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The third season of Project Runway, with Heidi Klum returning as the host and Tim Gunn as the designers' guide, began airing on July 12, 2006. This broke tradition from the previous two seasons, which premiered in December, with the finales taking place at Olympus Fashion Week in February.
Season 3 brought in a new set of sponsors, notably Macy's replacing Banana Republic. NBC re-aired the first two episodes of Project Runway 3 five days after their original Bravo airings.
The winner received a spread in ELLE magazine, a mentorship with INC (Inter-National Concepts) Design, a year of representation by Designers Management Agency, a 2007 Saturn Sky Roadster, and $100,000 to start a clothing line (furnished by TRESemmé haircare). The third season also introduced live viewer poll questions. During the second half-hour of the first airing of each episode, Bravo posed a question to viewers pertaining to the current episode. Viewers could answer through the BravoTV.com website or through cell phone text message.
Season 3 contestants
Bradley Baumkirchner, 32, Designed for Speedo Los Angeles, California
Robert Best, 36, Barbie designer who also worked for Isaac Mizrahi West Hollywood, California
Laura Bennett, 42, Architect and mother of six, 2ND RUNNER-UP New York, New York
Malan Breton, 32, Rejected applicant for Project Runway season 1; turned down offer to appear on Project Runway season 2 Long Island City, New York
Bonnie Dominguez, 31, Athletic apparel designer; has designed tennis outfits for Serena Williams San Diego, California
Stacey Estrella, 40, Has MBA from Harvard San Francisco, California
Katherine Gerdes, 23, Design coordinator at Target and certified snowboarding instructor Minneapolis, Minnesota
Kayne Gillaspie, 27, Rejected applicant for Project Runway season 2; Owns a pageant boutique Norman, Oklahoma
Uli Herzner, 35, Stylist, Trained as a physical therapist and is originally from (East) Germany, RUNNER-UP Miami Beach, Florida
Alison Kelly, 25, Designs for her own label called Dahl Clothes Brooklyn, New York
Angela Keslar, 33, Organic farmer Amesville, Ohio
Michael Knight, 28, Rejected applicant for Project Runway season 2, 3RD RUNNER-UP Atlanta, Georgia
Vincent Libretti, 49, Retired designer Santa Monica, California
Keith Michael, 34, Menswear designer New York, New York
Jeffrey Sebelia, 36, Designed for rock musicians, WINNER Los Angeles, California
(ages listed are the designers' ages at the time the show was taped in the spring of 2006.)
Lindsay Bien Aime
Episode 1: Road to Runway Season 3
Tim Gunn and a panel of fashion professionals, which include previous Project Runway designers, interview thousands of possible contestants for the third season of Project Runway. Previous winners and contestants are profiled since the airing of previous seasons.
One hour casting special before the Season 3 premiere.
First aired July 20, 2006
Episode 2: Wall to Wall Fashion
The designers arrive in New York and are asked to create an outfit in just two days using only materials found in their apartments. All items found in the apartment must fit into a large bag and the designer who touches the object first gets it. This challenge requires the designers to create garments that innovate, best reflect who they are as a fashion designer, and are judged accordingly. All of the designers are randomly assigned models. The winner has immunity for the next challenge and cannot be eliminated.
Judges: Heidi Klum, Nina Garcia, Michael Kors; and Kate Spade, fashion designer.
First aired July 12, 2006
Episode 3: Fit for a Queen
The remaining designers are asked to create a formal evening gown for guest judge and 2006 Miss USA Tara Conner in just two days and $300 USD. The winning dress will be worn in competition by Tara in the Miss Universe 2006 pageant. This challenge requires the designers to be placed in teams of two with Tara Conner choosing seven team leaders. All of the designers are allowed to swap models. The winner has immunity for the next challenge and cannot be eliminated.
The seven teams were:
Uli and Bonnie
Jeffrey and Alison
Kayne and Robert
Laura and Michael
Vincent and Angela
Malan and Katherine
Keith and Bradley
Judges: Heidi Klum, Nina Garcia, Vera Wang; and Tara Conner, Miss USA 2006.
