Project Runway 9.11: This is for the Birds

Guest judge is designer Francisco Costa. For this episode, exotic birds serve as the inspiration for the L’Oreal Challenge. The designer’s must really step up their game when Tim reveals that during judging they will go head-to-head with one other designer putting one in the top and one in the bottom. Francisco Costa serves as guest judge for the challenge. Episode air date: 10/6/11.

Heidi starts the show by saying for this challenge, we want you to spread your wings. All the designers thing “Skydiving” so they are slightly shocked to walk into the workroom and find a room full of birds. Several of them are a little frightened of the birds. I’m really hoping for an Alfred Hitchcock moment in this episode.

The birds will serve as inspiration for a High Fashion Runway look. Collier Strong is a consutlting makeup artist for L’Oreal Paris explains that the makeup they will be using to complement the looks is a limited edition color collection “Colors Take Flight” inspired the birds in the room. There is the cockatoo a very soft, romantic color palette. The Owl has a very rich feel, The amazon (parrot) is bold and playful, and the seductive and very stoic raven.

The winner of this challenge will also receive $20,000 cash.

This will be a pair challenge.

Anya and Laura: Raven (the raven’s name is Phoenix. Um. Okay)

Joshua and Bert: Amazon Parrot (named Sweetie)

Viktor and Kimberly: Cockatoo (named Portion)

Everyone seems happy until Tim Gunn throws a wrench into the mix (if you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a feather? a bird? bird poop?) The team members will be competing head-to-head. One of them will be in the top and one on the bottom. (that is only a euphemism if you want it to be.)

The designers get 30 minutes to sketch before they head to Mood then they will have 2 days for the challenge.

We are 10 hours into the challenge and we hear Bert bitching about getting the bright green bird, Viktor saying that his design is “Glamazing” and every designer emphasizing that this is a competition and they will do what they can to win.

That’s when Tim walks into the workroom and everyone hits the floor to dodge another wrench. “There is another dimension to this challenge.”

OUCH. This wrench is gonna hurt.

“You are designing a 2nd high fashion look inspired by your bird. You have 30 minutes to sketch, $300 to spend, and your model will wear both looks, so there will be a change in the show.”

Yeah. Nobody dodged the wrench this time.

Workday two: after a brief attack by a cockroach (soundly defeated by Anya or as Josh called her, Tombraider) Tim brings Collier in to consult with the designers about makeup.

Kim seems to be working toward a panic attack. Her looks aren’t coming together, one of her fabrics is stained and then she manages to sew through her finger. She’s one loose thread away from a total unravel. <–see what I did there?

She runs into the bathroom and Laura and Anya follow her in. You can hear that she’s trying to hold it together. She says this is just one of those moments you have to muster through.

Josh decides to scrap his “hideous” first look–the one he spent the entire first day on. Josh asked Anya if she had any spare fabric and she hems and haws. In her interview she says at this point in the competition, it’s not even fair to ask. I somewhat agree with her, however, she was bailed out big time by Anthony Ryan last week and I kinda think she should return the karma points because she’s been rescued during this competition more than once…

Tim comes in for his critiques and starts with Laura. Laura says she’s rethinking her 2nd look and he tells her to ditch it. He says to take the best of what’s happening in her 1st look and apply it to her 2nd look.

He tells Anya that the 2 arm holes on her first look are not the same size. Her lack of sewing experience is starting to show. She explains that 1 of her looks is based on the texture of the bird and the other is based on the shape. Tim says the one based on the shape is superb.

Tim calls Josh’s new 1st look static and crafty but his 2nd look is sublime.

Tim tells Bert that he doesn’t see high fashion in his looks.

Viktor’s looks are coming together but need some color.

With Kimberly, he tells her the 2nd look is pretty costumey. She’s kinda pouting, and he’s all “I’m your cheerleader. Rah Rah.” He tells her to stop thinking and go with her feelings and then he gives her a big ol’ hug. I <3 Tim Gunn.

