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19
FRI

What Fresh Hell Is This?

Posted By CaitlinBergmann 5:09am GMT

Let's recap last week quickly: Crazy stilts, crazy-walking models, and crazy (do I dare use the word)? fashions ... two boys fighting and one girl packing. Goodbye, Fallene. Now let's dish some dirt.

Anya mustard jumper Nina challengeNot If Jesus Came Down From Heaven and Asked Me Himself
On the runway, Heidi throws down the proverbial gauntlet: Make a look for NINA GARCIA that will transition from day to night. The good news: The winning design will be advertised on NYC cabs.The bad news: Nina Garcia. Now, I may be mistaken, but I am quite sure that I spotted a camera guy grab that wee-wee pad dress form the second challenge and place it under Bryce. Yup, pretty sure.

Colonel Mustard in the Library With the Revolver
The designers scurry off to the workroom to sketch and then meet with Miss Nina to present their ideas. Nina doesn't want volume, pleats, patterns and bright colors; and please, no gray. Lots of '80s-inspired sketches are placed at Nina's feet here ... THE '80S ARE DEAD, PEOPLE! Nina never flinched. The designers head off to Mood with Tim. Becky and Anthony Ryan make a fuss about choosing the same fabric, and Anya thinks that $200 of mustard-yellow silk is a good idea. "Buckle your seat belts, it's going to be a bumpy ride."

Nina No Like Green-a
Enter Nina and Tim for critiques. I can't say how many times Nina mutters the word "no," but if you did a tequila shot for each time she said it, you would be completely hammered before Danielle's critique was over. Nina isn't being picky here. Kelly green ... for Nina? Nooooo. Laura heaps more bright green at Nina's feet, and Anya's pile of mustard yellow isn't scoring any points. Joshua wraps it up by asking Nina if she wears a bra. Tim is growing paler by the minute.

Collar Me Helpful
It's runway day, and universal panic has set in. Anya decides to dye down the mustard silk and is pressed for time. Laura has immunity and decides to help Anya by making her a collar. Cecilia bails on her garment and goes to help Julie, who is gluing her design. Viktor is muttering about how he thinks this is cheating.

Allow me to weigh in here: During the "Party Glitters" challenge, I volunteered to help Andy, as did my girl April. We didn't design for him, but just helped him make up for a timing miscalculation ... and he won the challenge. No cheating, just camaraderie — and Andy made it to the finale all on his own. Would Viktor turn down an extra pair of hands in a crisis? On the runway, Joanna Coles (LOVE HER — she is wicked-funny) and Kerry Washington (why?) are introduced as the guest judges. BTW: Love, love, love Nina's top.

Nina challengeFrom Day to Nightmare
In the top we have: - Viktor for his safe but well-made (why the '80s shoulders?) LBD
- Kimberly for her gold (what the "H" is that fabric?) top and beautiful pants. Sorry, I am just not diggin' that gold fabric, but the girl can sew.
- Lastly, Anya for her newly dyed brownish-greenish-kinda-yellow jumpsuit. I am still not drinking the Anya Kool-Aid.

Bringing up the rear:

- Cecilia for a look that, if Nina wore it to work, would force Joanna to have her committed
- Danielle for her "Mum in the kitchen" (Joanna's on a roll here) blouse
- Last and definitely least, Julie for that (quoting Kors) "housecoat with a pocket full of Kleenex." It was tragic, from fabric to construction. I know bad fabric: avocado goiter, anyone? Joanna said that if Nina wore Julie's ensemble to the office, she would assume that Nina was asking to be fired. Ouch.

Nina Hits the Scene-a (Running out of puns, huh?)
Kimberly is crowned the winner, while Julie is sent home.

Next Week:
A team challenge (there wasn't enough fighting with the first one), and we have a designer down!

12
FRI

That's a Stretch

Posted By LifetimeLisaR 5:00am GMT

Now that Josh C. has left the building, we find the designers primping for another day at Parsons. Olivier is gracious about his win, and Bert’s undies are still in a bunch over his spanking from Heidi on the last runway.

