Out of the 16 original designer contestants on Lifetime’s Project Runway, eight are left — Alexander, Amanda, Char, Emily, Kini, Korina, Sandhya and Sean. On the September 18 episode, each designer is given an American Girl doll for inspiration. Their challenge is to design a stylish, age-appropriate look for a real life American girl. Yes, tweens will be modeling their looks on the runway.
But before the designs come down the runway, Tim Gunn does his usual round of critiques meant to help the designers either push forward or ditch their big ideas. Kini, a favorite to win, struggles to design for the little girls. He admits, “I don’t do flirty.” Tim Gunn encourages him with his “Make it work” mantra. When Tim Gunn reaches Sandhya, he looks beyond confused. (Some people tune in just to watch Tim Gunn’s face in this state.) Gunn is blunt with Sandhya and says he has serious difficulty understanding her color relationships and proportions, but he admits that the judges continue to love her designs. You’ll have to tune to find out what those judges–Heidi Klum, Zac Posen, Nina Garcia and guest judge Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men)–think of Sandhya’s mashup of an outfit – it’s a jumpsuit!