Having the right to have fashions sold exclusively to American Express cardholders (with a portion of the proceeds going to the Council of Fashion Designers of America Foundation) is not, for most designers, the dream of a lifetime. However, when your designs are manufactured as part of fashion maven Diane von Furstenberg's line, it suddenly becomes a hot (and emotional!) commodity. Such was the case for the remaining designers on this week's episode of Project Runway.
When Tim Gunn announced last night that the contestants would be designing for a fashion legend, the minds of contestants started reeling. Tanorexic Blayne could not have been more thrown by the description. His first thought? Mary-Kate Olsen, of course! "I love Mary-Kate," he gushed. "I wish every challenge would involve her. I want to marry Mary-Kate. Who doesn't? "Well, except Tim Gunn," he quipped. When von Furstenberg was finally revealed as the contestants' client – after a trip to her New York City showroom – everyone got extremely emotional. Kenley, endearingy, was rather affected by the presence of the design diva, and was reduced to sobs as she reflected on the opportunity presented to her and the other contestants. Unlike the other designers, she revealed she had never designed for a big-name designer prior to Runway.
This week's design task? Fashion a garment in the vein of von Furstenberg's latest collection – inspired by the 1948 film Foreign Affair, starring Marlene Dietrich as a globetrotting spy. As a parting gift, each designer was given a look book of DVF's latest line, which included multicultural, layered looks. A bonus? Forget Mood Fabrics – this time the designers were given 15 minutes to find fabrics in….von Furstenberg's sample room!
Once back at Parsons, however, the fun was over, and the designers got rather snippy about each other's looks. Terri took the first major hit, with Blayne proclaiming that he "shows versatility,” not just the same pair of pants like someone else does. "Hint, hint!" Joe called her a "one-trick pony," with her same pant, shirt, vest/jacket combo that she does every week. But Terri wasn't the only one with critics last night: When Leann – who earned immunity last week – attempted to make small talk with Stella over her latest designs, Stella proved her disinterest, telling Terri, "You're making a dress." OK, Great. I don't care." Kenley, who could not be putting more pressure on herself, was chastised by fellow contestants and questioned by Gunn over her choice of making a dress” and nothing else! "It's very Shanghai," Gunn noted, "But is it enough?" Meanwhile, Joe, with his Mandarin-style open-back top and hood, seemed "overconfident," according to Leanne, who said she's "surprised he's still here at this stage of the game." Leanne seems to have first-rate judgment because she won over this week's judges (Heidi Klum, Michael Kors, Fern Mallis – who was filling in for Nina Garcia – and, of course, von Furstenberg), making this her second consecutive win. Her blue evening gown with a ruffled back and gray jacket will now be sold exclusively to American Express card owners. (not to mention the fact that she caught the eye of one of fashion's greatest!) However, Stella was not so lucky this week. Her poor fitting pants and jacket forced Kors to remark that they made the model look more like "she's from Transylvania than Shanghai." And with that, it was curtains for Stella. We're going to miss our leatha-lova Stella! No one else made the art of hammering and speaking with a thick New York accent more enjoyable to watch than she did.