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Project Runway 9, Episode 5 – Of Artists and Avant-Garde


Bert tells Tim that he likes his student’s color sense. Bert has concocted large gray pants and a pink bustier with 3-D shapes sewn onto it. Tim calls the results “unexpected.” He’s less impressed with Olivier’s work and points out that “avant-garde” involves more than just using an unfamiliar material for the first time. He asks Olivier if he thinks he’s taking it far enough — and Olivier seems at a loss. Next up is Josh M. with his tree painting, and Tim reminds him that he shouldn’t be too reliant on the painting; the look has to stand on its own. He warns Josh C. that his design, with a big fur hat, is too literal, and Josh C. realizes that he’s basically made a wolf costume. Oops. Last up is Viktor, and the opinionated Skyy does most of the talking. Tim seems to take this in stride. Skyy tells him that she likes Viktor’s take on her painting.

Afterwards, the models come in for their fitting. Bert confides to his model that he hasn’t made pants in 25 years– which means he probably hasn’t made them since before she was born. Becky worries about being in the bottom, a legitimate concern for somebody who has always finished in the middle of the pack. Such designers tend to end up in the bottom eventually — unless they figure out how to crack the top positions. Josh C. worries about “blowing his second chance.” On that note, it’s time for everybody to head home for the night.

On the morning of the runway show, the designers get back to work. Anya tells us that she thinks Olivier’s garment looks more ready-to-wear than avant-garde. Josh M. has painted his skirt to look like tree bark, and decides that a heart with initials in it would be a nice finishing touch. He uses his own initials — and those of his late mother. Tim sends in the models, leading to the usual hair and make-up montage. Laura asks a stylist to give her model big hair. Olivier glues part of his garment to his model, only to be caught by Tim, who scolds him, saying that gluing clothes to the model is against the rules. Olivier will have to solve his construction problems in some other way. Viktor tells us he thinks Olivier was cheating. Josh M. thinks Bryce “needs” to go home.

Then it’s off to the runway. Zanna Roberts Rassi, the senior fashion editor for Marie Claire magazine is subbing for Nina Garcia, while designer Kenneth Cole is the guest judge.

Kimberly is up first. Her art student drew a bird, and Kimberly made a mini-skirt, top, and skullcap of black pleather. The miniskirt is asymmetrical and has yellow trim. She also used red and dark green feathers to decorate both the top and the skirt. Becky sends down an asymmetrical black dress that’s a mini-dress on one side and has a long train on the other. The dress is decorated with stuffed green and black cubes.

Olivier basically proved that he needs to refine his draping techniques, because his dress looked a bit like something from a 1970′s toga party. He also used an asymmetrical design, with lots of ivory material forming a floor-length garment on one side, and much less yellow and blue fabric forming a mini-dress on the other side.

Josh M. sends down a brown knee-length skirt that’s been painted to resemble tree bark. He also added a heart with initials in it to look like the type of graffiti carved into a tree. He added a long-sleeved, bright orange top that’s apparently made of ruffles and had long, snug black cuffs. He also added a shiny, wide black sash.

Bert made high-waisted gray jodphurs and a pink bustier. The bustier is covered with white gauze, and both the bustier and the jodphurs are decorated with a variety of 3-D shapes including crescents, squares, triangles, and circles. Viktor is yet another designer who thinks “avant-garde” is a synonym for “asymmetrical.” He made an aqua and white dress that has a long sleeve on one side and no sleeve on the other side.

Laura sends down a long, sleeveless dress. The bodice consists of small, relatively tight ruffles that get larger and looser the further down they go. The dress is two-toned, and is made of flowing, white and yellow-orange material. Bryce made a long, voluminous navy blue skirt and a bright orange strait-jacket for a top.

Josh C. apparently thinks horror movie costumes are avant-garde. He made a snug black miniskirt and a long-sleeved white shirt with a plunging neckline. He then put a black leather harness over the top half of the shirt.

Anthony made a long sleeveless dress. The base material is a translucent ivory fabric, and if he’d used only that, the dress would be about two steps away from indecency. Fortunately, he sewed a variety of black, dark blue, gray and yellow strips of fabric in multiple directions on the dress.

Anya also flirted with indecency. She made a black and brown top of feathers with a plunging neckline and back. She then made a wide skirt of brown print with a large part of the front cut away, giving viewers a very good look at the model’s long legs.


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