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Project Runway 9: “Go Big or Go Home”

Laura takes the win, and gains immunity with this chic look.

This week, the designers had one day to create a look for models walking the runway on stilts. For the first time Project Runway designers had an audience, including press, at an outdoor show. The teams in the bottom three all made the mistake of making their looks to costumey, while those at the top had a cleaner ready-to-wear look.

The Teams:

Bryce/Fallene (out)


Anthony Ryan/Laura





Top 3:
Anthony Ryan/Laura(winner)

Bottom 3: 

What did you think of the designs this week? Were they too costumey for you? Did the drama between the partners overshadow the garments? 

Season 9 Designers: (*eliminated)

Amanda Perna
Anthony Ryan Auld 
Anya Ayoung-Chee 
Becky Ross 
Bert Keeter 
Bryce Black 
Cecilia Motwani 
Danielle Everine 
David Chum
Fallene Wells
Gunnar Deatherage
Joshua Christensen
Joshua McKinley 
Julie Tierney 
Kimberly Goldson 
Laura Kathleen
Olivier Green 
Rafael Cox
Serena da Conceicao
Viktor Luna


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  1. User avater
    Stitchy | | #1

    This was a horrible challenge. Nothing looked chic. Looked like a new wave circus hit town.
    Bryce should be ashamed of himself, he acted like a baby and he made an ugly skirt. Last weeks attempt was awful as well.

  2. Cherlyn | | #2

    I was not a big fan of this challenge either. I never like the odd challenges, except for the newspaper challenge a few years ago. Most of the time, the unusual challanges are lacking in creativity. The pairing and the grouping of contestants never bring good results. Why do they keep doing that?

  3. alaskapsych | | #3

    Yeah, I thought this was on the absurd side, too. Bryce threw Falleene under the bus as far as I'm concerned. Since I'm new to Project Runway, I don't have any history to draw upon, but overall, I'm feeling a little let down by the offerings so far.

    However, I did like the outdoor presentation. I thought that looked like a lot of fun.

  4. marijke1 | | #4

    Yep, Bryce threw Fallene under the bus. The judges realized it, also acknowledge Fallene made the only creative piece of the outfit (the hat), and still sent her home. Seems to me Bryce should have been sent home -- he made ugly outfits several weeks in a row and was uncollegial in this team challenge.

    Liked the Becky/Kimberly green outfit better than the red one that won. The red outfit may have had fabric that flowed nicely in the wind outside, but it wasn't exactly slimming. The bodice was pretty bulky. The green one had a collar that was a bit theatrical, but far more elegant and slimming than the red outfit.

    The outdoor show was cool. Not sure about the stilts.

  5. marg | | #5

    I agree Brice should have been sent home not Falleene. she made a nice hat. I think it was the crying that did her in. I liked the red and green outfits.
    This year the designers have been much better than the last few seasons.
    How can anyone think that a person on stilts could look Paris chic? People on stilts are either installing dry wall or in the circus.
    And Burt where are you !!! They willl remember you did not try? I want to see you get to the final 3 at least. also burt try to be nicer to the kids. You are the experienced one and stop designing Halston clothes!

  6. Flanerie | | #6

    I really want to say something positive. Really, I do. But they're losing me with this season. . . that chiffon outfit, the tan pants and turquoise top with all the tacky bling at the neck, was so matronly and ugly!Ugh! Just as bad as the horrible hair and makeup it was paired with, in my opinion. Yet it gets praised. . .

    and Bryce dodges a bullet yet again even though he should have gone home - in past episodes, the judges have always held the team leader responsible for failing designs, and he clearly claimed responsibility for the entire bad look here, with Fallene at least making the only good part of it, the cute headpiece.

    Still hoping Bert redeems himself this week. . .As of now, though, it looks like Anthony Ryan is going to be the standout this year.

  7. sews4fun | | #7

    I thought this entire challenge was just.....stupid.
    It was a waste of time for anyone who watched it and if I had not watched it the following night on lifetime so I didn't have to see so many commericals, I would not have been able to sit through the entire charade.
    Those pants and that jeweled blouse were right out of the sixties and were ugly and dated and awful, even in chiffon.
    Becky and Kimberly were the clear winners....period. The rest of this ridiculous episode is not even worth mentioning.

  8. User avater
    Soli | | #8

    @Cherlyn, the pair/group challenges are a reflection of the real world, especially in RTW. Rarely is there one designer who works alone and decides on all the looks, especially if there's licensing involved. There can be a creative director, head designer, and all sorts of assistant designers working for a single line. I used to work for a company that designs and manufactures all the private label cashmere sweaters for many chain stores across the country, and we had three designers in house in California, plus a "name" designer at the London office/showroom. I'm really underwhelmed this season. I swore I wasn't going to watch, but it's Tim Gunn who keeps me tuning in. I haven't seen anyone I'm crazy about. Seems to me like the editing is really emphasizing the backbiting and complaining. Speaking of which, Viktor struck me as very immature and unprofessional, but Burt hasn't come off very well either.

  9. atelier27 | | #9

    Fallene's undoing was her failure to cut the originally intended blouse on the grain. I realize that she is self taught, but how could she get by for so long without understanding how to cut something on grain?

  10. User avater
    thomy | | #10

    I missed most of this episode but my first thought when I saw what the challenge was going to be was, what they thinking? How does walking on stilts translate to fashion...I am not connecting the dots. Not sorry I missed it. Truly ridiculous.

