Project Runway: Season 9 – Episode 13 Tim Gunn’s Home Shopping Network [Runway Rundown]

This week’s episode is that calm before the storm, the episode where Tim Gunn does his home visits and we discover who our final three are for the season. This is make it or break it time for our designers and with only five weeks to produce a full collection on their own, they need every second they can get. This episode is so exciting for me every season, that is of course until I watch it… There is nothing more painful than listening to designers’ 80,000 ways of saying “I am running out of time,” or “I’m nervous!” At least with the real finale next week we get to see their whole collections on the runway! Come hell or high water they will be showing their stuff, frantic, psychotic, and emotionally unstable as they may be.

With our final four working away at their home bases, Tim hopped in his big gay designer-mobile and headed to them in an attempt to check in and possibly give them some useful guidance along the way. This is always a good reality moment for the designers with only 2 weeks left before they head back to New York City for Mercedes Benz Fashion Week. Tim started his journey not too far away in Maryland to meet up with Kimberly.

Her collection seemed to be progressing well with lots of color as I had expected. Her inspiration was Brooklyn then and now and she wants to set out to “transform the urban girl.” I like what few pieces she showed Tim, but I think she needs to be careful of the taste level in a few spots. Her designs could go bad 80s ugly really easily, especially with her planned “chola” hoop earrings. Her cuts and style reflect a bit of Balenciaga which is really nice, but it is truly great to see these clothes and know that they are unmistakably hers.

Time Out: Was that silver leather I just saw? Hmmm… I kinda like it…

Next up Tim travels to Trinidad to see Anya, all while dressed in a suit. He looked so uncomfortable and out of place that I wanted to reach through the screen and undo his damn necktie. Relax Tim, you know that shorts and loose fit clothing are preferred in tropical climates right? On second thought I’d rather not see your knees… I can only imagine what they look like!

Side Note: OMG Trinidad is beautiful! “I want to go to there”

Anya’s collection is underway but she seems afraid to show Tim just how little she has done. Her inspiration comes from Tobago and the colors in some of her fabrics are truly remarkable… But where are the clothes you ask? She hasn’t made any. Anya, what have you been doing this whole time, snorkeling?! Jesus girl, 2 weeks to make 10 full outfits?! And if you say one more time “I still haven’t drawn a new shape,” I think Tim may just smother you with that batik fabric back there. Get to work! (What a disappointment, the golden child may have blown it…)

Next up is Viktor in New York City. He has based his collection on photographs he took on a trip to Guadalajara, Mexico. He has titled his look “Urban Coast” and has printed some of the photographs as fabric to be used in his collection. Right off the bat I can see he has some amazing prints used very well, and he seems to be well on his way to completion. This guy can sew like nobody else this season and his work looks impeccable. He may just glide to the finish line without too much effort if the others choke at all.

After seeing Viktor’s solid collection, Tim heads over to Joshua’s home base, you guessed it… Queens! (I almost died when I saw this queen was from Queens!) Without much sense of a focus for his inspiration he launches into showing Tim an array of fabric that can only be described as “Clown Massacre.” It was like that drag queen clothing store in San Francisco where the fabric inside the store gave me a headache after ten minutes. Tim used words like gimmick, homely, and sad to describe some of his stuff and by the end of his visit they had eliminated all but maybe 2 outfits from everything he had done. “Where is the sex?” Tim asked. I agree! I only saw one outfit that looks at all presentable and Joshua may be in deep doo-doo.

When the designers all return to New York with their collections nearly completed, it is nice to see that for the first time in a long while that the final four actually have a sense of camaraderie. All the hugs and kisses of course give way to sideways glances and bitchy comments once the garments are on the racks, but in the end you know they at least all truly like one another somehow. With one final pass at their work before they each present 3 looks to the judges, Tim helps them get to the root of what may be missing in their collections. This is the real nerve wracked moment for each designer, as the following day they will be competing to see who will make it to the runway for fashion week. Tim calls Joshua’s collection “Schizo” and then asks him “Am I leaving you in an okay place mentally?” Sure Tim, you just said my collection is a mess and I’m totally fine, let me just rethink everything.

