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'Project Runway' 9 Recap: That '70s Show

Becky Broderick Becky Broderick
September 30th, 2011 12:00pm EDT

On this week’s episode of "Project Runway," Garnier takes a backseat and lets Piperlime.com enjoy some big pimpin’.

A Piperlime buyer appears through a secret panel in the accessory wall to reveal this week’s challenge theme: the ‘70s. Eesh. Didn’t the designers just dress those classic rock-ish dudes last week? Tim Gunn and Princess Piperlime elaborate: sophisticated ‘70s. So, the idea is to still make garish clothes, but maybe make them a little more tailored. Got it.

With $100 in hand, the designers head to Mood. Anya’s rebellion against purses and pockets comes back to bite her when her money envelope bails out of her bra at some point, never to be seen again. (I like to think that Swatch picked it up and buried it somewhere back in the storage room.) Tim tells Anya that lost money can’t be replaced, so her only options are to use muslin and/or beg her fellow designers for any of their leftover cash. Everyone had already used up all of their fabric budgets, except for Anthony, who willingly hands over his $11.00. This buys Anya a little bit of fabric, some buttons and a zipper, but nearly everyone offers Anya fabric scraps once they get back to the workroom. Everyone but Viktor, that is, who’s all like, “Biiitch, this is a competition,” without actually saying “Biiiitch” or anything else to anyone’s face. Although he looks like he’s about to use that “Biiiitch” on Joshua, who appears to be stealing some of Viktor’s design ideas.

Speaking of Joshua, after his speech about how being inexperienced in menswear wasn’t an excuse for some of the designers’ poor showings last week, he goes on and on about how hard this challenge is just because he didn’t live in the ‘70s. And since there are absolutely no books, photos, movies or TV shows from that entire decade, everyone feels really bad for him. One guy who did enjoy the ‘70s is Bert, who revels in making veiled references to his sexual exploits, like getting a “job” from Halston on Studio 54’s balcony. Bert, Bert, Bert…you dirty bird, you.

On Day 2, Tim returns to break the news that each designer has to also create a one-piece garment. With a measly $50, everyone heads back to Mood for more ugly fabric. Happily, Anya manages to hang on to her cash this time around.

Winner, loser
Anya's winning design and Anthony's losing design

For the runway show, the regular panel is joined by guest judge Olivia Palermo, a guest editor with Piperlime. She hopes to be dazzled, as the winning look will be manufactured and sold on Piperlime.com. If anyone can tell when she’s dazzled, I’ll give them Anya’s missing $100. I’ve never seen anyone look so terribly sad for no reason. Maybe she’s worried that Piperlime isn’t getting enough plugs?

After the parade of plaids and zigzags and chevrons (oh my), the panel sends Kimberly off to safety and divides the remaining six designers into the Top and Bottom 3.

The judges’ favorite designs belong to Viktor, Anya and Bert.  Everyone raves about Viktor’s tailored suit and snakeskin tee, but agrees that the pieces don't necessarily go together well. Heidi is impressed with what Anya achieved with hardly any money, and Kors calls her jumpsuit a home run. Once again, the judges love Bert’s designs (especially the simple, Grecian-inspired jersey dress), driving Laura ever closer to complete madness. (Insert Nelson Muntz “HA-haa!” every time she makes that exasperated face.) Bert looks a bit mad himself when the winner is announced and it’s not him. The judges give it to Anya, perhaps as a reward for her resourcefulness more than anything else. But Bert isn’t too unhappy for long. Olivia announces that she wants to produce his jersey dress for Piperlime.com as well. Viktor…well, Viktor comes in third.

The Bottom 3 designers are Laura, Joshua and Anthony. I find Nina’s unabashed hatred for Laura hilarious. Everyone seems baffled by Laura’s garments – one that features two clashing prints and one that’s like a boring brunch outfit straight out of the Sears catalog. Kors hates both outfits, saying “one would scare you and one would put you to sleep.” Kors is apparently very scared by Josh’s plaid pants, which prompt him to let out a shrill scream. Nina, meanwhile, zeros in on his other piece, calling the dress fabric “tragic” and chiding Josh about his editing problem. Nina also hates Anthony’s “hippy dippy” dresses, which are made from quite possibly the ugliest prints to ever show up on this program. Nina says his models look like they’re part of a cult, which is quite possibly my favorite diss of the season so far. Yeah, Kors’ insults are much more colorful, but this one is just so on the nose.  

The last two designers left standing are Joshua and Anthony. Although Joshua is a pain in the ass, Anthony is the one sent packing, as “Project Runway” can’t condone cult-like behavior. So, after a very verklempt Tim sends Anthony off to clean up his space, everyone has a nice, tall glass of Piperlime Kool-Aid and heads to the salon for their daily Garnier reconditioning treatment.  

Auf wiedersehen - see you next week!

Photo Credits: Lifetime