We’ve got feelings, dear readers.
The Challenge: Design a modern look inspired by the sophisticated seventies, to be sold on Piperlime.com. The twist: halfway through the workday, the designers are told to create an additional one-piece look. A convenient plot twist clearly contrived to ensure Anya could put something worthwhile down the runway, after she lost all her money at Mood and had to make a dress on $11.50 and other designers’ scraps. (Well, most other designers – Viktor, the sassy but smart girl that he is, politely declined.)
Guest Judge: Olivia Palermo, as a surprising but not unenjoyable MEAN judge.
ANTHONY RYAN (out)
I’m sad to see Anthony Ryan go, if only because his clothes were not the worst on the runway this week. But although he had a great start in the competition, his work has steadily declined since the start of the season, and I had a feeling his auf-ing was imminent. The first look proves his inability to grasp what the 1970s were about – as if his musings about hippies and flower children weren’t bad enough. Moreover, the prints he chose weren’t particularly nice and didn’t work well together. His second look was better – at least the silhouette of the dress was 70s. However, it wasn’t what you could call well-made, and the belt did most of the work. I’m not going to cry over the loss of Anthony Ryan, as Tim adorably did, but I remain indignant on his behalf that the judges chose him over other, lesser designers.
The fact that Anya made ANYTHING out of $11.50 worth of fabric is certainly commendable. But the fact that the producers edited out any negative commentary about that look is just annoying. (I refuse to believe that the judges actually could not see the glaring execution problems in this ill-fitting look.) Kudos on her make-it-work moment, but this look ain’t nothin’ to write home about. With full money at her disposal for the second look, her printed jumpsuit was trendy, eye-catching, and stylish. I don’t love the back, but it’s certainly an attractive and sellable garment. However, it wasn’t the most attractive, most sellable garment on the runway, but it nabbed the win because the judges have such a hard-on for this beauty queen that they are blind to reality. I don’t mind the judges picking her for the win as much as refusing to admit that her first look was problematic. The impressiveness of her first outfit is solely based on knowing the problems she was facing: take that away, and it’s not good fashion.
BERT (top 3)
What infuriated me most about the judging this week was the what-the-fuckery that occured when Bert’s look walked down the runway. It must have been difficult to edit out Michael, Nina, Heidi and Olivia huddled together in a haze of crack cocaine smoke, but that’s clearly what happened. No other explanation could be offered for complimenting that ATROCITY of a dress. You can’t see it in the picture, but her booty was EVERYWHERE in this full-on sheer dress. The disco-acid sheer print was certainly seventies, but over black diaper shorts? It looked atrocious. And what happened to making a modern seventies look? Because I don’t know about you, but from the dress to the shoes to the hair, this is a period piece, not a modern seventies-inspired look. To add insult to injury, the judges announced that Bert’s second look would also be produced by Piperlime, for no apparent reason. There was nothing wrong with the dress, per se, but there was nothing special about it either. Nothing that could hold a candle to what Viktor created, anyway.
JOSH EYEBROWS (bottom 3)
I agree with the judges that the first look is atrocious, has little to do with the seventies, and was just all-around terrible. However, in defense of Joshua, I think they were too critical of his love for loud prints and patterns – something that they (mostly) praised Mondo for last year. I’m not comparing the two, because their talents and aesthetics are different, but my point is that the judges like loud prints when it’s convenient for them to like loud prints. As far as the second look, I actually loved that wild acid trip of a print. I thought the colors were stunning, and it was a great idea to make a maxidress at of such a modern-looking print, which would make it look seventies-inspired, but not costumey. I thought the top of the dress was a little too Joshua and not enough seventies, but I didn’t think his work was as terrible as the judges obviously did. However, I’d like to mock him for his refusal to accept the fact that FASHION DESIGNERS SHOULD KNOW ABOUT FASHION HISTORY. If you’re too egotistical to admit that you need to do your homework, Josh, then there’s no hope for you.
The lone designer in the safe pile, Kimberly got to hide backstage instead of getting her poorly constructed jumpsuit panned by the judges. Lucky girl, because this thing fits like a hot disaster, from tits to hips and back again. The second look, however, was quite chic. Crop tops are coming back, the print was nicer than I thought it would be, and the skirt brings it to a modern place (though maybe too much so).
LAURA (bottom 3)
Laura definitely didn’t show her strongest work this episode. The judges were right that that print, which could be nice if there was less of it, clashed horribly with the top of the outfit. And that top really looks like an ill-fitting futuristic swimsuit. The second look was less obviously offensive, but it was underwhelming, unflattering, and not particularly seventies.
VIKTOR (top 3)
These pictures can’t possibly do it justice, but Viktor was basically robbed of the win. He was the ONLY designer of the entire group who produced two distinct, beautiful, well-made looks. His nods to the seventies were subtle, and arguably too subtle in the second look, but nobody produced work that even came close to matching the quality of Viktor’s. He snuck up on us all, but there’s no denying now that Viktor is the frontrunner.
Judges’ Top 3: Anya (winner!), Bert, Viktor
Diva’s Top 3: Viktor, Anya, Laura [who keeps sneaking into my top three by default, because I can never find more than two looks I actually like in any given episode]
Judges’ Bottom 3: Laura, Josh Eyebrows, Anthony Ryan (out)
Diva’s Bottom 3: Josh Eyebrows, Anthony Ryan, Bert
All photos courtesy of Lifetime, via New York Magazine.
Craving more Runway? Read all the Season 9 recaps here!