This week, “Project Runway” designers will “look to the past” for their design inspiration.
“My first reaction was that it was going to be a retro or vintage challenge,” said local designer Anthony Ryan Auld. “But whether or not it is, I can’t tell you.”
That’s about all the info Auld, who has made it to Episode 10 of the Emmy-nominated show, could divulge.
Oh, and that the guest judge is Olivia Palermo, although he had trouble remembering the name of the actress best known for her role on the MTV reality show “The City.”
But, like all “Project Runway” episodes, there’s sure to be drama.
In the promo for this week’s challenge, the announcer warns in his best doomsday voice: “This vintage challenge will haunt one designer forever.”
There are charges of thievery and sabotage, and contestant Kimberly Goldson calls someone a “sneaky, dirty rat.”
Who’s the rat? Who’s the thief?
You’ll have to tune in Thursday night to find out.
But for Auld, surviving last week was a real accomplishment. The designers were divided into two teams of four to create new looks for the Sheepdogs, an obscure band of long-haired Canadian rockers.
The eight outfits were among the worst ever assembled on the “Project Runway” runway.
“It was very challenging. It was the first time I had ever made something for a man,” said Auld. “And the band really wanted a ’70s’ look, with floral shirts and bellbottoms.”
Auld said the designers struggled between giving the band members what they wanted or coming up with a more modern aesthetic.
“It was tough trying to find the middle ground,” said Auld.
His creation — leather pants and a wood-print western shirt with fringe on the back — landed him in the middle of the pack.
Auld called it “rock Jesus,” but judge Michael Kors said the pants were so polished “it’s almost like a Golden Girls-goes-rock-’n’-roll moment.”
Responded Auld, laughing, “ I like the Golden Girls.”
He added: “I’m proud I made leather pants. I was the only one who did that.”
The criticism of Auld was mild compared to that heaped on the contestants in the bottom three — Anya Ayoung-Chee, Olivier Green and Goldson. Green, who has trouble dressing anyone other than a size 00 model, was sent packing.
Designer Viktor Luna, who crafted a braided leather jacket, was declared the winner.
Now only seven designers remain vying for the top prize — $100,000 from L’Oreal Paris to start his or her own line, a fashion spread in Marie Claire magazine, a $50,000 technology suite by HP and Intel, and the opportunity to design and sell an exclusive collection on http://www.piperlime.com.
Auld also remains a top contender in the Fan Favorites competition. He and Ayoung-Chee are neck in neck in the tally. To vote for Auld, include his hashtag — #PR9anthonyryan — in tweets. The winner, as chosen by the fans, will get a $10,000 prize. You can log into Twitter within the “Project Runway” Season 9 site at http://www.myLifetime.com and tweet from each designers’ page.