Project Runway Recap: Panic! At the Disco Era

Before we kick off this week’s Project Runway recap, let’s review a few fashion rules for the uninitiated, courtesy of Nina Garcia, Michael Kors, and Heidi Klum: An animal print is okay, but an acid-colored animal print is “a problem.” Women love to show their shoulders, but don’t like to have their derrieres elongated to fun-house proportions. And “schmatta” is what a German woman throws onto her body when the occasion calls for a total lack of glamour.

There, caveperson! You are now at least mildly-to-moderately qualified to root around in your dank hovel of a closet, select a so-called garment, and head out into the runways of the world (aka sidewalks). But beware: Nina’s judgmental eye is upon you, and she is currently feeling “bristly” about your taste level.

So anyway…this week’s challenge found the seven remaining designers asked to create two looks — with respective fabric budgets of $100 and $50 — inspired by the “sophisticated ’70s” and with the potential to be thoughtfully and liberally sold on

Joshua, who had just finished some snarl-faced griping about Anya and Kimberly using their lack of menswear experience as an excuse in the previous challenge, began whining about how he “never lived in that time” — even though the show’s producers had provided a “dossier” of ’70s looks, the better to promote the HP Intel technology that the designers so selfishly refuse to use for their sketches.

In what seemed like a completely unfair turn of events, Anya was limited to $11 worth of fabric after she lost her envelope of cash, and was forced to rely on Anthony Ryan’s leftover change. (Why, pray tell, doesn’t the show simply have a standing agreement to pay Mood via a producer’s credit card, instead of adding to the designers’ list of responsibilities and making them carry cash through the city streets?) Anya was also allowed to use her muslin — the “corn flakes” of fabric, she mused sadly — and yet somehow managed to pull off a surprise victory thanks to Look A: a slightly too-short pant in a fantastic print, paired with an intricately pleated blouse the color of chewed Dentyne (Michael Kors’ description, not mine); and Look B: A flowy jumpsuit with a nifty sheer back that had all the judges (even La Kors) whipping out their credit cards and heading to piperlime for a shopping spree. To my eyes, the second look was a slam-dunk from the waist up (the daring neckline somehow came off as classy, not trashy), but the bottom half turned her model’s hips and legs into a shapeless blob.

I’d have given the win to Viktor — my favorite for three or four weeks running now — for a sensational safari jacket and chic pant, but the judges couldn’t get past the audacity of pairing the look with a shirt. I mean, how awful, right? Nothing compliments a woman’s suit like a fully exposed breastbone! Everyone knows this! (Add it to the list of fashion rules from Paragraph No. 1 of this recap.) Viktor’s flirty black dress, which also employed that snakeskin effect, was pretty hot, too.

The judges also decided to reward Bert by sending his beige and cream minidress into Piperlime production, but to steal a critique from MK, it just seemed like clothes, not fashion, to me. Plus, the neckline looked a wee bit sloppy, no? Our guest judge, Piperlime Guest Editor Olivia Palermo, spazzed out over the silver-knot ends of Bert’s minidress belt, but again, is that really revolutionary? Or maybe the real problem was judging an entire runway show built around the ability to move merchandise on a mass-market clothing website? I don’t even know anymore. Let’s talk about the looks that flopped, shall we?

* Laura: I wasn’t a huge fan of Laura’s garments this week, but I wasn’t deeply offended by her conflicting patterns, either. Nina seemed quite pleased to declare Laura’s chevron top as a “prison uniform,” but she liked it well enough 10 out of the 15 times Mila sent that look down the runway in Season 7, no? Nina should be careful, though, in case her face freezes into the mask of horror that popped up when Laura said that, yeah, she would actually wear the garments she designed this week.

