Recap: ‘Project Runway’ – ‘Sew 70s’

09.29.11 6 years ago 11 Comments

Lifetime Television

“Project Runway” has thinned the herd, but I have to say that I have yet to see a really amazing outfit saunter down the runway as yet — and at this point in the season, that’s quite a disappointment. I’ve loved almost everything that Anya has done, don’t get me wrong, but I’m still holding out for a show stopper. Of course, I may have missed something major while shielding my eyes from whatever Josh M. has put before the judges, so that might be the problem. There is, of course, the other issue that no designer can get past — the abundance of ridiculous challenges. Let’s hope tonight is a little more straightforward so we can see what these designers can really do when they’re not busy dressing hairy band guys or making dresses for women they haven’t met yet. 

Before the day starts, Josh M. is dismissive of the women who said they didn’t understand menswear. “Clothing is clothing,” he sniffed. Though in Josh M.’s case, clothing is usually tacky as well. I really wish he’d pack his eyebrow groomer and go home. 

Heidi warns the designers they’ll need to look to the past for this challenge, and in the workroom, they meet Heather Artchibald, head buyer for Piperlime. The winner’s looks will be sold on Piperlime. Plug, plug, plug. Anyway, the challenge is to create an outfit reflecting the latest trend — the revival of the sophisticated 70s. Not retro, not vintage, but sophisticated. This is new? Haven’t we been doing ’70s for, um, at least the last five years, if not longer? Sigh. Have we really leapfrogged away from the ’80s and ’90s already? 

Everyone seems absolutely befuddled by the ’70s directive except for Bert, as he remembers the 70s. No one name checks Biba, which is just criminal. Everyone is thinking hippy-dippy or maxiskirts. Was this decade skipped over in design school? 

Josh M doesn’t know the 70s, he wasn’t around for the 70s, he is just BESIDE himself. Um, clothing is clothing, Mr. Smartypants!

The designers run off to Mood, where the unthinkable happens. Anya LOSES HER MONEY. And, as the rules dictate, she doesn’t get more. Tim suggests she ask her fellow designers if they have any leftover change, and reminds her she can use muslin. Anya cries. I am impressed at how quickly the other designers give her their spare change, and when they get back to the workroom it’s like “It’s A Wonderful Life” and everyone’s giving her whatever fabric they can spare. She’s resigned herself to dying whatever she can and making the most of muslin, but you can tell she already feels defeated. 

Well, everyone except Viktor. As far as he’s concerned, it’s a competition. No, Viktor, you just want to make sure you beat Anya, as you see her as a threat. But I do understand why Viktor’s not interested in helping Josh M. Josh M. keeps coming around to Viktor’s work table, then tiptoeing back to his own to rip off Viktor’s design elements. Just when I felt that Josh M. wasn’t completely evil after he rushed to Anya’s aid, well, I have to reconsider. 

Anthony Ryan says that, from Woodstock to the hippie movement, the 70s had a certain ease to it. Woodstock was 1969, you IDIOT. Okay, yes, thematically it was part of the 70s, but it certainly wasn’t sophisticated. I think Anthony Ryan may be in the bottom this week.

Tim comes back to inform the designers they have to design a second look that consists of one piece with a budget of $50. Anya looks like she’s going to start crying again. And I can’t blame her. This is not a happy challenge for her. 

Tim time! Tim tells Anthony Ryan his skirt is too old, but he has an opportunity if he makes a maxi-dress. He likes Anya’s outfit. Kim thinks Bert is making Roller Barbie for the 70s. Tim warns him the judges might think it looks vintage. He tells Kim to go for a longer skirt, and he urges Viktor to make his jacket more safari. Tim warns Laura that Nina doesn’t like her taste level. I don’t like her taste level if this first outfit is any indication. Horrendous. 

Anya and Kimberly are still sewing when Tim calls time. Oh, this does not look good for them.

Runway time! Michael Kors, Nina Garcia and guest judge, Olivia Palermo from Piperlime. I suspect she gets final say on the winer.


First Look: I don’t love the circle top — it’s too blouse-y and too short — showing her midriff is just tacky. The skirt’s fine, but not ’70s. 

Second Look: I like the idea of this, but not the execution. The little gap in the front looks like she ran out of fabric, and the seams don’t fall where they should on the top. The pants look good, though.

Anthony Ryan

First Look: It looks like a newspaper threw up on the model. How is this ’70s? The prints are ’80s if they’re anything. I mean, other than ugly.

Second Look: A maxidress would be great, if the print didn’t make my head want to explode. This just screams frumpy. 


First Look: I do dig this fabric. It’s so ’70s and disco fabulous. I just wish he’d covered her ass a bit more with the shorts. 

Second Look: Nice little dress. Simple, elegant, very “Love Story.”


