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Project Runway 9: "Off the Track"

Danielle is out after a heated argument between the judges.
Viktors leather jacket was a big hit.
Anyas maxi dress will be produced as well because of team-leader Josh M.s win.
Danielle is out after a heated argument between the judges.

Danielle is out after a heated argument between the judges.

Photo: Lifetime Television

This week, Heidi challenged the remaining twelve contestants to help design garments for her knitwear line with New Balance. The designers were competing for immunity, and the winning garment will be manufactured as part of Heidi's line. This was a team challenge, which, as always, was full of drama.

The challenge kicked off with the designers literally racing around a track for the privilege of being named a team leader. Before the race even began, Cecilia decided that she would rather not be in the competition at all, dropping out.  After the teams were finalized (with Bert getting picked last), the teams were put to work with only a few hours for the competition. The teams were left uneven with Cecilia's departure, and so Anthony Ryan was given the option to bring back any of the eliminated designers. He and Olivier chose to have Josh C. on their team. Becky and Bert had tension with their team leaders, which caused meltdowns on the runway.

In the end, two designers (Josh M. and Viktor) shared the win, and Danielle was out. Heidi thought Anthony Ryan's mess should have qualified him for elimination, but the other judges thought his body of work should save him. Do you agree with the elimination, or were you siding with Heidi?


Josh M:
 Team Leader (Winner)

Anya:

Becky:


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VictoriaNorth Victoria North, product manager
Posted on Aug 26th, 2011 in sewing, design, garment construction

Comments (37)

CarolAB CarolAB writes: I am going to add my two cents to the comments about the design aspect turning into an "ugly reality show" . If I wanted to find fights, discord and arguments I could change to "Survivor" or some other weird show. Please don't let the ingegrity and the value of the design enter the realm of reality show with all its ugliness. Maybe, less team and more individual work would solve this. Give us a break!!!
Posted: 12:15 pm on September 14th

mamarama mamarama writes: Honestly, I just wish they'd decide on a set of rules AND FOLLOW THEM! Either a designers body of work is taken into account at judging or it's not. Either only the garment in that challenge is the one the decision is based on, or it's not! And once they decide how it's gonna be, they need to stick to it for the entire season.

I'd prefer that a designer's body of work NOT be the deciding factor; that they'd take each challenge and let it stand (or fall) on its own. However, they all know each designers body of work and I doubt it is really possible to NOT be influenced by it so just put it out in the open and let that be a consideration.

It is frustrating when a great designer goes home because they had a bad week (or a bad challenge partner) and a mediocre designer wins because they've managed to 'skate' (yes, I'm talking about Gretchen) through the season.

And so far, this is such a meh season with a group of meh designers.
Posted: 11:43 am on September 1st

joycerenee joycerenee writes: Heidi is the producer, which means she owns a chunk of the show. Why is she letting Kors & Garcia overrule her and the guest judges? First, it's an affront to the guest judge and secondly, a slap in the face to viewers.

Let's face it Michael Kors has made his reputation on Runway and Garcia is a has-been. If they are the ones creating the "reality" show drama, they should go.

Runway is losing all credibility in the industry and only Heidi and Tim are the people who anyone has any respect for. This week was the worst episode.Ever. And I thought that was an impossibility after the "Gretchen" affair last year.

If they allow Anya to continue, they've become a joke to real designers everywhere. If they kick Bert off, I'm gone. The judges keep picking the worst looks, except for Bert whom I think is a great threat to Kors because he knows design and he has mad skills. Anyone out there with money should snatch up Bert and give him his own line because his clothes are both fresh and tasteful.

Let's face it. Most of the women with the money to buy clothes are in the 30-50 age range. We're not going to wear the trash some of these people are putting out there. But then, we're also the ones who have made Ralph Lauren, Hilfiger, Klein, and Karan the best selling designers in the country.

The producers, including Klum, should take note of this, or this will be the last Runway season for everyone.

And just a short poll - First, when you bought the fall fashion issues, who bought Vogue, Elle, In Style and Bazaar and who bought Marie Claire? Second, when was the last time you bought Kors or even bothered to stop and look at collection at someplace like Macys?