* Joshua: Suddenly getting a hardcore villain edit with vague accusations of copycatting off Viktor — those kinds of insinuations always make me skittish without solid evidence — but I’d say his real crimes were those plaid pants that stretched the model’s derriere and waist (while adding peculiar lumps) and a hideous pink tuxedo blouse that looked like it arrived from a consignment shop in 1986. (As Kors put it, the pants were an affront to any law of fashion in any era.) Oh, and I can’t disagree with Nina that Joshua’s maxidress print was “HOR-REN-DOUS!” I wouldn’t use it to scrub the bathroom floor, for fear that monstrosity would stain the tiles.

* And finally, we come to Anthony Ryan, whose choice of prints teased a genius sound bite out of Bert: “It looks like something from the late ’80s: Girl going to the mall, or going to bury something in the woods.” But as haphazard as Anthony was in his fabric choices, I think he ultimately went home for a skirt that hugged his model’s butt like she was “working” the corner in the rough part of town. La Kors let out a genuine gasp when his eyes were assaulted by the sight of it all. Add to it a maxi-dress that might’ve doubled as a slip cover for a sectional sofa, and it was clear that Anthony — who’s zigged and zagged between brilliance and dubiousness all season, without stirring up producer-approved dramz — was going to get auf’d. Any final words on the looks, Nina? “Two boring girls that are part of a cult.” Ahh, thanks for that.

What did you think of this week’s Runway? Did you find the ruling on Anya’s lost money a little unfair? Did the right contestant win? And did Anthony Ryan deserve to go home? (Anyone notice how Tim was genuinely upset to bid him adieu, as opposed to last week’s comparably cold send-off to Olivier?) Sound off in the comments, and for all my reality recaps, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. agrimesy says:

    I was sorry to see Anthony Ryan go. I liked him. The times he missed the mark were secondary to his truly inspiring styles on other episodes. He was one of the friendly contestants with a lot of positive personality. He didn’t let Bert bulldoze him in the group challenges. I’m going to miss him.
    I also like Viktor’s designs, but he’s insecure AND conceited which is an extremely offensive personality combination in my opinion.
    I thought Bert’s designs were a joke. I cannot figure out why the judges love him so much.
    I used to think Josh was charming in a “b!tch please” kind of way, but as the competition progresses, the more childish he becomes.
    Laura has never stood out as an interesting competitor in any way (except for the burning Barbie dolls comment).
    Kimberly is too limited. She makes great pants . . . that’s it.
    I like Anya’s designs, but I am OH SO TIRED of hearing how she’s only been sewing for four months. There is nothing professional about her. She may be inspired and lucky, but flying by the seat of your pants will not make you a good businessman.

    • Anna says:

      I suspect that the judges have a measure of pity for Bert; as he was once a top designer who suffered a great loss. That being said; there’s a limit on how far he can get with it.

      • @ Anna says:

        I know his partner passed away which I understand is a great loss but he has admitted to being an alcoholic so if he was once a top desginer and then fell off the top i dont get why the judges pity him. but i agree with you in that he does have a limit and i hope its reached soon i dont see him going into the top 3

        • Allie says:

          If I read your comment correctly, you’ve basically said that if Burt fell apart because he was an alcoholic, then he deserved it? I cannot believe how insensitive people are on comment boards and/or how naive people are about the real world. Alcoholism is a disease which can wreck people’s lives and those around them. I think they like Burt because he won the first challenge and, typically, veers towards a classic Ralph Lauren vibe – which, I believe can best describe Nina’s own style. So far this season hasn’t been completely enthralling, but I’ve agreed with every person that’s gone home so far.

  2. Laurel says:

    Victor was robbed AGAIN !
    I think the judging this week was more about what they could reproduce on Piperline rather than who had produced the best design.

    As far as Anya goes…
    Being responsible for the money and your budget is Project Runway 101.She should know better than to stick $100 in her shirt strap and walk anywhere in NY city.
    I felt bad for her but it was a “time to make it work” moment and she did. After all this Reality TV and they live for drama.

