Death Metal, Pajama Parties, and U.S. Centrism!

Well, hello, kumquats! Can you believe we haven’t seen Project Runway since the end of October? Has it been that long since the poo-colored diaper disaster where the she-mulleted Gretchen incomprehensibly bested the well-loved and whimsical Mondo?

But let us not dwell on tragedy. We must move on. Project Runway commands it. It is time for Season 9.

My, my, this show is quite venerable now, isn’t it?

So we begin, as we always do (with the exception of Season 6), with the designers arriving in New York. But holy guacamole covered nachos, Batman, there’s twenty of them! No fear, though—Heidi and her cohorts are preparing to axe four of them right off the bat (so, what was the point of that, exactly? “You’re on Project Runway!…PSYCHE!!!”). So a skinnier-than-ever Heidi is joined by His Orangeness, Michael Kors, Grumpapotamus Nina Garcia, and the always lovely Tim Gunn, and they form a final judging panel for the hopeful designers to display some of their creations. Against all reality show standards, a fellow is booted off who goes by the name of Gunnar Deatherage.

Gunnar Deatherage. How do you get rid of someone whose name is GUNNAR DEATHERAGE?? It sounds like the name of one of those Euro death metal bands.


Also auf’ed with little ado is a woman who delayed her destination wedding (in Iceland, of all places) to come onto the show. Unsurprisingly, she is not pleased.

Those who DO make it through include Bambi’s girlfriend, Fallene:


                                         Actual photograph of designer.

Also on the passing list is a fellow, Rafael (Leonardo, Michelangelo, and Donatello couldn’t join him, it seems) who looks like a cross between Ringo Starr and Prince, and takes Nina’s disapproving scowl to mean that they are “talking sex with our eyes.”

Ew. Ew. Ew. And…that’s really the vibe you got? That’s what you’re going with? So next time someone gives me a look of seething, near-hostile contempt, I should assume they are having eye sex with me?

Well, that ought to make my interactions with people a whole lot more interesting…

We have Cue Ball Joshua, a not-gay(?) Mormon. We have a former Miss Universe contestant, Anya, who makes scandalous sex tapes in her spare time, shaves the sides of her head for no reason, and claims to have just learned to sew four months ago—against (or perhaps following) all reason, they pass her through. There is the “Old Fogey” of the group, Bert, who is returning to the fashion world after losing loved ones to AIDS and succumbing to the charms of the bottle. Then there is Anthony, who comes in wearing a ratty down comforter masquerading as a scarf, with which Heidi is HIGHLY pleased. She asks for the down comforter scarf, and Anthony, assuming she is joking, smiles and ignores her, trying to show the judges his designs. Heidi, still smiling broadly, repeats her request and you can tell she isn’t being facetious. There is a long, awkward pause, as Heidi smilingly burns holes into his head with her gaze, and Anthony laughs nervously, unsure of what he should do. Anthony also informs the audience several times that he is a testicular cancer survivor. But Old One Nut is going to persevere!

There are ten others, but in the interest of brevity, we’re not going to detail them just yet.

Heidi and Tim pour champagne for the sixteen designers who will officially be on the show (even though the other trounced four were technically on the show, seeing as they appeared on camera—but these sixteen are on on it), and they are sent to move into their Atlas apartments.

At a darkened hour I call DOOM (5:00am), Tim Gunn casually lets himself into the apartments without even knocking (um, kind of creepy there, Tim), looking perfectly coiffed as always and inhumanly showing no signs of fatigue. I love Tim, but I find this deeply troubling on a number of levels. He rouses the bleary-eyed troops, telling them to not get dressed, but merely grab a sheet from their beds and accompany him down the street in their pajamas (why are they always forced to destroy their clothes and bedding?). He brings them into Parsons, doing his requisite shilling for Brother sewing machines, the Piperlime accessory wall, HP notebook tablets, Garnier hair products, L’oreal makeup, Volkswagen vehicles, McDonald’s egg McMuffins, etc. He then explains their first challenge—they are to create an outfit from the singular bedsheet and the pajamas they are wearing, as well as host of notions already in bins for them (scrubs will be provided—this isn’t Nude Project Runway, thank God).

A sewing flurry ensues.

I will be perfectly honest—it looks like a whole lot of fug.

Also, is anyone else bothered by the fact that these are technically dirty clothes/sheets/underwear the poor models will have to be dressed in? Going, “Here, let me wrap you in my dirty underwear!” seems like the behavior of a serial killer.

Anya, the Partial-Head-Shaving, Sex-Tape-Making, Miss Universe Contestant, informs the audience that, since she learned to sew yesterday, she has never worked with silk or made pants. So, naturally, she is going to work with silk and make pants. Right.

Rafael, the Renaissance Artist/Ninja Turtle/Prince/Ringo/Nina’s Eye Lover is making the most God-awful gray legging monstrosity known to man or beast, unswayed by Tim Gunn’s palpable concern.

A designer called Olivier (as in Laurence?) begins having a beautiful-sounding conversation with his model in Italian, when fellow competitor, Laura (Missouri Barbie, we shall call her), pipes up, “Um, are you speaking foreign?”

Oh, Jesus. Missouri Barbie will be a treasure, indeed. I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess she may think “American” is a language.

Anthony the Cancer Survivor/Down Comforter Scarf Owner is making a small blue skirt with feather business, which concerns Tim, as he is placing it all in a neat thatch in the “pubic area.” So…he’s making a giant merkin. Pretty.

