Local designer Anthony Ryan Auld made it a three-peat Thursday night, landing for the third straight week in the top three on “Project Runway.”

He and fellow designer Laura Kathleen had the winning look in this week’s pairs’ competition, which called for them to dress models on stilts. But since there could be only one winner, who gets immunity in next week’s challenge, Auld graciously gave it to his partner, a 26-year-old designer from St. Louis.

The two created a dramatic look all in red, with a flowing skirt over tailored pants and a fitted top embellished on the shoulders with clusters of red fabric leaves.

Judges Heidi Klum, Michael Kors and Nina Garcia, along with guest judge Kim Kardashian praised the look, although Garcia cautioned Auld that it “looked like something I’ve seen before.”

She urged him to be more original in his work.

Thursday’s show featured a fashion show in Battery Park, the first time “Project Runway” has taken its runway outdoors.

Auld, an LSU alum, is looking like this season’s strongest contender to take the top prize, having made it to the top three in all three weeks of the Emmy-winning program’s ninth season.

Auld didn’t get as much TV time this week as he did in the first two weeks of the reality competition.

Much of this week’s show focused on the friction between designers Viktor Luna and Bert Keeter, who argued from the first moment they were paired up, and Bryce Black and Fallene Wells, whose design was rapped by the judges for its “Black Swan” esthetic. Wells was sent packing.

The three “Project Runway” finalists will present their collection on Sept. 9 (although the show will end later) at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York. The winning designer will get $100,000 from L’Oréal Paris to start his/her own line, a fashion spread in Marie Claire magazine, a $50,000 technology suite by HP and Intel, and the opportunity to design and sell an exclusive collection on http://www.piperlime.com.