Recap: ‘Project Runway’ – ‘What Women Want’

09.16.11 6 years ago 20 Comments

Lifetime Television

Out of the final nine, only three girls are left — Kimberly, Anya, and Laura. Of those three, only one strikes me as a real contender to get to Bryant Park (Anya, of course). I shouldn’t be surprised the final nine is so male dominated, though, as so many designers of womenswear are men. Then again, I see womenswear designs that only look good on a hangar or on, well, actual men (Marc Jacobs and a few other designers have been using a male model, Andrej Pejic, dressed in their women’s clothing designs for their runway shows) and think, well, I don’t think a woman would try to pull this crap on anyone who has hips, but I digress.  

Heidi invites the designers to eyeball a bunch of average-looking guys on the runway. Is this a menswear challenge? Of course not! The designers get to pick which man they want for the challenge. No one wants fat people, especially not Olivier. Fat people are fine, except when he’s designing clothes. 

But the catch? These guys will just be advising the designers on outfits their wives and girlfriends might like. This is a mean, mean challenge if you ask me. Men tend not to be terribly observant when it comes to what their wives or girlfriends are wearing. Men don’t notice when a woman has spinach in her teeth, has not combed her hair, or has a broken leg (unless they have to carry her to the bathroom). Men do, however, notice boobs and, on occasion, legs and butts. But that’s not exactly helpful if you’re trying to design an outfit that you can’t necessarily buy at Victoria’s Secret. 

Josh M. is concerned that his man thinks his woman likes “simple” clothing. Josh M. does not do simple. Yes, we’ve noticed. 

Olivier is horrified that his man’s significant other has enormous boobs. Olivier hates boobs when it comes to designing. I’m guessing he kind of hates them in general, but let’s move on.

The designers run off to Mood — with their men (I mean clients) in tow. Somehow everyone gets fabric, but you can tell the designers are just about ready to pitch their clients out the nearest window, as most of the guys don’t know what colors their womenfolk wear, what styles they like, where they shop or, basically, whether or not they leave the house naked every day. Back in the workroom, one especially charming gentleman named Anthony talks about motorboating his wife’s boobs. Bert pretends not to be totally disgusted. Then, Anthony calls himself the Booby Monster. Everyone who was trying to smile and play along in the workroom stops trying. 

Finally, the designers get to meet these mysterious women the guys have been not-at-all describing for most of the day. Laura gets a blonde Barbie wannabe. She’s thrilled, as this woman is just like her, but older. For some reason, I can’t shake the idea of a terrifying Mommy and Me outfit challenge for these two. 

Ariana is Anthony’ wife, and amazingly, she seems normal. And does not want to dress like a hooker or wear a fig leaf with nothing else. I think Ariana seems very, very patient.

It seems like Anthony Ryan scored with his couple. His guy left his wife’s favorite dress at an airport, so he remembers it REALLY well, probably because he’s had it described to him over and over during every single fight they’ve had since then. All Anthony Ryan has to recreate it and his clients will be over the moon.

Olivier can’t believe his couple has thoughts! How dare Suzanne say she doesn’t like a fabric, or that the pants are riding up her butt crack or that she’d like to make some changes! Doesn’t she know she’s supposed to SHUT UP and wear what HE WANTS HER TO WEAR? I’m thinking Olivier may be the most passive aggressive person ever to be on “Project Runway,” and that’s saying something.

Bryce finds it hard to be around couples in love. He misses his boyfriend. Everyone feels bad for Bryce. Don’t worry, guys. I think Bryce will be seeing his boyfriend very, very soon, as he’s been circling the drain for weeks. 

Tim Gunn time! Tim loves Viktor’s dress. Tim tells Anya she needs to clean up her dress, though I love the idea of it. Tim thinks Ariana’s boobs are too exposed. He isn’t a fan of Olivier’s crayon colors. He worries Laura’s girl is going full-tilt Barbie. Tim glowers at Kim’s outfit. Anthony Ryan’s outfit is pure JC Penney. Tim is impressed that Josh M. toned it down. Bryce’s model looks like a Pan Am stewardess. Bryce decides to rip up his dress and start over. I wish I could say that’s a good idea, but I have zero confidence that he’ll make anything better. 

Piperlime gives the ladies jewelry as a gift. I hope they get to keep their shoes, too. 

