Sunday, August 7, 2011

Project Runway Season 9, Episode 2: Pet Project

Greetings, Project Runway fans!  We're back with another episode of Season 9 and I think this season is shaping up to be a pretty good one.

I don't know about you, but when I think of Anja Ayoung-Chee,

I think of this....

But I digress....

This week's challenge was the unconventional materials challenge.   This season, it's a pet shop.

"I have to make dog collars into something you'd buy at Neiman-Marcus?"

Relax.  Our expectations aren't that high.

When I think of pet shops, I always think of this

And when I think of pets and sewing, I always think about how helpful my cats are.  Here's Lucy pushing away a pattern piece after I cut and pinned my fabric.

With every unconventional materials challenge, there always emerges a popular material.  In the Hershey's store challenge, it was the large banners in the store.  In the Saturn challenge, it was the seat belts.  At Petland Discounts.....

soaked the competition.  

They were dyed,


and folded.

The other star of the show

comes in seven fashion colors.  I had no idea hamsters were so discriminating.

The designers were allowed to either use the found materials directly in the construction of the garment or to use muslin as an understructure and glue materials onto the garment.   Let's see how our designers did.

Joshua McKinley had the most interesting work table.  

He spent some quality time in the tropical fish aisle, but also found a few items in the dog toy aisle.

This was originally the back of the top.  The bottom was a skirt made from a dog bed.  And then, there were these...

Heidi thought Josh added curlers to the heel.  They are dog chew toys.  Both the over-the-top shoe and the added-on chew toys kept him from the win.  Still, for a designer who thinks "more is more," the final result was actually rather tasteful.

The top flowed and glistened.  The fuller skirt mimicked the flowing top without overpowering it.  The judges weren't crazy about the "I Dream of Jeannie" hair and the aforementioned chew-toy shoe decoration, but this got overall kudos.

Josh jettisoned the dog-pull toy from the back of the dress, probably for the better.

Bryce Black's dress featured both the wee-wee pads and the fashion color bedding.

Heidi Klum declared herself sick of the wee-wee pads and wanted to pee all over the dress.  Millions of viewers would tune in to see that, Heidi!

Michael Kors thought of this.

But I thought it looked more like this.

Then Heidi asked that fateful question that many a designer can't answer... "Who is she and where is she going?"  

Come on, Bryce!  You've seen the show before.  Always have a pat answer, even if it's something a puppy would put on a wee-wee pad.  

"Her name is Ella and she works at Petland and her boss makes her work a lot of overtime.  Anyway, she gets invited to this really hot party in the Hamptons.  Since she has no time to shop, she pulls a few things from aisle 5..."


"I'm about as far from arts and crafts as you can get.  I was born in Columbus, Ohio."

Olivier Green, the man who does not pronounce the second "i" in his first name with his weird accent, used a dog bed on top and animal bedding on the bottom.  He used two of the seven fashion colors to make an ombré effect.  

He said he kept rabbits when he was little, but they all died.  Perhaps he spent more time on their ombré bedding than he did feeding them.  

Olivier also thought it would be cute to glue bedding chips to his model's eyebrows.

It reminded Michael Kors of this...

Despite the bulky top, and Dr. Zhivago eyebrows, the colors and the length were tasteful.  

But the judges were torn...

Anthony Ryan Auld glued birdseed to a muslin dress.  

And the result was stunning...but short

and a tad stiff.

The judges thought it was chic.  

Michael Kors said she could go to a party in that dress.  Right.  

But the actual drama ended up on the cutting room floor.  Apparently the dress reminded Nina Garcia of something else.

This was the seed and feather dress from Alexander McQueen's Spring 2011 Collection.  Then again, isn't everything derivative of something?

So what's better?  Style or taste?  If Anthony Ryan's dress had been just a few inches longer, he would have won.  Instead, the win went to Olivier.

Two designers found themselves at the bottom of the pile this week.  They both had something in common.

Fallene Wells is a stylish gal.   She's an old-school tattoo kind of girl.  Too bad she didn't stick to her original design.

Note the contrast of the blue with the orange and detailing in the skirt.

None of that showed up in the final result.  

And Josh Christensen had similar struggles this week.

The creepy puppy umbrella was the first problem.

But he also abandoned a more interesting design.  The result was this...

So looking past the creepy puppies....that Josh dyed purple for some reason...

the belt was kind of sloppy.  The skirt was just a plain black skirt....made from a dog bed.  In the end, what sunk Josh was that his materials were all fabric, there was no innovative use of unconventional materials, the design was kind of boring and Bert (who totally phoned it in this week) had immunity.

So, Josh C. has left the competition.

Next week, models on stilts and the first outdoor runway in Project Runway history.*

*Actually, the it's the second, if you count the two-part competition in Paris and New York.

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