WINNER: Kayne (teamed with Robert Best)
OUT: Malan (teamed with Katherine Gerdes)
First aired July 19, 2006
Episode 4: Designer's Best Friend
The remaining designers are asked to create an outfit and story for a dog and its owner in just two days and $150 USD. The winner has immunity for the next challenge and cannot be eliminated.
Judges: Heidi Klum, Nina Garcia, Vera Wang; and Ivanka Trump, VP Real Estate Development at Trump Organization.
First aired July 26, 2006
Episode 5: Reap What You Sew
The remaining designers are asked to create a three-piece outfit for Macy's in-house INC brand in just two days and $100 USD. All designers are allowed to swap models. Four designers are chosen by guest judge Mehmet Tangoren as team leaders, must work in teams of three, and can choose any model in their team. The winning design will be manufactured, produced, and sold at Macy's largest stores nationwide. The winner does not have immunity for this challenge.
The teams (leaders in bold):
Angela, Laura and Michael
Keith, Jeffrey and Alison
Robert, Kayne and Vincent
Bonnie, Uli and Bradley
Judges: Heidi Klum, Nina Garcia, Vera Wang; and Mehmet Tangoren, VP of Contemporary Sportswear at Macy's.
WINNER: Angela (teamed with Laura Bennett and Michael Knight)
OUT: Bonnie (teamed with Bradley Baumkirchner and Uli Herzner)
First aired August 2, 2006
Keith Michael Rizza was found to have guides that could potentially be used as outside resources in a closed competition. These guides included fashion "how-to" books including basic pattern making textbooks as well as fashion history books. Additionally, Keith left production unattended for several hours during promotional filming after a quarrel with the other designers. Keith left to go to his boyfriend's apartment to send an e-mail to Bravo's producer. However, this is also a means for disqualification because he used the internet. Any contact outside the competition is prohibited unless monitored by Bravo production. Any outside documents or materials related to fashion or fashion design are prohibited during competition. Once these claims were brought to the producers' attention, it was decided Keith knowingly broke the rules stated in a signed contract and was asked to leave the show. Keith Michael is the first Project Runway contestant to be disqualified from the series. After his disqualification, Jeffrey Sebelia and Alison Kelly were the only team who lost their leader in this challenge.
Episode 6: Iconic Statement
The remaining designers are asked to modernize a look for a "fashion icon" in just two days and $150 USD. The winner of this challenge will feature their look and model in a print advertisement for TRESemmé in ELLE magazine. This challenge allowed remaining models to be randomly selected to choose a designer they wanted to work with. Models would then choose a portrait which indicates the icon they want the designer to modernize. The fashion icons are: Cher, Farrah Fawcett, Pam Grier, Audrey Hepburn, Katharine Hepburn, Madonna, Marilyn Monroe, Jackie Onassis, Diana Ross, and Twiggy. The winner does not have immunity for this challenge.
Judges: Heidi Klum, Nina Garcia, Michael Kors; and Diane von Furstenberg, fashion designer.
WINNER: Michael (icon: Pam Grier)
OUT: Bradley (icon: Cher)
First aired August 9, 2006
Episode 7: Waste Not, Want Not
The remaining designers are asked to create an outfit in just one day using only materials found at the Waste Management Recycle America Center in Port Newark, New Jersey and $25 USD for materials found at an art supplies store. This challenge requires the designers to create garments that innovate and are judged accordingly. The winner has immunity for this challenge.
Judges: Heidi Klum, Nina Garcia, Michael Kors; and Rachel Zoe, celebrity fashion stylist.
First aired August 16, 2006
Episode 8: Everyday Woman
The remaining designers are asked to create outfit for an "everyday woman" in just one day and $150 USD. The remaining designers' mothers and sisters are used as the clients and models for this challenge. Each designer cannot pick their own mother or sister. The winner does not have immunity for this challenge.
Judges: Heidi Klum, Nina Garcia, Michael Kors; and Joan Kors, Michael Kors' mother.
First aired August 23, 2006
Episode 9: High Flying Fashion
The remaining designers are asked to create and model an "international jet-set" outfit for themselves in just one day and $75 USD. This challenge requires the designers to create garments that travel well and are tested for wearability as the designers are flown to Paris. There were two runway presentations; one in Paris for Catharine Malandrino judging wearability, and the New York panel. The winner has immunity for this challenge.