The next day, the designers finish their pajama sheet creations, and send their models for hair and makeup, and before you know it, it’s time for the first runway show. We have guest judge, Christina Ricci, who needs to eat a cracker.


                Miss Ricci, 2000—very pretty and clearly eats requisite crackers.


                       Miss Ricci, 2011—has not eaten since other photo.

Anywho, let’s take a look at what comes down the runway, shall we?

This is by Cancer Survivor Anthony. We have a very basic tank top I could buy at Old Navy and the merkin skirt, which is both too short and too tight. It makes the Top Three. I don’t understand.

Anya, Miss Universe Contestant and Recent Sewer, crafted this little number. The judges praised this to high heaven and, for the life of me, I do not understand why. Those pants are heinous. They’re wrinkly and ill-fitting, the backside is all bunchy and loose (I realize this skinny model probably isn’t packing a lot of junk in the trunk, but still), and the front appears to have a GIANT low-slung crotch pouch—why does the crotch end halfway down the model’s thighs? Is she going to store groceries in there? The silk top is…okay, I suppose, but I am unsure in what venue it would be appropriate. It was, shockingly, one of the three contenders for the win. Urgh, I say to this. Urgh.

This is by Becky, whom I think I shall like, as she reminds me a great deal of Sweet Pea, from Season 4. The dress itself is…perfectly tolerable. Nothing astonishing and not really my style, but cute nonetheless.

Resident “Old Timer” Bert made this. The gingham portion of the bodice was made from his boxers. Apparently, the hemline was supposed to be asymmetrical, but to me, it just looked like it was wonky and crooked. That said, it’s not that bad, and I don’t mind that it took the win. Personally, I don’t think it was the best one, but it’s cute enough.

Someone named Bryce made this. Why do you HATE torsos, Bryce?? What have you done to this poor woman? That skirt is EATING her armpits. And…are those WINGS on either side of the skirt? Feelers? Tabs? Flaps? What is going on?? Your sheet top still looks like a sheet and is falling off the lass.

A lady designer named Cecilia made this barf-tastic piece. We have another crotch pouch, perfect if the model suddenly develops a gut that collapses on itself. You cannot see the back, where there was a special ass slit. This is a gynecological exam.

This is made by Danielle. But…What. Is. This? Why the unholy union of mom jeans and bloomers? Why the ugly old man sweater? Why the clashing booties? Why was Danielle absolutely pissed that she was merely safe and not the automatic winner of Season 9? Did you…did you think this looked nice? Because I’m sure this poor skinny model wants to sport a pair of faux-thunder-thighs.

Fallene, Bambi’s Paramour, made this, which I actually quite like. I lurve the model’s hair and shoes. I appreciate that she incorporated her pajama shirt’s clown vomiting a rainbow into a toilet. It’s certainly unique. That said, I’m not really digging the drawstring closure hem, but the dress on the whole is pretty cute.

Joshua the Mormon made this horror, which, to no one’s surprise, landed him in the Bottom Three. He blamed the hideous fit on, essentially, his model being a fat cow (clearly). Dude. Your model isn’t the problem. The issue is that you just made The Unabomber Goes to the Beach attire. That is what this is. If Ted Kaczynski was a lady and wanted to hit the shore, he would wear this.

Other Joshua made this. Blah. That is all I have to say on this outfit. Blah.

Oh dear. This poor thing, made by Julie, landed in the Bottom Three. She was stuck with the unfortunate happy candy cane print from her pajama pants, thus the juvenile top. The pants are…sad (though I don’t think they’re any worse than Sex Tape Anya’s), with that weird inexplicable black stripe at the giant pocket, which Michael Kors seemed to think was a perfect way to get some one-handed self-satisfaction (super ew, Michael. Super ew.).

Boob Wings by Kimberly. And more ill-fitting crazy pants. But seriously—BOOB WINGS. One stiff breeze, and they will take flight, leaving this show to receive a far different rating.

Missouri Barbie (Laura) made this unfortunate little thing. Those are elastic-waistband-ed gray tie-dye palazzo pants. That’s a whole lot of no. The top is acceptable—if the model were appearing in Dawson’s Creek in 1998. The model also apparently stole my hair.

Olivier the Foreign Speaker made this sad, sad outfit. This is Auschwitz Business Casual. Even the model looks depressed.

Rafael’s Eye Sex Affair with Nina Garcia came to a quick close because of this beast. Those are easily the worst pants/leggings I have ever seen in my life and they make the model look positively ENORMOUS (she clearly is very small). That is everything wrong with humanity right there. Michael Kors called the necklace a “Flintstones Disco Pouch” and he isn’t far off the mark. The combination of the heinous pants and open top makes her look like she’s in one of those stomach expanding movie scenes where an alien is about to rip its away out of her. Just…just no.

This flouncy little frock was made by Viktor (who sounds like a villain in one of those ’80s Cold War films where Patrick Swayze has to save Nebraska from the Soviets), and I thought this was easily the best one of the bunch. It’s really quite adorable. Sadly, it was merely in the “safe pack.”

As mentioned, Bert took the win and received immunity for the next challenge, while Rafael was sent packing and no one seemed all that broken up about it. The preview was for the entire season, and appears at some point to involve a trip to the pet store and some furry friends. I’m rooting for a corgi challenge.

Until next time, poppets.

7 notes
  1. tneria said: Learned a new word reading your post—“merkin”. Oh my God! I thought the judges would laugh this outfit off the show, but alas, they loved the feathered “yahoo” cover. I’m sure this will be the next big fashion tread for next fall so get used to it!
  2. tiserin posted this
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