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The Project Runway Blog
Category: "bert keeter"
As I was born in the early 1980s, my sensibility for what makes or breaks a great 1970s outfit is not the best, but I can tell you when a heinous garment walks down a runway, so I can still write this post with some qualifications. When this challenge was first issued to the designers, I wanted to throw down the yellow flag. Did you not see last week's episode, people?! This is not the reference or decade ... again! But, given this was back to designing for women, I figured we could all give them the benefit of the doubt. For now.
The words "SOPHISTICATED" and "MODERN" were reassuring to me, and I was instilled with hope that Pocahontas would be gone. For now.
CUE THE DISCO MUZAK, and we're off to Mood!
In a true "Project Runway" first, Anya not only loses her entire shopping budget, she's also forced to either beg her fellow designers for the nickels and dimes left in their pockets or create a look with the wonders of muslin. I don't know what's worse, really.
However, this is an interesting time if you're into personalities and what really makes a person tick on this show. This is the time when we see whose mantra is "But this is a competition!" versus "We don't want you to go out like this" when someone's down on their luck.
Little did you know, but Anthony Ryan actually left behind buttons and other notions with Anya in mind before he hit the register so that she would have some money to buy something with his balance. Let's hear it for Southern gentlemen! Some (I'm passive-aggressively referring to you, Viktor!) were not so thoughtful.
Bert was like a whole new man in this episode. The guy we met at the beginning of the season wouldn't even hang out with the Studio 54, velvet-rope guy from Episode 10. He was also a wealth of information for his fellow designers to use both for the history of the time period and for unbelievable disco stories from back in the day. (Did anyone else catch that "balcony third row" comment? Bert! You saucy minx!)
Speaking of which, the other interesting part of this challenge is what I like to call the History Channel Showdown. Bert, without question, knows the aesthetic of the '70s. Carry on. Laura asserts herself as being very familiar with the time period because she's "wearing vintage clothing right now" (clearly), and claims that Kimberly is off the mark on the reference and is designing "JC Penney's" pants. (Incidentally, JC Penney's was established in 1902, so it's totally possible.) Meanwhile, Josh claims that since he was born in the '80s, he couldn't possibly be familiar with the decade, which offends, curiously, Viktor.
Viktor, if you recall, was the one who got schooled on references by (then mean) Bert during the stilt walker challenge. Yes, the same man who was confusing Elizabethan with Victorian and and nearly caused Bert's head to explode in a fit of fashion history rage. Did he do some Wiki cram-studying since Episode 3? Check that browser history!
Although it didn't make it into the episode in full (that's what we're here for!), Joshua actually goes on to nearly break down on the specific reasons as to why he was robbed of the experience of knowing fashion references. (Watch this exclusive video blog to see the whole slightly awkward scene unfold. Yow.)
History duels aside, when it came to the second look, you can see who it served well (Laura Kathleen, Bert, Anya) and who it did a disservice to (Anthony Ryan, Joshua). Laura Kathleen's first look had such clashing patterns on the top and bottom, they almost looked like a marriage of two completely different looks sewn together and hidden with a belt. Her second look may not have photographed well, as Nina pointed out, but was much more refined.
Bert's second look (the skimp) grew on me throughout the judging. It really has an effortless ease and simplicity that a lot of women would love. Although his first look was kind of bananas, it was fun and seriously inspired by the time. Perhaps a bit too vintage-looking, but it had a certain joy in it that was missing from the previous week overall. Anya's wheelhouse certainly seems to be creating resort wear with a relaxed vibe. Both winning looks could be in the same woman's suitcase.
If we've learned anything in this episode, it's never to stuff your money envelope in your bra. I don't care how much underwire you're rocking, your money for your reality-competition TV show will fall out. We also learned that you can make fashion with $11 and that even though the nice guy went home, he's still a class act.
Bert and Anya’s winning looks have sold out on Piperlime.com, but Olivia Palermo, our judge on last Thursday’s episode, has a bunch of great new picks at Piperlime.com! Click here to see her faves, and don’t forget you can shop the "Project Runway" Accessories Wall, too.