First Look: MY EYES! MY EYES! Oh, God, the humanity!

Second Look: Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz….

Josh M.

First Look: Oh, come on. What does this have to do with the ’70s? HIGH-WAISTED, fitted pants? High-waisted and wide legged, maybe, but this is just wrong. She looks horrible. Fitted pants were punk, yes, but not with a high waist — and I don’t even think he knows he’s referencing punk. And the top is ’80s. Someone call A Flock of Seagulls, someone stole their old wardrobe.

Second Look: The dress itself is fine, but I don’t like the fabric. 


First Look: Yes, the pants are too short, but I think this is actually pretty good, especially for $11.50. The pleating in the back is gorgeous. I love that she chose a Vidal Sassoon bob for the hairstyle, too.

Second Look: This is strong. It fits perfectly, that’s for sure. The print works, and it’s definitely ’70s. For all the tears, Anya really pulled it out.


First Look: The jacket is well made, but the palette is so boring. 

Second Look: You can’t go wrong with a wrap dress, but the only problem is the wrap dress has been back for ages now. This looks like something I could buy at the mall.

Kim is called forward. She gets to move on to the next challenge. The rest of the group are the winners and losers. 

Laura is up first. Heidi doesn’t love the first look. Nina thinks it looks like a prison uniform paired with something weird. And the second look won’t read online. Olivia agrees, noting that the back is a mess, too. Michael thinks it doesn’t look like fashion; it just looks like clothes. That’s what you get for making snide comments about Bert’s Roller Barbie outfit, Laura!

Heidi thinks Viktor did two great outfits. Michael thinks the T-shirt in the first look kills the sex appeal that was such a part of the ’70s. But he thinks it’s really well done. Nina thinks it’s a little conservative but she’s very impressed. Olivia loves the pants.

Oh goody, onto Josh M. He starts blathering about masculine and feminine. Michael says the plaid pants are against any fashion law of nature in any decade. He says it has none of the easiness of the ’70s. Heidi thinks it’s one of the worst outfits she’s seen in a long time. Josh M. whines that he doesn’t have enough time to make great stuff. Olivia thinks there’s no consistency and she would have chosen a different fabric for the second dress. Nina thinks the fabric he used for the second dress is horrendous and thinks he has an edit problem that isn’t going away.

Anya talks about her $11 outfit. Heidi is impressed. Michael thinks the color is chewed up Dentyne gum, but he loves the work in the back. Nina thinks the second look is spirited and she gets it. She thinks it would photograph really nicely. Yay, Anya!

Anthony Ryan tries to justify his ungodly outfit. Olivia says it looks incomplete and the patterns don’t work. She thinks the second dress looks like a tent. Nina thinks the second look is hippy dippy in a bad way. Michael likes that he went to a granola look but it’s too much. Heidi thinks both models look boring. Nina thinks they look like two boring girls who are part of a cult. 

Bert says his first look is inspired by Shelly Hack, his second is Ali McGraw. Heidi likes both dresses. Michael likes the blouse in metallic chiffon and he likes the asymmetry. NIna likes the first top and she really likes the second dress. Olivia likes both as well. Yay, Bert!

Backstage, Josh M. huffs that he would have won this challenge if he’d had time to research. He wasn’t BORN in the ’70s! Viktor basically tells him he’s full of crap, as he was born in 1980 and he’s bothered to watch old movies. Go, Viktor! Josh M. tells him he’s trying to get aggressive. Oh, don’t be such a putz, Josh M. You’ve chosen not to educate yourself about fashion, which is remarkably stupid and, in his case, a reflection of his oversized ego. Kimberly makes the point that if you want to be in fashion, you need to educate yourself to fashion history. Josh M. stomps out of the room. 

Anya is… the winner! Yes! And Olivia tells Bert that Piperlime will also be producing his dress, too. I’m really glad that Bert finally stepped up and delivered, and talk about a Cinderella story with Anya — it’s amazing she got her first model dressed at all, much less won. Viktor is… in. Laura is… in. Huh. It’s down to Josh M. and Anthony Ryan. Josh M. is… in. DAMMIT! Anthony Ryan is out. Why are they keeping Josh M.? Why?  

I will say, Anthony Ryan lasted a lot longer than I thought he would, simply because he’s color blind. Still, I think Josh M.’s outfit was far more deserving of the boot, as was Laura’s. 

Tim tells the designers they’re now in the “Project Runway” Olympics, and it’s going to be hard getting rid of anyone from now on. Plus, he’s proud of Anthony Ryan. He gets choked up. Oh, I just love Tim. 

So, another one bites the dust — and yet Mr. Bedazzler sticks around to torture everyone for another week. 

Do you think it was Anthony Ryan’s time to go? Did you like Anya’s pantsuit? And who do you think should go home next week?

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