleeves, peekaboo fabric in the skirt, etc., etc., etc. Fade creates his own textile, and it’s unique, but unique isn’t always the best when you are supposed to be collaborating with a partner.

The trouble team, not surprisingly, also has two disparate looks. Amanda creates a fun black and white pattern with textiles, but Korina creates a tuxedo—which Tim calls out for not being innovative (unlike Heidi he doesn’t tell her not to cry).

Kini must be using Hawaiian voodoo because there’s no way a mere mortal can sew that fast; he may be the show’s fastest sewer ever. By the time Sean has cut out his tuxedo cigarette pants, Kini is done sewing a wedding dress. It was clear five minutes into the challenge, that these were the winning designers, hands down.

And then there’s Team Yellow. It’s not just yellow—it’s yellow. It’s no shock that this was Sandhya’s idea, but it’s not clear why Char went along with it. She was lost this challenge; the color, the design, the sewing—it’s all off.

NEXT: Three Weddings and a Funeral

It’s been awhile since we’ve had a showmance on Project Runway, so it’s nice to see the blossoming love of Amanda and Fäde. He would let his model go NUDE down the runway if Amanda needed to vent. Ladies and gentleman, we have our winner. (Is there a Miss Congeniality on Runway? Because there should be.)

For all of Korina’s futzing, her jacket and pants, along with Amanda’s fun party dress, keep them safe. And she’s lucky because the design still isn’t innovative, and it’s not sewn particularly well either.

Emily and Fäde cooked up quite the backstory for their bride: something about an artistic, introverted woman who ends up in Japan and finds love. But the judges, aside from Heidi, do not have love for Emily’s Gothic funeral wedding dress. Zac says Elvira wouldn’t even wear it. One of the only rules for this challenge was “don’t be costumey,” and that’s the one rule she broke. But no matter, the judges don’t hate Fäde’s bodycon in a custom textile, so they are only bottom-ish.

On the other hand, Kini and Sean have a strong, relatable backstory for their bride: a gay wedding. Although their styles aren’t exactly the same, their two looks go together flawlessly. It’s hard to imagine either look was made in 24 hours because they are both impeccable. And it leads them to be the only team in the top.

Big Bird and Tweety Bird. Can you say anything else? They are both too yellow and drapey in all the wrong ways. Landing in the bottom is what occurs when good designers happen to bad fabric.

The third team in the bottom, Samantha and Alexander, just have a confusing look—and it is just one look. Rather than showcasing their individual styles, they came up with a too-similar aesthetic, and it led to an odd hodgepodge of embellishments and lace.

Win: Sean, and he joins Sandhya and Amanda in the season 13 two-time winners club.

Out: Charketa. It seemed too early for this Detroit designer to go, but when your dress is compared to Tweety Bird, there’s nowhere to fly but out the door.

Follow me on Twitter: @realdalener

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