Runway needs to decide whether they're going to be about fashion, costume, or drama. If they choose costume and drama, they've lost me.

And yeah, I'm angry because I loved this show. Who would have thought that I would miss Santino so much?
Posted: 10:55 am on August 31st

artclothconsiglieri artclothconsiglieri writes: Yes, Project Runway is veering far from focus on design and talent. But let's not ask Threads to forward our comments to the producers when we are able go to the PR website and voice our opinions ourselves. Seems a more direct, and likely more effective method of being heard.

Might make a difference; might not . . . .
Posted: 10:22 am on August 31st

Monkel Monkel writes: If they want to be taken off the air they are doing the right thing!! I feel bad for all the cast that seems to be choosen for drama and not skills. Fashion, design, and creativity sells!! They dont need the drama. I think the majority of people that watch watch for those 3 reasons not the "reality show drama". I will also send a message to the PR site. I am really disappointed. Poor Tim!!!

Posted: 7:56 am on August 31st

JOANSTOYANOFF JOANSTOYANOFF writes: I am so disappointed with Project Runway. It has become an ugly reality show. I loved it in the beginning as I graduated from a design school, and it took me back to the old days. Now it has turned into a nasty, bitter, experience each week. It no longer has anything to do with the actual business of fashion design. It could as well be the New Jersey Housewives. It seems the people chosen to compete are not chosen because of their talent, but for their level of creepy. I almost stopped watching it last season, and this season, I can hardly watch it, as I am left with a feeling that my senses and intelligence have been assaulted!
I hope the show can get back on track before it is so far gone it can't be saved. It may be too late.
Posted: 2:46 am on August 31st

ellen_may ellen_may writes: Victoria, As Web Producer for THREADS, I hope you are passing on all of these comments to the producers of PR..it seems to have lost it direction in what the show started out to be. In previous seasons early on, the contestants were judged on their design style and sewing technique. What attracted so many of us to watch the show was the talent and creativity of the up-and-coming designers who were skilled at putting together a line that would be worthy of being shown on the runway at Bryant street. Looking back it makes me think of Laura, who every one said was a "one look" designer, but her sewing was impeccable and her designs were beautiful & with how many (6?)children hanging on her skirts??? I can't remember who won that season, but I do recall previous designers definitely presented great workmanship with pride and wearable style. It's sad to see Project Runway turning into another TWO BIT REALITY SHOW! We, who love style and love to sew want to watch the "best contestants" compete with each other and know what they are doing! It's a disgrace that Anya does not sew her own garments. That certainly does not sit well with the other contestants, and certainly not with the viewers. Every one of the competitors should have some background in design and excellent sewing skills!! What were the judges thinking when they chose this lot of "people" to be on this season. Every one should have to pass some kind of qualifying test on design and construction. There are a lot of young designers who would love to have the opportunity win the grand prize to start their own lines but if this is an example of what PR is going to present on the show then maybe they do not want to be affiliated with PR! Very sad....I will continue to watch in hope that PR will insist on top notch designers and craftsmanship. THE JUDGES ARE LOSING THEIR CREDIBILITY!!









Posted: 12:29 am on August 31st

michellepaganini michellepaganini writes: I would love more information about the design process and technical details and no drama/gossip, it really isn't needed.

I would pay money for a version of the show that was only focused on the design and technical aspects. I'm interested in the designers approach, how their technical skills contribute or limit their design capabilities, how they develop the patterns, make changes in progress, etc. Please, please, please.
Posted: 11:50 pm on August 30th

knittingirl knittingirl writes: Funniest line of the night when Michael Kors said Anthony Ryan accomplished the impossible - he made the pants look big and tight at the same time. Seriously, I could not sit up straight I was laughing so hard. In the end, Heidi was right. Even though I believe that Anthony Ryan has a lot more to offer, it should be a show about the last runway. His was the worst of the night.
Posted: 10:30 pm on August 30th

