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Project Runway Review: The Chaotic, Narcissistic Nuts and Bolts

On this week’s episode of Project Runway, in two teams of five without any team leaders, the designers were challenged with the task of creating a textile design from scratch using the HP Touch Smart Desktop.  Tim Gunn instructed the designers that they would be given two days to create a five-look collection and design and produce a “full-fledged fashion show featuring that collection,” including a backdrop video and music.  At least three looks had to contain the textile design and they needed to be prominent. In order to help them understand the process, HP and Intel invited a special guest to offer advice – renowned fashion designer and free spirit Betsey Johnson .  Her biggest advice to the teams was to unstitch the “narcissism” and work together as a team.  Sounded like ‘design’ prophecy.

As the winner of last week’s challenge, Anthony Ryan got first pick at one of his team members, and he picked Anya, who picked Viktor, who picked Olivier, who picked Bryce. Joshua picked Laura, who picked Kim, who picked Becky, who picked the last person available – Bert.  Ironically, it seemed that no one wanted to be picked by anyone because of the inevitable drama that was sure to ensue.

Anthony had an “ink blot” idea.  Anya immediately agreed.  They decided to add shorts, skirts, and various pieces.  Their team even came up with a name – “Chaos.”  The team with the no-narcissism challenge – Joshua’s team – had a circus suggestion from Joshua, then a Village People idea.  They finally decided on a time and clocks theme, and they too came up with a team name – “Nuts and Bolts.”  When the narcissistic nuts were trying to decide whose clock print would be the dominant one for the fabric, Bert was heard getting frustrated and talking under his breath because his design didn’t print and thus wasn’t on the table for evaluation by the team.  Josh – of course – didn’t like that Bert cursed when he said that his look didn’t print, and Josh immediately confronted Bert about his attitude.  Obviously, Josh tuned out when Heidi Klum mentioned that there were no team captains for this challenge.  Josh even threatened to forfeit the challenge.  Could we have gotten that in writing?  Juxtaposed to the narcissistic nuts, the chaotic team was laughing and having fun as if they were enjoying their first day at summer camp.

Part two of the challenge: the teams took their HP cameras to the streets of New York and shot footage for their video.  The narcissistic nuts, lead by Josh, got lots of footage of Laura jumping in and out of cabs wearing Piperlime shoes…and a few clocks.  Team Chaos captured shots of splashing water and the chaos of New York.  After their work in the field, Josh made a “public service announcement” to everyone in the design room, especially Bert, and apologized for his blow up.  Bert accepted, and they hugged.  Why couldn’t the narcissist just apologize to Bert one on one???  Oh, yeah, it’s all about Josh.  He was just ego-trippin’.

The next day their fabrics awaited them in the design room and the teams immediately got to work.  Anya created a cocktail dress, Bryce something casual, Anthony created separates, and Viktor created a gown.  Kimberly chose not to use any of the textiles because she didn’t like them.  She deduced that they only had to use the fabric in three pieces, so she was okay.  Wonder if she told the rest of her team.  Hope no one else planned to use that logic.  During Tim’s consultation with the teams, he immediately noticed that Team Chaos was working in union and cohesion.  When consulting with the Nuts, Tim consistently used the word “troubled” in his commentary to the team.  He even picked up on Josh’s narcissism when Josh could not explicitly say where his girl would be going when she wore the jacket he was designing.  In a kum-ba-ya fashion, Tim asked the Narcissistic Nuts to all join hands and promise each other they’d listen and communicate with one another.  Josh called his dad for moral support since apparently the anniversary of the death of his mother intersected with this team design challenge and threw his ego and emotions in a whole new stratosphere.  Josh is hoping his impending success on Project Runway validates his negligence of seeing his mother one last time before she died and his missing Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays with his Midwest family for the past few years.  Unfortunately, even if he wins it all, it probably won’t make him feel like it was worth missing irrecoverable time with his family.

Day of Runway show

Fashion Designer Rachel Roy and actress Rose Byrne joined Michael Kors, Nina Garcia and Heidi Klum on the judging panel.  The Narcissistic Nuts finally came together in color and print with their designs.  Three of them used the same fabric, although Laura’s use of the textile wasn’t as prominent and obvious as the others.  Team Chaos used the same cut on the top of most of their garments as well as the same black and white color pattern in each design.  Viktor’s gown by far was the saving-the-best-for-last look for either show.  At judging, one person from the winning team would be the winner, and one person from the losing team would be out.  To no surprise to anyone – seriously, anyone – Team Chaos won the challenge.  For his one-track-mind, laser-like focus on the tailored jacket, Olivier received kudos from Michael.  Heidi went down the line and asked each member who they thought should be the winner.  Taking a thread from Josh’s fabric, Olivier started the trend by naming himself and each team member except Bryce followed suit and named themselves.  Bryce named Anya.

According to the judges, the Nuts beat the other team by creating a cohesive look in the models with the hair and make-up, but they said the video looked like a commercial for shoes, taxis or a hooker convention with shot after shot of legs and shoes jumping out of a cab.  Michael touted Bert for the cut of his dress.  The judges asked how the team worked together.  Bert brought up Josh’s blow-up in the design room that got the team off on a bad foot.  To his defense, Josh said since the competition is about design, he pulled his weight and created three great pieces.  However, Kimberly evaluated the weakest link logically and said Becky brought the least to the team simply based on her design.  During the judges’ deliberation, in regards to Becky, Michael Kors brought up the fact that this isn’t “Project Seamstress.” However, he acknowledged that Josh created the print, which was the objective of the challenge, and Josh is a bit of a dictator, or bully.  Nevertheless, Josh lived to design another day and Becky was sent home while the winner of the challenge was first-time champ Anya.

 

Season 9, Episode 7: “Can’t We All Just Get Along?” (originally aired September 8, 2011)

Make it work and watch Project Runway, Thursdays at 9/8c on Lifetime.

For more Project Runway coverage, click here.

Images courtesy of Lifetime

2 Comments

  1. The show seems to be focusing more on the negative interaction between the contestants and less on the actual talent. Being nasty or nice doesn’t make you a better designer, as evidenced by Josh and Becky. Behind the scenes could focus on different aspects of design and construction between the contestants rather than on the interpersonal relationships. We all stopped watching the Roloffs and the Goslins because of the fighting within the families–we see enough arguing in our own families.

  2. The show seems to be focusing more on the negative interaction between the contestants and less on the actual talent. Being nasty or nice doesn’t make you a better designer, as evidenced by Josh and Becky. Behind the scenes could focus on different aspects of design and construction between the contestants rather than on the interpersonal relationships. We all stopped watching the Roloffs and the Goslins because of the fighting within the families–we see enough arguing in our own families.

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