Sunday, September 18, 2011

Project Runway Season 9, Episode 8: What Women Want

Greetings, Project Runway Fans!

This week's challenge was another "please the client" challenge.

But it wasn't menswear (that's next week!)  No, designers were to create an outfit for their wives and girlfriends by working with the husbands on the idea, fabric and design.  Let's see how they did, shall we?

I'm a Barbie Girl In a Barbie World...

Laura's Client-Husband described his wife as "Barbie."  Since Laura herself is like Barbie, this turned out to be a very compatible client-designer match-up.

And it looked stunning from the front.

But on the runway, it was less than stellar in the back.  But the fit was good and it suited her client nicely enough for Laura to be safe this week.

The Real Housewife of Project Runway

Olivier had been hoping for a menswear challenge until the men came out and he saw how fat they were.  And his heart sank even further when he found out he was designing for his client's wife.

"36-D? I've never tailored a top for someone with a 36-D."
To make matters worse, Olivier's client had ideas.  Lots of ideas.

"Listen, perhaps you could put a belt around it and add a dash of color and possibly some leopard...leopard is really hot right's all over Bergdorf's..."
The producers were clearly trying to match up clients against the personalities of the designers.  Here's where they messed up.  I would have really loved to have seen her with Josh, just to see how craptastic the outfit would have been.  Instead, Olivier plowed through with his vision, as boring as it was.

To her credit, boy could she work a runway!  And from the front, the top was very thoughtfully pleated and fitted.  But from the back...

it looked like Olivier just gave up and attached the two ends together.  There was no flow or transition like there was in the front.  Of course, even if there had been, the outfit was just too typical of what he has designed all season to get the attention of the judges.  

Tight, Short and Shiny - Part 1

I would have reversed these next two looks, sending this one to the bottom scores for further critiques and keeping the next one safe.  

Kim got along with her Client-Husband very well.

They completely collaborated on the fabric and the design.

And his wife was very happy with all the choices....but on the runway...

...the pleating at the top only made her chest look bigger and the skirt only made her bottom look wider.  A skirt in lighter fabric with a bit more length to the skinny part of her knee would have been more flattering.  The tight skirt showed every bulge and the shiny fabric looked cheap.  I'm sure that had Michael Kors and Nina Garcia had a chance to critique this outfit they would have had something to say worth hearing about designing a well-fitting garment for a woman who has some size to her.  Instead, she was safe.  

Tight, Short and Shiny - Part 2

We've already established that Bert is pretty subversive.  After consulting with his Client-Husband...

"She's got big boobs.  Maybe we could do a strapless outfit that could show them off."
he quickly determined that this guy wasn't focused on anything his wife might actually want to wear.  So while he humored him in the design department...

He had a Plan B on hand, in case the wife wasn't pleased.

And that's what eventually got designed.

I mention all this because it was Bert who ended up with one of the lowest scores this week.  He stuck to his vision, like Olivier, but unlike Olivier, he lost track of fit and proportion.  The results on the runway were a little less than stellar.

But between Kim's and Bert's looks, I thought Bert should have been the one who was safe.  I think the element that caught the judges' eye was the way the skirt pooched around her belly.  A little less tapering on the skirt would have helped that.  I also think that because Bert's prior fashion experience has raised the judges expectations, they were rather shocked to see a less-than-perfect fit.  Thing is, Bert probably knew immediately what the shortcomings were in the outfit.  Kim really could have used the critique.


Anya and her Client-Husband also had a good rapport.

Anya: "What do you think of this print?"
Husband: "Didn't you use something like that in the last challenge?"

In fact, the only real drama was how to make the sleeve so that it didn't overpower the dress.

The dress looked nice without sleeves after Tim talked to her, I thought she would consider leaving the sleeve off completely.

But Anya stuck to her guns and delivered a stunning dress.  I like how the long sleeve on the short side provides a contrast with the long skirt on the other side.  And unlike Olivier's top, the long side crossed over the short side for a smooth transition.   Heidi was right to single out that its uniqueness.  You see one-sleeved dresses everywhere today and you see uneven hems everywhere, but you don't see them together.  My only complaint is that I think the sleeve is just a tad too long.   It deserved to be in contention for the win.


When Tim says, "Use the Piperlime Accessory Wall thoughtfully..." do the designers ever understand what he means?  This week Piperlime offered jewelry to the designers as part of a special promotion.  Viktor took the bait.

His outfit was exquisite and suited his client to a tee.

The top was cute without being cutesy.  With the pleated skirt was a brilliant contrast of hard and soft.  Color wise, the teal and yellow, being almost complimentary on the color wheel, provided some visual tension that kept the outfit from being too boring or schoolmarmish.  Becky, take note!

Where Victor went wrong was in adding the large necklace with the sunglasses and making a bag.  It was just too much.

Still, it would have been my winning outfit.

Less is more

The judges chose a simple, black dress for the win this week.  Had anyone but Josh designed this dress, it would have been safe or perhaps runner up.  But Josh is known for his bling.

"Baubles, bangles and bright shiny beads...."

And bless his heart, he tried to sell his client on the concept.

But she wasn't buying it.

And I'm sure that she appreciated all the talk about how her breasts were perky enough that she didn't need a bra.  Then again, look at her.  SHE'S NOT WEARING A BRA WITH HER STREET OUTFIT.  Don't act all shy about your boobs now, young lady.   

So in the end, there was no unsightly bra line to disturb the deep v in the back.  The neckline also had a gorgeous horizontal lace treatment and the sheer fabric at the hem line was very chic.

Josh exceeded everyone's expectations on taste level and threw in some brilliant styling with the turquoise all resulted in another win.

The Dude Abides

Anthony Ryan really had the best client couple.  Didn't you want to know the whole backstory on how they met?

"You see, there was this guy who had my same name.  Well his sister wanted to have a baby to get the family fortune and so, well, I knocked her up, went bowling and the rest is history."
Turns out, The Dude's wife loves vintage.  Most gals who bowl do.  But instead of going for little vintage touches like Becky was known for (now, don't you wish she was still around?) Anthony Ryan belted the outfit with a patterned fabric and created a top with a deep v neckline.

It was looking kind of cheerleader-ish, particularly with the stripe detailing. Tim warned him.  He changed out the belt, which actually made things worse.

It looked so much like a glee club uniform.  I expected to see The Dude by her side, all clean shaven and hair cut, wearing a white turtleneck and a letter sweater.  He narrowly avoided an Auf because of this...


Bryce: "Tell me a little about your..."
Apparently Swatch chewed up all the pink fabric at Mood.  Bad dog!

So Bryce spent his time dying the fabric to be a more vibrant shade of pink.  He tried to do a two-toned mod look.

"The fit and seaming have to be impeccable, otherwise, all we see is a big, walking Pink T!"

This broke Bryce Down.  I order to salvage the outfit, he took it apart and remade the dress.  While he had some interesting elements, the silhouette was rather simple and not as well fitted as it could have been.

Michael Kors focused in on a pocket treatment along the front and sides and delivered a flurry of withering one liners.  But the problem wasn't the pockets.

the problem was a puckered seams and a weird fit.  The belt was too small and got in the way of the back detailing.

Well, it's Auf Wiedersehn to Bryce.


  1. Oh, that Kimberly's dress was just sooo House of Dereon! Now, put your hands up!

  2. i love bryce, he looks like a cuter Matt Damon