SafeDriving SafeDriving writes: Hedi is right one day you're in and the next you're out. The rules are changing this season. At least the producers are letting the public know about how they are changing the rules. The "hot mess" garment should have sent Anthony home. Instead a designer who has made wearable designs should have gotten to benefit from the judge's comments.
I also don't like that Anya doesn't sew her garments (do the judges even know that she doesn't sew all of her "creations") and still seems to stay around. There is no way she could create a collection by herself. I would like to see new judges with Hedi next year. Seems like it is time for new blood.
Posted: 9:13 pm on August 30th

Lise_the_hobbit Lise_the_hobbit writes: This is my first season to watch, and the first conclusion I have come to is that most of these people flunked playing in the sandbox peacefully with others somewhere back in kindergarten.

I also am reminded why I pay so little attention to fashion - I have seen very little that I could see myself wearing - I have way too much curve below the waist to wear straight sheaths or worse yet, mini-skirts.

It was very obvious that the team captains each picked their favorite to work with as their first choice and that the remaining 3 were going to be ignored no matter what. I was pleased that Viktor seemed to let Josh C have a say in what their group did. I really liked Victor's leather jacket - that was fun and beautifully made.

I entirely sympathize with Burt this week, but he should have kept his mouth shut on the runway - he is certainly old enough to know better than to say "I told you so" out loud - living (in this case, designing) well is the best revenge. Since Burt has won a challenge, and chose not to bother with the pet store (which was certainly his perogative), I would say that he is way ahead of Anthony Ryan at this point. His top was certainly interesting and wearable.

Anya's dress was fun from the front, but that back zipper should not have been seen in public or private - that is just plain tacky looking - an invisible zipper would have been a better choice, but would definitely be above her sewing level, leaving yet another thing for Becky to sew. Josh was quite right about the pop color. However, anyone who ever wants to work with or for him should watch this episode and then take a job somewhere else.

The judge's comments about Josh M's "leadership" were unfortunate - this was a team design collaboration - and Becky was a part of that team. Using her as the designated sewer is fine in a professional workroom where she is hired for that purpose - that was not the reason she was there...


Posted: 8:46 pm on August 30th

divaweava divaweava writes: I'm also curious about the zippers on the outside. At first, I thought it was a fashion statement, but now I wonder if it's just to save the designers time. Really, how hard is it to put in a zipper? The metal line down to the butt is never attractive, in my mind. I agree that team challenges really only provide drama for the show. These people would never team up in real life, and I expect some reality in this show. Let's see each designer take on the challenges alone. I want to see a designer's style evident in each piece he/she makes.
Posted: 8:39 pm on August 30th

Flanerie Flanerie writes: worst season ever! that's all I can say at this point, boo hiss.
Posted: 8:38 pm on August 30th

cynsew cynsew writes: I was very appalled at the way Josh acted on the lastest show. The way he treated Becky was very cruel. As far as I am concerned, he needs to be booted off the show. Then to top things off, the judges praised him for his actions. What is going on here. Wake up judges, I could not believe YOUR actions. You think this shows a leader? It does not. What it does show is a person who is very into himself and will never make it to the top. He has an extremely bad attitude and will never be able to run a business. Would you want to work for him? Not a chance. I was very surprised by the judges and maybe they are just so uppity now that they cannot judge real cruelty. Shame on you!
Posted: 6:10 pm on August 30th

Kayle9 Kayle9 writes: My 4 cents:

1. Running to determine team leaders? Stupid.

2. There were NO winners this round. All the styles were blah or just bad. Josh C.'s was the most likely to be paired with sneaks, but not all that "fashionable". The rest were either hot messes or missed the objective of creating something that _would_ be worn with sneaks.

3. I get the point of team challenges: to see if designers can work (play) well with others. However, one per season is plenty. This challenge did not lend itself to being particularly needing a team to complete the task.

4. Josh M. has earned the "Booo Hiss" award for most assholery toward others. Bert is runner-up. This biases me against their designs.

