Recap: An avant-garde challenge on ‘Project Runway’ puts a favorite in danger

09.02.11 6 years ago

Lifetime Television

Well, within the first five minutes this episode is shaping up to be a bit of a shocker. While hanging out with his roommates, Bert determines that he needs to play nice with everyone so that he doesn’t have to make apologies for being an old crank. I’m so proud of Bert! At this rate, he may go back to being one of my favorites. Meanwhile, Becky and Laura try to make nice now that Becky has moved into her suite. Hey, if Bert can place nice, they can, too. 
Heidi informs the designers that they will be collaborating on an art project with students from the Harlem School of the Arts. Each designer will use the painting he or she creates with one of the students to inspire a avant-garde design. This seems all kinds of complicated, but I am looking forward to seeing some of the designers deal with children.
Right off the bat, Viktor does not disappoint. He looks at the camera and sneers, “Working with children. How cute is that?” Of course, his distaste for small people seems instantly petty the minute Anya chirps about how her parents run a foundation to help children, so she’s instantly thrilled about this challenge. Way to take the fun out of it with all that sincerity and goodness, Anya!
Of course, Viktor is assigned to Sky, a very happy, very chatty, very bubbly 12-year-old. I see cheesy ’80s sitcom potential! Viktor felt it would have been easier to deal with Sky if he’d had a drink. I’m guessing, though, that they’ll warm up to each other, as that’s how it usually works in Disney movies. 
Meanwhile, most of the other designers seem to looooove their kids. Bert gets along famously with 16-year-old Antonio. Laura thinks her kid Kai is a little Dalai Lama in disguise. 
After the designers and kids dabble with their paints, it’s time to sketch and hit Mood. Mood is tougher than usual, because it’s an avant-garde challenge, and, as Laura informs us, avant-garde requires lots of material. 
Josh C. realizes he has $300 to spend and has only spent $170 dollars of it. Well, go back and buy more stuff, Josh C.! It’s not that hard! 
We learn that Josh M. lost his mom to ovarian cancer. She was his rock and his inspiration. I suspect this will be worked into his outfit somehow, or the producers are just trying to make us sad. 
Bert talks about losing his husband to AIDS and how that sent him into some very dark places, including alcoholism. He video chats with his sister and her family and gets to see his dog. This is becoming a Very Special Episode of “Project Runway.”
Back at Atlas, Laura says sharing a table with Josh C. made her anxious because his design is… well, she doesn’t use a word, she just makes a face. Let’s just say it’s a bad face. Josh C., meanwhile, is very excited about his outfit. I think Josh C. is very, very taste challenged. 
The kids come back to the workroom with their paintings. Tim Gunn walks around to weigh in and embarrass the designers in front of small children. Oh, wait, Tim would never do that. Nina or Heidi might, but not Tim. 
Tim tells Anthony Ryan to do it. He tells Anya it’s impossible for her not to be tasteful. He urges Kimberly to avoid going crazy with feathers and giving Michael Kors the chance to tell her she’s created a Hiawatha moment.
Since Tim isn’t insulting anyone, that’s left to the designers to do to one another. Becky calls Laura’s dress a fluffy peach prom dress. Viktor thinks the boxes on Becky’s dress look like FedEx just shipped them. Ah, the gloves are off this season!
Tim isn’t wowed by Becky’s dress, so Viktor isn’t wrong, just mean. Tim isn’t sure Olivier is taking his dress far enough. Tim isn’t loving Josh M.’s outfit. He thinks Josh C.’s dress is too literal, because it looks like a wolf costume. Josh C. realizes Tim is right. Thank God. 
Finally, our heartwarming Disney moment! Viktor learns to appreciate his little Sky when she sells the dress to Tim like she’s pushing cars on a used car lot. Suddenly, Viktor thinks she’s cool and funny. Sky’s no dummy — she knows how to get on the old grump’s good side. 
Josh C. keeps joking around in the workroom. Anya thinks he isn’t trying hard enough for someone who was already eliminated. I agree. If you have time to giggle and put Fantasy Fur on your head to create a fauxhawk after Tim’s told you your outfit blows, you’re not working hard enough.
Laura breaks down and tells Josh C. his outfit looks a little, um, costumey. Of course, she says this when there’s only a half hour left in the day to tinker. But yet again, wake up call for Josh C. 
Olivier realizes he’s spent too much time on his top garment. And then, Olivier commits a cardinal sin — he glues his top to his model. Tim catches him and informs him it’s against the rules. Olivier undoes the glue, so no harm no foul, but I think Olivier is in trouble this week.
