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Project Runway 9, Episode 5 – Getting Along… Or Not


Last week on Project Runway, the designers met some art students who painted pictures for them. The designers then had to make avant-garde looks inspired by the students’ paintings. Anthony won and Josh C. was sent home after a very brief second chance.

The following morning, the designers discuss the previous challenge. Josh M. — now back to plain old Josh — asserts that he should have won the avant-garde challenge.

At the runway, Heidi enters carrying the Ominous Velvet Bag of Unnecessary Drama. She tells the designers they will be working in teams of five — and that there will be no leaders. (This is the third team challenge this season!) As Anthony had won the last challenge, Heidi has him pick his first teammate, and he chooses Anya. Heidi then reaches into the Ominous Velvet Bag and draws out Josh’s name. He’s the first person on the other team, and he promptly asks if this means that he’s the leader. Heidi reminds him that she’d said there were no team leaders this time around. Josh does, however, get to pick a teammate. In the end, Anthony, Anya, Viktor, Olivier, and Bryce are on one team, while Josh, Bert, Becky, Kimberly, and Laura are on the other team. I smell producers’ meddling; I just know they wanted a team challenge in which Bert and Josh wound up together!

In the workroom, Tim shows the designers the latest toy from HP and tells them they will be using it. He also tells them that it’s time for the textile challenge, in which they will design their own print fabric. Not only that, each team has to put together a collection of five cohesive outfits. At least three of the looks have to incorporate the textiles. They also have to choreograph their own show, by putting together a video and accompanying music. The teams will have two days to complete the challenge.

Tim then introduces the designer Betsey Johnson, who advises the contestants to think about “the girl.” In other words, think about the type of person they’ll be designing for. Who is likely to wear their clothes? She also recommends having a theme to ensure a cohesive look. Oh, and “cooperate with each other.” Um, I think at least one team is going to have major problems with that one….

The teams will have 30 minutes to caucus, and then another 45 minutes to design their textiles. Anthony wants to use Rorschach ink blots, and Anya likes the idea. Over on Team Dysfunctional, Laura wants to use a “sea amoeba” theme, and Josh wants to base the look on the Village People. Seriously? The Village People were a 1970′s band. They typically wore costumes based on American stereotypes of masculinity. One guy dressed as a biker, another dressed like a construction worker, and a third dressed like an Indian chief, complete with war paint and feather headdress. I’m having a tough time seeing how any of those would lend themselves to women’s fashion.

Mercifully, saner minds prevail on Team Dysfunctional, and they choose a clock theme. They also decide to call themselves Team Nuts and Bolts. Josh pouts on camera about how he hates working with a team and how about how his “vision” was shot down by the others and how he’s not happy that he can’t be in charge, etc., etc., ad nauseam. Get this guy off my T.V. screen already.

Anthony’s team decide to call themselves Team Chaos. Bert works on a design– only to discover the printer isn’t working. He does what most people do when confronted with a piece of recalcitrant machinery and swears at it. Josh, who is already in a bad mood, promptly picks a fight with Bert over his language. He tries to get Bert to admit that he used a bad word — as if Bert were his son, not a fellow designer 30 years his senior. Bert, understandably, treats Josh’ s demands with the contempt they deserve. Josh then threatens to forfeit and stalks off. Laura goes to talk to him.

Bert, Kimberly, and Becky go to Mood to pick up supplies. Bert DR’s that he doesn’t mind this arrangement as Kimberly and Becky know how to conduct themselves like adults and professionals. Josh and Laura will do the video. Team Chaos has also decided to divide their forces: Viktor and Bryce will shoot the video, while Anya, Olivier, and Viktor go shopping at Mood. Viktor and Bryce decide they want to depict the chaos of city life, so they go to Times Square and take shots of crowds and other frenetic activity.

Josh and Laura decide their video will be about a young woman with time management problems; she’s always running late for something. Hence, Josh takes lots of footage of Laura getting in and out of taxi cabs (to the probable annoyance of the cabbies), and Laura wearing many different kinds of shoes. Not surprisingly, they also get lots of shots of clocks.

The teams then reunite at Parson’s to edit their video. Anya comes up with a cool idea of using a kaleidoscope/mirror effect. Joshua, eager for more camera time, then makes a public announcement; he wants to apologize for his “insanity” during the morning. Bert accepts the apology — but wonders to himself how sincere or trustworthy Josh is. Good question, and I really think Josh is shooting himself in the foot with his antics. Sooner or later , he’ll draw the wrath of one Mr. Gunn. More importantly, most people in the design industry are not going to want to put up with him or his attitude. There are plenty of designers out there who are just as talented — and probably a whole lot easier to work with.


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