So we think it’s gonna be sunshine and butterflies for Kimberly from the hug forward, right? Wrong. Her model tries on the dress and it fits but becasue she’s rocking a rack, the sheer fabric makes the dress seem a little vulgar. So in Kimberly’s frustration, she tosses the dress onto the worktable…directly onto the hot glue gun–burning a hole in her garment.

Now she must start over. Poor girl. She has about 3 hours to make an entire new look.

Runway day and Tim has a special announcment, so please put all pointy items away. “Only one of your two looks will walk the runway. Use the look that is the most outstanding. Focus your remaining two hours on your runway look.”

Kimberly decides to go with her 3 hour look. She wants to beat Viktor because she thinks he’s been put on a pedastal.

Anya elected not to use any type of fastening, and sewed her model into the dress to make sure it was properly fitted. Josh is all “If you have to keep cutting people out of a look at the end of a runway show, then something needs to be said about that.”

Runway time!

First look down the catwalk is Viktor’s. He says it’s hot. She looks demure, rich and fun. It is one of his favorite designs and ideas.

Kimberly is elated with the way her model looks. There are some imperfections but is hoping they won’t be to her detriment.

Head-to-Head comments: Kimberly says Viktor’s look is not her favorite. That we’ve seen the silhouette before and it’s too voluminous on one side. Viktor says you can tell Kim’s look was done in three hours and that she copied his design.

Bert says his model looks beautiful and romantic but the skirty isn’t flowing the way he wanted.

Josh says he has no regrets. The orange dress is beautiful and he’s very proud.

Heat-to-Head: Bert says Josh’s look is great, that he gussied it up with a flower on the neckline which he doesn’t really need but that’s Josh. Josh says that because Bert tried to hide the colors instead of show them off, he produced work that wasn’t so great.

Anya says her look is so different from anything she’s ever done. She’s excited and proud.

Laura is very happy with how the jacket looks. Says the look is sleek and classic.

Head-to-head: Anya says Laura’s is beautiful. Laura says Anya’s design is great but construction wise you can’t sell her looks.

The judges start with Anya and Laura:

Anya: Heidi really loved the dress. It’s fashion-forward and edgy. She likes that it’s not over the top or gimmicky. Michael thinks she found the inspiration without a literal interpretation. Nina says this is her favorite outfit that she’s produced. It’s beautiful and modern. Francisco says it’s very urban and goth and really great. Top 3

Laura: Nina was very impressed because she moved out of her comfort zone but didn’t appreciate the feathers and tight pants saying maybe it was too literal. Heidi says she’s seen it too many times. It’s “too birdy.” Michael says it’s definitely edgier than anything we’ve seen from her but it verges on the costumey side. Francisco says the cut of the jacket is beautiful. Bottom 3

Bert: Michael calls it pagenty. There’s no joy or exuberence of the bird. Francisco says the shaping isn’t very inspiring. Nina is very disappointed. The silhouette is generic and expected. Heidi liked the pop of color, but feels the execution didn’t work. Bottom 3

Josh: Michael says the cut is fantastic and beautifully draped, but hates the corsage. Nina loves that he embraced a type of minimalism. It’s a beautifully cut dress. Francisco says the exuberence of the bird is there. Top 3

Kimberly: Michael says this dress is cut very well, but could do without the pearl trim. Francisco loves the mixture of textures. Nina likes it very much but says there is something a little beauty pagent about it however she looked phenomenal when she walked out. Heidi says there are some unfinished details on her look but she likes Kim’s look the best. Top 3

Viktor: Francsico calls it light and romantic. Michael says the work is great, the colors are gorgeous but it’s so literal. Nina says being so literal really hurt him. Bottom 3

Congratulations Anya! You are the “clear” winner of this challenge.

Josh, Kimberly and Viktor are safe.

Laura you’re in that means Bert, you’re out–this was just not your challenge.

I’m a little sad to see ol’ Bert go, just because he’s very entertaining. However, it was time. Josh is a sore loser and bitches on camera about Anya winning even though her models always have to be cut out of their garments after the show. I’m sorry, dude. But she’s just better than you…even with her lack of sewing experience. Get. Over. It.