Project Runway recap: The Glam-ping Trip

The remaining 11 designers embark on an overnight camping trip, from which they must use their experiences in nature to inspire a runway look.
Ep. 06 | Aired Aug 22, 2013

Girls stunner Allison Williams guest judges challenge number six.

Barbara Nitke/Lifetime

Ken spots an army green wool that reminds him of the woods. Karen grabs white fabrics, alluding to the tents, and Bradon snags a whole bunch of colored chiffon in the hopes that he can make something out of it.

It's Justin who runs a more unconventional idea by Tim. By using the stringy remnants from a hot glue gun, Justin plans to attempt handcrafted lacework. This could either be impressively out-of-the-box, or turn into a mess of gluey spiderwebs.

Back in the workroom, Ken is already running his mouth. "I'm glad we didn't wake up to like, a bear at the campfire," he jokes. "Or a tiger," says Alexander. "Alexandria is still here!" I see your attempt at a zinger, but that was a little bit of a reach there, Ken.

Jeremy is all words at his station as well, but at least they're enamored ones. The lovestruck designer has plans for a white evening gown with the text from his love letter written directly onto the fabric. Talk about wearing your heart on your sleeve.

Alexandria keeps to herself in the workroom in an effort to silence any potential for drama. But her design is an intriguing one, a modern twist on the traditional long john-style camping frock.

Tim pops into a very quiet workroom for consultations, beginning with Justin's glue gun-laced dress. The pieces of hardened glue strings are shaping up to be interesting texturized additions to his gown, and make a nice reference to the motion of the creek. Tim is pleased that he is pushing himself out of the middle ground and hopefully into the top of the competition. A concern could be the immobility of the plastic-y texture of the glue. Will this be difficult to work with when adding it to his dress?

Every designer seems to have found a very personal inspiration from the glamping trip. Alexander describes the design of his gown as "ombréd bark," and Bradon has used an embroidery technique to mimic the colors of moss. But Tim isn't convinced that the colored pencil-looking stitches will wow the judges, despite the tedious efforts behind the effect:

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Although Ken is using a very mossy fabric himself, the zigzagging attachments on the bodice remind me of a coiled cobra snake marking its territory on the front of his dress. Alexandria is pairing an inventive denim jacket with a drop-crotch pant, and Helen has an intricately layered sand-colored gown shaping up on her mannequin. Her technique reminds me of Christopher Palu's (season 10) repeatedly used pleating trick that won him the Lord & Taylor challenge. But regardless of the design déja vu, the effect is impressive.

At this point, I'm genuinely excited and intrigued by this challenge and the design-focused episode we have had thus far. Individual designers' skills and weaknesses seem to be taking shape throughout the workroom. Miranda's gown is decorated with origami fabric petals, Kate is adding a stencil-like black piece to the collar of her dress, and the back of Alexandria's denim jacket looks modern with angular shapes and cutouts. It's almost unpredictable as to who will be the top and bottom based on the cryptic and short on-screen glimpses of workroom progress.

The most runway suspense comes from Bradon's style brain freeze. The talented designer has coasted along among the top contestants throughout the competition, but may have finally hit a fashion roadblock with this challenge. His chiffon dress looks like a rainbow nightgown with a bib, a weak alternative to sending his model down the runway naked.

NEXT: Rescued from the woods

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