Project Runway Recap: The Top 7 visit the 70s

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Wait, wasn't that last week?

So, here's what I'm thinking: They set up the challenges for Project Runway pretty far in advance. They agree that the Garnier Challenge is going to partner up with Rolling Stone and be about dressing the winning band for their contest cover. However, they agree to do this before the band gets chosen and is a throwback classic rock/hippy band with a definite 70s sensibility.  

Next up they have their Piperlime challenge, and damn if it isn't a 70s challenge. What are they to do but emphasize that there was a sophisticated 70s look. Granted it was only worn by Jackie O, Liza Minelli and Halston, but they rocked it out, people. SO there's your challenge, and that explains why we're taking a trip down 70s memory lane two weeks in a row.  (How'd I do, Lifetime?)

Heather Archibald from Piperlime explains the challenge, and the winner will get a piece sold on Piperlime. They all try to pretend it's a big deal, even though I feel like they've had a million challenges where things get sold online, and really…who cares?

They continue blathering about the sophisticated 70s. They say it was strong and feminine. And Tim makes sure to emphasize that they shouldn't go vintage, nor retro, nor too literal. 

That means starting over for most of them.

They make sure also to share that prints are important, and to remind them all that larger scale prints work better online.

They're off to Mood with only 30 minutes and, much worse, only 100 to spend. Of course, they're all very original, and they're all looking for prints. 

Much drama ensues when Anya loses her money. Tim tells her that all she can do is borrow from other designers. And use muslin. She is devastated.

But I'm mostly outraged by yet another week with no appearance from Swatch!

Back in the workroom, all the designers are giving her scraps of fabric, except Viktor. He may have gotten over being catty, but he's still all about the competition.

Everyone is turning to Bert like he's the History Channel, and it does seem like talking about the 70s is lightening the guy up a bit.

Courtesy of Lifetime

Meanwhile, Anya is dyeing her muslin (and really, what else can she do?).

We also learn that the girls have a pact to tell each other if things are going awry. And Anya and Laura think Kimberly's is going awry. Viktor, ever the competitor, advises them against helping her.

Viktor is also fantasizing that more fashion staples are his invention. Last week it was fringe, this week it's the inverted pleat. Josh is copying Viktor's again, or you know...any moderately nice jacket from Nordstrom.

Of course on day two, there's a surprise: They will get $50 to make a second look, and it must be one piece, not separates. They have 15 minutes to sketch and only 15 minutes to shop at Mood. This time there is no money mishap, however, once again, there is no Swatch sighting.

That means 2 visitis to Mood. Zero shots of Swatch. #swatchwatchfail

Tim comes for a visit, and gives incisive advice:

To Anthony: It looks too frumpy and old. Why don't you make a maxi?

To Anya: That's not a paperbag waist, that's a trash bag waist.

To Bert: Well, they'll either be enraptured or think it looks vintage.

To Kimberly: If you're going to have a micro-mini skirt, you shouldn't have a bare midriff too. Can't have sex on the bottom *and* on the top.

To Viktor: If you're going for a safari jacket look, you need more safari, otherwise it's just a nice jacket.

To Josh: Be careful of requiring a narrative. You can spin a tale, but the clothes need to speak for themselves.

To Laura: Nina has her radar up about Laura and gets bristly about her taste level. So he warns her to think about her taste level. Laura waits until Tim is gone and then decides that's ridiculous.

Next, the models come in. And they give them a whole 10 seconds of air time.

Anya and Kimberly seem to have taken on the Loivier mantle of "time management issues" and are both totally scrambling to finish in time. Tsk tsk they're in the sewing room far too late.

In the end they all finish and head off to the runway:

Heidi, dressed in minimalist chic, is joined on the judging panel by MK, ninagarcia and Piperlime guest editor Olivia Palermo, who seems very very depressed.

As always, click on the links to look at each design yourself.

1. Kimberly

Her first look is a black pencil skirt and a flowy print halter "circle" top that exposes her bare midriff. Kimberly thinks it's flattering, but I have to disagree, you don't get any sense of her shape. In fact, she looks pregnant. And way too much on the styling…red shoes, yellow bag, turquoise and black print.

Her second look is a jumpsuit with a slight menswear feel…a vest and wideleg pant combination. Unfortunately it's just horribly made with a big gap right at her belly, puckering at the nipple, and she even managed to make the model look like she had a muffin top.

I do not know HOW Kimberly managed to avoid being in the bottom 3.

2. Anthony

His first look is a basic red mini skirt with a red and taupe and black print sleeveless blouse and an incongruous black and white pixelated chevron vest and a thin tan belt. Yes, it was sort of kind of 70s, but more the kind of "70s" you would have gotten from a store like The Limited or Contempo Casuals.

His second look is a maxi dress in a drab geometric print with pointless backlessness. 

Both looks were drab, ugly and unflattering. And really not that 70s, but definitely not sophisticated.

3. Bert

His first look is a pair of black hot pants, a gold sequin tube top and a flowy roller disco queen strapless top with one arm and a matching sarong skirt, which comes off to leave just the hot pants. Which are, indeed, hot.

His second look is a very simply sleeveless shift dress with a thin tie belt. It's cream in front, tan in back. The styling was perfect with big sunglasses, a tin scarf tied at the neck and metallic sandals. I could see Jackie O wearing this on Ari's yacht.

To me Bert's second look was the only one that qualified as "sophisticated 70s". If I can't picture Jackie O wearing it, it ain't "sophisticated 70s".

