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Project Runway 9: “This is For the Birds”

The judges give Anya the win this week.

Birds are the inspiration this week. A new L’Oreal makeup line “Colors Take Flight” served as the foundation for this head-to-head challenge, pitting designers against their “teammates.” One designer from each pair will be in the top 3 with the other partner in the bottom.

Disaster unfolded when Kimberly’s garment went up in flames…literally. A last minute accident with a glue gun caused her to start over with only three hours to spare. Amazingly, the judges not only liked her replacement garment, but also gave it a round of applause, and placed her in the top 3 for this week.

With each designer using a different bird (everything from ravens to parrots), the garments really varied in color and feel this week. In the end, Bert is finally sent home, and Anya comes away with the win. Was this challenge “for the birds” or did the designers really take flight with their inspiration?

Anya: (winner)

Bert: (out)


Laura: (bottom)

Viktor: (bottom)

Josh: (top)

Kimberly: (top)

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. sews4fun | | #1

    Once again, selective criteria is used for certain contestants. Agreed, Bert made a less than WOW dress, but was it worse than that big bird -goes- goth get-up that Laura sent down the runway? It was not that long ago a designer was salvaged because his "body of work" was solid, apparantly, those same rules did not apply to Bert.
    Laura's snafu was hideous and incredibly unflattering on the model but I guess she's good for a bit more drama before they give her the ax, drama as we all know is truly what the show is about.
    As for Bert, I think I was more upset than he at his elimination, he almost acted....relieved!
    I agree that Josh's dress was draped nicely and even the corsage wasn't as bad as koor's said it was. I personally don't care for the roman toga with one shoulder look, I know some people like it but it looks to me like someone just threw a bedsheet over themselves to hide their nakedness because the church pastor is at the door.
    Anya's dress was something I would "almost" wear. I personally like tailoring and structure because I can't afford to buy "the flavor of the week" clothes only to find they've gone out of style before their first trip to the dry cleaners. I call it "my little black dress theory" A well tailored garment never goes out of style so your initial investment pays off. Anya's dress was tailored to an extent but it looked to me like it was unfinished. It was rough around the edges and the hem looked odd to me. With Bert being eliminated, it doesn't matter to me who wins -probably Anya- because as far as I'm concerned, they eliminated the only person whose design's reflected taste and class. Yes, he made a couple of bo-bo's but for the most part, his designs were solid in my opinion.
    Who knows? Maybe Josh, with his flamboyant mardi-gras style will make it to Bryant Park after all. By the way, did anyone see him threaten Laura Bennett on the after show? Telling someone they better hope they don't see him in New York because it wont be pretty was a threat and Josh has bullied his way through this entire show, but then again, drama is what it's all about.

  2. User avater
    lauriepie | | #2

    Can't agree more. And yes, I did see the after-show threat from Josh to Laura Bennett. Very unpleasant. That was nice of Anya to offer a little soothing rub to try to get him to reel it in, but there's no stopping his vitriol. Even Victor couldn't sympathize. I always say that "hurting people hurt people" and Josh must be one angry/hurt person. No one has escaped his wrath, not even the judges.

    I'm pretty new to PR, this is my 3rd season and I've decided to just watch the challenge, the fabric shopping, and then come back for the runway and voting. Can't deal with silly bickering in-between.

    BTW- I liked Laura Bennett's comments about Bert's beautiful concept drawings, and the resulting garments. He helped viewers understand how little time there is to execute those designs and why he had to edit much of the details out of his final garments.

  3. terricita | | #3

    I agree with the other posters here. It seems to me like the judges are keeping people around for the "drama" they bring. Why do they think we want to watch some arrogant snob talk someone else down, and then they send something truly horredous down the rumway (Laura)? I want to see craftsmanship and creativity. In this challenge, I think Laura should have been sent home- she has consistantly put out tacky stuff. Either Josh or Kim should have won this one; both their dresses were beautiful, but Joshes nasty attitude and threatening behavior is getting on my nerves.

