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Recap: Project Runway, Episode 9.12, “Oh My Lord of the Rings, It’s Fashion Week!”

This is it. The finale. This is where we determine who will be the next designer that gets $100,000 and sells an overpriced collection on Piperlime or whatever the prizes are this year. Will they choose the right person or will this be a repeat of last year’s brown diaper fiasco?

Let me go on the record here. Based on what we saw last week, I’m going into this on Team Viktor. I know. I KNOW! I didn’t like him at first. I called him a “troll.” But somewhere between when he rolled his eyes at having to work with kids and being in possession of actual talent, he won me over. It happens. Besides, he has an epic collection of bowties of which the Eleventh Doctor would be supremely jealous.

I also think they should have gotten rid of Anya last week, because yikes. That gold monstrosity. Anyway. Let’s begin.

Shooting the breeze in their swanky penthouse, Joshua is unhappy that their odds of winning are still only 25% instead of 33% like they would be if someone had been eliminated.

Tim comes into the workroom and gives them a pep talk. He disagreed with the judges in all their criticisms. Except Anya. He agreed with them that her evening dress sucked. He also announces that they are going to Mood with $500 to get whatever they want to tweak their collections.

Kimberly plans on making her pink bubble skirt in black, Joshua is reworking his catsuit-dress thing, Viktor wants to redo his evening gown, and Anya doesn’t know what the hell she’s doing. No surprise there.

Apparently she plans to make three new looks in one day. By midnight. Should be fun. Joshua is making some tanks and in the process holds up a pair of blue and brown shorts with some patch pockets that made me actually yell out loud they were so ugly.

They’re stressing themselves out in the workroom and Joshua starts crying over a sewing machine because he doesn’t want to fail and doesn’t have a job to fall back on. Anya comforts him and tells him he’s not a quitter. Stress and drama and tension, oh my.

The next day, everyone is rejuvenated but frantic, and sewing like madpeople. They consult at the product placement hair and make-up studios. Viktor says “Oh my Lord of the Rings” at some point, and I decide to work that into daily conversation from now on.

Tim comes in to check on progress. Kimberly doesn’t know what she’s doing with her last few items. Anya has spiced up some pieces, but says she knows it’s not her best work and basically says her goodbyes. Viktor is pulling out a bunch of pieces and has remade his gown. I like his first gown better. Joshua has taken a surfer girl turn and Tim doesn’t like it.

Sidebar: during a commercial break my mother informs me that when she was 17 and made her own prom dress, it was better sewn and more tastefully styled than anything Anya is showing.

Kimberly has lots of details to finish, Anya is still churning out dresses, and Viktor is editing. The models come in for fittings and we catch a glimpse of some green shorts horror of Josh’s that look like they were made by OP in the ’80s. I’ve seen more tasteful items on Halloween in the West Village.

It’s show day. O-M-JEEZUS, right? They are up at 3 a.m. and everyone has a deep story about why they really, really want this. Then there’s a group hug when they get to the runway itself. The usual.

And then the scrambling begins. Kimberly can’t find her kit with everything she needs in it and begins to melt down. But Anya helps by lending her things like tools and thread, which is nice.

Joshua points out that Anya is sewing people into dresses at Fashion Week. I still don’t like him, but he has a point. Step it up, girl. Learn how to use zippers.

The shows begin. First up, Kimberly. Her Brooklyn-inspired collection is set to a smooth techno-y song. She mixes the urban casual pieces in with some fancier ones. There’s a cute as hell blue dress with a zipper down the back. Her palette was questioned last week but it really works here. I still don’t like the pink bubble-butt skirt but it’s better with the jacket here than it was with the backless blouse thing. She managed to pull it off, despite her struggles.

Overall I liked her urban vibe.

Joshua is next. He opens with a dress that looks a lot like that orange one he did a few challenges back. He worked that ugly print into a dress that was, well, ugly. There are several individual pieces in here that I like, but there is a LOT of fug going on. He took that “modesty tab” off the black dress and it’s nice. He added some draping to the catsuit thing for a big improvement, and follows it with a similarly-styled gown. Maybe too similar to the catsuit.

