It’s that time again! Project Runway recap time! “Sew 70s” gives us the Piperlime.com challenge, where the designers take a look back in time and try to find inspiration for an innovative and trendy design by examining the styles and fashions that were popular in the 1970s. I feel like there’s a producer who thought it would be hilarious to watch the designers squirm over this period again. I love it.
- No one will be sad Olivier is gone
- Josh will be accused of cheating.
- Viktor will do great, but won’t win.
- Anya will actually prove some prowess with this era.
- Michael Kors will squeal.
- Bert will get tossed, and the judges will go on and on about how this should have been his challenge.
We start with Kimberly and Anya complaining about being in the bottom, which is beginning to feel like a played out refrain. I get that there’s a format to this show, but it makes me yawn every time. Josh hits the nail on the head – “I’ve never done menswear” is a stupid excuse. Clothing is clothing. And also, deal with it. You know what this show is about. Come prepared.
Heidi enters and surprises us all by being able to do simple math, while Burt says what everyone is thinking – he’s surprised he’s still here. Heather Archibald joins the designers to introduce the Piperlime.com challenge, and the designers remind us how important it is that their clothing sells.
StraightColin says: There was a sophisticated 70s? What, cocaine and cocaine accessories?
I love when there are dossiers! Not because I like that the designers are informed or that the research is interesting, I just love hearing Tim Gunn say dossier. Tim warns the designers that the challenge is not about vintage or retro; the previous challenge was a disaster of literalism and will make for a long walk off a short pier if they venture to that beach again. Hooray for extended metaphors!
The designers hop to it, with Burt going for the gold platform shoes for inspiration. This excites me to no end, because we immediately begin wondering if his look will be disco fabulous or a dragtastic train wreck. Josh, however, takes this opportunity to remind us that he’s too young to understand the 70s, despite the fact that his spray tan makes him look like an old Coach bag. Switching to Laura, we get a run-down of a fabulous maxi dress… the sketch of which has me mildly aroused.
Before we move on, let’s all take a moment to love and enjoy Tim’s diva moment. “No one’s paying any attention to me!” Mr. Gunn, will you be my pleasant gay uncle?
The designers then head off to Mood, where they share such gems of insight and wisdom as, “I’m looking for prints,” “When you see it, you see it,” and “This is a plaid.” And glory be, Anya loses her money. Miss Honey, what were you thinking? Of course, I know girls who can store quite a few things in their bras, but I don’t know why she thought this was a good idea. Your livelihood potentially relies on your success here, and you’ve managed to lose $100 in half an hour. Lord, girl. I hope you’re creative enough with muslin. Learn to dye. Anthony manages to spare $11 to help her out, but it looks like that’s as much charity as she can expect to get. Tim’s advice? Make it work.
StraightColin says: Can I name Tim Gunn as the Most Tolerable Person in reality TV? He’s like the Jean Luc Picard of fashion.
Josh’s print strongly resembles a button up shirt he wore a couple of episodes previous. In fact, I think he’s worn a few of these. I have a feeling he’d wear his own mini dress if it fit. Speaking of which, Bert’s almost-too-literal look needs to be in my closet next to some killer wedges. Burt seems to be a font of innuendo tonight, but it’s nice that he’s finally relaxing a bit and not yelling at everyone to get off his lawn.
Back in the workroom, Josh has a surprise of his own: he’s making a maxi dress. There is no coincidence here; they even pan to Josh perking up when Tim suggests it to Anthony. What a shady lady! Honestly, he probably knows he can execute the garment much more effectively than Anthony can. It’s true, and it’s a smart move, but it will win him no favors and is a little dangerous if it comes up on the runway.
On the runway, Kimberly seems to have a misguided opinion that peeking belly buttons are very 70s. Anthony’s looks are bland and literal. Bert’s first look is killer, but those shorts are a hot mess. Rarely do we cut to verbal comments from the judges, but Nina’s eyes nearly pop out while Heidi and Michael share a catty exchange about a little bit of booty.
StraightColin says: Is that model wearing a gilded burlap sack? Did he raid the Xanadu costume storage?