I sure hope that someone is passing on our comments to the producers; elsewise, this is going to be my last season of watching. Heck, if the next few episodes are just as bad as the last few have been, I may not even bother with the rest of this season.
Posted: 5:45 pm on August 30th

imacook imacook writes: Team sports in fashion design? The gym thing was ridiculous and dangerous as a means of declaring a leader. Why not pull straws or odd-man-out and save time to start with. The program suffers from poor focus on what viewers expect. Design, skill, technique, individuality--these are lacking. Yes, Bert is singular, but why not? His experience and skill are above the juniors in the competition. When teams are required for assignments, team leaders need instruction about what that responsibility implies. Anthony Ryan's shorts (is that what they were--looked like diapers) were abominable. The game rules insist "one day you're in or you're out," but "body of work" is not mentioned. Phew.
Posted: 5:07 pm on August 30th

Ayofemi Ayofemi writes: This season is a bit "pedestrian" LOL It's been pretty boring and I do dislike all the drama. I usually watch the beginning to see the challenge and then the end to watch the runway show. I usually clean or sleep through the rest of it and I hate cleaning.
Posted: 4:51 pm on August 30th

Kukana Kukana writes: Well said all of you. Given the challenges this set of designers has had to deal with so far, I don't think we really know if any of them are any good yet. There have been a couple of really cute things - not necessarily the winners either! But mostly I agree with GeoSews, sows ears. There have been other seasons that have had difficult challenges as well, and I saw some really cool things come from it. I'm engaged, because I love the concept, my boyfriend says he is going to refuse to watch it if he can't be in control of the clicker and fast forward through the drama, which I admit is ridiculous. Dislike Bert & Josh they are both negative and arrogant. My faves so far are Laura and Kimberly. But let's stop the teams, and give these designers a real challenge, so they can show us their stuff! And quit babying Anya - I'm not sympathetic to her just learning how to sew....she took on the challenge, now make her step up!
Posted: 4:32 pm on August 30th

Yumjo Yumjo writes: I'm in agreement with many of you...I watch this show to see the fashions and not the poor attitudes, back-biting and outright meanness. So far this season, I haven't seen much fashion, imagination or creativity.
Posted: 4:25 pm on August 30th

Yumjo Yumjo writes:
Posted: 4:22 pm on August 30th

GeoSews GeoSews writes: This is the worst season ever. Where is the talent?!? It seems that the judges have to choose the best of the worst. Anthony should have gone home not Danielle. They should be judged on their current project not their body of work. As in sports, the one with the best record doesn't always win the game or tournament and doesn't get a break for their record when they perform badly and lose. Anthony's outfit was the worst along with his attitude toward Burt, still badgering him after the judges said Burt had their best look. Josh M was awful too, real leaders don't treat their people like that, especially ones they choose. A bully is still a bully even if he can design a dress. Let's get down to some real design chalenges so we can really see what they can do. I'm seeing a lot of sows ears and very few silk purses. Make it happen!
Posted: 1:53 pm on August 30th

rbmoon rbmoon writes: I was horrified by the complete lack of civility and respect demonstrated by Josh M toward Becky even after he had selected her to be on his team. I thought that even his apology was insincere. This kind of hate drama has plagued this show right from the first season. I love the challenges put before these designers and I love to see their creative responses. The pettiness, spitefulness and hate dramas that the producers think we want to see makes me deep down inside hate the world of fashion if this is what "professional" embraces in this industry. I wish they would show more about how each person creates and sews and less about their awful personalities.
Posted: 1:59 pm on August 29th

alaskapsych alaskapsych writes: I hadn't chimed in yet on this one because so far, I have been really disappointed and shocked by the lack of imagination and skill. I really like Anthony as a competitor, but the lack of fit on those shorts was horrifying. I am also saddened that Anya had a zipper hanging on the outside of her garment and that is considered STYLE? And the crepe blouses? Who wants to sweat in that? I agree with SEWS4FUN, that this could have been an opportunity for some cute skorts or other types of outfits that could be suitable for casual Friday AND a picnic. And as far as the "signature halter", well guess what! It is a small percentage of women who can comfortably run around bare armed and braless. I realize this is a design show, but yesterday's designs are translated into today ready to wear (right?). I think this is why I have returned to sewing. I can't find things that flatter my past middle aged/overweight/gave birth to four kids seriously tired body.