    Also, I think the judges were unfair to Victor. Why tell someone to be inspired by birds, and then scold them for being too literal when they are inspired by birds??? I think his gown was beautiful.

  4. Cherlyn | | #4

    I was hoping that Bert would make it to the end. Anya's dress was very original and I believe she did deserve this win. However, I didn't get to see the whole show so I was curioous about the comment from Josh that her model was sewn into the dress. I;ll have to watch this show over the week-end. If she is not able to complete garments for her lack of knowledge on the process of placing pieces together in an order, then she won't make it during fashion week without some serious help. Kim won't make it much further because she is struggling. The other designers have more talent.

  5. alaskapsych | | #5

    I really think Laura's outfit was the losing one. I didn't think Bert's was worse in any way than Laura's. I did like Kimberly's. I did like Josh's. Anya's to me was very literal. I could easily see the bird in the silhouette. As far as her construction, she has a lot to learn regarding making a workable garment.

    I remain a Team Bert fan and am very glad he made it as far as he did. So sad he didn't go farther.

  6. User avater
    Stitchy | | #6

    I was sorry to see Bert go. I am not a Laura fan the fit on the leggings was a little wrinkled, the jacket looked like a costume.
    Anya is a threat to some of the designers because she has a vision and they have skills. I don't know how I would deal with her if I were in their place.
    I think the designer blogs are the PR site are dull because the designers are dull.
    Josh is filled with hate he should grow up and stop blaming everyone for his problems.

  7. KandiN | | #7

    I believe Anya in no way deserved the win this week (or in others, actually). I have no idea why the judges are so enthralled with her designs - they are basic, beginner sewing at best. I truly believe that the judges need to look at the garments up close before judging - that way, they could see the design flaws in Anya's dress. There was no opening (at all) to get in or out of the dress (she had to cut it at the collar to get the model into it, then hand sew it closed!) - that's a flaw in my opinion. And, at the beginning of the challenge, Tim informed the designers that they would do two looks, worn by one model. Anya's only skill is that she chooses fabric wisely and uses the accessory wall (don't forget - Piper Lime!) thoughtfully, which gives her garments the appearance of being more form fitting. This week's dress is basically draped then single stitched at strategic areas to make it appear "tailored", nothing more.

    The "twists" thrown at the designers really hurt some and spared others (Josh being one who benefited). None of the twists made sense - there were too many to be cohesive. Bert's dress was definitely NOT the worst garment, and Josh's "draped" dress was amateur at best. Kimberly should have won, but I thought Victor's was also done well, if a little lop-sided. Laura's pants and jacket were just horrible, in my opinion - the leggings/pants showed creases in unattractive areas, the cut of the jacket was unflattering, but I did like the "feathering" effect around the neckline.'

    Again, the PR judges just seem out of touch to me, and I'm so disappointed in this season. I have lost all respect for Heidi Klum, Michael Kors and Nina Garcia. We already know that Anya will win - why not just give her the prize money and be done with it?

    As for the producers keeping Joshua on week after week - way to go, Lifetime, for allowing a bully to be showcased with no retribution, to create "drama". I can't even let my 16 year old watch this show because I don't want her to feel that, when she grows up, bullies in the workplace are allowed to go unchecked. So disappointed with this once wonderful show.

  8. tlctrousers | | #8

    I agree that the judges missed the mark this time once again. Although Bert had some misses, his look was not the worst this week and Laura should have gone home in my opinion. Of course, the show is all about the drama behind the scenes and not necessarily on the runway so people like Josh will stay until the end. His bullying behavior is awful to watch and my hope is that when he looks back on these shows, he can watch with open eyes and learn from it.
    I think the After the Runway Show really touched on an issue that I'm struggling with this season and that is the inequitity in how the judges treat Anya vs. the rest of the contestants. They give her way to much leeway and underserved accolades because "she's only been sewing for four months". I think this is unfair to the rest of the cast and it needs to stop. Maybe they should do a spinoff show for people like Anya who are new to design and sewing.
    My other problem is in the harsh words of the judges, especially Michael Kors. There is very little constructive criticism this year and most of it seems catty.