A Tall Order
Before the runway are 14 anxious designers awaiting Ms. Klum; will it be a mini, maxi, stilettos ... or ... STILTS? Heidi struts in on a pair of circus stilts, and quite frankly, looks like she’s been rocking this look for years. Who knew supermodels had that kind of balance? She is joined by a gaggle of stilt-walking women and dishes out the challenge: “Think big” and create a Parisian runway–worthy look for the models at hand. These looks will be featured in an outdoor public fashion show in Battery Park. Oh, and you will be working in teams of two, which are chosen out of the button bag. Let the head-butting begin!

Over the Top or Big Top
In the workroom, Tim gives the designers the good news: They have $500 per team; and the bad: The runway show is tomorrow. Cue the panic music. Off they all go to Mood, where some interesting choices are made. Tim expresses a few concerns about the designers’ fabric selections, trying to steer them away from a costume design. Even Swatch looks worried about this one.

That Beanstalk Is Jacked
Now, you and I know very well that a team challenge tends to bring out the claws, and today’s is no exception.

Bert and Viktor are dueling in one corner, while Josh and Julie are swapping genders in another (Julie is clearly manning up for this challenge), and Bryce is giving our darling Fallene a sewing lesson about fabric grain, which doesn’t bode well for the future of their garment. I adore her, but she seems to be in over her head. To Bryce’s credit, he never loses his temper with her ... even when he has seven minutes to make a tube top to replace her wonky bustier. Good boy. Meanwhile, Tim is trying to smooth the Bert/Victor ruffles and explains that the word “we” has not been used. I think Michael Kors will use it twice when he sees this look (come on, I know I don’t have to explain this one). Viktor dubs Bert “Bertzilla,” and we have to give him a wink for that one. Everyone else seems to be getting along quite nicely.

Tall Tales
It’s showtime, and Tim leads the designers to Battery Park for the outdoor show. The stormy sky creates the perfect drama for the runway ... makes you wonder what kind of connections these producers have, huh?

Heidi appears on the stilts that God gave her and welcomes the perfectly appointed Kim Kardashian as the guest judge. This girl has a closet we all dream about and should be able to hold her own here. Once you get past the freaky way some of the stilt walkers are gyrating (presumably to keep from toppling over), it hits you that some designers nailed the proportion part of the challenge, and some did not.

Rising to the Challenge
The top three pairs are: Anthony Ryan + Laura for their dreamy red ensemble (gorgeous), Danielle + Cecilia for their beautifully made chiffon pants and — I’m sorry, I just don’t get why they loved this blouse — blue top, and Kimberly + Becky for their wonderfully tailored and styled military look (those pants were killer). Michael’s favorite part of any pair’s look certainly is Danielle + Cecilia's model’s tragic hair ... I love it when Michael’s voice hits that octave.

On Their Knees
The bottom three teams are: Bert + Viktor for their curtains/wallpaper creation, Bryce + Fallene for their ballerina with a tank top and tie (as Kim describes it), and Josh + Julie for their bedazzled matador (prompting Kors to proclaim, “Drama doesn’t mean tacky”). Josh and Julie’s outfit features a pair of wild pants, which I did love (but why the extremely high waist?) and a (quoting Michael Drummond here) “cray-cray” jacket. What the “H” was that sleeve?

Surprise of the day: There is no room for anyone else under the proverbial bus, as Bert and Viktor are taking turns shoving each other there. Fallene falls on the sword for not having created anything but that hat, which, by the way, is the only thing the judges liked about her team’s work. Bryce doesn’t stop her.

Taking the High Road
Anthony Ryan + Laura are declared the winners, and Anthony Ryan asks that the judges give the immunity to Laura. I told you that I liked this guy. This look was stunning, and I agree with the judges. Well done.

Fallen From Grace
Fallene is auf’d for her lack of contribution ... even that fab hat couldn’t save her. She says her goodbyes, and off to the workroom Fallene goes to turn out the lights on her adventure.

