With one Runway under their (stylish) belts, our eleven remaining designers prepare for their next challenge. Some are riding high -- Austin, as winner and immune from this week's elimination, is riding highest of all. Others, like Starr and Wendy who narrowly avoided elimination, are determined to do better.
This week's challenge begins with plain, white cotton (the official fabric of Project Runway). The guiding inspiration for their design is one word: envy. But before they grab their scissors, each competitor must select a model. Austin, as winner, picks first: Martinique. Vanessa selects Morgan, despite the drama she caused for Kara in the first episode, saying "I don't care if she's late; she's really good on the runway." Daniel's model Mary is chosen by no one, and sent home. Wendy supervises the cutting of the fabric. Many of her competitors appreciate her motherly touch, but they fail to realize that beneath it lies a hidden agenda: "Exploiting my role as a mother is kind of evil...but if it's going to help me get to the end, you can believe I'm going to do it."
With a tight deadline and all-white cotton, the first hurdle for many is dying and drying. The clock ticks, and stress and paranoia kick in; at the sewing machine, Austin puts a needle right through his finger. Meanwhile, Kevin is convinced Jay has made off with his black dye. Envy means different things to different designers. Vanessa evokes baby-envy with a maternity gown. Austin is inspired by Snow White's Evil Queen. Nora goes abstract, placing strategic cutouts revealing areas of body envy. Wendy struggles with her own envy of the younger, more skilled Nora. Kara, thinking of her father's career in the Air Force, creates a very personal, military-inspired gown that connects the dots between envy and war. For Starr, envy is like an unhealthy growth, embodied by a tumor. Jay opts for a "walking social commentary," emblazoned with envious phrases. Mario sticks with the keep-it-simple approach, opting for plain white accented with a crimson splash -- and heads home early. Everyone thinks it's time for another runway, but instead arrive at a downtown store.
Fashion is both an art and a business. Demonstrating their salesmanship, they will have to "sell their vision" to some of New York's most fashionable people in a silent auction. The designer whose garment earns the highest bid will win the challenge; the rest will be judged on the runway, and one will be eliminated. Many garments receive favorable notice, but not everyone is at home on the sales floor. Starr is having trouble selling her "tumor" concept to the fashion-conscious; Jay's "come to Jesus" look is driving customers away, fast; while Wendy's insecurity has much the same effect. The bids are in; the models are dressed and ready to walk. One designer's vision will triumph while another will head home, envying all those who made the cut. The biggest drama is reserved for Kara, whose model Morgan hasn't shown up. What's worse, her outfit relies on quite a bit of time-consuming hand-painting. In desperation, she takes to the street to try to recruit a model. Finally, late and in tears, Morgan shows up and the show goes on. Garbage bags, dried cornhusks, shower curtains and candy. It's innovative...but is it fashion? It's time for the judges to say who is in and who is out.