  9. iamnewsewer | | #9
  10. iamnewsewer | | #10

    iamnewsewer writes:

    I am really tired of hearing Josh whine, complain and mistreat the other designer. He does not handle criticism well, which tells me he thinks he's perfect. You only learn when you can take constructive criticism. You can not learn when you know everything. I find him very rude, not only to the designers, but to the judges also, and he was really awful to Laura. It was not necessary for him to go off the way he did.

    Also, I hated Laura's outfit this week. I thought the pants were too tight and to me they did not look very professional. I thought the jacket was just O.K.

    I am hoping to see better looking designs this week.

  11. fabricgal68 | | #11

    While reading the comments, I would have to agree with many said about each individual mentioned. However, as a person who has watched PR since the beginning, for me it goes much deeper. This by far is the weakest pool of skills I have seen on PR since it began. Since this show has moved to Lifetime Network, it has continud to get worse and worse. The main one who has proven he was worthy of keeping up with the talent from the 1st 3 seasons (on Bravo) was Seth Aaron (a few others, but not much). I've been waiting....and waiting....and waiting.....to see something just amazing or something that really wows me. I have seen nothing this year. I'm surprised by Anya who is producing what she is after just a short time of sewing. Maybe in a few years she will be quite amazing. However, I don't tune in to PR to see some gloried Maxi Dress which is what I can sew. I tune in to see these amazing talents that inspire you to want to see more and do better yourself. If this is what we are going to continue to see, my 9 season stretch of watching PR may be coming to a close. I really don't care who wins at this point. No one can hold a candle to what we have seen in the past. Shame on PR and their slow decline of talent/programing/etc since they have changed networks.

  12. Orli | | #12

    I think Viktor should have won, Anya a close second and Kimberly should have been asked to leave, not Bert. Judy

  13. BonniMae | | #13

    It is the Anya show and I am tired of it - she really doesn't deserve all the accolades whe gets. The after show was spot on. I am also tired of Josh's bullying. Can we get back to what this show if REALLY supposed to be about? Fashion design

  14. BerthaAlicia | | #14

    I didn't watch the show, but judging for what I saw here. I think that Bert shouldn't go. My own opinion and my vote will be for Viktor Luna. I really like his vision.

  15. User avater
    Soli | | #15

    I'm over this season. There is no one doing compelling work to root for, although with JoshM, there is certainly a compelling villain to hiss against. And so I wonder what the producers think the point of the show is supposed to be? Finding a great new designer, or Suvivor: Mood New York edition? I've seen brand new sewers go ahead and spread their wings in my old college's sewing lab hours. They are unaware of what they don't know how to do, so they just try any old thing. That's fine. But to see that Anya had a serious problem with the model's actually getting into the dress, it was really dismaying seeing her win. I agree with everyone else who believed that Burt's look was not the worst there. Laura should have been sent home. However, my feeling is that the producers will NEVER allow someone over the age of 45 to win the big prize ever. The mature designer might make the top three like Wendy Pepper, Laura Bennett or Mila. But I think they want to promote someone who is starting at the beginning of their working years, which I feel discriminates against people like Burt who want/need to make a fresh start mid-life. So they reward someone who really doesn't know what she's doing, is essentially making origami with fabric, with proportions that are off, but they delight in saying - "oh isn't that wonderful, only four months?" Victor does beautiful, commercial, clean work but his aesthetic isn't really fashion forward. Kimberly is the same. Laura - WTF? She's almost as delusional in her belief in her own brilliance as is Josh. Josh has no taste, no manners, and a whole lot of ego. He is absolutely insufferable and he had no excuse treating anyone, including Laura, the way he has. Where did he get off bringing up her age? What did that have to do with HIS behavior? This show is so bad compared to what it used to be when quality designers were selected for their skills - not the amount of drama they would bring to the program. After Michael Kors let out the squeal last week on those horrid plaid pants that Josh made - why wasn't Josh eliminated then? I asked Tim Gunn if they didn't just select contestants at the beginning of the season and push them through no matter what (re Gretchen), and he denied it, but lord - why are we seeing such crap designers get this far? The only reason I'm watching is because my husband is hooked on the show...