    Joshua’s design was horrid but Anthony Ryan’s designs for cult members was enough to get him aufd this week.
    Tims compassionate goodbye was in stark contrast to the don’t let the door hit you in the a*s goodbye he gave Oliver last week.

    • ana says:

      Viktor was robbed again! And both his jacket and shirt would sell very well in They were fools not to produce them as well.

    • Russ says:

      I don’t like Victor, I’m glad he lost. He is mean.

    • nancym says:

      Those “your clothes will be sold online” prizes are all about which look would be the cheapest to produce. Viktor’s safari suit, perfect for the 70’s (the jacket could have been a teeny bit longer) would have cost Piperlime too much to make- no big profit there.

      It’s all the producer’s show now, unfortunately, and has been for the last few seasons.

  3. CA says:

    I am torn with Anthony Ryan’s departure. Yes, there were issues with his entries but I keep look at Joshua’s two and I wonder if the right decision was made. That first outfit was just awful.
    –I do question Anya’s win. I felt they gave her the win becuase she was able to work around the money issue, not becuase she produced the best garmets. Viktor had that in the bag. I too laughed at the umbrage Kors took to the shirt beneath the jacket. I break that fashion law almost everyday!!
    –I am ok with being penalized for losing the money. At the end of the day, this is a competition.

  4. Winnie says:

    Oh come on Michael, the safari jacket is old fashioned and the color is drab. The challenge calls for something that will picture well because it is going to be featured in the Piperlime online website. Victor sews very well but and most of the time he is impeccable but this week, his design is not all that. Anya is still my pick for this week like the judges.

  5. Gretchen says:

    Anya’s a one note and her “I lost my money!” seems like it was done for sympathy. I am sick of her, Joshua and Laura.

  6. reena says:

    While I liked Anya’s jumpsuit win (even with the wide legs) i did think Viktor should have won his tailorin is fantastic but then again I am guessing like everyone else they gave Anya the win because she lost her money and still was able to manage a winning look. I did not understand why Bert was in the top those shorts were horrible and others have been kicked off for their designs being too short I am over Joshua at first i liked him and his designs but his attitude and whinyness (is that a word) is getting on my nerves. How is he going to call out Anya and Kimberly who didnt know menswear and saying that its an excuse but then saying since he wasnt born in the 70s he didnt know what to design! how is that not an excuse he is acting more and more like a man child and i wouldnt be surprised if him or Laura are the next to go. Top 2 for me is Viktor and Anya I hope Kimberly does better and can get that 3rd spot :-)

  7. Tyler says:

    I am so sad to see Anthony Ryan go. He had some serious problems, but his second-garment dress wasn’t entirely wretched. Joshua should have gone home last night (his garments were indefensible and his attempted defense was STUPID), and Anthony Ryan should have outlived Laura, who gives Nina plenty of reason to question her taste level.

    Also, Viktor COMPLETELY should have won. Anya’s jumpsuit did weird things to her model’s waistline (though not as horrendously as Joshua’s did), and it was obvious she got the win for her resourcefulness.

    • jj says:

      I’m with you. Anthony had better taste overall. And if i had to choose between him and Joshua’s clothes last night- lke if you put me at gunpoint and made me put something on, I would’ve picked Anthony’s for sure. The only way I would’ve put on that hot pink and plaid nightmare is if i were going to a costume party that was “wear your worst”. I wouldn’t even be caught dead in it! I would come back and haunt whoever dressed me. Josh’s taste level has always been off. He had that one pretty black dress (which he only didn’t ruin bc his client insisted), but other than that i think he just wants to dress drag queens. Maybe he can get a job working on RuPauls drag show? or on Mad Fasion when it comes out next week?

  8. Richard says:

    Sometimes I think the wrong person is winning the challenges – it should be the person who designed the fabric rather than the garment itself. Anya’s win and Joshua’s being on the bottom seemed more to do with fabric choices than actual design.

