Project Runway Recap: Come As You Are
Aug 01 2011 08:09 am CET

On the ninth season premiere of Project Runway, 16 designers (cut down from 20) have to turn their PJs into something fashion forward. Christina Ricci guest judges.

I understand why we needed a casting special because the judges decided to place twenty characters in the beginning of the episode. My head explodes when there are fifteen contestants, so having twenty running around sewing was too much. We start with Kimberly, who we originally met with an obsession for placing bows in different places. She seems like she was easily in because she was the token Black designer with sass. Brice had feathers and Heidi immediately placed them on. Anya, former Miss Trinidad and Tobago, just learned how to sew. Tim was baffled and he challenged Anya's sewing competency. Heidi immediately fought for her; Nina knew that Anya would have to play up her strengths.

In a sea of contestants we quickly learned that Becky still had the color pop clothes she auditioned with, Oliver brought women's clothes and a self-deprecating attitude, Josh got sung to by Heidi and had a really boring dress, Midwestern Laura had a Miami vibe to her, and David Chum was the show's attempt of a Calvin "Here go Hell come" Tran of The Fashion Show fame. Nina thought he was stuck in the cocoon he was inspired by.

Viktor had a dress with ugly shoulders, Julie brought a lot of outerwear-inspired clothing, and Amanda introduced her romper-dress by saying that she hated rompers. Well, that didn't sell you at all. Fallene introduced her feather dresses, but admitted she loved men's apparel for women. Gunnar brought another Kentucky Derby dress that looked garish. Danielle was one of those mousey and confident dressers. Joshua introduced an interesting vest that looked a bit home sewn. Cecilia was just blah to me, but she seemed like a lock since this year was really emphasizing the Captain Planet of designers. ["That sounds like an awesome final five challenge." - Mike]

Rafael tried his best to explain his aesthetic, but was having mental sex with Nina. Probably the worst image in my head. Serena brought clothes that she made in the ten-year audition period and some of it looked a bit 2002. Bert, the fossil of the show, returned to his passion after a rough patch. Heidi warned him to turn up the volume. Anthony, with only one nut and color blind, depended on texture instead of color.

The contestants mingled as the judges tried to figure out which four people to cut. After deliberations, Heidi and Tim talked to the contestants. At the final casting announcement Heidi called out the contestants in a probably random manner, though both Cecilia and Serena as the final two seemed intentional.

Callout Order


Heidi told the contestants to go to their "originally" homes at Atlas. Ah, drunk Germans. Each contestant arrived in their apartments celebrating their arrival. Though the men's apartments looked the same, the women's could be differentiated by one being pink and the other yellow.

Apt 10-J - Julie, Becky, Fallene, Cecilia.
Apt 23-D - Rafael, Josh, Josh, Brice
Apt 28-B - Anya, Kimberly, Danielle, Laura
Apt 10-E - Oliver, Bert, Anthony, Viktor

The contestants unpacked and headed to bed. In the early morning Tim used his master key to get into the apartments. I wonder if Tim sneaks into their apartments at other odd times. He announced a "come as you are" party where the contestants could only bring one bed sheet and the clothes (or lack thereof) with them. I was hoping someone would go to sleep naked and while someone was shirtless, all the men had a shirt and some form of pant. It was bad that Kimberly wanted to go to Red Lobster for biscuits; thanks for reinforcing the stereotype.

The contestants arrived in the Parsons work room and Tim announced why everyone was in their pajamas. The challenge was to create a look from the pajamas and bed sheet. The men probably had the biggest disadvantage because they had the least amount of clothes. Tim emphasized that there were closures and dyes so the contestants could manipulate the clothes. There must have been a bin of trims and feathers because they popped up in the work room as well. Like most challenges now, the contestants only had one day.

Josh had some of the most fabric with a large t-shirt and sweats. Fallene had a shirt with a vomiting clown and because she's epic she knew the clown was an integral part. Laura had satin and lace, she considered it the rich girl advantage. Burt had boxers and a shirt, and hoped that the show could evolve him. Cecilia was worried about dying fabric. Anya never dyed clothes and barely knew her sewing machine.