  16. User avater
    aislinnluv | | #16

    The only designer that consistently makes garments I really like is Viktor. Bert has talent and sewing ability but he needs to get a more modern vision - his references for styling are always to women who were celebrities 30 to 40 years ago. Still, I was sorry to see him go. I know the judges claim that they "never see the behind-the-scenes footage until later", but they should at least be watching after the judging to see what has gone on - then they'd realize how poorly Anya is doing and know about things like her failure to make a closure on the winning garment last week. That she is still on is a travesty. As for Josh, he is a whiner, but I suspect that he isn't aware of how he comes across. He is acting from deep pain and has a "victim" mindset. His lashing out at Laura on the after show was indicative of that. I haven't read her blog, but judging from her behavior on Season 3 of PR, she is not a very nice person. Remember how she accused Jeffrey of cheating? Perhaps she did say something out of line and Josh reacted badly to that. I can't even guess who will make it to Fashion Week - the judges have lost my respect as well as any semblance of good sense and taste.

  17. User avater
    Rogues_of_Thread | | #17

    I agree with everyone on the talent pool, the cattiness of the judges and the drama, drama, drama between the contestants. It's too bad that the show has turned that way. I hope they can step it up.

    I also agree with the comments about the fact that the judges should look at the construction. I think I've commented about that in the past. That said, the judges are looking at things as they come down the runway and in a way, the construction is irrelevant as far as practicality and linings are concerned. The judges don't see that. What they do see is style, fit and the kind of construction that leads to good garment shaping. Yes, these things are related, but they don't ask the model to get out of the garment any more than they rip apart a jacket to see if a lining/interlining/etc is put in correctly.

    While it is a shame that they don't know that Anya's model had to be cut out of the dress, she is still bringing a point of view that no one else this season has. Sometimes those who have only a general idea of what they are doing come up with the most creative things. I thought her design was by far the most interesting of the night and of her own pieces.

    It's a shame that those with the hard-learned skills feel cheated every time Anaya gets praise, but this isn't only a competition about skills; it's about creativity as well. If Anya makes it to the final three she'll have to step her skills way up and quickly to have a shot at the win.

    - Rogues of Thread

  18. sk27 | | #18

    I like Anya's designs and she is one of many who have sent garments down the runway with sewing flaws. The program focuses on design not sewing skills- she has a great deal to learn about garment construction, but her garments are usually beautiful.

    Joshua is an immature, whining, obnoxious jerk. He has demonstrated his jealousy and insecurity in every show. According to him, he has spent a great deal of money on design school and obviously, he didn't learn much.

    Although Victor doesn't seem like a nice person, at least he doesn't have tantrums like Josh. And his garments are usually interesting and well made.

    The show should focus more on design- why the designers are selecting facets of the design for the challenges [which are sometimes really stupid] and how they accomplish their visions. Oh, wait, I forgot this is television - we shouldn't expect substance.

  19. Tereese | | #19

    What the "F" is happening to Project Runway! First of all they give the designer challenges, and when the designer works his ass off producing something which will meet the challange, the Judges chronically criticize too literal. Isn't that a bit hypocritical? And the things they do like are poorly made and not commercial. So what gives? I totally don't get what the judges scenario is and neither do the better entrants.Are they going for the most talented contestant or the worse? Therese Brodt

  20. User avater
    mjfiorini | | #20

    Interesting reading everyone's opinion. Hopefully PR producers will pay attention to what WE really want them to focus on. I'll still watch the program, cause I like to see the behind the scenes stuff, the angst, the fighting, the personal challenges they each face. All of us have 'behind the scenes' stuff with which we need to deal. Just wish the judges would open their eyes!

