Friday, September 9, 2011

Project Runway, Season 9 E7: TouchSmart Textile Turmoil

The "Previously on Project Runway" clip this week was about 89 minutes long, so in case you zoned out, here's what you needed to know before last night's episode: Josh is a mean girl but we are sad he lost his mom, Bert doesn't play well in the sand box, Anthony Ryan is colorblind, team challenges produce drama. Did I miss anything? Excellent, then on with the show!

After a quick respite from drama (and excitement) last week, this week's episode thrust us back into Team Challenge Land and also brought back the now-annual HP TouchSmart Textile Challenge! And while it wasn't the sob fest that last year's textile challenge was (two words: Mondo's pants), it was quite an entertaining soiree into group dynamics. Let's break it down, m'kay?

  • Challenge: As previously mentioned, this week was the HP TouchSmart Textile Challenge... with a twist! The remaining designers were broken into two teams of five: Team Chaos—Anthony, Anya, Viktor, Olivier and Bryce—versus Team Nuts & Bolts—Josh, Laura, Kimberly, Becky and Bert. Or, as we'll call them today, Team Harmony and Team Nuts. Each team had to create a five-look collection, three of which were required to contain the TouchSmart textile designs, and a fashion show complete with a video backdrop and music. This sounded awfully similar to the entire premise of Bravo's The Fashion Show, aka Bravo's Project Runway Replacement. Was this just the producers proving they have the designers produce a fashion show, too?
  • In the Workroom:
    • Whackadoo designer Betsey Johnson visits the workroom to talk about her inspirations and pimp her collection... and cartwheeling models!
    • Josh wants Team Nuts to do a collection based on the Village People, which might've been a better idea.
    • Bert's textile design wasn't printing properly causing him to drop an f-bomb which causes Josh to completely lose his mind and explode in flaming glitter all over the workroom. I'm totally on Team Bert in this one, and it's been a long time since I've been on Team Bert.
    • Josh comes to his senses and apologizes to Bert. Oh wait, he makes another big scene and apologizes to the entire planet, and also Bert. #dramatic
    • Tim Gunn forces Team Nuts to get in a Kumbaya circle and promise to play nice. Please Welcome Your Judges legal counselor Chris suggests they start passing the bong.
    • Team Harmony is shown every once and again to show that they all love each other and are amazing designers. I secretly hope they lose.
    • The runway video is barely mentioned and the music is never mentioned. Weird.
  • The Judges: Nina was thankfully back this week! Michael and she were joined by designer Rachel Roy and actress Rose Byrne (Damages, Bridesmaids). I loved hearing Rose's Australian accent!
  • Team Harmony (The Winners): The judges praised the team's Rorschach-inspired collection for the cohesion of the design, the sophistication of the prints and the cool kaleidoscopic video. Their one concern was the messy styling of the models.
    • Anthony - I loved the simple white skirt with ink blots paired with the print in the top and the bright red bow.
    • Anya -The print was fantastic, the little black cap sleeves were a perfect touch, the belt was an excellent styling choice and the sexy low-back was a great sendoff.
    • Bryce - My least favorite of this collection by far. The shorts were well constructed, but the top was way too plain. As the judges said, casual doesn't have to look cheap or pedestrian.
    • Olivier - The stellar tailoring of the jacket distracted the judges long enough for them to forget those horrible pants. I would've liked a top underneath the jacket, but the judges were too busy calling it the best tailored piece on Project Runway ever to really care.
    • Viktor - This was the true WOW moment of the episode. Viktor's gown was chic, sophisticated and gorgeous. The print of the top paired with the sheer back was totally elegant and the skirt flowed perfectly down the runway.
  • Team Nuts (The Losers): The judges rightfully panned the entire collection, a way-too-literal interpretation of clocks. The only compliment they could come up with was that the models had nice hair. Ouch.
    • Becky - Poor Becky had to make that skirt three times and didn't once stop to think if the skirt was good enough to spend time on. I enjoyed the pop of green in the top and the elbow holes in the jacket, but there wasn't much actual design involved in this look.
    • Bert - The cog print was way too much for this dress, which inexplicably stopped mid-ankle. The zipper and the strap connecting to the back were both interesting details, but the print really dragged this look down.
    • Josh - What a disaster! The jacket was a sloppy dud and the print for the pants was a total knockoff. I liked the blue top, but I think even I could've made it.
    • Kimberly - Kimberly was smart to not use any of the prints, but the fabric she used for the too-short skirt was probably even worse. Still, the low-back green top was fun and flirty and this was certainly not the worst of the bunch.
    • Laura - With odd straps, a belt that was too low and baggy pants, this jumpsuit missed the mark. Laura is lucky that her teammates did much worse.
  • Kors-ism of the Week: Obviously all of Michael's quips were aimed at Team Nuts, first describing their video as "a hooker convention coming home after a late night" and then bemoaning the print design saying, "Not a lot of women want to have 'CANCELLED' on their crotch." Ladies, care to chime in?
  • And the winner is: Anya. Huh? I have no idea why Viktor wasn't the winner this week. That gown was by far the best thing on the runway!
  • Auf Wiedersehen to: Becky, who never really wowed us with anything besides her ability to be bullied by Josh.
We're starting to get to the point of the season when the weak are very obviously being separated from the strong. Bryce and Bert, I'm afraid your clocks are ticking. Meanwhile, I have my eyes on Anthony Ryan and Viktor for Fashion Week. Of course, that could all change next week when the designers are tasked with designing for real women.... the horror!!!!
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