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HOW TO WEAR A CAR: This week, Project Runway host Heidi Klum sent contestants to a parking garage rooftop to learn about the latest challenge. Designers were asked to create an innovative outfit using parts of a Satrun Vue hybrid vehicle. They scrambled to collect seatbelts, floor mats, side mirrors, and license plates in a four-minute race.

Well coiffed Suede called the challenge “wack-a-doodle” more than once, but he managed to create a rubber car mat blouse and shimmering sunshade skirt that kept him in the competition for another week. Kenley, best known for her vintage pinup girl looks, faced the ultimate challenge this week when her model dropped out of the competition at the last minute and was replaced by a bigger girl. Lucky for Kenley, she managed to add more material to her air filter/car seat skirt and made it work for the runway.

THUMBS UP: Michael Kors called Jerrell’s vinyl and resin mini-dress, “over the top, but wearable,” and Korto’s Asian-inspired seat belt coat dress “chic.” Both designers sailed through to the next challenge.

THUMBS DOWN: Blayne’s messy spaghetti dress didn’t fit well, and the hemline was compared to a car wash. Stella’s racing vest and pencil skirt were too random for judges, who were surprised by her attempt to make something “girly.” We finally said goodbye to Keith—a frequent visitor to the bottom two—this week. He produced a frumpy halter top and baggy skirt that he claimed was his answer to the judges’ past criticisms. But his lack of concept and whiney attitude didn’t impress them any more this week.

DELICIOUS DESIGN: Quiet Leanne stole the show this week with a gravity-defying leather cocktail dress that guest judge Rachel Zoe thought “Could go straight to Paris.” It was the most innovative creation to hit the runway this season.

Next week, Project Runway designers will be working with fashion icon Diane von Furstenberg in the most challenging event yet.

CUT, COLOR, CONFETTI: Shear Genius’s blond pixie, Nicole, squared off this week with bitchy Charlie and butchy Dee in a coif-to-the death final competition. Each contestant had a private consultation with Allure Magazine editor Linda Wells, one of the most powerful women in the industry. Stylist talked about their strengths and owned up to their faults. Dee, whose signature haircut is a bob with poof, was urged to spread her talent wider and come up with a new hairstyle idea already. Nicole admitted she needs to concentrate on her finishing technique, and Charlie agreed to tone down the inner (and outer) diva.

Stylists had a night to plan what they would create for the final challenge: show the progression of a woman’s life through the different hairstyles she may have worn at ages 18, 30, 45, and 60. Each contestant had to tell the story of the woman they imagined, choose outfits to suit each model, and present four age-appropriate and -related looks to the judges. Hairpins and tempers flew as the stylists scurried to meet the three-hour deadline.

Charlie created a lifetime of looks for a blond career actress, starting with a Gwen Stefani-type style at 18 to a dramatic short look for the movie director she becomes in her 60s. Nicole’s brunette ladies represented a traditional woman’s journey from college to marriage to a reflective grandmother. But it was Dee’s quartet of redheads that were heralded as Shear Genius in the finale. This season’s big winner took four beautiful redheads through a sexy and sassy life spent in the music business—from pop star to record producer.

A tearful Dee jumped and screamed, thanking her mother as confetti fell from the ceiling, bringing another great season of Shear Genius to a close. The best style of Dee’s four models? The bob with poof, of course!

BIG PREMIRE: Don’t worry about your Wednesday nights. The long-awaited second season of Bravo TV’s hit show Top Design premiers in the time slot vacated by Shear Genius, complete with 13 new contestants. Next week, we’ll meet Jennifer, a former track star, Ondine, a former Sex and the City set designer, and Wisit, who sings falsetto professionally as a countertenor. Catch the drama on September 3rd!

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