I Love New York

Flashbacks, snake-like braids and model drama!

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Episode Three started with a scandal! The models experienced their very own "Jack/Chris March Season 4" controversy. After Wesley and model Alyssa were sent home last week, Keith's model Runa left the show. Since Keith was "model-less," Alyssa rejoined the models right before the start of this challenge and was thrilled to be back on Runway!Now that everyone was paired up with a model, it was time to get to business. Today's challenge was quintessentially "New York!" The designers went out on a double-decker tour bus, each with a digital camera on hand to find inspiration for their garments by taking photos of what they saw on the streets of the city. After choosing their most inspiring picture, they purchased the fabric they needed and headed to the design room.

Everything from fire hydrants and fountains to libraries and landmarks inspired the designers. Guest judge and comic diva Sandra Bernhard, known for her typically crude New York attitude and Broadway debuts, challenged the designers to see how well they could interpret New York City life into fashion.

As a person who is always looking for new ideas and is constantly challenged to put a creative spin on things, I was really excited about this episode. Being a New Yorker for 8 years, I find myself still discovering new things about the city. I could walk down the same block and never notice something that has been there for years. So to see the city through someone else's creative eye is exciting!

Jerell walked into the TRESemmé Salon first (he's always on time!) with his garment completely finished. He told the TRESemmé Styling Team that the fountain at Columbus Circle was so beautiful and eye-catching it inspired him to make an unforgettably lavish gown. His model Nicole wore an olive green flamenco-style dress with a beautiful ruffled train. Jerell always has a very strong vision for hair and I appreciate that. It's important to have this clarity, as I need to understand where to take the look. Jerell exclaimed, "Think opera, glamour hair!" After discussing, we decided to do a big, sleek bun with a beautiful braid just at the base to add structure.

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Blayne, who seems more like a skater boy than a designer, thought a graffiti-influenced outfit would make for a unique garment. He created a black dress with multiple colors flowing to one side, accentuated by hand-crafted flowers. Blayne's inspiration took me back a few seasons ago when Santino had the same inspiration (graffiti) from a similar New York City-inspired challenge -- total flashback!

I created an unusual updo for Blayne's model Polina, comprised of a snake-like braid that went from her crown to the base of her pony making an S-shape. In order to give the ponytail some soft texture, we applied TRESemmé Thermal Creations Curl Activator to dry hair and created soft waves with a curling iron. Then, we sprayed TRESemmé TRES Two Ultra Fine Mist Hairspray to hold her waves in place. I loved how the braid incorporated into Polina's side ponytail resembled the colorful asymmetric ruffles that ran down the side of the dress.

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As always, Terri made a grand entrance when coming into the salon and told us about some on-set tension between her and another designer! Despite all of the backstage drama going on, it is the judges who make the ultimate decision of who stays and who goes. Emily's take on her blurry "No Parking" sign picture led her to create a neon dress with free-flowing ruffles. Sandra Bernhard did not think she captured New York City life in her garment and sent her home. On the other hand, Kenley's design was a great interpretation of old New York with a modern twist which led her to walk away winner of this challenge. Looks like the heat is rising on Project Runway! Looking forward to learning more about this new group of designers who are all determined to bring it!

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