Project Runway

Project Runway: Designers Unleashed in Pet Store Challenge

08/05/2011 at 11:35 AM EDT

Project Runway Season 9 Recap
Fallene Wells, and Joshua Christensen
Lifetime (2)

Heidi Klum

Heidi Klum

"This is not fashion. This is like, trashion," quipped Viktor on last night's episode of Project Runway. He was right: Birdseed, hamster bedding and puppy wee-wee pads made up some of the top-rated runway looks. Yes, it was time again for an unconventional (yet oh-so-entertaining) Runway challenge.

Designers met Tim Gunn at Petland Discounts in New York's East Village, where they were given $300 and 30 minutes to shop for materials to make a high-fashion garment. Tim warned against choosing items that were too fabric-like, then watched as contestants scooped up items ranging from dog beds and wee-wee pads to plastic plants for fish tanks and pet food. Back at Parsons, contestants were told they'd have just one day to finish their garments.

As time raced on, some designers ruled, and others kind of drooled. Viktor created a sexy strapless dress out of dyed wee-wee pads, while Bert, who had immunity after winning last week's challenge, phoned it in with a flat black tube dress. Laura constructed a skirt using a dog "cone of shame," but once her model arrived, she realized it was way too revealing.

In fact, several designers changed their plans after an early-evening visit from the models. Josh M. scrapped his original blouse idea, Laura decided to make a whole new skirt and Anthony Ryan ditched his grass-inspired skirt for a dress covered completely in birdseed.

On the runway, where Alice + Olivia designer Stacey Bendet served as guest judge, there were lots of smiles from Michael, Nina Garcia and Heidi Klum. Danielle created a modern top using rope dog toys; Kimberly crafted a one-shoulder black-and-blue garment; and Anya braided chew toys to make a cool halter. However, Bert's sad excuse for a dress and Julie's woven food-bag frock weren't as impressive.

Oliver was crowned the winner for his "very editorial" dress – the top made from a dog bed, the bottom hamster bedding in an ombré pattern – narrowly beating Anthony Ryan, whose birdseed dress, though short, was a favorite of Heidi and Stacey. Josh M. earned props for his sweet black circle skirt and colorfully patterned aquarium bead top, too.

Bryce, Fallene and Josh C. landed in the bottom. Bryce's blue top and wee-wee pad skirt were too unoriginal for the judges, while Fallene's strapless frock, made of orange plastic aquarium plants and a brown dog bed, drew ire for its sleepy color combination. Josh C., however, got the "auf" for an ill-fitting top (made from a puppy patterned umbrella) and a boring miniskirt that were "just okay," according to Nina.

Though he found himself in the bottom two weeks in a row, Josh C. wasn't disheartened, though. "I think you'll definitely see me in the future," he said. "I don't know when, but it won't be that far off."

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