Becky thinks Laura’s dress looks like a Barbie doll dress you use to cover up an extra roll of toilet paper. Okay, I’m no fan of Becky’s dress, but that was an AWESOME zinger. 
More designer insults! Josh M. thinks it’s time for Bryce to go. Kimberly thinks Bert’s look is very kid’s crafty. 
Runway time! Michael Kors, Marie Claire senior fashion editor Zanna Roberts Rassi and guest judge Kenneth Cole. Viktor’s student is SUPER excited about Kenneth Cole. Probably because she’s seen his advertising campaigns. I guess. Most 12-year-olds are not excited about Kenneth Cole, really. 
I actually like the use of feathers and pleather on this one, but the asymmetrical hemline doesn’t completely work in the front — it just looks like a sheet of fabric was stapled to the side of the dress. But otherwise, this is solid.
I still think denim was a horrible choice for this dress. As there’s no lining, the bottom half of the dress just looks  cheap.
This looks haphazard and so, so drab. I’m also not sure it’s really avant-garde. Big disappointment.
Josh M.
I’m surprised by how much I like this outfit. The wood look skirt, I would buy. And the flame-colored top is really fun. And no bedazzling!
This is like a costume from Circue de Soleil. And the model looks FAT. This looked a lot better as a sketch, and I wasn’t even entirely sold on it then. I know this is avant-garde, but does she have to look so awful?
Looks a little Renaissance Faire to me. 
Not my favorite, but it’s not exactly something you’d cover a toilet paper roll with. I actually like the bodice a lot. 
Oh, he wasn’t kidding about the straight jacket thing. I wish he’d put more of a twist on the idea, though.
Josh C.
This would totally sell out at Hot Topic! Anywhere else, not so much.
Anthony Ryan
I like this. The strips of fabric look fresh and fun on the sheer fabric. I cannot believe this guy is color blind. 
I like this, but I like everything Anya does. It could actually be legitimate runway, though maybe not avant-garde.
Kimberly, Viktor, Becky, Bryce, Anya are passed onto the next round. 
Backstage, Bryce says that if Bert wins, he’s jumping out of the f***ing window. I get that, for once. 
Josh M. is up first. Heidi likes the look and the painted fabric. Kenneth Cole also loves the skirt. Michael also loves the texture on the skirt. He points out that if the hair and make-up wasn’t so crazy, someone would actually wear the dress, so maybe he didn’t have to go so Tim Burton-y. But isn’t this an avant-garde challenge? Zanna also loves the skirt. 
Next, Josh C. Michael thinks the model looks like a Victorian cocktail waitress in Vegas. Zanna’s first thought was trashy. Heidi’s first thought was hooker for Halloween. 
Josh C. disagrees. He loves his wolf hooker dress! Zanna tells him, basically, to shut up. Kenneth Cole thinks the proportions re off.
Bert talks about his outfit. Zanna feels the art and fashion are not in harmony. Michael says it doesn’t feel modern. Heidi liked it, and she liked that it was literal. She think it’s cuckoo, but that’s fine with her. Kenneth Cole thinks it’s too far outside the box.
Laura is next. Zanna admits she didn’t see the connection to the painting until she explained it. Kenneth Cole loved the interplay of the corset with the gown. Michael and Heidi like the mixture of hard and soft. 
Olivier says he was trying to make a dreamy outfit. Heidi thinks it looks sad. Zanna loves the top but thinks the bottom is cheap looking. Kenneth Cole says there are too many details. Michael thinks the bodice is spectacular but the rest of it looks like Mood exploded on her.
Heidi loves Anthony Ryan’s dress. Michael loves that he got the attitude of the painting without being literal. Kenneth feels it looks a little homemade. Zanna likes the opaque colors with the chiffon. 
The judges chat. It looks like Josh M. to win and Josh C. to go home. Michael Kors thinks Bert’s outfit looks like something a Teletubby would wear to a party. 
Anthony Ryan is… the winner. He’s so excited to be a bride and not a bridesmaid. Josh M. and Laura are in.
Bert is… in, in part because Heidi liked his outfit. Olivier is… in. Josh C. is going home. As if we didn’t see this coming from a mile off. 
Josh C. says getting eliminated the second time is easier. He’s just grateful for everything he’s learned. I’m just grateful he’s off the show, as, despite all the weeping and histrionics, he didn’t seem to take this challenge very seriously and he certainly hasn’t delivered anything memorable in the two weeks he’s been back. But I hope Olivier learns something from this week — time management is important!
Do you think it was time for Josh C. to go? Did you hate Bert’s outfit? And do you think he’s really going to be a kinder, gentler Bert?  

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