Project Runway: Season 9 – Episode 11 High Fashion Tarred and Feathered [Runway Rundown]

You know when you walk by a pet store and you see those old sad looking birds on a perch and they seem like they are just waiting for death? Well this week on Project Runway, one contestant created an outfit that pretty much sums up that scenario as a whole. For their challenge the designers had to use exotic birds for their inspiration and a few outfits that came down that runway looked like the cat got to it before the judges did.

As always, if you have yet to catch this week’s episode please check back with my previous rundowns and return after you watch the show.

Maybe it is my new eating plan or perhaps it is the colder weather that has come in, but this week I just had no patience for this challenge or the contestants as a whole. The designers were paired off and then pitted head to head to create a high fashion look based on the bird chosen for them and the make-up line (color pallete) that Loreal created inspired by each bird. Loreal calls their new color collection “Colors Take Flight” — but really, if you ask me, it just looks like a few predictable shades with a crappy mirror tacked to the back of the lid …

The designers are split with Anya and Laura doing looks based on the black Raven, Joshua and Bert going head to head with looks inspired by the Amazon Parrot, and last but not least Viktor against Kimberly with a design culled from the Cockatoo. (I was bummed nobody got the owl so perhaps I will design something for myself based on that this week.) The winner of this challenge will win $20,000 and get a photo shoot with their winning look to represent the new line of cosmetics. Quite a nice prize if you ask me! My prediction at this point is that our bottom three will be Kimberly, Bert and Laura. Let’s see how this progresses.

As the designers ponder the direction they’ll go, Bert pulls his usual grump routine saying “I don’t like this bird. I hate the green and yellow, it just looks so dime-store to me.” Kimberly is worried that her avante-garde look from a few shows before was bird inspired as well so she might need to go a different direction than usual. All in all it’s at least nice to see a little less bitching about the challenge at hand and a little more getting to work than in weeks past.

After some sketching they all head to Mood to pick out their fabrics and…

TIME OUT: Did Joshua just lick that fabric? WTF? Is he hoping the judges like the taste of his garment this week? *Shudder*

Okay, back to Mood: fabrics are picked, Tim even remarks how quickly Viktor always chooses his fabric. (It doesn’t take long to pick out a black, grey or white fabric Tim, he has that down to a science.) After a good solid few hours back in the workroom, Tim drops the bomb that they need to design a second look for the runway and that their same model will wear it AKA: a change of outfit. Back to Mood they go with panic in their eyes and 300 bucks to keep their hands busy. Joshua remarks to Tim that a shade of purple in the make-up palette isn’t on the bird. I love the look of disdain on Tim’s face as he says to not take it all so literally, it is supposed to be “inspired by.” *ugh* Joshua quickly grabs enough crazy multi colored fabric to choke a Rodeo Drag Queen and they are headed back to work!

Favorite moment of the night: Kimberly standing on the work table screaming about a cockroach on the floor and Anya using a stiletto from the Piperlime Wall to kill it. All those queens and Anya is the only one brave enough to kill the little icky bug… *oy vey*

Kimberly breaks down, pulls through, sews her finger, gets a hug from Tim, blah blah blah… Joshua makes a glow-in-the-dark green tattered wedding gown for Mrs. Havisham to wear to the black light ball, but scraps it in favor of a hideous cut print circle skirt he somehow sees as a better option. At least his Orange garment looks somewhat stylish and is taking shape. Hopefully he won’t decide to bedazzle the damn thing at the last minute, blah blah blah. (The kid needs a stop button, and a French dictionary! Joshua, how do you not know the meaning of “Qu’est-ce que c’est?”) Kimberly is almost finished with her second look when she lays it on the table and burns a hole through her fabric from the glue gun. Time for a real make it work moment when she only has about 3 hours left to make something usable. Blah blah running out of time blah!

Surprise! Tim comes in and spares them the hell of sending a half done garment down the runway and informs them they will only be sending one look down the runway. They will need to pick their strongest look and get their models to hair and make-up as soon as possible. *huge sigh of relief envelops the work room

On to the runway! I’d say I need to pop a Claritin for this bird show, but luckily only 1 or 2 designers went with the literal feather look.

As for the looks they likee this week, Anya knocks it out of the park with a garment she sewed her model into. The structured look of the thing and the sharp feel that emulates the severity of the Raven is an instant hit with me and with the judges so she takes the win and Joshua could not be more pissed.

He’s holding his tongue the entire time he’s standing there, just wanting to call her out on the runway for not making a garment that can easily be taken on or off, but really is that the challenge here or is the design aesthetic more important?

