No Halstons Here: Project Runway Episode 10 is "Sew '70s"
Episode 10 began with the usual city-life, Atlas New York montage. Laura Kathleen said, "At this point, everyone knows how to construct clothing. So now it's about having good Mood trips and a high taste level." Or you could put it another way, as Viktor did: "I'm not worried about the challenges. I'm worried about the remaining people getting nasty. The tiger's going to come out."
This episode was titled "Sew '70s," and the designers were had to (once again) look to the past and create a modern look inspired by 70's fashion.
The challenge information was shared by Tim Gunn and Heather Archibald, the lead apparal buyer for Piperlime.com. The winning design was going to be put into production and sold on the site.
As Heather explained it, the site's customer is into trends and the site was looking for something reflecting the revival of the sophisticated '70s. The examples were flared pants, tie-neck blouses, earthy colors, plaids, all for a strong and feminine woman. The designers had a dossier of '70s images to review on their HP computers.
Tim stressed the sophisticated angle. Not retro, not vintage, not too literal. After pulling accessories from the Piperlime wall and sketching, all of the designers seemed to have concepts they were happy with. They set off for Mood with Tim - with $100 to spend and 30 minutes to spend it in.
Anya had a disaster at Mood - another "Project Runway" first in Season 9. Anya's dress had no pockets. She tucked her money into her top, but somewhere between the silk jersey and linen sections at Mood, she lost it. You'd think with the camera crew or crews there, they would have known where she dropped it, but no.
She searched frantically with the help of the Mood employees, but could not find the money. Tim told her she could use muslin, as well as any money the other designers had left over and gave to her. Only Anthony Ryan had any extra - 11 dollars and change.
Tim also diplomatically, and loudly, recalled how generous Anya had been about sharing fabrics with her fellow designers during past challenges. Back at the workroom, almost all of the other designers did offer fabric to Anya, with the notable exception of Viktor. He didn't want to improve Anya's chances of doing well in the challenge. (I guess the tiger came out there.)
Well into the challenge, Tim came into the workroom and announced that the designers were going to have an additional twist to the challenge - they had to come up with a second, one-piece look with a 50 dollar budget and a 15-minute Mood shopping trip. Anya (who dyed muslin for a top and used the $11 fabric she'd bought with Anthony Ryan's change to make pants for the first outfit), did not lose the money for her second outfit!
On the runway
The guest judge was Olivia Palermo, a socialite, fashionista, Elle magazine writer, and reality TV star who was on "The City," a spin-off of MTV's "The Hills." She's also a guest editor for Piperlime.com, where you can find an "Olivia Palermo's picks" page, with a video. Olivia has also been modeling through Wilhemina and is supposed to working on a series about the development of her own fashion line.
Kimberly showed a flowing, sleeveless, chiffon circle top with a tie neck and an uneven hemline (midriff baring in front) over a black pencil skirt.
Her one-piece look was a jumpsuit in a light menswear fabric, like a slimmed down, feminized, and fitted suit vest and pants.
Anthony Ryan showed a zigzag print vest over a long print blouse and a short knit skirt.
His second look was a print maxi-dress, reminiscent of some of the dresses Anya has worn. He did refer to her earlier in the show as exactly the type of girl he wanted to dress.
Although a good maxi-dress is on-trend, this did not have a flattering cut or an attractive print. The judges did not care for either of Anthony Ryan's looks. The models looked like "hippy sister-wives," Michael said, while Heidi said those type of outfits were called "schmutzes," where she came from, something you'd put on to cover everything up. They look like two boring girls was the consensus - wait, boring girls who were in a cult, to be precise.
Bert's separates were not for boring girls - his two '70s muses were Shelly Hack and Ali McGraw. The "Shelly" was an iridescent chiffon one-armed peasant blouse over a sequinned bustier, paired with black hotpants and a tie-on wrap skirt.
His second, one-piece look was a simple Grecian-look shift dress, short and in two fabric colors, white or platinum in front, a light gold or bronze in back. The judges praised his fabric choice and he fact that he drew from two sides of the '70s (both sophisticated) for inspiration.
