Project Runway Recap – The Pajama Game (Season 9, Episode 1)

Since I can't post the Naked Heidi Promo every week....*

Designerrrrsss! (That was my best Tim Gunn impression) Welcome to season 9 of Project Runway. Writing can be influenced by fashion in various ways and yes, that is my flimsy excuse to blog about Project Runway on a writing blog. And when America’s Next Top Model starts up again, my excuse will be “Writing can be influenced by ego-centric, ex-supermodel crazy people, or Tyras.” But that isn’t til the fall. Right now, we’re focusing on the designs of the Runway. So I hope that we’ve all recovered from Gretchengate, cause THIS  is season 9! Are we really back here again? Oooh, yes, we are Heidi. Yes, we are.

As the twenty hopeful designers patrol through New York City with their garments in tow like chic hobos, Heidi (who I’m glad to see has glammed it up from last season’s bedhead look) and Tim sit in the comfort of their white backgrounds (sans faceless mannequins) and tell us that four designers will be going home before the show even begins. So really, these next fifteen minutes or so are just padding cause we’re clearly not going to get attached to any of these people.

The designers “size each other up” and see what others “pull out of their garment bags” before showing their racks in front of the judges. (Racks of

David "Droopy Dog" Chum

clothes! Sheesh, it’s not like Heidi’s going to say something like “I love the boob window.”) But of course, going in front of the “toughest judges ever” (they obviously don’t watch American Idol)  makes all the contestants “nervous”. How do you feel David, with your sad Droopy Dog face?

“I’m nervous…” And what about you Julie, with your protruding five-head? “I’m nervous…” Well, Tim is “horrified” when he finds out that Anya, a Season 8 finalist Andy look-a-like, just learned how to sew four months before and she’s a master at it. It’s unbe-weave-able! The other judges think she’ll be sincerely handicapped in the competition, but do you know who really is handicapped? Anthony (not that Anthony, unfortunately) who was diagnosed with testicular cancer and now only has one ball of yarn left. Also, he’s color-blind. Rafael is mentally handicapped since he’s convinced that he and Nina are having sex with their eyes, but I’m pretty sure, it’s Michael Kors who’s doing the bedroom eyes. And Heidi devolves into Tyra-territory when she sings “Joshuuuaaaaaaa, come and show us what you got…” All the while, Bert remains emotionless as he dryly says that he’s “102 I live in Los Angeles actually I’m 57.”

Joshua McKinley: The Gay Alter Ego of Tom Hardy

And finally, that quick meet and greet is over and I hope you didn’t get too attached to Droopy Dog, Gunner and his Kentucky Derby dress, or Amanda The Romper Hater cause they all packed their garment bags of un-fabulousness and left. Finally, it was down to Serena and Cecilia, and since there can’t be two frizzy-haired brunettes in the competition, Serena was sent home so now she can go to Iceland and get married.  And they toast the beginning of the season. (Why doesn’t ANTM get alcohol? If there’s ever a reality show that needs more alcohol, it’s ANTM.) Some of the notable keepers are Kimberly, who’s a skinnier Jennifer Hudson, Joshua McKinley, who’s the gay alter-ego of Tom Hardy, and Viktor. Wait, who?

The next morning, a mysterious dark shadow walks down the hall, unlocks their doors and strangles all of them in their beds with their own thread! Where was Alex Trebek when you needed him?! Oh wait, it’s just Tim Gunn who yells “Surprise!” Turns out the bizarre-this-would-never-happen-in-the-real-world-of-fashion challenge this episode is that the designers must create a look out of their pajamas and one bed sheet. Oh Project Runway, you are so clever! “This is what it’s all about, making something from nothing.” Kinda, Gay Tom Hardy. I’m a bit bummed cause they didn’t go to Mood and see my favorite character of the series, Swatch. There better be a double helping of Swatch next episode, Heidi. Something that tops this. Make it work!

At Parsons, the designers get right to work and Fallene becomes my new instant favorite for using a graphic of a clown puking rainbows into her design. Andy, I mean Anya begins to freak out about her sewing skills compared with the other designers because “four months of sewing is four months of sewing.” Indeed it is. Sidenote: someone does an incredible Tim Gunn impression when they joke about the infamous twists given to the designers halfway through the challenge. I can’t figure out who it is.  Bert is using his boxers as fabric and Kimberly jokes that there will be “nut juice” all over his model. Ew. It’s certainly no “woolly balls

Speaking of, Tim enters the workroom to see how the designers are doing, but we completely skip over Viktor (who?) and Olivier only gets this:

Tim: “How are you?”

