'Project Runway' recap: Run, run away
In an effort to jolt some life into this snoozy season of "Project Runway," the contestants are forced to run a 200-meter race; the first four to finish will be project leaders. It's the Heidi Klum New Balance sportswear line product placement episode!
It would be nice if there might be some, I don't know, interesting fashion design this episode, but sportswear? They have to make three looks to go with Klum's sneakers, using denim and/or suede. Maybe there's hope.
Since the fashion may be a bit tame, there's some human drama. Cecilia decides she's too depressed to continue with the show and drops out. Olivier stumbles over his own feet and drops to the ground! But never trust a reality TV teaser, because the actual events are less dramatic than the edited version: a skinned knee, then lying down dizzily while being treated by a healthcare tech.
Because they're short a person, the fourth team, Viktor and Olivier, can bring back one eliminated contestant, and they select Josh C. "I'm the happiest boy alive," he chimes when he enters the workroom. Good luck, Josh C.!
Teams that are having problems: Josh M. and Anya collaborate as Josh M. pushes an unhappy Becky to be their sewing monkey. Anthony Ryan and Laura are getting along while Bert feels left out and unappreciated (they might appreciate him more if he could remember Anthony's name).
After getting a harsh critique from Klum and Tim Gunn, the teams are given an extra five hours to complete their designs -- they can stay in the workroom until 4 a.m. Which inevitably amps up the drama.
Who cries, who snarks and who goes home, after the jump.
While working, Josh M. decides to tell Becky why she's allowed to sew but not design. "Becky, you do dowdy dresses," Josh M. says. She loses her composure and heads off to sew; he snipes after her, "Her stuff is [age] 40 to death!" Anya quietly steps in to calm Becky as Josh M. continues to hammer at her with an unearned (for now) arrogance. She flees to the bathroom and cries; eventually, Josh M. follows and apologizes.
Anthony Ryan and Laura are having a hard time getting Bert to compromise -- hard as in impossible. Bert says his designs are young and fresh, while his much younger teammates disagree. Anthony Ryan seems to manage the difficult situation with grace, getting Bert to agree that if he doesn't listen to them, they can disavow his designs in judging and it won't be throwing him under the bus. Bert has an arrogance that is sort of like Josh M. plus 3 decades -- but don't tell either of them that.
The runway: "This was a little bit all over the place," Klum says in the judging. Each team's designs are so mixed, she says, that they'll have to talk to everyone.
Team Anthony Ryan. Anthony Ryan's design: An off-the-sholder pleated gray top with very drapey shorts. Laura's: A long-in-front drapey vest with small top and shorts. Bert's: And off-shoulder tailored top and short skirt. The three of them have a extended confrontation on the runway, and it turns out that Bert's look is the only one the judges like. Anthony Ryan is in trouble.
Team Josh M. Josh M's design: Shorts, patterned jersey top and cutout vest. Becky's: tank and panel skirt. Anya's: full-length jersey tank dress with a T-back. Of all the teams, this is the only one that tried to tie all the pieces together, using a brightly colored stripe. Which Klum calls "bedazzling." Anya's dress is a hit with Klum and the rest; Nina likes Josh M.'s shredded vest.
Team Viktor. Look 1: Motorcycle jacket with a medium-length gray dress. Look 2: Gray jersey shirt with a black shoulder holster and black pants. Look 3: Bodice tank with a long gray jersey skirt. Viktor, Josh C. and Olivier collaborated on items and outfits, so they share the critique. The jacket, much-praised, is Viktor's, as is the overall look; the T-shirt (Josh C.'s) gets a lot of compliments, too.
Team Bryce. Look 1: Denim dress with sharp shoulders. Look 2: Cuffed short and black leather jacket and black top. Look 3: Green -- is that chiffon again? -- overlayer on a black tank, with a black short. Bryce, Kimberly and Danielle also collaborated on items within outfits. During judging, Michael Kors calls Danielle's tank top a rag, and derides her fascination with chiffon. Everyone loves the dress, which is Bryce's.
Viktor is the winner! And so is Josh M.! Prepare for bedazzling madness next week. Josh M. won with what was essentially Anya's dress. Anya is excited that her dress will be sold on Amazon; as she told us earlier in the show, "What we're all here for is to do work that sells." See, that's where we differ. I think she's there to make work that's fashion-forward and interesting television. It's a little early for the whole selling thing.
The bottom two are: Anthony Ryan and Danielle. Anthony Ryan is saved! Klum tells him she would have sent him home if it were up to her; he cries. Two crying contestants in one episode. Danielle, who is eliminated, doesn't cry.
Next week's challenge involves children. And maybe Halloween costumes? Well, if it's not fashion, at least it might be fun.
-- Carolyn Kellogg
Photos: Top, designers on the track. Bottom, models (from left to right: wearing designs by Laura, Anthony Ryan and Bert) with Laura, Anthony Ryan and Bert during judging. Credit: Lifetime