Both of these pieces are very similar to other items he has made.

Viktor comes out immediately following a commercial break for “Twilight: Breaking Wind” or whatever. His first piece is a stunning little dress with squared shoulders and good use of that photographic print that had been on the pants last week. Piece after piece that comes out is superb. He’s added in lots of sheer and black, and done plenty of editing as the judges requested. He’s using his prints smartly, and there’s a cohesion to everything, though I kind of miss the flowy dress he showed last week. He did exactly what Michael suggested and made a simple black outfit to go under that white jacket. Also, please manufacture that white jacket in plus sizes. Thanks.


Finally, it’s Anya. Lots of flowing dresses and patterns. There’s a lot of repetition in the shapes, but absolutely no cohesion to the patterns, except she repeats the brown stripe in a second piece. It’s all very beachy and easy looking, hitting the Caribbean mark. It’s definitely an improvement over what she showed earlier, but it doesn’t read to me as a dazzling collection. But then again, neither did the brown diapers.

This opening dress is pretty fantastic though.

It’s impossible to say what the judges will go for. Given the trend of the last couple of weeks, maybe they’ll just split the prize four ways.

They start the critiques. Michael likes that Kimberly listened to their advice but didn’t lose herself. He didn’t love that she had pink under her flowing, sheer striped dress because it killed the smoothness of it. Nina likes her ability to take rich fabrics and make them easy.

There was an asymmetrical zipper on the back of this that was stunning.

Heidi got that Josh’s point of view was a merging of soft and hard, and she actually loved the ugly print and the ’80s OP shorts. Michael enjoyed the schizophrenic nature of it, and thought he edited it well. Nina also liked the green shorts, but more in a photograph than on the runway. They dig his use of unconventional fabrics.

There's no excuse for lime green camel toe.

Michael loves Viktor’s prints, plus the tailoring and polish. He doesn’t like all the sheer fabric that he used. The guest judge, L. Wren Scott, didn’t like the sheer dress either; I guess he should have stuck with the first gown he had. Heidi loved the print gown and the mirrored tops, but thought the sheer was sort of cheap. Nina calls the sheer a “missed opportunity.” I’m worried that my boy blew it here.

He made these prints from his own photographs.

Heidi likes the vibe of Anya’s collection, but points out that eight of her ten looks have the same neckline. Michael loved her opening piece, but thinks she can push it even more and thinks she needs to work on variety. The guest judge said she needs to think about what people can actually wear. Nina is a big fan of the bathing suit, but wishes the pieces would translate better to an urban atmosphere.

This is a no bra collection.

The judges start debating. Going into it now, I have no idea who they are going to pick. There are ups and downs with each designer. I bounce around between, “Oh, they’re definitely going to pick this person,” and, “There’s no way that designer could win.” I just don’t know.

So they bring them back out. Heidi says there are no losers. But, you know, only one can be the winner. So technically there are losers.

Anyway, Kimberly is the first one eliminated. Then Viktor. BOO. So it comes down to Anya and Joshua. The winner is…



So basically, it’s another brown diaper moment. I am no fan of Joshua’s but his collection was more varied and better sewn. Kimberly made impeccable pants. Viktor printed his own fabrics and made that white jacket, for goodness sake. I get that she was good TV, but that’s no reason to actually win.

Needless to say, I am not OK with this decision.


By [E] Liza

PhD student. Knitter. Brooklynite. Long-distance dog mom. Reluctant cat lady. Majestic unicorn whose hair changes color with the wind.

13 replies on “Recap: Project Runway, Episode 9.12, “Oh My Lord of the Rings, It’s Fashion Week!””

