Last week’s “rainway” challenge was pretty cool, right (despite the constant repetition of the word “rainway”)? But this week’s looks great too, especially for us American girls.

Meet the Girls

The designers meet Tim at the American Girl store. Heather Northrop is there to tell them about the American Girl brand. The challenge is for the designers to use a doll’s signature look as inspiration for a modern look for a young girl. The look must represent the doll’s story and background but be fashionable and wearable.

Everyone is excited about the challenge. Korina remembers her American Girl doll; she had Samantha (me too!). Emily thinks this is her challenge since she has her own little girl’s line called Devin Rose, named after her daughter.

They can use the provided fabric for them but they still get a trip to Mood. Korina gets irritated with Sandhya for interrupting her while she’s working with a Mood associate cutting her fabric. Sandhya is used to getting the stink eye from Korina and says she has thick skin so she doesn’t let it get to her. 

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Tim Gunn Saves the Day

Kini isn’t exactly inspired by this challenge though. He has Samantha, a Victorian era orphan adopted by a rich grandmother. He’s used to making more sophisticated and structured looks. He makes a houndstooth coat over a white dress and Tim thinks it looks too mature. He makes a whole new dress of red plaid and re-shapes that into another dress after the fitting. So he’s made about three different looks in one challenge.

Amanda’s doll is Addy, a girl who just escaped slavery in the 1860s. Amanda is inspired by Addy’s patchwork quilt so she wants to make something similar using applique and quilting.

Alexander’s making a look inspired by Kit who lived during the Great Depression. He’s making a jumpsuit but Tim is worried that there’s no “wow” factor.

At first, Korina is nervous to work on this challenge because she doesn’t know anything about kids. But she gets along well with Mavis, her model. Her doll is Josefina, who is from 1934 New Mexico. She can relate to Hispanic American culture as someone with Native American heritage. She’s making her own textile made of red, yellow and black cotton. Tim thinks that if she executes the tiers on the dress well, it will be a success.

Sandhya’s doll is Caroline, the daughter of a ship maker in the 1800s. She’s making a dusty rose jumpsuit with a peplum and graphic nautical appliques. Tim doesn’t get it, and he tells her he thinks he’s doing her a disservice because he doesn’t really understand her color schemes or proportions, but the judges seem to love what she does. She assures him that it will be beautiful.

That night, Sandhya has a bit of a breakdown. She’s lucky she has her roommate is Emily, who is motherly and understanding. Sandhya feels upset that none of the other designers respect her talent. But she’s the kind of person who cries at night and wakes up with a smile, ready to go the next day. Then she’s back to being (probably overly) confident with her look.

Char’s doll is Kya, who she repeatedly refers to as a “lil horse-riding diva” (she’s a Native American from the 1760s). She’s worried about working with a child’s frame, which is smaller and not as curvy. Duh. But according to her, they still like a touch of sass. Tim tries to tell her fringed vest will look “cheap” and “tawdry” (harsh!) but she tells him while she appreciates his criticism, she disagrees.

Tim also advises Sean against using fringe. His doll, Julie, is from the 1970s and he wants to make a jumpsuit with a denim jacket with fringe. Sean, on the other hand, follows Tim’s advice and scraps the fringe and adds a peace sign on the back of the vest. Wow. So original.

Emily has a doll who is the daughter of Jewish immigrants from Russia in the early 1900s named Rebecca. She’s making a shrunken sweater and a twirly ballerina dress with layers of neon tulle.

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The Girls’ Big Runway Adventure

Joining our usuals on the judging panel this week are Heather Northrop from American Girl and Elisabeth Moss from Mad Men.

Top

Korina- Zac and Nina love how Korina styled her look, but they especially love the graphic element and the pop of yellow. They think it’s happy and playful.

Kini- Everyone is impressed with Kini’s tailoring. Zac loves the cut-outs on the neck and thinks it’s very “Samantha.” It looks like she’s going to her first theater production or high tea.

Char- Nina loves that it looks updated and youthful. Heidi and Zac love the fringe. Zac says it was a great way to take a Native American signifier and make it look contemporary.

Bottom

Sean- Zac thinks the peace sign is cliche, and the look is not groovy, baby. Nina likes the print and the vest, but thinks it’s a missed opportunity to be inspired by 1970s fashion.

Sandhya- Heidi thinks her jumpsuit looks more appropriate for a one year-old than a ten year-old because it looks like a big onesie. Zac says she looks like a circus flamingo and Elisabeth says it’s not cool or modern enough. Sandhya respectfully disagrees with the judges. She thinks her look is youthful and fun.

Emily- Heidi is on the fence about Emily’s look. She says the colors are off for her. Heather says that it’s a frumpy silhouette but she likes the sweater. Nina says there’s no joy in the look and the colors are too dark.

Kini is the winner of the challenge. It’s his second win in a row.

And Sandhya has finally made a look that the judges not only dislike, but one that they absolutely hated. She’s sent home, but she’s glad to go home with something she believed in.

Next week: A “real” lady challenge (as opposed to those fake lady models)!

Watch Project Runway every Thursday at 9pm on Lifetime. 

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(Image courtesy of Lifetime)