Ranking Project Runway: Season 9, Ep. 6

On this week's episode of Project Runway, the designers are challenged to create an avant-garde look inspired by a student's artwork. It's a pretty underwhelming episode. Few of the designers got close to creating something novel or innovative and way too many designers decided the hot glue gun was their new best friend. I'm almost glad these designers weren't given an haute coture challenge as I doubt most of them have the sewing skills to hand sew all the embellishments and design details in any outfit. Now Anya's success makes a lot more sense. Any other season, her craftsmanship wouldn't stand up. Here are the top 4 moments from the episode (I can't even find 5), plus personal runway ranking and commentary.

Everyone is Friends, Except for Anya

Just call me Nostradamus. Last week, I joked that Anya secretly hates everyone. This week, it's not secret. She is tired of all their foolishness and will explode any day now.

Anya is Over It

But the rest of the designers decide that they are now all best friends forever and totally above the drama. The season 9 preview says otherwise. Everyone loves Bert, Becky is suddenly a great designer, and the group rallies together to try and save Joshua C from his second elimination.

Friends? Best Friends! Go Team Josh!

Give me a break. I give them fifteen minutes into the next episode before another feud breaks out.

Art Class

I award the producers many bonus points for actually going to a school for the arts in NYC as the basis of this challenge. I was hoping that it was going to be a specialized school and not a general public school program. Could you imagine if the designers had to work with first graders on an art project?

Most of the designers get into the spirit of the challenge at this point, guiding their student partner to certain colors, shapes, and forms so they could begin planning their design. The ones who didn't--like Joshua M and Bryce--set themselves up for a much bigger challenge than the ones who did--Anthony Ryan, Anya.

Can we just talk about that wolf for a minute?

The Wolf Painting: Best Design in Project Runway History?

If Joshua C actually went with his original concept, he probably would have stayed over Oliver. Insanity always trumps boring this early in the contest. Isn't that right Wendy Pepper, Santino Rice, Angela Kesler, Elisa Jimanez, Blayne Walsh, Ra'mon Lawrence Coleman, Ping Wu, and Carlos Casanova? Only two of those made the finale, but they were all saved by throwing as much fur, feathers, tulle, and "wind and rain" factor into their designs. So long as you don't make your model look plus-sized, crazy is the way to go in the first few weeks.

Hot Glue

Did the show change to Craft Corner Deathmatch when I wasn't paying attention? I could swear that just two weeks ago, Tim Gunn was horrified that Julie was using glue to finish up the edge on her coat. Now, the top designers in the challenge (not counting Joshua M) used hot glue guns to impress the judges with their construction skills. The bottom three designers all sewed their garments entirely.

Hot Gun Concotion

I'd love to find out if the judges asked Anthony Ryan or Laura how they sewed their garments. Even the extended judging videos don't broach the subject.

Worst of all, the show acts like the only glue controversy was Oliver tacking the right side of the bodice to the model's chest. The glue didn't even stick.

What happened to the good old days when designers were sent home because you could see a safety pin holding a tiny little piece of their hem in place? Oh, right. Nina wasn't here to rip the designers to shreds for gluing their outfits together. This was not the unconventional material challenge. They had hundreds of dollars to buy fabric and two days to sew. There is no excuse for hot gun concoctions.

The Judges Hate Bert (Except for Heidi)

Heidi Loves Bert

Frau Klum,

Thank you for proving that Nina is not the only judge who can get blinded by horrible designs and guarantee the non-elimination of an unforgivable garment. At least you couldn't single-handily give Bert the win for that monstrosity.



It's like Bert watched every episode of Project Runway and decided to do a best of the worst inspired garment. He has Malvin's chicken-or-egg jodhpurs, Angela's "flourchons," Blayne's affinity for diapers, and Vincent's confetti explosion dress. It's a nightmare.


My Ranking:


Viktor Personal Win

  1. Viktor: gorgeous. avant-garde in a unique and fresh way
  2. Joshua M: interesting choices, vision could be stronger, nice fire effect
  3. Becky: great color, interesting concept, could be bigger
  4. Anya: nice concept, proportions are very off and that skirt is too heavy to move
  5. Anthony Ryan: there is no technique in hot gluing fabric to a shear shift. good colors
  6. Kimberly: stereotypically avant-garde, boring colors
  7. Laura: snooze-worthy, very pageant and boring
  8. Joshua C: well constructed but very dry
  9. Oliver: screams of Wendy Pepper "I didn't finish" designs from Season 1
  10. Bert: screams of Vincent's recycled couture, horrible jodhpurs
  11. Bryce: ugly, boring, derivative, bad color choices

Personal Out: Bryce

Judges' Ranking:


  • Joshua M
  • Laura
  • Anthony Ryan

Winner: Anthony Ryan

Anthony Ryan Wins


  • Joshua C
  • Bert
  • Oliver

Out: Joshua C

Joshua C Out

Did the judges get it right? No. Joshua C deserved to go home, yes, but Anthony Ryan's hot gun concoction was boring and unfinished. We're really going to reward a see-through shift as avant-garde fashion now?

So what did you think of the episode? Sound off in the comments.

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