He gets lucky with his Orange bag dress that is stylish if not a little boring. I know… how can orange be boring you ask? When the model is just a hair and a small chain shy of looking like the The Great Pumpkin — that’s how. His dress is nice but doesn’t seem high fashion enough to me. At least he edited it down this week, except of course for the hideous corsage chunk on her shoulder, but he seems to finally be listening a bit to what the judges are saying to him. He is a strong designer, I agree with the judges, but he needs to tone it all down… way down.

Finishing out our top 3 is (surprise) Kimberly! That girl pulled a gorgeous dress out of thin air. Had it all been tailored and edited down a bit better .she might have had a chance to win this week. I love the flare of her dress and the soft color of the underskirt, she really captured the essence of the bird without going to the feathery place. She impresses me this week, even if Viktor keeps saying that she copied his look. Hey Viktor, you aren’t the first person to ever create an asymetrical shoulder on a soft flowy gown.

Speaking of Viktor, that brings us to the bottom three for the week. His garment is pretty but looks like a feathery bridesmaid dress to me. He needs to have spent less time pulling apart those chunks of fabric to resemble feathers and more time honing in on a good design. Kim takes him down this week and that is nice to see. He is a great designer but being humble is not his strong suit.

Laura is also in our bottom 3 this week for her uninspired, somewhat literal take on the Raven. The pants are WAY too tight and the top ventures a little too far into the feather bin . Heidi says it looked “too birdy!” She could have saved the look with tailoring, a bit of editing and styling it better, but when you are up against that sharp eye of Anya, good luck! Bert rounds out our bottom 3 and goes home this week for a sad and dated looking garment that is described by Michael Kors as “Pageant and Wonder Woman.” He is trying to avoid color all together by creating this grey toned outer layer and hiding the color in the underskirt but really it just turns into a mess. He shied away from the challenge once again and it did him in as predicted. You can’t get by on the mere fact you didn’t like the bird you were given Bert… You got a bird with color and excitement and you could have taken it anywhere. *Good riddance!

Alas, there are no tears for Bert who seems pretty pleasant about leaving. I don’t think he is the only one that is relieved. Bert is strong at making beautiful garments but he falls into the same rut over and over and maybe it’s best for him to stick to what he knows. He never was much for surprise, so these challenges blindsided him each week and let’s not even talk about his lack of collaboration. Let’s just remeber him how we all knew him best, smiling with that creepy smirk and a sharp pair of scissors over in the corner while he mutters about these damn kids under his breath.

After we see Bert leave, Joshua digs into Anya in an interview about how she must have some strategy to have gotten this far on the show. I’d like to respond to you Josh… Her strategy is to try new things, take risks but not to go overboard crazy, and to design with a critical and inventive eye, showing us and the judges she has a personal design aesthetic. Even when she may not know how to accomplish the task at hand, she perseveres to create new and innovative looks that has her name written ALL over it. (PS: none of this necessarily requires a Bedazzler) Does that clear things up for you, Joshua?

Next week is the final challenge before the final designers are chosen for the finale and must design a collection to show at Bryant Park. Tune in to see them each make three looks and lets see who rises up and who goes down in flames! My prediction is we will see Anya, Viktor and most likely Joshua unless he screws things up royally next week… I’m sure everyone up there will get their fair share of the criticism we always see when they have to deliberate over who will be in the final three. Let’s hope this year they don’t wimp out again and make two designers go home, design and come back to fight for the third slot like they have the last several years! Just pick your damn top three, judges!

If you tuned in tonight you also got to see the new special they are adding to the last final few episodes of the show called “After The Runway.” What did you guys think of this? I thought it was a little gimmicky bringing on Laura Bennett (Who I hated on Season 3) to poke and prod the designers with provocative questions raised by both her and other viewers, but it was kind of fun. I felt a little bad for Josh getting blindsided by her as the “Mean One” of the season but when he sat on that sofa and refused to answer her question it kind of spoke for itself. Viktor chimed in playing some “Gay Card” as an excuse for his bitchiness but I think Laura touched on something there, neither Viktor or Bert acted in such a blatant manner, why did he? She hit a raw nerve and I have never seen Joshua look so backed into a corner before. I wonder what goes through his mind when he is watching the show and sees himself verbally slay a person behind their back and turn around smiling and hug them the next minute… Do you think he sees the truth here or is he just pretending it didn’t happen? Being such a reactionary person like that, it must be hard knowing some of the things you have done and said that paint you in such an unflattering light are aired for all the world to see.