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Project Runway Recap: One Bad Acid (Print) Trip

Project Runway
Season 9 • Episode 10

After the near-universal design failures evident on last week’s retro menswear runway, the designers get a change to redeem themselves this week with a more mainstream merch-focused challenge that similarly nods to the past: creating seventies-inspired looks to be sold on show sponsor Piperlime’s site. Suffice it to say, whoever loses this one will never, ever want to think about that particular decade again.

Amid the wild times at Mood, Anya’s money fell out of her bra strap (who’s too cool for garments with pockets now?) This means she's reduced to using whatever leftover money her fellow contestants can donate to her, the grand total of which comes to a whopping $11.50. A real "make it work" moment if there ever was one. She manages to eek out almost a yard of her chosen fabric, but must rely on muslin back at Parsons to complete the look. Bert shockingly shows his warm side and comforts her in the store (she's now in tears), assuring her that there’ll be more sharing and caring in the workroom. And that does turn out to be the case: All of the designers offer Anya leftover fabric scraps, except Viktor. Harsh maybe, but you can’t blame him; this show is a competition, after all. And anyway, it seems there’s barely any design time before Tim stops by to announce another stress-inducing twist: The designers must produce a second look as well. So it’s back to Mood, with replenished (yet meager) funds, which, this time, Anya doesn’t lose — she literally pins it to her shirt.

Come Tim's crit sessions, it’s a mixed bag all around, with clear strengths and weaknesses evident in everyone’s works-in-progress. The gathered waist on Anya's skirt looks like a hefty bag, Anthony Ryan's pieces read as too old, and Joshua is warned not to sell a story that his clothes can't back up. And though it hasn't been raised on the runway yet (most likely because she's had a long run of safe looks, thus missing out on feedback from the judges), Tim informs Laura that Nina's got issues with her taste level — she's "bristly" about it, even. You don't want to make Nina Garcia bristle.

While Bert has apparently been hoping for Munchkins, Oompa Loompas, or, more likely, generous behind-the-scenes production assistants to finish up any last-minute seams and hemlines, no such luck. As usual, Anya and Kimberly are cutting (and sewing) things down to the wire — with an exasperated Tim keeping time. Anya is in the sewing room until literally the last seconds before they have to go to the runway, and Kimberly is forced to sew one of her models into the jumpsuit she’s designed.

Watching the runway, there's a lot of shock and stink-face from the judges, suggesting it’ll be a bloodbath similar to last week’s. There’s indeed a lot of criticism for the unpopular looks, with Joshua getting very snippy and defensive (perhaps because he doesn't want to take a fashion critique from guest judge Olivia Palermo.) Backstage, he tries to pass his shortcomings off as being a child of the eighties, but when the other designers reply that it's important to know fashion history, he has a flouncy tantrum redux and goes to sit by himself. Meanwhile, everything continues to turn up roses for Anya, as the judges decide her quick thinking and problem-solving skills justify another win. That means her jumpsuit will be sold on Piperlime, and even Michael Kors says he’ll buy one, which is a promise we intend to hold him to. (Bert, who comes in second, will also get his minimalistic minidress produced for the site.) So it's down to Joshua and Anthony Ryan as the worst. Anthony Ryan’s hippy-dippy granola-girl designs lose out, and he’s given the auf, despite establishing himself as a front-runner earlier in the season. Tim gets tearful about his departure, as we're at that part in the season when he seemingly gets uninhibitedly attached to all the designers, but, hey, that's part of his charm.

Photo: Courtesy of Lifetime

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