And sew it goes:
The Challenge: While working in teams of two the contestants must create a larger-than-life look for stilt-strutting models that won't make them look like circus freaks.
The Twist: This big and tall fashion extravaganza is to be presented during a "Project Runway" first: A live, outdoor runway show produced in New York City's Battery Park. The audience will include the fashion press (um, we must have missed our invite) and one famously voluptuous reality bride-to-be.
The Making-It-Workroom Drama: Of course, most of the contestants are unhappy about their team partners.
Behold the dawn of what the other contestants dub Bert-zilla, a monstrously-bad pairing of Bert Keeter and Viktor Luna. The duo clash egos over everything including British period costume references. Keeter snipes that Luna "needs to do some reading" after he doesn't seem to know that Queen Victoria "spent 50 years in mourning clothes" and it was the first Queen Elizabeth who favored color and cleavage. Luna declares Keeter a "know-it-all" and dismisses his fabric choice as "curtains." Both men have a point and mentor Tim Gunn has to break it up.
Self-taught hairdresser-turned-designer Fallene Wells is sobbing, exhausted and "looking for her soul" under the workroom tables. Her lack of design school training is showing in her inability to sew, but her choppy, red pixie cut is so completely of-the-moment.
Meanwhile, Gunn pronounces shoulder pads are "very on trend" for fall.
The Guest Judge: Vera Wang-loving Kim Kardashian makes a well-timed appearance to plug her Aug. 20 nuptials. The fashion entrepreneur also intelligently opines on the designs.
The Runway Show: Features a bedazzled matador, a bizarre ode to "Black Swan," unusally tall models and the strangest updo to ever come out of the L'Oreal hair studio. Meanwhile, we're a little disappointed Kardashian didn't call on her ubiquitous family to create a real-life circus on the catwalk. Imagine how tall the basketball players in her expanding clan would have been on those stilts.
Who's In: Laura Kathleen gets her first win and immunity for an elegant, red charmeuse ensemble she created in collaboration with Anthony Ryan Auld. Kardashian calls the look "a showstopper." It's Auld's third time in the top three making him the season's official front runner. He displays Southern gent style by recommending Kathleen for the week's top honors. (Sorry, Bert Keeter, your week one win is now a distant memory.)
Who's Out: The big top falls on quirky Wells, for her part in the split-personality all-black dance look she created with partner Bryce Black. Kardashian complained its camisole bodice "looks like something I wear to bed" and declared its sloppy finish read "made in 15 minutes." Luna narrowly misses the dreaded 'auf, taking the judges' blame for the almost-curtains frock he created with Keeter.
A teary Wells promises to continue to indulge her "fun, playful side" when she takes her workroom scissors and red pixie back to her Denver salon.
Stay tuned: Next week, the designers are creating a garment for the most demanding of clients. Judge Nina Garcia will serve as their muse.
Meanwhile, read about the teenage Kardashian sibling who has been modeling designer bikinis.
And to catch up on "Project Runway," read last week's recap.