    • ladyhelix says:

      I would agree if someone else were choosing their fabrics – they they aren’t.

      Joshua and Anya chose (or created) their own fabrics – and Josua was unconstrained. Fabric choice is a HUGE part of the overall design (if not the most critical part) – not a separate issue.

  9. Mandy says:

    Anya was given much more praise than she deserves, once again. The producers want her in the finale, so they’re making it happen. Making her use muslin was completely fair, she lost her money, it’s a competition. She sends some version of a maxi dress down the runway week after week, I’m not impressed.

    Viktor or Bert should have won this round. Josh should have been sent home over Anthony.. but Anthony doesn’t cause drama, so he had to go.

    • nodak says:

      And, without the $11 Anya got from Anyhony Ryan, her whole 1st ook would’ve been made out of muslin. I agree that the judges want Anya in the finale.

  10. Laladee says:

    I thought Joshua should’ve gone home, for the sole reason that this was the first time I actually shrieked in horror upon seeing an outfit. Those pants and that jacket, for me, were 10x worse than anything Anthony did.

    I also completely agree with that Viktor was robbed. Those clothes were FANTASTIC!

    (Also, Slezak, I only started watching Project Runway this season, and it’s all your fault. I kept not being able to ignore your recaps. :( )

    • ana says:

      This designers are pretty weak compared to past seasons’ designers.

      • joe says:

        I agree with you. And seeing how the work with others and their personalities they will all have a hard time finding work in the industry. It is a business and nobody is willing to put up with a bitch. Especially since retail is hard right now.

      • ladyhelix says:

        Agreed – but only Joshua and Laura winning would make me as upset as I was at last year’s finale. It could be worse guys – Gretchen could be back.

    • D says:

      The shorts outfit that AR did for the Heidi-sneaker challenge was one of the all-time worst outfits in any season of PR.

  11. Tee says:

    I was surprised that Piperlime has Bert’s listed as sold out already – it’s cute and all and if it was between that and the baggy jumpsuit I’d take his dress. But great enough to get wiped out in less than 24 hours?

    • Joseph says:

      I just saw the show , actually the Bert , Color Block Dress, is a really nice item and for petite women this works so much nicer then the jumper. BTW , nothing wrong about the jumper but you sort of need some height for it to look that good on the average woman unlike the simple dress from Bert.

  12. Christy says:

    I was surprised but not surprised. When discussing outfit comparison only, then I think Anthony Ryan deserved to stay and Joshua should have gone home. However, PR always keeps someone for drama-sake all the way to the final four and this season that person is Joshua.

    I think in the end, the final three will be Viktor, Anya and a toss up between Kimberly and Joshua. I honestly think the judges want to see how far will Joshua go with his accessorizing and no self-editing in a runway show. Maybe they’ll have four? They’ve done it before!

  13. Jane says:

    I liked Anya’s jumpsuit, but we’ve seen it from her before. She wore something very similar to it the first day (zebra print maxi-jumpsuit). She’s wearing it in the intro to the show. Plus she’s already made a jumpsuit.

    Victor’s problem is the same as last week. Separately his clothes are great, but he doesn’t make things that go together well. But, it would be a shame if he didn’t make it to top 3.

    Josh’s clothes were growing on me until this week and all of a sudden we’re back at the Pet Store. He should of gone home for his first look. His 2nd dress wasn’t terrible. It just looks like something from the 70’s. His attitude was as horrendous as ever, but I think they kept him because putting aside his disasters, the challenges he’s done well on were better than Anthony’s best designs. This season has been more about overall competition than week to week. If it really was, one day your in, the next day your out, Josh would have been sent home.

    I really liked Bert’s simple dress and maybe they liked that he thought about this being the piperline challenge and this dress did have some mass market appeal. Plus he was hoot this week.

    I have nothing really to say about Laura and Kimberly, other than Nina has it out for Laura. None of their designs have been memorable for me. Unless Josh totally screws up next week, I say Laura is the next to go home.