Tim tries to get Kim to focus, as she seems scattered in which pieces to even show. He loves Viktor’s jacket and pants, and doesn’t seem to have many issues with his work thus far. The biggest bomb he drops is on Anya by telling her he is disappointed and that her collection looks like she has retreated back into what she is comfortable doing. I have to agree, she hasn’t pushed it that much. On top of looking like she has blown it, she looks like she may be on the edge of a breakdown.

On to the runway…

Viktor showed us an amazing white leather jacket with intricate beading on the sleeves. This piece looks very “Lady GaGa meets the modern fashionable consumer” and I like it. Unfortunately he pairs it with an equally impressive evening gown in grey that really just needs to be shown all on its own. I love his pants (even if from afar the pattern makes them look like “period pants.”) and his tailoring really stands out. I like the story he seems to be telling with his collection, but the ugly black leather zippered overskirt he put onto an adorable short dress really just needs to be trashed. With a little editing this might just be an easy win for him.

Anya’s three pieces right off the bat hit me with the sense that all the color of the islands was sucked from her collection, all she showed us was browns and golds. I adored her first short print dress, but the wool bathing suit was a tragic miss along with the ugly beige blah number she threw over the top of it. Her third look, a twisted mess of a gown showed her lack of time and sewing ability that has been rearing it’s head for her in the last few challenges. If she was trying to make a new shape, she found one… and it’s name is ugly. Sorry girl, pending what else you may have in that collection back in the work room, I think you just blew it.

Kim brought a strong viewpoint to the runway this week, but her taste and styling got a little questionable in a few areas. Her looks brought to mind “Chav culture” and some girl that dresses like a cross between Lily Allen and Lady Sovereign. (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, google it… it is one part cute and two parts scary.) I enjoyed her pants and some of her bold color choices, but the hideous bubbled up skirt was a big miss for her this week. I will agree with Michael Kors on one major plus for her, she managed to make all her models look sexy without cutting everything too tight or too low. They are covered up, a bit classy in one or two instances and still look really sexy. She knows how to flatter a woman’s body with the cut of the garment, I’ll give her that! (again, except with that hideous skirt!)

Joshua surprised me and the judges this week. I actually really liked his little black dress number, and the jacket he made! Nina said this boy has talent and I see that this week, but after the “Clown Closet” problems we saw earlier I think he may be misrepresenting his collection by only showing the darker more sophisticated looking pieces. Smart move there, Joshua, except for that terrifying jumper back/ drapey front nightmare you seemed so proud of. No woman wants to hang her ass out while the front of her looks like a black trash bag blew across the highway and covered her whole front. I’ve seen this happen in Winter back in Pittsburgh and the effect that poor woman had when she got blindsided by black plastic was far superior to your messy garment there… While we are at it, ditch the gimicky use of plastic necklines and drag queen disco fabric in your designs, it cheapens the parts where you are really succeeding. I think if you keep the word EDIT written on your mirror and all the walls in your studio, it may sink in enough one day and your designs could really be stunning.

In the end: Joshua, Viktor and Kimberly made it through. After an agonizing minute, they sent Anya through as well. I hate when they do that year after year, but in this case I am really curious to see what else she brought to the table. The look on Viktor and Joshua’s faces when she broke the news was one of horror, anger, and confusion. They trash talked her in the interview all while they smiled and said “I’m so happy for you.” How completely awkward, but boys it just shows you are afraid your work may still not cut it.

Next week, the long awaited finale! Let’s hope someone cuts someone’s evening gown when they aren’t looking… god knows they could use something to spice this show up a bit. Better yet, make them race across Manhattan to find each of their garments in a nightmarish scavenger hunt! Whoever finds all their pieces first gets to show at fashion week. *cue a bag lady pushing a cart down the street wearing kimberly’s black sequined gown* See you next week designers!