  21. User avater
    thomy | | #21

    I completely disagree with the judges...Anyas dress while, different and unique was anything but attractive and flattering. The pouf in the front does nothing the accentuate the models figure, the wings on the shoulder are LITERAL, which I though was a no no and are hideous to boot. Berts dress was elegant and look like something many women could actually wear. Kimberly's dress was very pretty and interesting. Kind of fed up with the lack of professional feedback and design themed direction from the judges. The framework is falling apart.

  22. User avater
    mamarama | | #22

    Anya subconsciously set the bar really low for herself in terms of the judges with her 'only sewing for 4 months' schtick. Whether they are aware of it or not, things that wouldn't be considered absolutely fabulous from another designer, are from her because of her lack of skill. Serious construction flaws that I believe should cause her to be called on the carpet, aren't, again because of her lack of skill. I'm not certain the judges are even aware of what they are doing but once that seed was planted, there was really no way to undo it.

    I believe that her lack of formal training (assuming that's true) does allow her to have more wild creativity as she is not hemmed by by being taught that you 'can't do it that way', etc. However, basic knowledge of fabrics and construction techniques IS required to be truly successful. She will have to show her sample makers how to construct her designs and I'm not certain she can do that. That was an interesting challenge last season and I for one, would like to see it revived for this season. Most of the challenges this season have been beyond bizarre and really don't show any designers true skills or flaws - this challenge would.

    PR has seriously jumped the shark this season - I wonder how many seasons are left before all those viewers truly interested in fashion have left and it joins the Housewives franchise and becomes nothing more than 'The Real Designers of Wherever" and fades into the sunset.

  23. User avater
    SambaforSarah | | #23

    I do not understand the judge's love affair with Anya! That black tent dress was scary looking and the fact that she had not designed any way for the wearer to get in and out of the dress seems huge to me! Obviously, they are just going with whatever is the most bizarre! Who would wear that dress! I'm getting very discouraged with PR because it seems less and less of what comes down the runway is attractive and that is why I watch the show!

  24. User avater
    Martykay | | #24

    I agree with mamarama that Anya is using "I have only been sewing for 4 months" as her strategy. Josh questioned Anya's strategy on this show. What a great idea to tell the judges you can't sew well and they will over look that part; and only look at the designs.

  25. gmajunk | | #25

    I really thought burt's was fabulous, but his model didn't come close to selling it. But they all think the strangest things are the greatest things. No one would ever wear the black dress winner unless you were in to s&m

  26. knittingirl | | #26

    I get the distinction between sewing and designing. I have been sewing for 40 years and have never "designed" anything without a pattern to start. The fact that Anya can create a "design" is her strong point - probably the strongest of the designers. As for her latest win, I have said it before - I do not think black translates well on the TV runway. As for Burt, I am really going to miss him. His dress had a lovely skirt. Bottom line, I don't think there is any room for these designers to feel unhappy with the challenge (ie Burt's bemoaning the parrot). It eats up too much precious time and energy. Anya knows how to sail past any adversity. That's why she is a real winner on this type of competition.

  27. User avater
    canei | | #27

    Viktor is my favorite. He should have won more then he did. I will miss Bert, I really liked him. It's all about Anya anyway and I think she will win. She is NOT my fav. I don't think this show is an honest competition. I think it's fixed. This is my first time following PR and will be my last. Josh is a bully, but he's honest.

  28. mcgouldemong | | #28

    Anya nailed it!

  29. kathykat | | #29

    I wasn't planning on watching PR this season, because I am so feed up with the decision of the judges. I'm not sure the judges are in touch with fashion reality.

    Anya puts on a good front. I think Vicktr is the best. Kimberly is a good designer, but just need to select the right fabric. Joshua is too far out there. I'm glad Bert is gone. He just wasn't designing for the present. He was too stuck in the past and wasn't fashion forward.

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