Runway Recap: Which Designer Found Trouble in Paradise?

Runway Recap: Which Designer Found Trouble in Paradise?
Barbara Nitke/Lifetime(2)

09/10/2010 AT 06:00 AM EDT

Ah, the beauty of Project Runway group challenges – they always bring out the best and worst in the designers. Luckily this week, most of the ugly turned beautiful in the form of some very creative collaborations. But, first, there was drama.

The episode kicked off with the designers joining Tim Gunn and Michael Kors for a boat cruise around Manhattan to find inspiration for their challenge: to design resort wear. Simple (and fun!) enough for most, although Mondo and April were both nervous about their lack of experience in the genre.

After their little trip and a visit to Mood, contestants hit the workroom – only to find out this was going to be a partner challenge. Designers would act as, well, designers, with their partners working as sample makers, sewing the look. Tim assigned pairs, with some taking to each other right away (Christopher and April) and others clashing immediately (Mondo and Michael C.).

As a special treat, Michael Kors joined Tim in the workroom to give critiques. He cautioned Valerie about the drab blue color of her garment; again warned Casanova about the aged look of his piece; and encouraged April to go with her gut, creating boy shorts underneath a gauzy black top.



Though Mondo really resented working with Michael C., as time went on, he came to appreciate his teammate, and even apologized for being a "bitch." But Ivy and Michael D. couldn't find common ground, with Ivy's bossy behavior clouding their partnership. To be fair, Michael D. couldn't execute everything Ivy wanted in her garment – namely pants – but she spent much of her workroom time hovering over him at the sewing machine, worrying she was "turning into [her] mother."

On the runway, where guest judge Kristen Bell was introduced, contestants presented a pretty varying idea of resort wear. There were flowing jumpsuits from Michael C. and Gretchen, while Andy and Mondo went with swimwear. Only Casanova completely covered his model in pants and a long-sleeved top.

The top three were April, who earned accolades for her "tough, punk baby doll" sheer top and boy shorts; Andy, whose ethereal purple-and-gray swimsuit and cover-up were sexy and sophisticated; and Michael D., whose dark take on resort wear wowed the judges. But ultimately April won for her well-tailored look (kudos to her partner, Christopher!) and youthful aesthetic. We would've loved to see Andy win, too! Mondo landed on the bottom for a bikini and windbreaker Michael Kors called "a weird assemblage of clothes from Forever 21 that were on the sale rack." Ivy joined him there thanks to her super-dull, shapeless top and maxi skirt, and threw partner Michael D. under the bus for his limited skills. (Needless to say, Heidi Klum was not pleased with her lack of team spirit.)

Sadly, our pal Casanova went home for his pants and top combo that just looked "mumsy," according to Nina Garcia. "If the challenge was to make something for a 70-year-old woman to go sit in a mall and [get] back to the house early so she could watch television, you succeeded," Michael Kors quipped. It was obvious the contestants would miss Casanova – as well as the producers! The show wrapped with a little montage of the eccentric designer's greatest moments. Fan favorite, anyone?

Tell us: Do you think Andy should've won? Was Ivy rude to Michael D.? Did last night give you any indication of who will make it to Fashion Week?
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