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'Project Runway' 9: Really High Fashion

Becky Broderick Becky Broderick
August 12th, 2011 9:30am EDT

The “Project Runway” designers finally got to hit up Mood (with a hefty $500) this week, which means that we finally got to see Swatch again. But why only a super short shot of him as the designers were walking out the door? That dog is a star. He should get his own spin-off. But I suppose reality TV producers haven't yet run out of spoiled rich skanks, oversexualized children and horrible stage moms to build shows around. 

Project Runway judges

As the designers gathered to learn of their latest challenge, Heidi appeared, looking taller than usual. Thankfully, it wasn't revealed that leg extensions are the new black. Turned out she was just sporting stilts. And then a bunch of stilt models joined her on the runway because...well, I guess because stilt modeling is the new black. Or the new crack. I have no idea.

As if designing Paris couture-inspired outfits for giant circus freaks in one day wasn't daunting enough, it was revealed that the runway show was going to be an outdoor event open to the press and public. Oh, annnnnd—dun dun DUN—it would be a team challenge! Heidi randomly picked seven teams of two from her magic bag, while the designers sat silently, screaming inside their heads.

Tim Gunn checked in on everyone to make sure no one had been murdered. Of course, there always has to be THAT team that just can't get along no matter what, and this time around it was Bert and Viktor. Things got off to a bad start when Heidi announced their partnership and Viktor immediately acted like the most popular kid in school who just got stuck with the biggest geek as his lab partner. Their "relationship" only seemed to deteriorate as time went on. Although I generally like these two guys, they were both pretty annoying in this episode. Bert acted like a uppity know-it-all, while Viktor tried for "whiny diva" but came off as just plain whiny.

Anthony and Laura's designJoshua was a little better at the diva act, giving way more attitude to partner Julie than she deserved and talking behind her back to the camera (and anyone else who would listen). Bryce also put on his diva hat to take a jab at partner Fallene's lack of fashion education when she didn't quite grasp the concept of cutting her fabric ON GRAIN. And just in case anyone else wasn't sure if fabric needed to be cut ON GRAIN, Bryce said it 500 or so more times.

The other teams got along relatively well, including Kimberly and Becky, who had apparently never spoken two words to each other before being paired up. However, upon discovering that Kimberly could tailor a mean pair of pants and Becky was a whiz with jackets, the unlikely duo seamlessly combined their skills and ideas.  

On the day of the runway show, an extra-wide chair was placed on the panel for guest judge Kim Kardashian. After the last stilt model teetered her way around Battery Park, everyone headed indoors, where the judges were ready to offer their critiques.

Anya and Olivier's not-terrible but totally forgettable design (as well as Olivier's immunity) landed them in the safety zone backstage.

Not surprisingly, the three (mostly) drama-free partnerships—Anthony/Laura, Danielle/Cecilia and Kimberly/Becky—ended up producing the judges' favorite designs.

Anthony and Laura's elegant red gown clearly benefited from the outdoor setting, where the fabric flowed beautifully in the breeze. Kors thought that the dress would have looked just as great off stilts (as most things do). Nina was also a fan, but warned Anthony that she's noticed that many of his designs are "a little referential." I guess I should pretend that I know exactly which designers Anthony is supposedly ripping off, but honestly I have no idea.

I wasn't a fan of Danielle and Cecilia's chiffon blouse/pants ensemble (it looked too office-y, provided the model worked at the office of a traveling carnival), but I can appreciate all the work that went into it. Nina kind of agreed with me, saying that it lacked some drama. Kors gave the girls props for "making chiffon look impeccable." However, everyone agreed that the model's hair was CRAZY. It looked like she just made Jiffy Pop on top of her head. Maybe all of the designers should get a reprieve this week and that hairstylist should be sent home!

Kors praised both Kimberly and Becky for being "kick-ass tailors," while Heidi was impressed that two separate and very different designers were able to design such a cohesive look. Nina liked everything but the little half-collar on Becky's jacket. Call me crazy, but I thought it gave the jacket some extra oomph. Kimberly mentioned early that she thought it was too "Star Trek," but it looked more Ziggy Stardust to me, so I loved it.

Bryce and Fallene's design

Anthony and Laura's design was voted the best, and partially thanks to Anthony's graciousness, Laura was handed the challenge win and immunity for next week.

The Bottom 3 teams were Bert/Viktor, Bryce/Fallene and Joshua/Julie.

Kors was aghast at Double J's "romantic matador" look, exclaiming, "drama doesn't mean tacky!" Everyone agreed that it looked like a bad costume, but also conceded that everything was well-made. For that, Joshua and Julie were let off the hook first.

The judges had to decide which design was worse—Bert and Viktor's gaudy, wannabe-Victorian number or Bryce and Fallene's boring "Black Swan" outfit. Kors thought the former looked like "wallpaper and curtains at a tacky catering hall," while Kim thought the latter looked like it took "15 minutes" to make. (Speaking of 15 minutes, aren't hers up yet??) Fallene took responsibility for her team's original design falling through (it's all because she couldn't cut ON GRAIN!), while neither Bert nor Viktor wanted to take the blame for their failure.

Bert and Bryce were both sent to safety, leaving Viktor and Fallene on the chopping block. Although Heidi seemed annoyed by Viktor's attempt to throw Bert under the bus, in the end it was Fallene who was sent home for going against the grain.

On the next episode, the designers have to design for Nina. OH SNAP. I wonder if this will be the episode that causes Nina's face to become permanently frozen in that scrunchy look of disapproval? 

Auf wiedersehen - see you next week!

Photo Credits: Barbara Nitke © 2011 Lifetime Entertainment Services, LLC; MyLifetime.com.


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