Laura Kathleen's first look was a chevroned tank in a very big black and white stripe, paired with a splatter print maxi skirt. Laura was very pleased with the look, which unbeknownst to her, I think, had drawn a lot of negative attention from the other designers while it was up in the workroom. Nina, Olivia, and Heidi all criticized Laura's print combination.
Her second look was a chiffon jumpsuit with flowing legs and a spaghetti-strapped tank top. But it didn't have any "Wow" factor, and Heather had mentioned that the pieces had to speak to online viewers.
Joshua's first look was a magenta and black tuxedo shirt, paired with and black and white plaid pants, tight fitting and very narrow and scrunched at the ankle. That sort of legging look was not at all reminiscent of the '70s, I thought, although Josh seemed pleased with it. The top seemed too big, maybe more '80s, but Joshua seemed to think he was channeling the androgyny of the '70s. "1870's, maybe," Michael said.
"This is one of the worst outfits I've seen in a long time," Heidi said. "There's just so much going on in it."
"That's me," Joshua said. "That's scary," Heidi replied.
His second look was an unremarkable maxi dress, with a black princess necklined top and a flowing acid-colored animal print skirt. The nod to the 70s was in the skirt length. Nina hated, hated the print.
Anya's first look was her $11 outfit, a halter top and pants. You have to hand it to her, the top was dyed muslin, and the pants were made with the fabric she was able to buy with Anthony's change. Not perfect, but not bad, either. Michael liked the pleating work in the back of the dyed muslin shirt, but he did say the color looked like chewed gum.
Her second look was a jumpsuit with very wide legs and big V's in front and back. Nina loved the print in the jumpsuit and it had a chiffon back, which was fresh.
Viktor's first outfit was a safari-styled jacket with a belted waist, over slim pants, flaring pants. Beneath the jacket, he had an ombre/snakeprint little T-shirt. The judges loved the pieces, though there was some debate about the T-shirt OR the jacket (were both together sexy enough?). I thought he did very well, but I also thought I wonder if Piperlime wants to make and market a complicated, fitted, multiple-piece outfit?
His second look was a little wrap dress with an uneven hem. The top was a snakeskin print and it had a black tie belt.
The judges praised Viktor's tailoring, and got a laugh out of the fact that his own outfit also matched the looks. He had on snakeskin shorts and a snakeskin bowtie. Michael Kors said he wished Viktor's piece had been a little sexier, maybe sans the high-necked t-shirt, although the T-shirt itself won praise too.
Kimberly left the runway straight away with a passing score.
Anya was named the winner, and her chiffon-backed print jumpsuit is available for $198 on PiperLime.com.
Olivia told Bert that they loved his little dress and they wanted to also produce and sell it on Piperlime.com. You can get Bert's dress for $98 on Piperlime.com
Viktor was the last member of this week's top 3. Everyone was impressed with both of his looks.
In the bottom 3, Laura Kathleen was told she was in, but to watch it. She really missed the mark on this challenge.
Anthony Ryan and Joshua were left. Heidi started with Anthony. His dress was a shapeless tent, she said, and the prints he'd chosen were unattractive.
For Joshua, she told him his works were over-designed as usual, and that neither look had offered a modern take on the '70s. (Backstage a bit earlier, Joshua had complained about having to design for a decade he didn't live throught. He was pretty aggressive when Viktor pointed out that he, too, hadn't lived through the '70s, but had made an effort to learn about the styles of the decade from movies and television. Joshua didn't take it well when the others chimed in in defense of Viktor, saying that the point was as fashion designers they had to familiarize themselves with fashion history.)
Anthony Ryan was out. It was one of the most affecting PR goodbyes I've seen. Even Tim got choked up.
Do you think the judges made the right decision to send Anthony home instead of Joshua? Do you think it was fair that Anya won, and Bert's dress was manufactured too, but Viktor's great outfit went nowhere? How much do you think that the complexity of his design might have weighed in the decision?
Next week: The designers have to make dresses based on live birds.