  11. DazySprinkle | | #11

    My first thought for these designs was, Hurray! Someone finally made a dress for those of us who dont like dresses...or at least showing our legs. I have been wearing slacks with my skirts for a while. It creats lenghtening lines, drawing the eye all he way to the floor.

  12. User avater
    sharondipity2 | | #12

    I have a bit to say visit my blog and let me know what you think of my designs.


    I've been doing every challenge the designers have, and until you walk in their shoes...

  13. trailstokr | | #13

    When I read the title of this article, I thought, "They're finally on to something challenging and practical --- styles for the non-model figure!!!"
    Not so much. Too bad!

  14. User avater
    curleyque | | #14

    Oh my....the whole thing was a hot mess in my book. I found the whole stilt walking models a little creepy and couldn't get past the awkward gait to admire or critique the outfits. I found myself trying to look at the "feet" of the stilts to see how they were structured. Maybe next week will be better....

  15. imacook | | #15

    Stilts? Who wears them beside construction and circus people? What's the point? Too extreme for applicability to wearable fashion. The top three were the best but were still costumey. Judges' standards seem to shift from week to week, as if they've predetermined the final three and must manipulate the weekly events to position their picks. If designers must accept ditsy challenges, why not give them time enough to complete their projects with finished looks? Non-fabric materials don't yield or drape or conform to body curves, and the wearables are so temporary, assuming that tape sticks and staples hold, etc. I hope the following challenges are substantive. The team projects are aired with more emphasis on discord than on productivity.

  16. bubbie | | #16

    not nice, how about something NEAR wearable!

  17. putnam | | #17

    People who walk on stilts are Stiltwalkers. Stiltwalkers wear costumes. The emperor has no clothes...!

  18. sbsings | | #18

    So I agree that the gimmick didn't work and the fashion wasn't fashionable. However, if the designers had imagined they were designing for the same proportions that most fashion drawings are - i.e. legs a mile long, normal albeit skinny torsos - there may have been some more believable designs. It could have been more fun than it turned out to be...

  19. sewsilky | | #19

    I also did not like the very dated turquoise top paired with the tan trousers. Awful colors among other problems. I think they got kudos because they worked with chiffon. Anya and Olivier's dress was interesting but their fabric choices didn't read well on tv. It looks much better in a photograph. Nice structural top.

  20. JWZ | | #20

    If the last two challenges are the best that the program can offer, then I see no reason for the show to continue. The viewers deserve better.

  21. User avater
    RevDi | | #21

    I just checked in out of curiousity. After Gretchengate, I don't watch the show any longer. It looks like I'm not missing anything.

  22. User avater
    BarbaraSki | | #22

    This was the third ridiculous challenge in a row! I don't know how many more they're going to put in, but its getting annoying. How many designers in a lifetime ever do anything from dog beds and bird seed, let alone design for women wearing stilts?? Michael Kors? Hardly!! And this idea that because Fallene is "self-taught" she knows nothing about grain?!? I'M "self-taught" and I know about grain! We have a design department in a college in my city and our guild took a tour. The head of the department said its amazing how many girls arrive at school not knowing how to sew, but wanting to be a designer - they usually drop out of that program before the end of the semester. When we have celebrities who have a clothing line, every high school girl thinks she can be a designer b/c she likes clothes! If PR shows anything, its that you have to be able to sew, know how fabric and design go hand in hand AND how to get through on mediocre talent. One more stupid challenge and I may quit watching.

  23. nitab | | #23

    I wasn't going to watch this year due to judges goofyness but it's the only thing on Thursday night TV (for me). I am pretty sure one of MK's critiques was "those skinny arms & long legs". As Homer Simpson would say "DUH". I am afraid I laughed out loud at some of the things these poor designers produced. I'd like to know how many of those designers really pay attention to grain lines. On a tiny piece it should not have made much difference. What did make a difference was that the critisim Fallene got was her undoing. I think the winner of PR ultimately has to have a very thick skin, be flexible & lots of stamina.

  24. sewinforever | | #24

    Project Runway, get real, When you put ladies on stilts, you are asking for costumes!!!! I have been sorely disappointed with the episodes so far. Lets hope tonight is better.

  25. User avater
    runwaygal | | #25

    I've come to think there is a lot more going on behind the camera than we can see. I try to remember tv edits to their satisfaction whether it is news or drama shows. I am amazaed at the kookieness of some of these challenges. I think creativity is the biggest thing they are looking for at first. Even the judges have looked in amazement and disdain at what the designers come up with. As for parisian couture from this last challenge that was not likely. I like watching them pair the designers up in teams because they must be able to work with others if their line is ever going to succeed. Out of the other 8 winners and 7 years how many of them have made huge names? I will continue to watch to spark my imagination with the ideas and clothes they produce. And if you are really paying attention how many designers have stolen the ideas from these contestants over the years and put them in their runway shows? I think they have all run out of ideas and this is how to keep it all going.

  26. notenoughdivas | | #26

    It's amazing none of the models fell !! They looked discombobulated doing this challenge. The should have choosen a better creative reference. The red dress was the most beautiful as the fabric flowed beautifully.

  27. User avater
    jennyebner | | #27

    I love the show and the inspirations I get from it. Would like to see more of how they are actually putting their designs together.

    The stilts was ridiculous in my book.

  28. User avater
    MissSewAll | | #28

    I've watched every episode of PR since it started and about half of them seem to be just silly fluff pieces designed to entertain the segment of population which knows little about garment construction. We who sew hold the program to much higher standards and expect more from its content. I gave up questioning the criteria by which the judges choose winners and losers when I read the fine print at the end of the program which states that the winners are chosen by the judges in consultation with Project Runway producers.

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