Thank you for allowing me to rant.
Posted: 1:17 pm on August 29th

Soli Soli writes: I thought last season was bad, but this is the worst season of Runway yet. The drama is not what the show is supposed to be about. These designers are supposed to have skill and imagination. Burt seems to be subbing for the usual older woman (like Peach or Wendy Pepper), but his aggro factor is just as bad as some of the younger arrogant guys. I can't stand Anthony Ryan or Josh, and agree with Heidi that Anthony should have gone home. The fact that they are letting Anthony slide based on his body of work is pretty much what ensured Gretchen got through last season and Emilio the season before that and I wouldn't be caught dead in any of their designs. Either Heidi has to get some backbone as creator and executive producer and say, no the requirement is that the designer has to fulfill the brief or just slink away and let Nina and Michael continue to walk all over her. Do we really need hot new garmentos? No - we need genuinely talented, fresh designers, and this season doesn't have anyone worth rooting for.
Posted: 10:16 pm on August 28th

abcameo abcameo writes: I don't understand why they keep teaming people up in these pretty idiotic challenges. I'd like to see realistic projects that show off the talent of design and construction of each person instead of highlighting a ridiculous aspect of fashion. I mean stilts, pet products...c'mon!!

I'd much rather see designers showing off their own unique styles and technical skills. And why are the judges so amazed when the teams don't get along--Tim sees problems and hears issues when he walks in the workroom, and I'm sure he reports something back to the judges.

I think the quality of inspiration and skill level is distinctly lower than in previous seasons, and the judges just get more demanding, meaner and put up challenges that are all but impossible especially in those outlandish time frames--and then they are brutally cruel in their comments.

I though it was pretty disgusting that when Olivier collapsed, no one even gave a damn. Don't these supposed geniuses in their field know physical exercise might not be appropriate for some contestants depending on some medical conditions they might have? It seems to me their attorneys should have advised them not to do something as stupid as forcing people to race around a track and risk getting sued. Haven't they heard of the disclaimer saying something to the effect always be sure to check with your physician before starting any exercise.
Posted: 3:38 pm on August 28th

littlemsdynamite littlemsdynamite writes: I have to say It's getting really bad when even the project runway show starts showing more drama than talent. Are today's designers that bad that they can't compete on a level of talent. Anya's dress was NOT good and if the rules say no help then Anya should be called out on it & quit getting praise. The show seems to be leaning towards unfairness. If I wanted to see immaturity and so much hatefulness could get enough of it from regular tv. Take Project Runway back to the level of dignity of hard GOOD workmanship please!
Posted: 2:16 pm on August 28th

MarthaO MarthaO writes: It is just me, or is Anya's dress so terribly 90s with her "signature halter" slapped on the back. I was having all sorts of flashbacks to boxy knit tops and dresses with racer stripes so prevalent in the 90s. I was frankly disgusted that it was a co-win with Victor.

I respect Anya for her determination and her vision, and I even love her hair, but I am angry that they are glorifying the fact that she has no sewing skills. True, you can be a designer without sewing skills--it happens every day--but Project Runway REQUIRES that their contestants sew their own designs. If those judges can't see that Anya a one-trick pony, I'm not sure if I can trust their "authority" as judges.

Also, I was so team Bert, but now I have to turn my back on him shamefacedly. I have never seen someone be so petulant and childish as he fist-pumped and laughed his way through his team critiques. You'd think that someone who has been through so much heartache and loss in life would have more compassion and empathy for his fellow human beings.
Posted: 1:44 pm on August 28th

Sharondipity2 Sharondipity2 writes: I had a lot to say about this weeks challenge. But most importantly why is it "fashionable" to not know how to sew in a zipper or that a ragged hacked up hemline can be deemed a winner.

