With only six designers left at the onset of Episode 11 of Project Runway, each of the remaining designers had a 50/50 chance of making it to New York Fashion Week. Needless to say, the pressure was on and the designers were definitely feeling it because no one wanted to go home now, with Fashion Week so close. Heidi hinted that the designers would need to “spread their wings” but Tim clarified the week’s challenge by explaining, along with Collier Strong of L’Oreal, that the designers would be taking inspiration from the birds. L’Oreal’s latest makeup collection has found inspiration from a few exotic feathered friends and now the designers had to do the same. The six designers were paired up, but instead of working together on this challenge, they’d be competing head-to-head with one another. This week’s winner would not only win a spread featuring their look in Marie Claire magazine, but also $20,000! Big bucks for any of the designers who were looking to start a new collection and even more of a big deal for Josh, who admitted to having a negative balance in his bank account.
While earlier on in the season it may have been fun for the designers to pit their skills against one another in a vengeful sort of way, but at this stage in the competition the designers have gotten to know and like their fellow competitors. Not that the competitive spirit didn’t come out in full force, because it did, but the designers still wanted each other to do well. The vying teams were as follows: Laura and Anya worked with the dramatic Raven; Josh and Bert worked with the vibrant Amazon Parrot; and Viktor and Kim got the romantic Cockatoo. The obstacles for Bert and Kim came on early in the challenge. Bert ‘hated’ the green bird he had to use as inspiration and it was nothing but Murphy’s Law for Kim. The troubles Kim encountered included sewing through her finger, burning a hole in her garment, being frightened by a rogue cockroach, and finding stains on her fabrics, not to mention having a completely dejected attitude.
To add to Bert and Kim’s troubles and mete out another challenge for everyone else, Tim announced that they would need to design and create a second look. The fact that many of the designers were slow going on their first look meant that they were going to have serious troubles getting two looks done on time for the runway. Josh also hit a stumbling block when he stepped back to take a look at his first garment and discovered that it was hideous. He started his second look and asked Anya for some extra fabric, only to be told ‘no.’ Seeing as how he and many of the other designers had helped Anya in the past, he was surprised by her response. But lucky for everyone, just a few hours before the show, Tim announced that they would only need to show one garment. That was great news for just about everyone, but Bert was disappointed and wanted the chance to show all the work he put in to both looks.
The top three looks came from the underdogs, that’s for sure. Josh, surprisingly, is learning to edit his garments and created a simple, delicately detailed and superbly draped garment. The only thing that kept him from winning this week is that he added a ghastly corsage to his garment that pretty much ruined the look. Kim, who created her one-shouldered gown in three hours, was also in the top three. It was beautifully cut, and draped well on her model. BUT, it wasn’t finished and was sewn sloppy enough that the imperfections could be seen from afar. Anya, not so surprising, since she’s the judges’ favorite, was the winner of this week’s challenge. I also really liked the shape of Anya’s dress, which was very structured and unique. However, I agree that the other designers are allowed to be angry since her garments would never be able to be worn, since she has to sew her models into and cut them out of her clothing. But she has excellent taste and a fun attitude, so I’m sure she’ll go much further in the competition regardless of her sewing abilities.
In the bottom were the three looks the judges, including guest judge Calvin Klein Creative Director Francisco Costa, thought were too literal. While they agreed that Viktor’s one-shoulder dress was well constructed and romantic, the feathering details were off-balancing and too birdie. The same goes for Laura, whose pants and jacket was well made, but the feathers added to the trim of her jacket was much too bird-like for anyone’s taste, especially Nina’s. But it was Bert, who couldn’t get a good grasp on the challenge, who went home. He was disappointed in the look and couldn’t find inspiration in a bird that he hated. Even though Heidi like the idea of his grey dress with slits of color coming out from beneath, he couldn’t pull it off enough to save himself from elimination.
No, uh-uh. I’m a city girl. I like all wild animals from a distance. –Kim
That is a lot of money that I want…today. –Viktor
Frankly, I am over the team challenges. –Kim
Pretty bird, pretty bird. –Cockatoo
I was embarrassed that I got the bold and bright bird. But now I’m feeling it. –Josh
This is like saying ‘Hello, sexy.com.’ –Viktor
Oh my God, there’s a cockroach. –Anya
Anya, that was like Laura Croft–Tomb Raider. –Josh
I’m going to have an ‘Anya Moment’ and go from tragedy to triumph. –Kim
This is a sewing competition, not a pinning. –Viktor
Reptilian corset. –Nina Garcia
My bad –Bert
Until next week! Be sure to check out our other favorite site dedicated to all things Project Runway…Blogging Project Runway!
– Bonnie J Brown
Photos: LiftetimeSee the Top Ten Summer 2016 Trends for Women Over 40
Tags: Blogging Project Runway, Calvin Klein Creative Director Francisco Costa, Collier Strong of Lâ€™Oreal, Heidi Klum, memorable quotes, Michael Kors, Nina Garcia, Project Runway Bird Challenge, Project Runway Memorable Quotes, Project Runway Recap, Project Runway Season 9, Project Runway Season 9 Epsisode 11, Tim Gunn