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DESIGNERS, MEET THE DESIGNERS: My two favorite things on this season of Top Design are: 1) the catfights, and 2) judge Kelly Wearstler’s extreme personal style. And this past Wednesday was a perfect night in both categories.

This week, designers were teamed up and introduced to their client: a former Project Runway competitor in need of a window display. Eddie, style editor at Martha Stewart Living, squealed the loudest and openly prayed to get paired with avant-garde fashion designer Santino. He got his wish, along with quiet Teresa for a partner—though we hardy noticed her over Eddie’s star-struck shrieks.

Preston and Andrea’s fashion designer brought a poem for inspiration. They filled the window with branches and gold sand that pleased their client, but, by the end, Andrea (a.k.a. Ricky Schroeder’s wife) was glad to be done with Preston’s pushy attitude.

  
 
Nathan and Shazia, the oddest couple of the week, created a kooky mix of ethnic lamps and shattered mirrors that had judges scratching their heads. Nathan, who named the featured dress “Debbie Downer,” couldn’t get inspired for the challenge. And Shazia, the Pakistani designer, mumbled something about how Eastern countries and Western politics crashed together to create the window display. Blink, blink. Crickets sounded in the distance as judges tried to interpret their explanations.

WINNING WINDOW: Natalie and Ondine had an advantage in the challenge this week, since Ondine, a former Sex and the City set designer, had done “tons of these window displays in the past.” Her expertise showed in the fantasy butterfly display she created, while Natalie, the youngin’ of the group, tried to keep up.

WORST WINDOW: My favorite team this week (if ranked by drama) was the collaboration of “Big Daddy” Kerry and mild-mannered Wisit. Their designer’s collection was inspired by the movie Blade Runner—and Kerry had to be corrected because he thought they were talking about Blades of Glory. Um…BIG difference. We had to say goodbye this week to the southern gentleman, Kerry, who was team leader of a window display that looked as confused as he was.

ABOUT KELLY: Eyebrow-raising judge Kelly Wearstler, a mega-famous interior designer and self-proclaimed fashionita, stands out—even in the crowd of creative people on Top Design. This week Kelly had me pausing my TIVO with her most outrageous hairdo yet. Her crimped and ratted locks, which rivaled the world’s largest bird’s nest, were only slightly contained by a sequined lavender beret. Oh, Kelly, thank you for the laugh!


THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE EGO: Project Runway contestants were challenged this week to make over a recent college graduate and have both the client and (gasp!) her mother leave happy. Based on the backstage drama, here’s what contestants might have had to say about themselves in this week’s contest:

“I’m perfect.” Kenley, the dark-haired beauty voted most likely to cry, created a mini version of her own vintage pin-up style. After a rough consultation with the show’s mentor, Kenley said in her whiney monotone, “Tim doesn’t really understand me. I’ve never changed my designs for him; I just do what I want.”

“I’m cool.” Self-proclaimed “hip mom” Korto felt she was best equipped to please this week’s clients because she’s young and hip—and a mom.

“I’m scared.” Leanne worried that she’d be sent home if she couldn’t please her difficult customers. She needed to make a very youthful girl look old enough to be an elementary school teacher, but with maybe some animal prints and cleavage. “One sexy teacher coming up…”

“Suede doesn’t do pants.” Suede, who usually refers to himself in third person, was jarred into speaking like the rest of us with his excitement over the dress he created. When the outfit was bashed on the runway by the judges, all he could say was, “Ouch.”

“I’m skinny, and it works.” Jerell loved that his client was the female version of himself: androgynous and awkward in a lanky, slender kind of way. Judges applauded him for understanding his client so well and gave him the top spot of the week.

“I like pocket squares.” Joe, a former Gucci stock boy, was the one to get the double-cheek-kiss of goodbye when he disappointed his clients as well as the judges. Michael Kors referred to Joe’s ‘80s-inspired interview suit as, “Becky home-ec-y.” Yikes!

Next week will be “bling-o-licious” (as former contestant Blayne would say), when Project Runway designers go hip-hop. Luckily, Tim Gunn has been working on his new catch phrase all season: “Holla at ya boy,” spoken with all the hip-ness that an elegant gay white gentleman can muster. I can’t wait!

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