Project Runway goes to new heights...literally
Credit: Barbara Nitke/Lifetime

It’s Heidi Klum challenge time! You knew it was coming, I knew it was coming. The designers knew it was coming. So they only mildly panic. These designers have nerves of steel!

Oh, spoke too soon. They’re doing intimates and creating prints by hand. They’re definitely panicking. So forcing them into matching PJs and leaving them on the top of the Empire State Building for the night seems like the perfect solution, right?

It’s a confusing “inspiration” for the challenge, to be sure. The designers sketch from the observation deck to get inspiration from the building and the New York skyline — which, sure, fine. But then the designers spend the night in sleeping bags on top of the skyscraper. They spend the night in sleeping bags on top of the Empire State Building. Tim wakes them up with a bag of breakfast sandwiches and I am thoroughly confused by this whole situation. I’m sure the designers are, too, but they roll with the punches and head to the workroom to get cracking.

In the workroom, they fight over the fabrics made available to them and start working. They have exactly 11 hours to finish, but only a few hours until Heidi comes to give her feedback — and that pressure is definitely weighing on the room.

Meanwhile, the twins — freshly recovered from the trauma of riding an elevator — call each other boo boo and work on each other’s designs an inordinate amount. Margarita says it’s starting to get a bit unfair, and I think the other designers would agree.

When Heidi comes, she has lots of thoughts…naturally. She starts off hilariously, calling out Shawn for being “chatty, chatty, chatty.” (I think she’s missing a few chattys.) She makes her way around the room and kills designs in her wake. Deyonté starts over, Kenya is more lost than ever, and Kentaro isn’t sure if he’s supposed to poop diamonds or coal.

But even with all of Heidi’s opinions, Tim is still able to get in some great zingers, including calling Margarita’s print “a menstrual cycle.” Never change, Tim.

The designers continue to struggle up until their models come a couple hours later. It’s a little strange how the models give so much input this season, but when Liris helps out Kentaro with the fit, I don’t even mind. He’s such a lovable person, and I want him to succeed. She tells him she’s the “Naomi of Plus” and that he needs to accentuate her shape. Shawn’s model, on the other hand, doesn’t get to speak one word to her; the twin is so busy helping her sister Claire, she virtually ignores her own fitting.

At the end of the day, Kentaro has a lovely dress but not a single piece of textile on it. The next morning, the other designers are nervous he won’t be able to dye and paint his dress in time for it to dry, but miraculously, it does. Aaron’s poor dress cannot be helped, though. He over-painted his fabric, and it wouldn’t lay properly. Kenya just straight-up runs out of time. It’s going to be an interesting runway. (Recap continued on page 2…)

Speaking of…on the runway, Heidi introduces guest judge Demi Lovato. The looks walk the runway, and the host pulls out Aaron, Kentaro, Deyonté, Shawn, Kenya, and Michael for critiques.

Credit: Barbara Nitke/Lifetime

Michael was inspired by the art deco of the Empire State Building and the nearby Chrysler Building. From that inspiration came this geometric gown, and the judges are fans. Demi says it’s unique, yet practical and comfortable. Heidi says it’s sophisticated, sexy, and expensive. And Zac calls it “Deco Cleopatra” — which is the look most women try to emulate when sleeping.

Credit: Barbara Nitke/Lifetime

Aaron’s look, on the other hand, is not quite so loved. Heidi says she’s disappointed with how the design turned out because she was so crazy about the print he had made. Nina says it’s shabbily made and looks like bad sweatpants. Demi says the shorts are unflattering and not sexy. And Zac only has thoughts about Aaron’s look: see-through shorts. Yes. “Thank goodness you’re wearing underpants,” Zac says before telling him to never upstage the model. I would have gone with, “Never wear those things again,” but I guess Zac is nicer than I am.

Credit: Barbara Nitke/Lifetime

Nina’s face while Shawn explains her inspiration for her look is priceless. She is clearly not loving the intonation that we’ve all come to hate. But those feelings do not carry over to her feelings for the look — Nina says the look is “perfect.” Heidi says it’s sophisticated and elegant and could be worn for pajamas or out on the town. Zac says it’s polished, and Demi says it’s tailored. (I’m starting to think I need to work on my sleepwear situation.)

Credit: Barbara Nitke/Lifetime

Deyonté freehand dyed his textile after Heidi’s critique, but that wasn’t enough to change his look. It doesn’t fit well, and Nina even calls it a hospital gown. Zac says it’s boring, and Heidi says it’s not sexy at all. Not sexy on a Heidi challenge? A big no no.

Credit: Barbara Nitke/Lifetime

With all his last-minute scrambling, Kentaro pulled off an amazing, polished look. Heidi says all kinds of women would want to go to bed in this; Nina calls it adorable, charming, and fresh. Zac says it’s just a breeze, and he likes the “happy” coming out of Kentaro. We do, too! More of this, please!

Credit: Barbara Nitke/Lifetime

Kenya really, really struggled on this one. She is a more structured designer and it clearly showed here — and not in a positive way. As Kenya starts crying, Heidi points out how bad this look is and all the little things that are wrong with it. Zac tries to stay positive, telling her it’s a beautiful color palette, and Nina also tries to counter the bad, saying she appreciates that she didn’t take the easy way out.

Out: Deyonté

I really hate to see Deyonté out this early; his first look was so, so strong. He definitely has more in him, but I blame the hurt finger. At least he can get home to his newborn son.

What did you all think of this episode? Were you happy with the winner? (I was happy for Michael, but my vote was for Kentaro.) Were you also sad about Deyonté going home? Let us know in the comments below.

Episode Recaps

Project Runway

Karlie Kloss and Christian Siriano guide undiscovered designers through the harrowing rites of fashion.

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