Julie had embarrassing pajamas with candy, but being Julie, she didn't consider trying to dye it. No one would want to eat rotten candy. I hope that Kimberly lasts long because she's giving us random phrases like "nut juice." Anya never made pants before, but decided to trust her common sense; at least someone has common sense, unlike Josh with his front panel.

Tim came around for his evaluations and headed to Anthony. His top was coming together but when Anthony suggested placing feathers in the front of his skirt, Tim gave him the red light. He suggested making the feathers look less like a crotch patch (he ditched the feathers in favor of trim). Fallene introduced her puking clown which amused Tim. Joshua had a V-neck and shirt; Tim loved the idea. Julie had snowboard pants, and Tim was worried about her time management. Burt had a good outfit; Tim warned Burt about styling. Anya was challenged by the silk, but she magically pulled out tricks out of her box. Rafael still hasnít figured out final plans. Tim warned him that his headscarf wasn't being used. Tim also emphasized that Rafael was hovering the bottom of the pack during the semifinals.

By 7:30, Tim introduced the randomly assigned models to their designer. Most of the models were having issues with fit because the models lied about their measurements. That or all their measurements were pre-dinner. Josh had to add panels to his clothes so it could fit. At the end of day one Anya realized she was behind.

The day of the runway show, the contestants had real clothes on. Tim told the contestants of the hair/makeup/accessories as the models arrived. Rafael hasn't figured out his headscarf; he then decided to make a necklace. At makeup, Burt suggested old and dated techniques, peaking when he wanted his model's hair to look like Brigitte Bardot.

Heidi welcomed the contestants to the runway. The prizes haven't changed much: $100,000, Marie Claire spread, $50,000 HP technology suite, and the line. The Model still gets the fashion spread and $25,000. The winner this week would also have immunity.

Joshua M. - I liked how the vest turned out. The back was a nice touch. The rest of the outfit was dark, so I couldn't really judge.

Laura - I liked her dying skills, but I wasn't a fan of the shoulders on her top. The jacket was removed so quickly that I couldn't judge that, but it was lined.

Danielle - The outfit had a lot of wearability to it and it looked like a strong brown color to match the blue.

Viktor - I thought the dress was classic, but generic. With the Jackie O glasses and hair.

Becky - Becky was worried about the color, but I really liked the pastel range. It matched her fading hair color.

Bryce - I liked the arms of the dress. The necklace did a lot of the work for the dress, which I could commend him for dressing his model correctly.

Anya - There was something a little unfinished about the front of the top but the pants were amazing.

Julie - The incorporation of the pattern was bad and the choice of yellow was weird. Don't even get me started on the pants.

Oliver - His clothes looked like the collection he introduced which makes me worry about his longevity.

Kimberley - There was some pucker in the pants. I didn't understand the bib-like front.

Anthony - There was a really nice transformation to the top. The skirt was really short, but we got no cheeks.

Rafael - His dress looked like a pregnant woman was wearing clothes and she didn't fit into her outfit anymore. It doesn't matter if the back was good.

Fallene - The puking clown worked for me. The whole thing was circus, but not over the top.

Burt - I loved the dress, but the hair, bag, and glasses were a bit too California.

Josh - Blaring problem with the front: she looked like she had a wiener.

Cecilia - I didn't think the dying was an issue, and the three colors went well together. It seemed like everyone had skirt length issues, but I think the judges knew there was limited fabric.

The top designers were Anthony (Good colors and use of trim), Anya (Magically strong pants and sewing ability), and Burt (Great synch, but horrible styling). The bottom designers were Rafael (the headscarf looked like a bib and everything looked dated), Josh (Generic Target tank and shorts), and Julie (Horrid pants and bad use of print).

Heidi announced that Burt was the winner and had immunity. That meant that both Anya and Anthony Ryan were safe. Julie was the best of the worst and was safe, leaving Josh and Rafael as the bottom two. Josh was safe and Rafael was eliminated.

I was excited to see that in the season preview Tim brings the contestants to Petland Discounts, where a best care a pet can get.

Michael Pascua -

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