Project Runway Recap: S9 E7

Another week, another runway, dear readers.

The Challenge:

Two teams of five, with no team leaders, collaborate on a five piece collection involving three different textiles designed by the group. The teams are also responsible for shooting and editing a film to play behind their runway show, in addition to choosing music, which everyone seems to forget about by the episode’s end, much to my personal chagrin. How did the designers handle it? Well, one team had all the drama and none of the design; one team was drama-free and stylish as can be. Guess which team got the most screen time?

TEAM NUTS & BOLTS

JOSHUA MCKINLEY (Bottom 3)

For some ungodly reason, the inspiration for Team Desperate Famewhores Team Nuts & Bolts’s collection was clocks. Not time; not like, clocks on a conceptual level, or clocks on different levels, or the world’s most famously beautiful clocks. Just CLOCKS. As you can see, this resulted in some truly disastrous prints. As the judges astutely pointed out, what women wants to wear a garment with “DELAYED” and “CANCELED” written all over her crotch? But the print wasn’t even my biggest problem with this look. Josh could have taken this concept and made an amazing jacket, but this just looks like he gave up halfway through executing it. Like it was supposed to close in the front too, but it wouldn’t lay right or it was too small, so he sliced up a tank top thirty seconds before the show and threw it on his model. Also, the cuffs on those pants? Is he serious? What woman is wearing that? I feel like it’s just so often that I wonder whether he knows how to design for actual women, or just the drag queen who lives in his soul.

BECKY ROSS (Out)

Ah, Becky. Some pity her, but as far as I’m concerned, I don’t give a shit what your emotional mumbo jumbo is about, as long as you can churn out an interesting look. Becky may have been very unfairly picked on by her competitors, but she also has never made a garment worth talking about. So you’re damn right, she deserved to go home. Because no matter what ugly print you put this skirt in – or even if they had it in a beautiful print – this is nothing that belongs on a runway. It’s all as shapeless and careless and thoughtless as can be.

BERT KEETER (Bottom 3)

Another truly terrible print that few women would be willing to wear. This dress is particularly bad because of the zipper/keyhole in the middle, which to me sounds like Bert screaming, “LOOK! I CAN BE YOUNG AND MODERN! ZIPPERS R KEWL!” And that stiff fabric didn’t move at all on the runway; it looked so unnatural. The length of the dress was horrible, exacerbated by the ankle booties. Once again, Bert fails to back up his giant ego with design skills to match.

KIMBERLY GOLDSON

This was my favorite look of Team Kimberly Is So Over Your Bullshit Drama, Josh and Bert Team Nuts & Bolts, but it was still worse than every look in Team Chaos’s collection, with the possible exception of Bryce’s. (We’ll get there; read on.) I see some potential, but her outfit looks like it exploded halfway down the runway. The blouse is a little too shapeless, and that skirt riding up and poofing out over the sides like some sort of Oompa-Loompa club kid – it’s a bit much, even if it managed to escape the team’s hideous prints.

LAURA KATHLEEN

It’s a tacky blue jumpsuit, it doesn’t fit, the hole in the back is weird, the pants slouch in an unflattering way, and the belt looks like a fucking fanny pack. Laura should have spent less time making nice to Joshua “Don’t Call Me Gaga” McKinley and more time sewing something less tacky and derivative.

TEAM CHAOS

ANYA AYOUNG-CHEE (Winner!)

It’s a really nice dress that I’ve seen many times before, both on and off Project Runway. The back is totally Laura Bennett from Season 3, but in a sluttier length. But I know what Anya’s trick is: if you use really busy prints, you can hide all the sewing mistakes. It can’t be intentional that the back is rigid and structured, but in the front, the printed fabric poofs and puckers all around the belt. And those shoulders, while also well-executed from behind, look a little home-sewn and craftsy from the front. It’s chic and it’s got a point of view, but under no circumstances should this have been picked the winner, given the really exceptional work that some of her competitors churned out.

BRYCE BLACK

Definitely not as bad as Becky’s, but Bryce is lucky he was in the drama-free/winning group, otherwise you know he would’ve been on trial for this. The shorts are lopsided and look like student work, and from the front, the top was basically meaningless. I do love that color pink on this model, though. Delicious.

ANTHONY RYAN AULD

My opinion about Anthony Ryan was set the moment this went down the runway: he is just too derivative. One dress that looks a little McQueen-ish, a tad Gucci, or a touch Jason Wu is one thing – but churning out designer imposters week after week is quite another. The judges have spoken of your referential designs; they might forgive it or forget it, but the Democracy Diva will do no such thing.

OLIVIER GREEN (Top 3)

I just can’t believe that, after multiple judges praised it as one of the best things in Project Runway history, and I murmured in agreement, this blazer did not win Olivier the challenge. For me, and I suspect many others, this was a battle between Viktor and Olivier for the win, and Anya came out of absolutely nowhere. Now, I’m not saying this should have won, because I’m really not okay with these pants, but they a) keep the look cohesive with the rest of the collection and b) show off more separates, which is important in a collection. Now, this isn’t the best jacket I’ve seen on Project Runway, because I remember a young lady named Jillian Lewis from Season 4 who could sew a coat like nothing you’ve ever seen before. But that was back when the talent level was infinitely higher; Jillian would have won any season of Project Runway except her own, because she had the misfortune of being up against the infamous Christian Siriano. But I digress. Anyway, so this coat might not win the ALL TIME BEST EVER IN PR HISTORY blah blah blah award, but it was fantastic, and showed off way more design and construction skills than Anya’s simple dress.

VIKTOR LUNA (Top 3)

When this dress came out, I literally jumped to the edge of my seat, and screamed, “Woooooo!” From the front, it’s not the most original gown in the world, but I think that’s for a reason: it’s a Michael Kors gown, with ink blots. And Michael was positively glowing, watching this walk down the runway, because Michael Kors is nothing if not an egomaniac, and he LOVED seeing something referential to himself. And from the back, it truly feels unique and thought-out, so I don’t fault Viktor for playing to what he knows his audience likes. I thought this was a fantastic gown that would probably earn its wearer the Best Dressed title on most red carpets. So if anyone was robbed today, it was Viktor.

Judges’ Top 3: Anya (Winner!), Olivier, Viktor
Diva’s Top 3: Viktor, Olivier, Anya
Judges’ Bottom 3: Bert, Josh Eyebrows, Becky (out)
Diva’s Bottom 3: Josh Eyebrows, Bryce, Becky

All photos courtesy of Lifetime via New York Magazine.


© Democracy Diva, 2011.
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