  14. Abby says:

    Joshua “suddenly” getting a villain edit? That man is pure villain. He’s vile. I don’t think you pay much attention to the show. Viktor thought Josh copied his fringe from the last challenge. Josh talks to Tim and says he’s doing a mini dress. He hears Tim tell Anya that the maxi look is under-represented, and BAM! changes his mind to make a maxi. It was smart strategy, but he’s still around because he’s a jerk, which makes for good reality TV. I don’t like Anya’s POV, but she’s a quick thinker, has a great attitude and very resourceful.

  15. Paco says:

    I kinda loved how bitchy the Piperlime lady was. Initially, when she was first introduced, I was like “oh shes cute. she looks so nice” but then the minute she started critiquing i was like “goddamn. this woman is all business. i… kinda love it? not sure.”

    Imma miss Anthony Ryan. :( hes been my favorite all season long. Now Im rooting for Anya.

    • D says:

      Yeah, you know you love it! :)

    • tricia says:

      LOL!! i thought piperlime lady was excellent! i love your description of her — made me think of some cute littel furry animal that you try to pet & then the it snarls & shows great big teeth while trying to bite your hand off!!

  16. Laurel says:

    Well it was sad, to see Anthony Ryan leave this week. He is a genius and really nice person. He has a heart of gold.

    Viktor is talented but he is not really nice person. Bert needs to check his attitude.

    Josh needs to tone down

    i like the other contestants

    I love Anya ‘s Designs. I will root for her till her end. She is making her Country Trinidad and Tobago very proud.

    I am very proud of her

    Please stop hating

  17. D says:

    AR is a nice guy, but I feel he hasn’t put out anything that great in many weeks now. I’ll never get over that hideous short outfit for Heidi’s sneaker challenge. Truly one of the worst things EVER on the show and I have watched all the seasons. I liked Josh’s maxidress this week. Don’t know why the judges were so neg on it. The pants outfit was pretty awful.

    I like Slezak’s reference to a sectional sofa cover for AR’s dress. That is what it was in scale and pattern.

  18. Rachel says:

    Michael, Why no Project Runway recap last week?

  19. bob says:

    i didn’t think that anythony ryan’s outfit was bad at all. it wasn’t great, for sure, but it wasn’t the worst either. i think what we had here was a subjective judging (which is oddly rare) thanks to a two day work period. the designers were given enough time to produce something that was in their taste level and therefore appropriate for them to be judged upon. i would have sent joshua home, but i guess he ismore fun to watch than anthony ryan, no?

  20. Joseph says:

    First Kimberly should not have been safe this, rather she belonged in the bottom 3 due to horrible execution on both her garments, neither one fit her models it was as if she slept in someone else shrunken outfit. The clothes were horribly made, ill fitting and could not be worn in public. I understand what she was trying to do but neither came near the concept in execution.
    I would have kept Anthony over Kim, in his jumper at least he had the idea and it mostly worked even if it needed to be taken in a few sizes. My big issue with Anthony is that he keeps styling the model that showed off his 2 piece the same way as always which reinforces that I am looking at a previously bad attempt at design.
    Joshua M,
    Well where to begin, that two piece was did not work but those pants with another top and if correctly made might be wearable. As for the one piece that bottom of dress had a nice 60’s feel and if it had been matched with a sheer fabric to subdue to color it could have looked fun and elegant.
    But for me the big miss this week was Kimberly.