P.S. The winning looks' biggest fan? Heidi Klum herself! Check her out in Anya's winning Piperlime jumpsuit:
Well, let's just start off with the awkward elephant in the room: Cecilia's departure. She's not the first designer to choose to walk away from "Runway," but she's certainly the first to do it this soon.
Only the designers who have competed on this show over the years can truly know the pressure, stress and insanity the contestants face day in and day out, but after going through rounds of casting and years of trying to get your work recognized, why take yourself out of the competition at THIS point? I guess only Cecilia can answer that question.
Moving on to Olivier, quote, falling like a bitch (didn't know that was an "ism" across the pond, by the way) and the choosing of teams for the Heidi New Balance challenge …
Newly discovered track star Joshua strategically picks Anya for his first teammate, followed by Becky for her strong sewing skills.
Bryce smartly chooses last week's winner, Kimberly, and rounds out the team with loves-a-chiffon-moment Danielle. Anthony Ryan chooses former stilt-walker-challenge teammate Laura Kathleen, and is stuck with Bertzilla (LOVED that Heidi beat him in five-inch Louboutins!), who complains that he's picked last, yet gets along with no one at this point.
Viktor chooses a brought-back-to-life-from-near-death-fall Olivier, and is allowed to choose a third team member from the previously dismissed designers. His choice? Josh C. (Now I have to use Josh initials again! Thanks, guy.)
From the get-go, it's clear which teams are really teams of two with an oh-sorry-you're-working-with-us-too bonus mate, and who have true party-of-three cohesion. Anthony Ryan and Laura Kathleen initially shut Bert's ideas down in a dismissive way that perhaps is unfair, but given his winning personality lately, can we really blame them? Likewise, Joshua M. and Anya are clearly fashion BFFs, and Becky is the third wheel in this arrangement.
Josh Squared bromance is back, y'all!
But even this momentary moment of workroom happiness can't stop the sass factory that's about to take over the next hour of our lives.
In the workroom, Anthony Ryan often asks Bert what he thinks, but doesn't quite assert his authority as team captain to rein Bert in. Maybe it was his body temperature slowly rising over 98.6, but he could have had much more dominance in what needed to be done as a complete collection. Instead his work suffered, and his team fell apart in the process.
Both Joshua M. and Anya ask Becky to help sew their garments, and I use the word "ask" here purposely. They ASKED her. What Joshua eventually said to her with the whole "Your clothes are dowdy!" rant was certainly offensive to Becky, or anybody for that matter, but at no point did she ever open her mouth and say, "No! I will not be your seamstress wench! You figure out how to sew jersey, magician!" She should have put her foot down when Josh put his foot in.
Speaking of sewing, let's talk about the epic fails of needlework Betsy Ross is somewhere rolling in her grave about. The last-minute stripe on the front of Anya's maxi dress was tacked on with a stitch every foot or twelve. You could stick your hand through it to give your teammate a high-five when the judges completely missed the for-decorative-purposes-only exposed zipper on the razorback that was simply laid on top of the garment. The overall effect was nice, but the execution on these notions was seriously sloppy.
Bertzilla strikes again on the runway as he openly mocks and laughs at his own teammates during judging. Yes, Anthony Ryan's look was probably one of the bigger tragedies ever seen on the catwalk, but at what point was it OK to kick the guy when he's down ... and feverish? Bert's look, although better than the giant basketball-shorts romper next to him, was a pair of socks and a Staten Island Ferry ride away from a 1988 "Working Girl" moment.
On the flip side, Viktor's motorcycle jacket (pictured right) makes us all want to go out and buy one, and Joshua M. picks up the surprising second win.
In what's sure to be one of the more controversial judging decisions since Gretchengate of 2010, Danielle is sent home and Anthony Ryan is spared. Did you think her elimination was fair, or did Anthony Ryan's body of work save him?