Project Runway Recap: Tall Order

This week’s Project Runway featured Heidi Klum challenging the 14 remaining designers to deliver outfits that were “eye-catching, imaginative, and truly larger than life,” and Tim Gunn following up with the instruction that everyone should think “Paris couture.” Naturally, I started imaging outfits with outrageous shapes, outsized volume, and possibly even ornamental appendages.

Instead, we ended up with several pretty pantsuits, a walking piece of chair upholstery, and a tank top that reminded guest judge Kim Kardashian of something she’d wear to bed. (My god, if one was looking for the perfect antonym to “Paris couture,” wouldn’t “something Kim Kardashian wears to bed” be perfect?)

Okay, to be fair, all seven pairs of contestants were designing for stilts-walking clients, so perhaps Heidi’s mention of “larger than life” was more a case of whimsical wordplay than an actual design direction. But seriously, if the good folks at Lifetime want us to fall truly, madly, and deeply in love with the Season 9 cast, maybe they should allow for more two- and three-day challenges that allow our designers to spread their fashion wings and fly out of the ready-to-wear ghetto, no?

Anyhow, the whole sad affair left me with all the enthusiasm of Bert operating with immunity, so I’m gonna break it on down with a list of questions and observations.

* How in the hell did “dream team” Anya and Olivier escape the bottom three? Look, I know something about the latter contestant — his pretentiousness? his fake accent? his straw-in-bathwater hair color? — has caught Nina’s vicious eye, but come on. The dynamic duo’s frock (pictured, left) looked like one of Maude’s ’70s muumuus covered with scraps of torn gray fabric. Hideous!

* I’ll say this much for Nina, Michael, Heidi, and that chick who does ads for Skechers Shape-Ups, they made the right choice giving the win to Laura and Anthony’s chic red number (pictured, center). The feathery shoulder pads were a nice touch, to be sure, but the trump card was that sensational flow of the skirt as it billowed in the wind. The only way the look could’ve made me more excited would’ve been if a particularly strong gust had created a parachute effect and swept Laura and Anthony’s model into the Manhattan skyline.

* I can’t say I know a whole lot about working with chiffon — although it’s a word that pops up in one of my favorite AbFab quotes about “terra cotta pots and white chiffon” — but did anyone else find Danielle and Cecilia’s turquoise blouse and tan slacks (pictured, right) a little matronly? Combined with the abysmal, pumpkin-shaped hairdo, the whole look kind of read “suspect’s wife in a gritty ’70s-set BBC crime procedural” moreso than hardcore couture. Maybe I’m alone on this one? Please advise.

* Bert may be right that Mae West “never wore pants in her entire life,” but I found it thoroughly obnoxious the way he took a literal interpretation of every design inspiration that Viktor referenced. Plus, Sour McSourpants absolutely chose that “tacky catering hall” curtain fabric, but seemed more than happy to skirt responsibility on the runway. Granted, Viktor was no innocent kitten either, but his biggest crime was doing an abysmal job of defending himself in front of the judges.

* Quote of the week: Joshua’s “Anything in life can be pleated!” I’m really starting to love this guy, and I won’t lie: I loved his matador pants, too, even if the shiny red top and arm-shrinking jacket did the look no favors.

* My heart broke for Fallene when she said she thought she might’ve misplaced her soul at some point in the competition. Her red-feather hat was cute enough, but honestly, I thought she was the only choice for elimination this week, no matter how disgusting Bryce’s bunchy tutu looked flapping out there in the New York City breeze.

What did you think of this week’s episode of Project Runway? Did the right person go home? Are you Team Viktor or Team Bert? And wouldn’t you like to see more two- and three-day challenges? Sound off below, and for all my reality recaps, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV!