‘Project Runway’ recap: Simple doesn’t cut it for extravagant Chopard jewels

This week on “Project Runway,” the designers took their inspiration from expensive jewelry, millions of dollars worth, provided by Chopard. But at the start of the episode, an emotional Tim Gunn was inspired in a different way. He corrected a decision he made after last week’s challenge – or rather, a decision he didn’t make. Overcome with emotion, he decided, at the last minute, to use his one-time-only Tim Gunn Save to bring back last week’s ousted contestant, Char Glover.

Project Runway’ recap: Design challenge gives contestants wedding jitters

So the pressure was on: Char needed to prove she was worthy of her second chance, and her fellow contestants needed to prove themselves worthy of sticking around all the more, because Gunn has no more saves to throw around.

Almost all the designers stepped up to the challenge; most of them impressed the judges, but someone had to go home, and it was a designer who made a nice dress, but failed to make a statement: Samantha Plasencia, done in by extravagant evening wear, which wasn’t her forte.

She was sent home instead of Alexander Knox, whose gown was messily structured and poorly complemented his signature Chopard piece, but he showed daring with an ambitious fabric and design, proving that at this stage of the game, it’s vital to take risks.

A big risk paid off for Korina Emmerich, who after struggling in recent weeks went back to her creative roots and designed a boldly patterned coat using upholstery fabric. That, combined with a chic black dress underneath, was enough to secure her a first-ever win, narrowly defeating Sean Kelly, who had won the last two challenges in a row.

Also taking a risk was Amanda Valentine, who thought she was in dire straits as she fought with an uncooperative sheer fabric for a coat to complement her daring gala-ready jumpsuit. It was too late to turn back, so she doubled down on the design and impressed the judges enough to finish in the top three. She has now received high scores three times this season, in addition to two wins. Of the remaining contestants, she is the only one who has never been among the lowest scorers.

Meanwhile, poor Kini Zamora, who was arguably robbed of a win during last week’s wedding challenge, found himself in the bottom three for the first time ever, though he likely would have been safe had it not been for the unusually high level of competition this week; the judges liked his combination of structure and flowing elegance, but faulted him for his execution.

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Did Korina deserve to win? Will Kini bounce back from his uncharacteristic stumble this week? Make your predictions for next week’s “Rainway” challenge below, and comment in our forums.

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