4. Laura

Her first look is just butt-ugly. Pairing a black and white chevron halter top with a green/ purple/butter yellow print maxi skirt that looks like 70s bed sheets not fashion. It's doesn't have to match, but this just didn't go. The top on its own is OK and made well enough, but OMG the outfit is atrosh.

Meanwhile, her second look goes in the exact opposite direction, and is a jumpsuit that is so bland as to be unassociated with any particular era. It's big wide black pants and a silver spaghetti strap tank. Big whoop.

Bad taste or no taste, take your pick.

5. Josh

Oh goodness. His first look is a glen plaid pant with a fuchsia tuxedo shirt with a black bib. Even that sounds pretty hideous, don't you think?  But picture this: The shirt looked more like a race car driver jacket or jockey silks. And the vertical stripes of the plaid down her front and her back sort of curve out with the thighs and the butt, which is a weird and unflattering effect.

His second look is a maxi dress with a black sweetheart neck, bra strapped bustier top and a bright, vaguely animal print skirt with a crisscross tie belt. It's better than the first look for sure, but that print is very cheap-looking, and he paired it with a salmon colored clutch bag that didn't match at all.

Yikes and double-yikes. Worst looks of the night.

6. Anya

Her first look is a pumpkin-shaded (muslin) halter top with deep plunging neck and pleated back, paired with full pants with a high waist in an Afro-tropical frond-like print and a wide rope belt. The print was OK, the proportions ended up working, but the top is pulling a bit in front.

Her second look, in my opinion, was worse. It's a jumpsuit in a geometric print, and with a sexy plunging neckline, but the pants portion is SO wide…the woman looks literally 3 feet wide around the hips. Never, ever, a good look. The plunging neck and sheer back were all about sexiness, but to me the pants ruined it. I understand, from what later transpires, that apparently I am wrong. But I don't care. Ugly pants.

I thought the two looks were too similar, and too unflattering. But again, apparently, I am just wrong.

7. Viktor

His first look is a monochromatic pants suit. Full cream-on-cream trousers paired with a similar colored jacket with some safari jacket detailing, but not too much. The back of the jacket has inverted pleats and trims around the hems. It all looks very put together, very well made. There's a snakeskin style print shirt underneath, but you barely see that. The question is whether it will be too plain for the judges.

His second look is a beautiful dress…sleeveless wrap top a`la von Furstenberg in the same snakeskin style print peeking out from under the suit in the first look. There's also an asymmetrical black skirt with an obi sash waist. 

Both looks were really well put together, but both looks were pretty monochromatic and simple.

Kimberly is safe and not in the bottom. And wow. I'm surprised.

The judges like:

Viktor: Heidi: Two great looks, but the suit could be sexier. MK: The tee kills the sex. nina: Beautiful tailoring, but a little conservative. But then they ask to see the tee on its own, and they all loves the tee on its own. nina also loves the dress. It looks expensive. Piperlime Lady loves the pants. Sexy and versatile. 

Anya: They like some elements…the sheer-ness, the work of the tops, the print. It will photograph nicely. They don't seem to express love for the overall package though.

Bert: Heidi likes the roller disco fabric. Heidi also doesn't mind short shorts. (Well, would oyu if you were Heidi?) Heidi also likes simple but expensive dress. MK likes the metallic chiffon blouse and the asymmetry. Bert is showing the "two sides of the 70s". nina: I would buy that top. The dress is beautiful. Piperlime Lady: Loves the first look and likes the belt of the dress because of the silver tips, which enrichen it. Which seemed like an odd comment to me, but she mentions it twice, so I'm clearly missing their significance.

They no like:

Laura: Heidi doesn't love the two prints together (well, obvs.) nina doesn't understand it. The other look, on the other hand…won't read as anything. Piperlime lady agrees. MK: They don't look like fashion. They look like clothes.

Josh: MK: Schizophrenia in the two outfits. "The pants are against every law of fashion nature in any era." Over the top with none of the easiness of the 70s. Heidi thinks it's one of the worst outfits she has seen in a long time. Heidi: You can't live in your own world. Piperlime Lady: No consistency. Second dress should have been enrichened. (She clearly likes this word "enrichen", but is it really a word? My dictionary app says NO.) nina: Choice of fabric is horrendous. Tragic. You take risks, and I appreciate it, but you have an edit problem that is not going way.

Anthony: Piperlime Lady: It looks incomplete, The two patterns don't work. The other dress is a tent. nina: Hippy dippy but not in a good way. Layering doesn't work. Lengths don't work. Doesn't have a luxe feeling. MK likes the fact that he went to a different place, but the back of the skirt is icky. Heidi: They're both schmattes. (My mother would appreciate her using that word.) nina: Two boring girls who are part of a cult. Hippy sister wives.

The judges further discuss:

...Josh, noting that "acid colored leopard is always a mistake". And the pants: so unflattering.

…Anthony, noting it's both dull and won't photograph well.

…Laura, exclaiming about her horrible judgement using those two prints. And it looks cheap. 

…Anya, praising her for her resourcefulness and good taste. They all love the jumpsuit. I hated it. 

…Bert, noting his outfits would photograph phenomenally. That silk jersey dress would work in any color any length.

…Viktor, giving him credit for an amazing job. They loved the tee. Every piece was great. Snakeskin can look cheap, but this didn't.

They bring them back and immediately name Anya the winner. Wow, I did not see that coming.

Bert is also kind of a winner, since Piperlime will also produce his dress!

Viktor is in.

Laura is in, but is reminded that she really missed the mark.

Josh and Anthony are the bottom 2.

And Anthony gets the auf! (Once again, I'm surprised. I would have sent Josh home, without a doubt.)

What did you think?

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