Runway time! But wait, commercial! Oh, Target, how can you taunt us with Missoni when you’ve, last I heard, sold all of it? So cruel!

Okay, now it’s runway time. The judges are Michael Kors, Nina Garcia and guest judge/actress Malin Ackerman. 


I like the bodice but not the skirt. There are some unfortunate speed bumps (silky fabric in a solid color is not forgiving, Laura) rippling under the surface, and the hemline isn’t modern. 

Anthony Ryan

Boooooring. So JC Penney. Really blah. 


Okay, I know this is what Anthony wanted, but it’s too short and cut too low, plus the fabric is too shiny. This is very “Real Housewives of New Jersey.” 


Oh my God, this looks like a big, wrinkled-up, pink sandwich bag. Didn’t he have a steamer? He had all that time with his model and he couldn’t get a better fit than this? Hate the pockets. Hate the skinny belt. Ugh.


Sorry, but she looks like a hooker in this. Skin tight, too short, too much. 


I’m shocked. This turned out pretty well.


Oh, I love this. Anya always pulls it out. The sleeve is perfect and I love the print. Love, love! I don’t think Anya has sent anything down the runway I haven’t wanted to buy. 


This is so smart. The skirt I would buy. And the jewelry works, too.

Heidi calls out Kimberly, Laura and Olivier. They pass onto the next challenge. Anya, Josh M. and Viktor have the high scores. Bryce, Bert and Anthony Ryan are in the bottom. 

Michael Kors thinks Anya’s dress is memorable and has a great culture clash. Heidi loves the prints. Nina thinks the sleeve is overwhelming. Oh, shut up, Nina. This dress ROCKS. Malin would wear it on the red carpet, and WITH the sleeve. Suck it, Nina! Go wear your little jackets and boring pants and go away!

Josh M. starts talking about how hard it is to do simple. Shut up, Josh M. Heidi was shocked he didn’t bedazzle his model. Malin thinks it’s a perfect little black dress. Michael Kors thinks the dress is made beautifully and he’s glad he made her wear a bright blue shoe. Nina thinks the dress could work in any color. Josh M. preens. I am so tired of Josh M. And I’m beginning to think he may never go home. 

Heidi thinks Viktor’s outfit is very fashion. Malin likes the sheerness of the top. Michael thinks she’s overaccesorized, but he thinks it’s spot on. Nina agrees, but she thinks it’s charming. She loves the bag, though Michael likes the necklace. Hey, you guys duke it out. It’s still a good outfit. 

On to the losers. Michael Kors thinks Bert’s dress is made well and fits her beautifully, but he thinks it looks like something you could buy at a store. Malin thinks it looks familiar. Nina thinks it’s a little tight, a little short and a little shiny. 

Bryce tries to defend his Pepto dress. Nina thinks it has too many details. She thinks the dress is wearing the woman instead of the other way around. Malin likes the pockets and the color, but she thinks it doesn’t fit well. Heidi thought the pockets were ginormous. Michael thinks she looks like she’s stealing stuff from the buffet table and that every seam is puckered. Buh-bye, Bryce. 

Malin thinks Anthony Ryan’s outfit looks like her old cheerleading outfit. Heidi thinks she looks like an old lady going off to play bingo. The operative word here is “old.” Nina thinks the white belt makes her look boxy. Michael thinks it’s superhero ice skater. That is not a compliment, though I think a superhero ice skated does sound fun. 

The judges hash it out. First, the winners. Anya is… in. Josh M. is… the winner. Ugh. I mean, I liked his dress, but I am so annoyed by Josh M. The fact that he’s the first to have two wins under his belt means he’s going to be insufferable. Viktor is in.

Bert is in, with a warning from Heidi to step it up. It’s down to Anthony Ryan and Bryce. I’m thinking Bryce is getting the boot. Bryce is… going home. Well, now he gets to see his boyfriend. Problem solved!

Bryce is glad he took a risk, even though it didn’t work out. He wanted to show everyone what a great designer he was, but he never got there. Josh M. doesn’t know who will make his coffee! I wish Bryce would just stomp on Josh M.’s instep and snap his damn foot in half. Bryce is going to listen to as much Lady Gaga as he can until he sketches a genius collection. Good luck with that, Bryce. 

Do you think Josh M. deserved to win? Did you think Olivier was going to snap? Do you think the challenge was insane, fun, or a just test of the designers’ ability to restrain themselves from slapping their clients?

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