‘Project Runway’ 9.11 Recap: “I Like All Wild Animals from a Distance”

‘Project Runway’ is getting down to the nitty-gritty. There were only six designers when last week’s episode started. And you know what an even number of designers means (for this season, anyway) – we’re having another team challenge.

At least, that’s what we were led to believe. It’s partly true. The designers were led to a room with several birds and were told to take their inspiration for their next designs from them – but first they had to pair up. Nobody wanted to be with Bert. That’s what you hope for when you find out there’s a team challenge. That’s what I’d hope for. The guy has shown that he’s unable to work with anyone. Tim picked names out of a hat. Laura and Anya, Kimberly and Viktor, and Bert and Joshua M. Yeah, that’s exactly what the producers wanted, right? The two most volatile personalities on one team.

Another surprise came when Tim let the designers know that the winner of this challenge would end up winning a photo shoot for Marie Claire magazine and $20,000 in cold, hard cash.

Then it was time to pick their birds. Laura and Anya got the raven, Kimberly and Viktor got the Cockatoo, while Bert and Joshua got the parakeet. After all that, Tim had another surprise. They weren’t actually teaming up. Instead, they were going head-to-head against whomever they’d been paired with. Honestly, this is what the show should’ve done for the band member challenge. It would’ve made a lot more sense there.

Going head-to-head means that one person in the pairing will be in the top, and one in the bottom. Tim wasn’t through with the surprises, though. After they’d been working on their first designs for a while, Tim let them know that they were to design another look based on their birds. I thought they should’ve had to design a look based on the owl, which was the only bird that didn’t get picked. That would’ve been a cool twist.

Later, they were then notified in yet another twist that they’d have to pick which outfit they were going to send down the runway. Only one, not both. This screwed over everyone, since they created their designs as a cohesive unit, but mostly it messed up what Bert was trying to do.

In typical fashion, Anya sent down a dynamite-looking dress that was actually original. Everyone else looked like they were pulling out references to work we’ve already seen. However, this prompted some controversy. Joshua is apparently fed up with Anya’s designs, because she never actually has any way of getting them on and off her model easily. She always has to sew the model into it and cut her out of it. I’m sure this is going to come out sooner or later on the runway. Joshua isn’t going to be able to keep it bottled up forever.

The time had come for Bert. He completely phoned in this challenge and realized it. He was nonchalant about being kicked off the show. That’s fine, because I was tired of him and his boring designs.

My three designers for Fashion Week stand as Anya, Viktor and maybe Kimberly. I don’t know. It’s a complete toss-up between Kimberly, Joshua and Laura. I think that Kimberly has the edge because Nina Garcia usually likes the stuff she designs, while she doesn’t really gravitate towards Joshua and Laura as much.

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