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Before we jump into talking about episode 1 of Season Three, Gothamist would like to take a few moments to discuss the Auditions show (aka Road to the Runway):
- We still love all the Season 3 designers - Chloe, Daniel, Santino, Nick - who appeared on the show. We love that Santino couldn't bear to see the guy in the skintight outfit, we love that Chloe really liked Season 3 candidate Michael's work and how she's staying in Houston (girl's representing), we love that Daniel V. is going to be patient with his career, we love that Nick made fun of himself for not even being in the final three (was he wearing the vest that Chloe made for him in the clip of him teaching?)
- How funny was Nina Garcia when she thought Season 3's Stacey Estrella reminded her of...Wendy Pepper?
- We're glad that Austin Scarlett is channeling his crazy ballgowns for brides with a lot of money. It really is the perfect job for him, this side of designing new dresses for Disney princesses.
- Heidi Klum's accent is adorable. Sorry, Claudia Schiffer, Heidi is officially the German model of record in our consciousness.

After all the auditions and deciding on fifteen designers, season three begins with all the candidates moving into their Atlas NYC apartments. We see all the designers whose were featured in the auditions show: Architect and mother of five who dresses up all the time, Laura Bennett (she's also a dead ringer for Kate Walsh, who plays Addison Shepherd, aka Mrs. McDreamy on Grey's Anatomy); Michael Knight, straight from designing for the Atlanta music scene; Vincent Libretti who seems a bit cracked out from his past experience in the fashion biz; Angela Keeslar from OHIO who compared herself to Yves Saint Laurent, making us hate her instantly; Keith Michael, who's pretty arrogant but very cute; Robert Best who designed for Isaac Mizrahi; Bonnie Dominguez, who actually designed Serena Williams' sportswear (which made us worried Serena was going to appear and beat her with a tennis racket or something); Jeffrey Sebella, with the neck tattoos; and many many more. They size each other up, try to figure out how to open their apartment doors, but not for too long - it's time for rooftop drinks with Heidi and Tim!

For the spoiler-concerned, we're going to talk about what the challenge was now. So, be warned.

2006_07_pr2.jpgIt's the "Innovation Challenge" and the designers will have to create a dress out of materials found in their nice apartments - sheets, rugs, lampshades, anything they can find, you name it (season 1 was using things in a supermarket; season 2 had the designers recycling their own clothes). And the fifteen minutes they have, ripping apart the place is crazy - Angela takes the leather from the chaise, people are taking apart lighting fixtures, Bradley takes Robert's pillow that he brought with him (we're not sure if he gave it back, though), bed frames are broken down. Then they trundle their wares over to Parsons to get working.

We learn a couple things about the designers:
- Stacey, with a Harvard MBA (BA from Stanford), may be able to design, but she can't use an industrial sewing machine and bugs the crap out of Keith
- Keith has never designed a dress before (on his own) - AND he decides not to take Tim Gunn's advice of adding more innovation to his dress (Keith's dress is from blue bedding)
- Vincent is really crazy
- Malan Breton creeps us out, but he didn't seem too terrible
- If we're going to box any one in, Jeffrey seems like the Santino of the group

Gothamist loved that after finishing up Day 1, the designers went back to the apartments, only to find them in the same condition they left them in - balls out busted. The next day, someone leave a message on a chalkboard that says "Get Us New Beds!" For Day 2, the looks must be completed; the models are already chosen for the designers and Banana Republic is no longer a sponsor - there's a Macy's accessories wall now! Sadly, not even the accessories wall can help Vincent, who forces his model to wear a basket on her head.

2006_07_pr4.jpgRunway time, and the guest judge is Kate Spade. The designs, as usual, fall into three categories: Amazing, okay, and what the. The judges liked Laura Bennett's coat (fur from a rug) though Michael Kors thinks it's noisy (trinkets from a chandelier), Robert's adorable dress with red bows (we though the bows were a bit too cute, but what do we know), and Keith's simple blue halter dress (with red buttons from the duvet cover on the back). We thought it was interesting how Keith, when presenting his design, admitted that there wasn't much "innovation" (Tim Gunn's worry), saying he didn't want to make a costume - and the judges seemed to agree. The judges hated Vincent's shift (well, mostly the hat), Stacey's diaphanous shower curtain dress (pretty, but boring; Michael Kors' comment about the granny pants was priceless) and Jeffrey's "I can make all this shit" approach of a dress and a coat over it (not to mention the model throwing feathers). In the end, they loved Keith's dress and deemed him the winner (he'll get immunity for the next challenge), and Stacey and Jeffrey were the final two on the chopping block. Stacey got the axe, and it made sense - she can't handsew through another competition, that's for sure.

2006_07_pr3.jpgAll in all, it was a pretty good episode, but way too short. We would have loved to get to know more of the designers and see their process. The dresses we loved were Michael's coffee filter dress (yes, like Chloe's skating outfit, but please, these are coffee filters) and Kayne's red and white dress. And we love you so much, Tim Gunn, because your "Tim's Take" entry on Angela's outfit is awesome:

Angela sacrificed a leather chaise to make a skirt, used bed sheets and elements from a wall hanging for her top -- two criss-crossed panels -- and belt. Silk flowers were used as an accessory/accent on the back of the look, curiously. It all said, “home grown” and “crafty,” and that’s certainly who she is and what she’s about. For me, though, the look also said, “clown clothes.” There was something funny about it all, and I don’t mean ha-ha.
Tim also noted how Keith won after ignoring his advice ("Shut up, Tim!").

It's too early to pick the winners, but, as many people noted, the Daily News had a spoiler about one of the final three remaining models being hit by a car when biking to a taping. We're not sure if that means a certain designers is in the final three, because it's unclear if designers get to change their models around like previous seasons. (Also, this is a terrible terrible accident.) Based on the "This Season, on Project Runway" previews, It seems that Vincent is there for the team challenge and he yells Angela's name like Stanley Kozlowski. And the clip we've all seen - something about someone doing something horrible - is replayed again. We can't wait!

And we can't wait for fourfour's Rich to recap this season (and we totally understand why you're giving yourself till Monday)!