Judges: Heidi Klum, Nina Garcia, Michael Kors; Francisco Costa, creative director for Calvin Klein women's collection; and Catharine Malandrino, fashion designer.
First aired August 30, 2006
Episode 10: Couture du Jour
The remaining designers are asked to create an evening gown in just two days and 300€ Euro ($375 USD) employing Haute couture techniques. Designers workroom is held at Parsons Paris. There were two runway presentations; one for guest judge Catherine Malandrino with Parisian models, and the New York panel. The winner does not have immunity for this challenge.
Judges: Heidi Klum, Nina Garcia, Michael Kors, Catharine Malandrino; and Richard Tyler, fashion designers.
First aired September 6, 2006
Episode 11: Black and White
The designers are asked to create a cocktail dress using only black and white fabrics with only one day and $100 USD. An additional challenge requires designers to incorporate all of the fabric purchased into the outfit. Previously eliminated designers who have won at least one previous challenge are allowed back into the competition and are able to stay only if they win this challenge. Previously eliminated designers Angela Kesslar and Vincent Libretti are invited back to compete. Three designers are eliminated. The winner does not have immunity for this challenge.
Judges: Heidi Klum, Nina Garcia, Michael Kors; and Zac Posen, designer.
OUT: Angela, Vincent, and Kayne
First aired September 13, 2006
Episode 12: What the ELLE?
The remaining designers are asked to create an outfit that expresses "their specific point of view as a designer" in just two days and $250 USD. The winner of this challenge has his or her look and model featured in US ELLE magazine's "First Look" page photographed by Gilles Bensimon. All of the designers are allowed to swap models. The designers must create a photo-shoot with their models and find three words that best expresses who they are as designers. The designers are given a one-sheet for their three words and photo to be judged. The chosen designers will show a 12 piece collection during Olympus Spring Fashion Week. This is the final challenge and there is no immunity for this challenge.
Judges: Heidi Klum, Nina Garcia, Michael Kors; and Teri Agins, lead fashion writer for The Wall Street Journal.
OUT: None: All four designers advanced to Olympus Fashion Week.
First aired September 27, 2006
Episode 13: Reunion
All of the Season 3 designers gathered for a reunion hosted by Tim Gunn and Heidi Klum on the eve of New York Fashion Week, at which the final four designers will display their collections. Keith was confronted about his elimination, he insisted not only that the books in question were planted in his room after he had relinquished them to the producers, but that he was absent from the production with permission, thus suggesting he was sabotaged, a charge Tim Gunn dismissed as unlikely. Finalist Michael Knight won $10,000 in the "Bravotv.com Fan Favorite" contest.
Judges: Not applicable.
WINNER/OUT: Not applicable.
First aired October 4, 2006
Episode 14: Finale - Part 1
The remaining designers are asked to create a 12-piece fashion collection featured at the Bryant Park tents for Spring 2006 New York Olympus Fashion Week with only two months and $8,000 USD. Tim Gunn travels to visit each of the remaining designers respective studios to critique each designer's progress. The designers then return to New York with a less than a week remaining to finish their collections in a work room provided by show sponsor Macy's.
Judges: Not applicable.
WINNER/OUT: Not applicable.
First aired October 11, 2006
Episode 15: Finale - Part 2
The remaining designers finish their collections and all of the designers show and are judged in the Bryant Park tents for Spring Olympus Fashion Week with no decoy collection. Collections were judged based on execution, innovation, and originality. The winning designer receives an editorial spread in ELLE magazine, a mentorship with Macy's in-house INC (International Concepts) Design studio, a year of representation by Designers Management Agency (DMA), a 2007 Saturn Sky Roadster, and $100,000 stipend to start a clothing line. The winning model is featured and photographed in a fashion spread for US ELLE magazine.
Judges: Heidi Klum, Nina Garcia, Michael Kors, and Fern Mallis, founder of New York Fashion Week.
WINNER of Project Runway Season 3: Jeffrey Sebelia.
OUT: Michael (3rd runner-up), Laura (2nd runner-up), Uli (1st runner-up)
Winner of PR3 model competition: Marilinda Rivera.
First aired October 18, 2006