Next Week ...
The designers must impress Nina Garcia with a look for her personal wardrobe ... YIKES!

04
THU

Animal, Vegetable or Minimal

Posted By LifetimeLisaR 5:49pm GMT

After reliving Rafael's departure, we find the designers seated before the runway, grinning at the divine Ms. Klum and hoping for a challenge hint. Heidi mentions the word "unleash," which, according to Josh M., must involve some form of bondage. He really is beginning to grow on me. Instead of heading to a leather factory, Tim takes the group to Petland to buy $300 worth of pet products to create their next look.

Project Runway designers at PetlandThe Running of the Bulls
Pandemonium breaks out as Tim warns the stampeding designers not to use fabric-like materials ... or live animals, much to the relief of a few critters. So, natch, we see a few dog beds being dragged to the counter, and we start to shake our heads. Garish plastic fish-tank plants and puppy training pads are scooped up (no pun intended) as if they were vintage Italian beads and French lace. The only item missing from this collection appears to be a litter box ... but it is early yet.

Some Ideas Just Don't Hold Water ...
Back in the workroom, the floors are covered in dog food, puppy pads (I just can't bring myself to use the term "wee-wee pads"... Tim Gunn isn't happy about the phrase, either) and birdseed. Bad ideas are multiplying like rabbits, as we see everything from Laura's "cone of shame" skirt (which is so short it shows her model's kibbles and bits) to Bert's "velour beach cover-up," as Tim calls it. Bert is warned about dialing in his immunity-inspired look; his fellow designers concur. Bert couldn't care less ... I really like the guy, but his attitude needs a little adjusting here.

Heel!
Heidi, Michael and Nina are joined by the chic and adorable Stacey Bendet, cofounder of Alice + Olivia, so the designers better bring some greatness to the runway. With designs ranging from the ridiculous (blue napkin dress, anyone?) to the sublime (birdseed couture), the runway show provides enough fuel for some fabulous quips from the judges, although none of them use Tim Gunn's term "Depends dress." The contestants who are "safe" are sent to the designers' lounge, but not before Heidi calls out Bert for his abuse of the immunity status. Bravo, Heidi.

Best in Show
In the winner's circle: Anthony Ryan, for his stunning little dress entirely made of birdseed; (Heidi's favorite) Olivier, for his dog-bed and pet-litter design, which Nina dubbed "very editorial"; and rounding out the Top Dog category, Josh M., with his adorable reptile mesh skirt and aquarium-chic mosaic top. Well done all around.

Project Runway designers at PetlandIn Deep Doo-Doo (really, I'm finished now)
In trouble are: Fallene, for her oddly proportioned Halloween-colored aquarium seaweed dress; Bryce, whose blue-puppy-pad and rabbit-litter look was accented by huge sunglasses (Michael called it "incognito in napkins"); and Josh C., for his use of conventional materials to make another poorly constructed top, which made the model, according to Michael, look like she was "nursing twins." Kors was on fire here. I personally was bothered by the puppies on her "puppies." Look again ... you'll see it.

It Was a Tight Race
After a little lighthearted nose-to-nose growling between Nina and Heidi, the judges reach a decision. The win goes to Olivier and his impeccable creation, which was chic enough to overcome the frowned-upon use of a conventional material for the top. It was a very close call, with Anthony Ryan finishing a close second. I could easily have seen it go the other way, but no one called to ask my opinion. Both designs were spectacular. Josh M. was no slouch, either.

Bryce is put out of his misery and sent to safety, as is Fallene. Poor Josh C. is ousted, which is no big shocker after he landed in the bottom for the first two challenges. He was ousted for using conventional materials to make a poorly fitted look, which made the judges question his abilities. He seems very sweet, and Tim is sad to see him go, as are the rest of the gang.

Until next week ... save the drama for your mama.

