We were three weeks into the newest season of Project Runway and only one thing seems certain: Suede will not ever give up talking in the third person and thus will likely go down as the most irritating designer in the history of the show. Talented or not, that is annoying.

The designers are told that Tim will be taking them out for a night in New York. They have dreams of fancy dinners and night clubs, and I wonder yet again if any of them have ever actually watched the show? When Tim arrives, it’s raining and so they all don ponchos and rain boots. Except Tim, of course, who manages to remain looking elegant and perfect in coat over his customary suit. He takes them to their destination – a double decker bus. There are groans as they all realize they will be on the top – in the rain. However, once the bus gets going they all start oooing and ahhhing at the sights of the city from their new vantage point.

The bus makes a few stops, dropping off designers at various locations, armed with cameras to take pictures. They will then use the pictures to create a look inspired by the city and fit for a night on the town. It’s not a new challenge by any stretch and there are the usual problems. Stella can’t figure out how to use the camera. Kenley and Stella complain about Keith’s over competitiveness and  how he walked into their shots to mess them up. Pictures of traffic signs and graffiti abound. Now, the grocery store was an interesting homage to the shows roots – but it was poorly played out. I have reservations about this already.

They get back to the workroom and choose their photos before finally making their very first trip to Mood for the season. It’s a mix of predictable and worrisome. For example, Kenley’s inspiration photo is of a tiled wall made up of vibrant orange and deep blue. Yet her fabric is teal and purple and a sort of abstract floral. Meanwhile, Stella has chosen photo of a horse blinder – so she can work with leather and grommets, apparently. Also – does she wear those red and white striped pants everyday, or does it just seem that way? Either way, they make her look like an extra from a Tim Burton film.

The guest judge this week is Sandra Bernhard, and she joins our usual panel – so let’s get to the Runway!

Keith – I don’t get it. His image was of a waterlogged magazine in the street. How that translated to hundreds of white, pink and plaid squares, I have no idea. Also, at base it is nothing more then a simple shift – and a poorly fit one at that. He made a super tall, skinny, fashion model look frumpy.

Blayne – His inspiration photo was a flash of a bunch of neon colors, and his dress certainly reflects that. To me, it also looks like a dance costume circa 1992. The model needed more jazz hands, but at least he modified what could have been a standard cliche handkerchief hem by making it asymmetrical.

Joe – He took his inspiration from a light fixture, but the hanging chain choker strikes me as a bit too literal. Other then that element, the dress is well made and the tulle flare at the back of the skirt is cute.

Emily – The first mess of the night. The pictures was a blur of streetlights. The dress is a black off the shoulder cocktail dress with a nonsensical explosion of ruffles that covers the model’s breasts before trailing down to one thigh – like an upside down L. It’s irrelevant, and not in a good way.

Leanne – Her picture was of the grating surrounding a tree in the sidewalk. Her dress reflects the aesthetic beautifully and is night and day from last week. It’s well made, edited perfectly, and chic. Tim describes the skirt as "gorgeous" and I agree.

Jennifer – Her design inspiration was a clock, but her dress makes me want to hit the snooze alarm. It reflects nothing that seems architectural or even interesting. Heidi describes it as "matronly". I describe it as dull and the sort of thing you could have found in Sears about a decade ago.

Jerell – The gown is gorgeous. So much so, that I don’t even register or remember what his inspiration image was. My only question is – how is a strapless evening gown with a train several feet long equate a look for a night out on the town? A night at the opera, sure, but not club hopping.

Kelli – She continues to wow me and I hope she makes it to the final 3. Her inspiration came from a fire hydrant, and her dress catches the Mad Max look she was going for. It’s also accessorized pitch perfectly. I just want to know if she crocheted the top herself? That’s the problem when there are still so many designers around – we get to see so little of how they create and even what the final pieces are!

Daniel – I am not a fan of metallic fabrics. That said, Daniel made me like them a bit more. His design mixes enough edge with enough classic to create something that manages to look somewhat timeless while maintaining a sense of fun.

Kenley – I am torn. Part of me says it’s cute and fun and lively and unexpected – and the other part of me agrees with Sandra that it is perfect for someone trying to hide a goiter or with one abnormally large thigh. The poofy shoulders are also problematic for me, in a very Guiding Light in the 80’s sort of way.

Suede – It’s a pretty standard sleeveless shirt dress. It’s not amazing, it’s not bad. It just is. I suppose after winning last week, he’s coasting this one, as even he says that his design doesn’t really scream "New York" in any real way.

Stella – It’s what she does. A silver halter vest with leather grommeted pants with a laced front closure. Perfect for Poison groupies the world over. Totally immaterial to whats current.

Korto – Her design is a black jumpsuit, which she manages to infuse with a near Grecian sense of elegant draping. It looks timeless and comfortable and sophisticated, which redeems her from whatever that mess was last week.

Terri – It’s the new hotness. Seriously, so clearly fantastic that it is not even funny. From a blurry image of a blue electrical box covered in graffiti and stickers, she gives of a flowing sheer dress with dramatic cuffs, perfect lines and plunging back over black satin pants. And she made it look urban, which doesn’t seem like it should be possible.

The final six comes down to Kenley, Keith, Terri, Emily, Leanne and Jennifer. I figure it’s an easy call with Terri winning and Jennifer leaving. So, imagine my shock when Kenley takes the win with her cute yet unwearable dress, with Emily’s strange losing it all even in the face of Jennifer’s unremittingly boring. Go figure – you think you know the judges and they toss you two curve balls in one night.

Did anyone else not agree with the judges tonight? Does anyone else find Kenley just too adorable for words? Who wants to organize a tanning intervention for Blaynalicious?

Posted by:Jessica Paff