Project Runway Recap: S9 E5

Let’s not waste time with pleasantries – there’s DRAMA to discuss.


In teams of three, captained by the four fastest runners (read: “the four young, fit gay men”), create three cohesive looks to go with Heidi’s New Balance sneakers. “Don’t think of it just as the gym – it could be a dress, a suit.” Think fashion, Heidi tells them; but within the parameters of workout clothes, Tim tells them. Wait, what?
You must use denim, suede, or both. The winning look will be manufactured and sold on as part of Heidi’s New Balance line. You have till 11pm tonight – JKLOLZ! Work til 4 AM after running a 200 meter race and FAINTING, bitches!


Team Josh: Josh’s look

Josh’s attitude this episode can be best summed up in three quotes:

“I don’t need Becky to be thinking too much – or really designing anything at all.”
“Your demographic is forty to DEATH!”
And then, after several hours of mockery and disdain:
“I’m not having drama with you.”

Joshie, you don’t really get to have it both ways. You don’t get to play Regina George with Anya as your Gretchen Weiners and make the older, uglier contestant feel like shit for not being as young and beautiful as your over-waxed, over-bronzered ass is, and THEN act as if BECKY is the one being dramatic. I don’t think so, bitch.

Now, this is not to say that Josh was wrong to act like a leader and delegate. Anya has a great eye for fashion but has no sewing experience; Becky is a solid seamstress whose style, frankly, is not as interesting or youthful as that of her teammates. Using his team members’ strengths and delegating work accordingly wasn’t a mistake. But Josh and Anya – yes, she was complicit in this as well – they could have at least pretended to include her in any of the decision-making/design process and not acted as if her opinions were not even worth their consideration. I understand he was stressed and exhausted, but Josh didn’t have to treat her like the biggest loser in the high school cafeteria in order to make this mini-collection happen. In fact, a leader who had less of an attitude problem likely could have gotten much better results out of Becky – which is why the judges’ praise of his leadership abilities was a total joke to me.

I’d start talking about his design now, but there’s really nothing to say. He spent more time torturing Becky and discussing his favorite brand of mascara with Anya than he did working on his own clothes. This is as middle-of-the-road and forgettable as it gets, and yet Josh got named one of the winners of this challenge.

Team Josh: Anya’s look

Anya’s lack of sewing skills is starting to become more glaring. The judges rightfully disliked the racing stripe – it brought a much-needed pop of color, but it looked like absolute garbage. It was uneven and wrinkly, but not nearly as bad as that exposed zipper, which looked positively stapled to the back of the dress. And I didn’t even notice this until my boyfriend pointed it out, but almost everything Anya designs has that same shape in the back. She’s pulled out that trick so many times, it makes me doubt that she has much more up her sleeve.

That being said, this was still one of my favorite looks on the runway. Construction aside, at least its got some style and intrigue. It looks more like fashion than workout clothes, which is more than you can say for most of the garbage on this runway.

Now, although Josh won the challenge, this is the look that will be sold as part of Heidi’s line. So even though the winning design was conceptualized and constructed by Anya, [Edit: conceptualized by Anya, constructed by Becky, with the racing stripe and zipper added by Josh, as commenter Laura pointed out. Thanks, Laura!] and everything about it (besides the racing stripe) looks like Anya, as team leader, Josh got the winning title, the credit for this dress, AND immunity for the next challenge.

Team Josh: Becky’s look

Becky was the victim here, but her mistake was letting her bitchy teammates get inside her head. Because regardless of who designed it – and I do think a great deal of the problems here are due to Josh’s tacky style – that top is shoddily constructed, and that’s Becky’s fault. If she wanted to prove she was an asset to the team, she should have taken those insults as an opportunity to show that she could sew circles around those pretty, pretty queens. Instead, she made a top that no woman could possibly dream of wearing, because WHAT IS HAPPENING TO HER BREASTS. Nobody wants titties to look like that, Becky. And the skirt looks like it was pulled right off the sale rack at American Apparel – but then, so does Josh.


Team Anthony Ryan: Anthony Ryan’s look

“I probably haven’t gotten this pissed since I had cancer.” – Anthony Ryan, on his runway fight with Bert

Was this the worst look of the episode? Yes. Was it one of the worst in Project Runway history? Probably. Should Anthony Ryan have been eliminated instead of Danielle? NO. Because Nina and Michael are right, and Heidi is wrong. If this show is about the individual challenge, and not the designer’s entire body of work, why have they eliminated designers for being too consistent? Not daring enough? Not changing or growing enough from week to week? As the old adage goes, “DON’T BORE NINA.” To me, that says this is a show about striking the balance between staying true to your aesthetic and making something different than you did the week before. By judging solely on this challenge’s look in comparison to the rest, you tend to favor contestants who stick to tried-and-true methods and tricks, and don’t ever show anything new. And nothing’s worse than getting to the end of the season and realizing you don’t really want to see any more from these boring, boring designers.

