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Project Runway User's Guide: Creating Spy Chic for Diane von Furstenberg

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[Images via Bravo]

Last night on Project Runway, the mighty Diane Von Furstenberg descended down an enormous staircase before the worshipful eyes of the contestants and declared that they would design a look for her fall collection, and lo, it would be good. Kenley immediately burst into tears. The challenge: Using fabrics from DVF's personal stock, contestants had to design a look inspired by the 1948 movie A Foreign Affair, in which Marlene Dietrich plays a singer/spy trying to escape from Shanghai. The winning outfit will be produced and sold to American Express cardmembers, with part of the proceeds going to the CFDA foundation. Here's how things played out:

Biggest surprise: Stella, Leanne and Terri discuss their designs over lunch! Have we ever seen anyone eat lunch on Project Runway? (OK, there weren't a lot of surprises in this episode.)

Worst attempted catchprase: This week, it's a hand gesture. Suede says of his look that he's "hoping Diane Von Furstenberg adores it" while making a little heart with his hands. It's like an emoticon! But with hands.

Feud of the week: Stella takes on Rachel Zoe! Which would, admittedly, be a lot more badass if Rachel Zoe were actually around to respond. When Tim Gunn reminds Stella that the judges didn't like last week's look, she says, "I think they were clueless because they weren't open-minded and I think the stylist with the oversized muumuu dress and the waistband didn't know any better."Tim quickly amends that she's only mocking Rachel Zoe in the nicest way, and Stella says "No, I really mean that."

Most annoying contestant: Here's where we get really earnest and geeky and admit that we love how Project Runway is a meritocracy. There's no way to game the system—you need to start with talent, but you also need to work really hard. Stella, amusing though she might be, does not work really hard. She doesn't even pay attention when the challenge is announced (she thinks Marlene Dietrich's character in A Foreign Affair is from Paris, when DVF pretty clearly said she's from Berlin.) We find this profoundly annoying.

Best smackdown: The judges had a field day with Joe's backless, poorly made "Oriental-style" top and skirt combo. Kors says it looks like something a celebrity would wear in a tabloid "What was she thinking?" section. And Fern Mallis, the senior VP of ING (filling in for the still-missing Nina Garcia) calls him "Shanghai Joe."

This week's loser: Stella, who made a half-assed vest with pants and topped them with a cape that was, as Kors put it, "More Transylvania than Shanghai." We complain, but we'll miss her.

This week's winner: Leanne, with an insanely gorgeous blue silk gown and matching cropped coat. Leanne's going to win the season, isn't she?

Designers who cried: Kenley began sobbing exactly five minutes and 38 seconds into the episode, when DVF came down the stairs. She explains through sobs that she's always worked for herself, or Wal-Mart, or K-Mart, so designing for someone like DVF is really huge for her.

Designers who were robbed: Nobody. Sorry, Kenley.