Episode 12 Recap: Wear a High-Fashion Condom Costume for Halloween

October 14, 2011 § 1 Comment

A look from Anya's collection

It’s the episode before the finale, which really just means it’s the third to last episode because the finale is always a two-episode affair. So with five designers left, Project Runway leaves it open as to whether there will be one or two designers to make it to the “finale.” Cut the crap Lifetime. We get that this just means you’re only going to eliminate one contestant and force the other to make an entire collection only to have her hopes dashed quite literally on the day before the show. You love those waterworks, don’t you?

Last we left Joshua he was in a foul mood for losing 20 grand to “a beauty queen.” His mood is no better the morning after as he and Viktor pile on Anya for outwitting and outdesigning them in the last two challenges. Joshua brays, “I don’t even know if she can do a jacket.”

So, for this final stint at Parsons, Heidi sends the designers off to Governor’s Island where they meet Tim Gunn flanked by two PR people, who want to tell you just how lovely and historical Governor’s Island is. We were reminded of the other reality tv moment when Alex from the Real Housewives of New York had a sad little birthday party there. Anyway. Tim tells the designers that they can ride around the island in a golf cart and snap inspiration photos. The challenge though, will be to make three looks that showcase range in two days and with 500 dollars.

After the designers return from Mood, Tim comes back in the workroom with the velvet button bag. Of course the designers think this signals some sort of doom, but Tim cheerily tells them that they get to select an auf’ed designer to be their assistant, or as Olivier says, “slave.” Seamstress Becky works for Kimberly, Anthony Ryan and Laura are reunited, Viktor chooses Olivier, and for last pick, Anya selects Bert over Bryce, who has to work with Joshua.

Baby Bryce notices that the mood in the workroom is tense. “When I left everybody was loving each other,” he drools. “It doesn’t look like the final five is talking to each other much.” Joshua continues to snipe behind Anya’s back. Lifetime tries to gin up some drama by showing Anya go over to Laura to ask if she thinks Joshua is “acting weird.” Regarding Anya’s runway collection, Viktor says, “Who’s going to sew all her shit?” Viktor and Joshua think they are shoe-ins for Lincoln Center. Are they right?

The Good

There was only one bright spot on the runway and it was Anya’s first look – a little black dress with a raised neck and assymetrical hem. It was minimalism at its best with a simple, interesting cut speaking volumes. Overall the judges love Anya’s collection for its three-dimensional eye (the model didn’t even know how to get into the white one). Nina loves the “different angles” and thinks it is “concise” and “modern.” Zoe Saldana, actress and fashionista, likes the “futuristic tone” of the collection. Like us, though, she wasn’t too thrilled about the white, columnic dress and called it a “condom.”

Anya's high-fashion condom look

Overall though, the three looks demonstrated a design sensibility that don’t feel as constricted by the same references, lines, and sensibilities as the other designers. Perhaps not being “formally” trained is a good thing because Anya brings a conceptual take on fashion that is less interested in commercial viability as it is in cut, form, and color.

The Bad

Despite all the whining about how winners make jackets, Joshua doesn’t even make one, unless you call his ill-fitting vest an ugly excuse for a jacket. His third look is even more horrendous, a shiny silver piece that makes Zoe think of the Statue of Liberty. But, Nina says, “It’s better to have too many ideas than no ideas or boring ideas.” So Joshua is safe.

Same goes for Viktor who turned in what Michael says was the most “commercial” of the collections. Viktor again demonstrates his speediness and competence at making wearable clothes, but this collection looked like it took a pitstop at the mall. Heidi thinks that while Viktor is the best tailor, he doesn’t have enough design ideas. Nina wants him to add more “oomph” and Michael wants “runway punch.” Heidi tells him he’s in, but reminds him to “pump up the volume.”

The Ugly

Laura is crazy for circles

It’s hard to decide who did worse: Laura or Kimberly. They may have been looking at the same sculptures as Anya, but their approach was heavy-handed and overly literal. Laura gets really into the circular geometry of the sculptures so she decides to use a thick, black lattice of circles overlaid on a long, white dress and in another jacket. The web of circles makes Nina think of “Spiderman” and everyone uniformly hates her third look, a flowy dress in an insipid peachy color. The judges call it everything from a “pillow case” to “laundry.” Her collection looks cheap and not at all like the eleganza she claims she’s obsessed with.

Meanwhile Kimberly only takes inspiration from the color and the title of a piece, “New Beginnings.” She tries to make a coat, but turns a bright orange wool into a lumpy look that Heidi calls “Dutch exchange student.” Her cocktail dress, a silver number with an interesting wave-like effect, saves her. Ultimately, despite Laura’s tears and monologue about how she wanted to show at New York Fashion Week since she was eight, the judges reward Kimberly for taking risks and pushing herself.

A less predictable show would have done its viewers right and eliminated both of them.

Next week: The actual episode before the finale! Maybe we should start calling this episode the semifinals?


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