Olivier: “I’m not bad.”

Tim: “What does that mean? Are you not good?”

And that’s it. Okay, that’s all we need to know of Olivier’s design. Onward to more important designers who will probably last longer in the competition. Or there’s Rafael, who hasn’t utilized his leopard print headscarf into his design because he’s afraid to take it off. Does he look like the Shepherd if he does?

Finally, it’s Runway Time and HEIDI!!! YOU DIDN’T SAY HELLO! How incredibly rude. That’s no way to welcome The Forever-12-Year-Old-Actress Christina Ricci. The designers’ looks walk down the runway while the judges (with Nina doing her best Amish impression with her outfit) look on with blank stares and the designers themselves whisper sweet subtitled nothings to their models and each other. I was most impressed with Becky’s blue little dress (the color seems to be a theme in her looks) and Viktor’s black and white dress (seriously who?)

Rafael's Design

After, everyone is safe except Rafael, Anthony, Anya, Josh, Bert and Julie who make up the designers with the highest and the lowest “scores” (How do they “score” it? Is it on a scale of one to fierce?) First up is One Ball of Yarn Anthony, and the judges love his design. They’re even more impressed that he’s color-blind.

Next is Rafael, and they hate it. Heidi hates the bib leopard headscarf around the neck, Nina thinks it looks dated, and Michael hates the “Flintstone Disco Pouch” Only Wednesday Adams tries to be nice by commenting on the back of the shirt. No need to be nice, Kat. That look is hideous. i don’t know which is worse, Rafael’s design or his hair.

After that visual onslaught of an outfit was Julie’s. Which isn’t much better. She did get the short-end of the stick with that pattern that only belongs on pajama bottoms, but she could have used it as a cute scarf or accent. Michael notes the “I love myself” pocket in the front and I shudder because now I have a visual image of that. Thanks, Michael. You’re worse than Bruno on Dancing with the Stars.

Next up is “I didn’t realize I had run out of time until I had run out of time” Anya. So true. The judges love her outfit. I like the back, but I hate the front. The top looks messy and the crotch of the pants is way down low, low, low.

After Anya is Bert, and Heidi loves his dress. I didn’t like it at first, but it is a really nice dress, even if the patterns and colors do clash a little too much. Sorry, I’m not a big fan of the color palate of orange and grey. The judges, however, think it’s sexy even if Michael Kors hates the styling of the model.

So that just leaves Josh, who by now has figured out that the judges aren’t going to be in love with his design. Heidi says it’s a toss-up between his and Rafael’s which is a bit harsh on Josh. It isn’t a fantastic outfit, the shorts are a terrible fit, but I like the color of the shirt and the little wrap that goes over it. Josh doesn’t win himself any points by not realizing this was a competition after all. “If only someone had told me that it didn’t look good…” he whines. Someone doesn’t know how Project Runway works.

Bert's Winning Design

Well, Bert wins the challenge, even though I liked Becky’s and Viktor’s way more. Anthony is safe, as is Anya. Julie is saved, so that just leaves Josh and Rafael. And Josh is in, but only by the skin of his teeth. I’m glad he was safe, since Rafael didn’t seem that worried in the lounge a few minutes before. So he packs up his tragic pants and his even more tragic hair cut and heads home. What his hair looks like under that headwrap will forever be a mystery.

So that’s episode one of the ninth season of Project Runway. So far the drama is low, but the promos for the season suggest that it will intensify, though probably not to the escalation of Poison Ivy and Wretchin’ Gretchen last season. None of the designers have exhibited bombastic personalities like Casanova or Peach, but once they’ve been together for a few weeks, they’ll start to get on each other’s nerves. And let’s hope that somewhere along the line, we have some truly bad fashion disasters walk down that runway.

Let me leave you with my Project Runway Scraps of the night:

Tim Gunn: I don’t want to sexualize everything, but look at the placement of those. There’s a way of using the feathers that wouldn’t be this pubic patch.

Becky: My look is artsy, girly and edgy. Sometimes the edgy comes and goes, but the hair helps.

Gay Tom Hardy: What……Just……Happened…..?

And I can’t wait for this line…

Anthony: I haven’t been this pissed since I had cancer. (said in season promo)

*Sidenote about the naked Heidi Klum campaign posters: If you’re going to do one of Heidi, then you gotta do one of Tim Gunn. It’s only fair.

Til next week, Auf Wiedersehen!

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