I finally got a chance to see Episode 3 of Project Catwalk last night after missing Thursday's showing, so my apologies for taking so long with this update!

Judge Julien MacDonald: Evil but highly entertaining!

With Zoe gone and Debi carrying round a huge MacDonald-shaped grudge, the designers found themselves sent to the country to do a bit of mucking out, walk through some mud, wear some old granddad hats and find out their third brief. Barbour, they of wax jackets and country chic fame wanted (in the fictional world of project catwalk) to reposition their brand for the sophisticated urban women, with the help of the PC designers. So, essentially, the challenge was to make a city outfit from country materials....

During the design-and-make process, supermodel Erin O’Connor popped in to offer some moral support and prove that not everyone in fashion is evil. In fact, the Brummie babe came across as a really lovely lady, and should have been given more screen time. Make her a judge, someone!

The reaction of the wannabe designers to the challenge wasn’t really all that different to last week. The 'safe' designers just got on with it without making too much of a fuss. Once again it was all too much for Sushino, who doesn’t work well to deadlines (so he won't be taking up fashion journalism, then). Ben De Lisi showed very little faith in Matthew (again), but who can blame for despairing about the fact that our boy wanted to make a coat without a lining (for Barbour, remember). Luckily, he was back on the right path soon enough. Gemma was everyone’s favourite to walk the challenge, being a country girl who’s been customising her riding gear for years. Sadly, she didn’t really move with the pace or creativity that everyone expected of her, and it looked like this might be her last dance.

The final designs were a mixed bag. Some were so forgettable that less than 24 hours after watching I couldn’t really tell you what they looked like (this is why I usually tape the show - considering it's all about fashion, you don't really get much chance to see the final creations, which is a real shame). Renato came up with a funky pocket and stud covered jumpsuit, but his use of horse hair as a tail-like zip pull was probably a step too far ("obscene", according to Elizabeth Hurley) though at least it got him noticed. Meanwhile, Matthew’s belted ¾ length coat was lovely and wearable, but as Julien ‘Simon Cowell’ MacDonald pointed out, it wasn’t very imaginative and could be found on any high street. But it fit the brief, and that was what mattered to the other judges. And lest we forget, Julien MacDonald is the man who put these on the high street. Ooh! The creativity!

Meanwhile, dark horse Christopher definitely knows what he’s doing! He even admitted it to his model. He's playing it safe at the moment, all ready to swoop in at the end for the big win. At the moment, my money’s on him as one of the finalists. That said, things can quickly change, as this week's winner showed.

In an about turn from last week, the winner of this challenge was pattern-cutter Debi, the woman many of us thought would be saying goodbye after her confrontation with Julien last week. Even he had to admit that her Edwardian coat and swishy fishtail tweed skirt were the best designs on the catwalk. It’s just a shame she felt the need to speak up again, even after being complimented. You can completely understand her need to argue her case, but by now we all know how these competitions work. You even hint at the fact that you disagree with the panel, and you’re saying goodbye to a position in the final.

So who got kicked off? It was a close call between Gemma and Sushino, but eventually it was the man with the fan who packed his bags.

More Project Catwalk Around The Web:
Matthew talks to his local website
Gemma talks to the Daily Record
Seamsters.net summarize the episodes so far
Nattering on the Television Without Pity forums
More Nattering at The Fashion Spot forums
Buy Debi's winning design at Barbour stores

Project Catwalk Designer Websites:
Debi: www.dewkboadicea.com
Lesley:  www.lesleydefreitas.com
Renato: http://www.termenini.com/
Rami: www.savapley.com
Matthew: (apparently) myspace.com/fighttheskinnyrats