I have been doing the challenges each week but opted out this week. To read more of my comments visit:

http://serendipity-in-suburbia.blogspot.com/ There was just too much to say. :-)

Posted: 11:04 am on August 28th

chicagochef chicagochef writes: I am really do not like this season very much. But I can't give it up completely. I cannot believe that mediocre skills would be rewarded - Anya's dress was pretty silly will that badly stitched zipper up the back. Why do they fawn over her.
The bitching this season is over the top - maybe that's what the producers want more drama and bad design - those shorts!
Yikes!
In many ways with a few exceptions - it feels like most of the contestants just spilled out of fashion school - and mean old Bert must have lived his professional life in the dress room at Halston because that is all he ever designs. I want to see him make a pair of pants.
I miss last season - even Gretchen on her worst day was never this bad.
Posted: 9:12 am on August 28th

msmagillacutty msmagillacutty writes: i could do without the drama as well--just show me the clothes!
Posted: 9:28 pm on August 27th

Stormee Stormee writes: I agree with everything sews4fun said. I don't need to add anything to what she said. She said it all.
Posted: 7:50 pm on August 27th

thomy thomy writes: Danielle's look was unimaginative but wearable as opposed to Anthony Ryan's which was unflattering and a sloppy unwearable hot mess. The color palette used by all the designers was bland, uninspired and dull. I felt Bert's design was the most flattering pulled together look. The challenge overall seemed contrived and I hope PR has better things to come, so far this season I am not impressed.
Posted: 10:13 am on August 27th

DustyBunny DustyBunny writes: I love Anya's designs almost every week and I will be happy to see her in the top three. Even though she gets a little help from the other designers, she shows that not everyone has to be experienced in order to be creative and make some pretty fabulous looks.
Posted: 9:23 am on August 27th

Martykay Martykay writes: Why is Anya getting praised every week? I get tired of it. She seems to got help every week with finishing. Are the other people ever going to get tired of helping her.
Posted: 10:16 pm on August 26th

Stitchy Stitchy writes: I can't believe how mean this season is. Gossiping back stabbing and cliques. This is not the drama I want to see on Project Runway.
I have seen Anya's "famous" back on another challenge. Maybe I am bored with her vision, lack of skill and placing high.

I didn't like any of the outfits. Also hate watching them running around the track to be a team leader. Just so gimmicky. Why did everyone have bland color pallets. I could go on but I don't want to get bummed out again. BOOOOOOO
Posted: 8:48 pm on August 26th

sews4fun sews4fun writes: Okay, is it juse me or did Anya's dress have the zipper on the outside on the back? I don't think it takes a clairvoyant to see that Anya will be in the final three. I just hope all this hype about her only knowing how to sew for four months doesn't continue and then, at the end, she wins Project Runway with (supposedly) only 4 months sewing experience under her belt. What a sensation, I can see the headlines now. I truly hope that is not where they are going with this.
I think there was a lot of missed opportunity on this challenge and no one impressed me with their designs.
Would it have been so hard to make a cute little pair of skorts or a little divided skirt with maybe just some of the suede or leather as an accent? Michael Coors can throw around the word pedestrian all day long but I don't see a whole lot of people running around with a wrinkled dress on and a biker jacket thrown over it. This stuff is supposed to sell on Amazon, it has to appeal to the masses, not to Michael Coors strictly defined sense of style. I think Josh really needs to get a grip, he is such a flamboyant designer, I don't see him making it to the final three. He was just mean to Becky last night and he had no trouble taking credit for Anya's work. Josh is in for a rude awakening. IMO I think Bert and Anya will be in the final three so far, Bert may wither because while we all can see that Bert knows how to make a dress, all we can see is that Bert knows how to make a dress, is there another dimension to Bert? I thought Ryans hot mess should have been eliminated but I was also tired of Daniells crepe blouses. When it comes down to boring or disasterous, boring gets eliminated over disasterous every single time.
As for the talent or maybe just the imagination this year, I think it is lacking and the drama they are forcing with all these group challenges is not making up for the lack of skill. I wonder if the day will ever come that they realize we watch this show for the designs and not the drama?
Posted: 4:39 pm on August 26th

Kitrtymom Kitrtymom writes: I think both looks were poor. Anthony's fit was terible,,,he should know better. Danielle's look was "out of sorts" for the competition. She's hung up on the same type styles.
Posted: 4:24 pm on August 26th

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