Laura’s look is daring and I honestly think it’s marketable, but Nina is going to hate it. The pants for her second look are stellar, but they wouldn’t read online. Side note about detailing black garments: a college friend of mine helped work on the original design and construction for Elphaba’s dress in Wicked. If you’ve seen the show or even any long shots from the production, it looks like an interesting black dress. Close-ups reveal very intricate beading and lace detailing. But under lights and the scrutiny of a camera lens, those details fade almost entirely. I wonder if any of the designers considered the online shopper when planning their look?
Josh’s look had me clutching my pearls in terror. The print on those pants literally makes me dizzy, and I keep expecting the flap of that tuxedo shirt to roll up like something out of a Chuck Jones cartoon. Anya blows everyone out of the water by sending $11 worth of fabulous down the runway. The look she actually spent her stipend on is solid as well, but that muslin top (color notwithstanding) is a triumph. Meanwhile, Viktor’s immaculate detailing is a major highlight as the camera pans to Nina quietly wetting herself. His second look is a sharp, stunning, modern design with the vintage reference. It’s going to be a close call tonight, kids.
We start the judging with Laura. She loves color and print, obviously. The skirt is nice. Heidi calls out the prints, and of course Nina thinks everything about the prints is terrible. I personally love those second- look pants, but that silhouette and movement will not read on a computer monitor. Viktor’s jacket is immaculately constructed, if conservative. I really quite like the t-shirt, but I second Michael’s opinion that pairing it with the jacket kills the sex. The biggest success here is the clean, unified look and the amount of detail put in for the cost and the time. That’s definitely Viktor’s strength.
Josh was clearly unfocused here. Michael squeals at the terrible, terrible pants while Heidi poops on them. And then, of course, Josh gets defensive. Why do you say your looks need work? They’re supposed to be finished! It’s the runway, baby doll, not a craft fair.
StaightColin says: How do you make a model look fat? Put her in those pants.
I’d like to take a quick moment for a recap tangent: this guest judge is such a Dull Dora after Glambert’s turn last week. She’s almost viscious and is no fun at all. Boo.
Nina calls Anthony’s look “hippy dippy”, which just about kills me. Michael likes the “granola, pass the pipe” kind of girl, but is pretty much underwhelmed by the design. Heidi thinks both looks are boring, and Michael is literally saddened by the skirt. I say they look like a couple of sad hipsters. And while I’ll agree that Burt’s first look is pretty sexy, I do not think it deserves the praise it’s getting. And how on earth is that nouveau-Grecian mini toga at all chic? This must be where my lack of understanding regarding “fashion” comes in, because I think that dress is boring.
In the lounge, Josh gets defensive, trying to say he didn’t live in the 70s so how should he know. Viktor says that’s no excuse; designers need to understand fads and looks that span decades, and Kimberly agrees. Getting no sympathy from anyone in the room, Josh storms off. Really? Your pants were terrible. Deal with it.
StraightColin says: Clearly Josh is pulling this stuff out of his butt. His looks were s***.
There’s no way they’d let Viktor take a third win, so the success goes to a flabbergasted Anya. Honestly, this was well-deserved. Despite being kind of all over the place and still showing a lack of sewing prowess, she managed some rather deft design and construction under pressure that would have squashed any of the other designers. Burt mumbles is disbelief while Viktor plots Anya’s demise.
But not to worry, Burt’s toga chic dress (not to mention the BELT! /gag) will also be sold on Piperlime.com. Nevermind that women would crawl over their children for Viktor’s jacket. Laura is in by the skin of teeth, and the gay boys are on the chopping block. Josh misses the mark by a long shot, but boring gets Anthony the boot. I am nothing short of aghast at this decision, but something tells me the producers prefer Josh’s drama. Even Heidi laments having to auf Anthony. “He was cute,” punctuated by the duck face. Hilarious.
We’ve reached the point in the season where Tim cries when he sends people home, which of course makes even the hardest heart among us sob just a bit. My poor little Southern belle! While I was never really wowed by his looks, I will miss that drawl. Tim is so broken up! Yes, I’m that sad sap who cries at reality shows. I really want Tim to be my fancy gay uncle. Poor baby bird!
Speaking of birds, the teaser for next week has my feathers all ruffled in the best way possible.What did you think? Is Josh a big thief? Did Anthony deserve to go? Are you as tired as I am of period challenges? Let me know in the comments!
And don’t forget to check out Breaking Down the Looks!