That being said, this is fucking disgusting. Anthony had strep during this episode, so I’m not going to write this off as a bad fever dream. The design is terrible, the construction is terrible, the fit is terrible, the proportions are terrible – I’ve rarely seen a look with so few redeeming qualities. Speaking of lacking redeeming qualities… let’s talk about Bert.

Team Anthony Ryan: Bert’s look

Let’s get the clothes over with: the styling is so dated, it’s a little bit embarrassing. The top is kind of lovely, but only kind of. I’ll give him this: at least with regards to shape and fit, it looks like something Heidi might wear. And regardless of the challenge, designing with Heidi in mind is usually a good idea.

Bert, like Josh Eyebrows, had some winning quotes this episode, including: “It takes me a long time to remember their names because they’re not that significant.” His utter disdain for anything other than himself is so childish that in spite of his constant reminders, I tend to forget that he’s decades older than most of these kids. No amount of industry experience gives you the right to refuse to work with your teammates simply out of disinterest; assuming that they, as young people, have nothing to offer is as offensive as them thinking that you, as an old, bitchy queen, have nothing to offer.

Even if he were the most talented designer in the room – which we all know he isn’t – there’s no excusing his behavior during the judging last night. Laughing, cheering, literally jumping for joy and waving your arms when your teammates get derided by the judges is beyond childish – it’s cruel. And ADDING YOUR OWN COMMENTARY to the judges’ criticisms?! Where the fuck do you get off, Bert? (Also, if you’re going to open your ancient mouth, you should think of something wittier than “Camel Butt,” you dipshit.)

Team Anthony Ryan: Laura’s look

Standard middle-of-the-road entry. Not good or bad enough to get attention, though the back of that vest looks pretty nice. I just don’t think those shorts are flattering at all. But although the judges over-praised Bert, I think they have a point that Laura and Anthony could have better spent their time editing their own designs rather than attempting to get Bert to change.


Team Bryce: Bryce’s look

Probably one of the only looks I liked that also actually fit the challenge. I like the shape of the dress – the seams, the snapped sides, the shoulders – and it actually looks pretty cute with those sneakers. The construction problems are still there – that hem looks a little wonky to me – but they’re mitigated by the clean, chic styling and the funky dress.

Team Bryce: Danielle’s look

This wasn’t nearly as bad as Anthony Ryan’s tragic little romper, but we all knew Danielle’s auf-ing was coming soon. This blouse is a saggy little disaster, and her dedication to silk and chiffon was getting a little absurd. At least I have faith that Anthony Ryan’s got some creativity in him – Danielle’s never shown us that.

Team Bryce: Kimberly’s look

That’s a fierce fucking jacket, but it was actually made by Danielle, not Kimberly. Very trendy, with the military buttons, and I love the extra-large arms and shoulders. I might actually like this jacket better than Viktor’s, but the rest of the outfit doesn’t really have anything interesting.

TEAM VIKTOR: Viktor (winner!), Josh C., and Olivier

Team Viktor: Viktor’s look

It is truly impressive that Viktor made that jacket in one night. For that alone, he deserved the win. And his dress looked comfortable and wearable, but chic and stylish – the perfect mix. And it was probably the only look that made the shoes look pretty cute.

Team Victor: Josh C.’s look

Worth bringing him back just for Heidi’s new nickname: “The Klum of Doom!” But he didn’t make those pants, so he essentially just made a T-shirt. I’ll be happy when he’s sent home again in the next two episodes.

Team Viktor: Olivier’s look

“I wanted to be a team captain. Unfortunately, I had to fall like a bitch.” – Olivier, on his mid-run stumble.

The poor kid wiped out during a race, fell down hard, got up and finished the race, then fainted, then sewed til 4:00 in the morning. So let’s be easy on him.

I think the judges were a little closed-minded about the skirt. I’m not a fan of these full-length skirts either, but you can’t deny that they’re all over the runways, making Marc Jacobs and Ralph Lauren models look like prairie brides and German milkmaids. Yes, it’s certainly on the drab side, but there’s a lot of interesting things happening in the top that make up for the slightly dowdy bottom.

Judges’ Top 2: Viktor and Josh Eyebrows (both winners)
Diva’s Top 2: Viktor and Bryce
Judges’ Bottom 2: Anthony Ryan and Danielle (out)
Diva’s Bottom 2: Anthony Ryan and Danielle

Don’t forget to tune in tonight (Sun. 8/28) at 9PM as we judgmentally live-blog the MTV VMAs!

All photos courtesy of Lifetime, via New York Magazine.

© Democracy Diva, 2011.
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3 responses to Project Runway Recap: S9 E5

  1. Danielle, not Bryce, made the jacket worn with Kimberly’s shorts. And Becky constructed Anya’s maxi-dress—because Anya did not know how to sew jersey—not Josh Eyebrows. Josh, however, was responsible for adding the ill-sewn, ugly racing stripe to the front and the useless zipper to the back.

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