28
THU

When the Sheet Hits the Fan

Posted By CaitlinBergmann 5:07am GMT

Well, kids ... time to take a shot of pity-party mouthwash and rinse out the bad taste that the Season 8 Project Runway finale shocker left in your mouths. Mondo is fine, and it's time to get on with it all, because here comes Season 9!

Anya Ayoung-Chee Project Runway4 Down, 13 to Go
We open with a chiseled Heidi and dapper Tim (shocking, I know) announcing that all 20 of the fashion hopefuls must appear before them, Nina and Michael with some of their favorite designs and sing a little song to the tune of "Please Don't Send Me Packing," as four of the designers will go home before the first challenge. Let the tap dancing begin.

And the Tony Goes to ...
The designers unpack and size up the competition. We have Anthony (a front-runner in the "crier" division), who is wearing a fierce scarf. Miss Heidi wants it, but he won't take it off. For God's sake, dude, give her the scarf! Viktor looks promising. Beauty queen Anya presents several expertly made garments and then announces that she learned to sew four months ago (is she a savant?). After she confesses that she had "a lot of help," Tim gives her the "pull on someone else's legs, mine are long enough" look. Time will tell. Olivier also seems to be one to watch. Most cringe-worthy moment: Rafael thinks that Nina keeps giving him a "come-hither" look. Ummmm ... really, dude?

Toga Party
David, Gunnar, Amanda and Serena are out, and the remaining 16 head to Atlas to unpack and crash, only to be dragged out of bed by a chipper Tim Gunn, who leads the string of sleepwalking designers through Manhattan. Arriving at Parsons, Tim announces the challenge: to make a garment using only their pajamas and one sheet from their beds. Thankfully, the contenders are given scrubs to wear as they tear apart the various jammies, sweats and boxers ... because naked ironing is a dangerous thing. Trust me.

Runway or Runaway?
It's runway time, and the designers are greeted by a GORGEOUS but rather subdued Miss Heidi. No short and tight and shiny … maybe next week. Judges are introduced, and Michael and Nina have virtual napkins tied around their necks, waiting for the fashion feeding frenzy. Guest judge Christina Ricci, polished and sweet, seems to be a gentle choice for the first runway — why make them wet their pants on Episode 1? The runway is a mix of the good, the bad and the downright ugly. There's everything from chic dresses to crazy pants, and even a puking clown. But I digress ...

At the Top
Anya's silk-kimono-turned-sexy-top and stovepipe pants put her at the head of the class, along with Bert and his chic dress made from his checked boxer shorts. Michael calls him out for his dated styling, but the dress is strong enough to overcome that lipstick and hair. Anthony Ryan is also tops, for his lace-embellished T-shirt and feather-laden skirt. Please look at that skirt and tell me that it doesn't look like it needs a good waxing ... Tim Gunn saw it. The judges, however, loved the look.

Joshua Christensen Project RunwayIn Deep Sheet (last pun, I promise)
Trembling in their shorts are the bottom three designers: Josh C., Julie and Rafael. Josh clearly struggled with fit and execution, which Nina declares is "garishly off." This leaves Josh wondering why his fellow designers never told him it was less than stellar. Really? Julie's look is a combination of an odd top with tragic pants. Rafael seems unfazed by Michael's remark about the "Flintstone disco patch" around his model's neck. It appears that he took his do-rag and made a "don't"; the sweatpants leggings didn't help. Nina was not amused. Thankfully, Michael Kors, the Mayor of One-Linerville, came this season armed with some great lines. He slays me.

Drum Roll, Please ...
And the win goes to ... Bert! He used a whimsical pair of boxers and a T-shirt to walk a darling little dress down the runway. Julie is sent to safety, which leaves Josh C. and Rafael shaking in their boots. I am a little worried about that puddle of sweat pooling under Josh. However, it is Rafael who is sent to clean up his workroom space by a pocket square–adorned Mr. Gunn.

Coming Attractions
The tension and drama appear to skip Simmer and go straight to Boil ...

-Peach