Omg, yeah!!! that was almost my same exact reaction to Anya winning on MY blog! I went into it about how basically anya won for being beautiful, popular, and the underdog. I mean, she won the fan favorite too! But at least she’s a good person – she’s splitting the FF prize with her charity and Anthony Ryan’s charity. But still – Anya’s fans are not being honest with themselves – or have shitty taste – if they think she should have won on merit. I’d have been happy with any one of the others winning, because they are new, interesting, and talented! I was really impressed with Kimberly, I have to say I was rooting for her after the preview show – her work seemed so boring and tackily urban for the WHOLE show, and all the sudden she turns out this amazing collection! I think she deserved to win most.

I thought Josh was going to shiv Anya when she won. Her first dress was beautiful (for the boob-less crowd), but she knew she didn’t deserve to win – why didn’t the judges?  Just because she could make a brand and sell flowy dresses, and pants, and sheets, and towels, and rugs, and paintings, and vases, and whatever else you can make flowy and beachy?  (It kinda seemed like that was what MK was saying.)

Viktor and Kimberley were the top IMO.  If Viktor hadn’t edited out the good stuff to put in the sheer stuff, it would’ve been cut and dried.  Therefore, I would have chosen Kimberley to win.  Her collection was so way better than I expected.  Not my style at all, but it really worked.

Josh is a hater, and he makes clothes out of plastic and neoprene.  I do not like any of that.  But I wish there was a second prize, so he wouldn’t be homeless.

ps – nothing this season was as grotty as those diapers from last season though. i *still* hate those things.

I don’t understand why Anya won.  She presented 10 of the same dress. A dress that requires no technique or IMO “vision” or whatever they kept calling it.

I was team Viktor too.  I know his sexy looks were a little quesstionable. But I would also buy that dress the judges were gushing over.

I have to say that I was firmly anti-Kimberly.  Except for those pants in the first challenge she’s never made anything that stood out to me.  I thought her garments for the runway show looked cheaply made and out of cheap fabric.

OP in the ’80s is the perfect description for Josh’s clothes.  I had a swimsuit that would have fit right in.  My boyfriend was outraged that Josh was even in the final two. I think he might go track down Michael Kors to personally have a few words with him.

Also, who voted “hungry??” LOL

After having thought and swallowed all the WTF from last night, I have to say that Kimberly is the one who deserved to win.  All of her outfits were gorgeous, different, cohesive, and beautifully made.  Viktor has those gorgeous prints, but all the see thru shit?  No.  Just no.  Anya’s stuff was lovely, but I am willing to bet it would fall apart after two wears and it was all the same!  Plus, she seems to have an issue with tits.

We will not speak of the mess that was the lime green Kermit fetish wear.  We will not.

Victor’s black collection conveniently built in the fashion “don’t” bars.

Oh. Joshua. My grandmother had an apron made out of your edgy retro print fabric, and I had a Trapper Keeper in your Electric Kermit Acid Test green. In 1984. I’m a shlubby midwestern girl and I was over your style 30 years ago.

I was team Kimberly, and I hope the exposure gets her an opportunity to go further. I think her stuff would have a lot of commercial appeal.

Like deuteragonist said, Anya was like Uli-light. She was really likable, and she certainly grew a lot over the course of the show, but her final collection didn’t reflect any of that growth. She didn’t take any risks.


Yeah, I’d like to see her take this and run with it, if for no other reason that a designer who can make pants like that is rare, and as a lady who has a heck of a time finding pants that fit and aren’t horribly shapeless on me, it’s nice to have something to go “if I wear made of money, I’d buy pants she’s made” about.

I’m so bored by PR these days I can’t work up a proper frothing rage, but:

Uli didn’t win her season, and she could sew and mix prints in a genuinely creative way; Anya hasn’t shown evidence of reliably doing either of those things. Does not compute. Anya should not have won even this season, which to me has been the most lackluster season ever.

I thought the same — poor Uli was criticized for doing what Anya did, except Uli had more technical ability.  Another point about the prints, yes, they are pretty, but Anya did not design them.  She picked them off of bolts at Mood.  Viktor, on the other hand, designed his own prints.  Maybe Anya can design more but we did not see it because she cannot sew. I think the judge found her to be cool and hip and picked her long before the finale.

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