  21. William says:

    I’m a straight dude with no sort of fashion experience, so take this with a grain of salt, but I agree completely with the judges’ decisions for winner. First off, I actually wanted Bert to win the whole thing this time around. I absolutely loved the flowing chiffon. It was gorgeous, and his Grecian minidress was so pure and simple, and the two tones with the cream and gold and the simple rope belt gave it this air of pure class. I absolutely loved it. And with Anya, sure, her first look had a lame musslin top, but the pant had a very cool and stylish fabric for $11.50 and I felt she did deserve top marks for her very, very well done pantsuit dress. IT flowed well and was cut in a very contemporary way. I know there are people raving about Viktor and his jacket but honestly, regardless of his tailoring, that jacket just looked bulky and bland and box shaped in a very unappealing way. I’m all for business wear, and that shirt was gorgeous and I loved that fabric, but that jacket was just far beyond what a good looking jacket should do and the outfit as a whole was blah and boring and grey. However, much like with Bert’s second look, Vikor’s had this effect of pure simple gorgeous fashion, and I would not have been sad if that had won a spot on piperlime either.

    As for the bottom, I have been on Laura’s side this entire competition, hoping she would produce something to dig her out of the middle. I loved both parts of her first outfit, but not together. Those two patterns and styles just did not match, and it hurt the eyes to look at it. That said, I thought her second look was very, very well done. It made the model’s legs look longer and the sleek black had this gorgeous flow and shape. I Was glad that she wasn’t bottom two.
    With Anthony Ryan, I realized that he was going home quickly. His styling was all kinds of awful and he was just so unbelievably boring yet somehow also bad. Both of the outfits worked together to make a cohesive badness that trumped Joshua’s wild abandon type of badness. However, I would have much preferred that Joshua had gone home, as his first look was one of few things on this show that literally made me audibly say “Oh god, no! Take it away! Take it far away and burn it!” and even though his neon animal print did provide some relief, and was better than either of Anthony’s and at least one of Lauren’s, I wanted him to go home simply for making me look at that first outfit. However, the neon print did have a good cut and flow (and I did kind of think it was a cool pattern), and ultimately, I guess that was good enough to survive one more week, but hopefully only one more.

  22. nodak says:

    Those pants made by Joshua were atrocious! All 3 of the bottom-dwellers had some ugly going on. Any one of them could’ve gone deservedly. Anthony Ryan was a nice guy, so I’m sad to see him go, but, his work this week was not very good.

    Victor always puts things out that are finished and polished. I thought he should’ve won.

  23. Bill Dauphin says:

    First, did anyone other than me suspect that the second look “twist” was hastily added to make sure Anya at least one fully funded look on the runway? I’m not saying that’s a bad thing; I just think the producers wanted to avoid what would’ve seemed like an unfair elimination, if she’d gone home because all she had to work with was muslin. I know keeping track of the money is the contestant’s responsibility, but it really doesn’t have much to do with designing or making clothes, does it?

    Next, I agree that Viktor should’ve won, and I’m with everyone who was sorry to see Anthony Ryan go: He was never going to make it to Fashion Week, but he was one of the most appealing of the contestants to watch. Josh, OTOH, may have some talent, but he’s increasingly painful to watch, and those pants alone were horrific enough to be worth two or three eliminations, let alone one.

    Finally, I’m pleased to see that Bert has been friendlier and less confrontational over the last couple episodes. I was predisposed to root for him based on what we say in the casting episode, and was sorry that the way he behaved in the early eps made rooting for him such a questionable proposition. Over the last couple weeks, he (or maybe it’s just the way they’re editing him, but either way…) is more like the person I’d hoped to root for.

  24. Rain says:

    I actually deleted the season pass from my DVR when they said AR was out and the terrible Josh was safe. I refuse to go any further with the show, I can’t stand the thought of another winner that I despise as much as Gretchen from last year and I have a feeling that’s going to happen all over again. While I love the idea of a design challenge show, I apparently don’t have the right “taste level” for a show like this.

  25. mara says:

    Really? They go with ANOTHER hideous 70’s theme?!

    Can we make the 70’s theme challenge die forever? It’s always a god damn disaster :/

  26. girlconfused says:

    What is the point of the title of this? It made me think that Panic! at the Disco had something to do with it.