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Published on July 30th, 2011 | by Kelly Sater


‘Project Runway’ Season 9 Premiere Brings Smiles and Cries

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It’s been 9 months since the last season of Project Runway. (You would have thought Heidi Klum was pregnant again). The fan favorite returned to Lifetime with an hour and a half long season premiere. We laughed, we cried, we talked “bronzer” and hair product with grown men and most of all we judged frantic young designers as if we were regulars on the front rows of fashion week.

The first 20 minutes of the episode was a departure from previous seasons. Usually the designers don’t have a moment to think when they are handed their first challenge. In this season 20 designers were brought to New York to be interviewed by the weekly judges: Nina Garcia, Michael Kors, Heidi Klum and mentor and fan favorite Tim Gunn. It was an interesting way to start the season. It gave the audience the opportunity to meet each designer to see what they’re are about. It would have been better to dive right into the challenge; we’ve been waiting 9 months after all!

Some favorites popped up before the competition even began. Anya the Trinidadian beauty queen with a Mohawk, quickly revealed that she only just learned how to sew 4 month ago. Bert, the self proclaimed 102 year old contestant and recovering alcoholic who is ready to get back into designing. And Anthony, the loveable testicular cancer survivor; the trio soon proved they are worth their status.

After almost 30 minutes, the judges finally narrowed down the competition to 14 designers and we got into the first challenge. The designers were woken up at 5AM and taken away with only the PJ’s they had on and one bed sheet. The challenge was to turn those two items into a new look in only one day. With what these people wear to bed the designers had their work cut out for them.

The challenge is a close comparison to challenge one of Season 2. The designers had to make a new look using the clothes they showed up in. Interesting fact: Chloe Dao won that first challenge and went on to win the season.

After only a days work the designs finally hit the runway. The judges this week were the usual Heidi, Nina and Michael with guest judge Christina Ricci. Here is a break down of the top and bottom:


Julie: Her “sporty” pants looked all wrong. The fit was wrong and the construction wasn’t even there. The candy print on her personal pajamas was definitely a challenge. If she “made it work” it could have been a showpiece but instead she got caught up in it. Better luck next time

Rafael: Where do we begin? Everything was wrong. From the sweatshirt camel-toe legging with the inside out seams to the open belly buttoned down. The back of the shirt s great but and I didn’t mind the leopard bib but you cant see them when you’re staring at her crotch.

Josh: How is it possible to make a model look big? The red top with the white shorts was a boring and ill-fitting combo. It seemed like a plain red t-shirt would be easy to work with compared to some of the other designers but it ended up looking too sloppy.


Anya: The woman who’s never sewn before decided to make pants, and they looked great. She was out to prove herself big time and either she’s lying about her skills or she just has some raw talent. It will be interesting to see if she can stay at the head of the pack.

Bert: His dress with the wrapped grey fabric was beautiful. It was modern and when paired with the plaid pattern from his boxers it made it playful and easy to wear. Well done

Anthony Ryan: His outfit didn’t even look like pajamas. The stripe trimmings on the top looked great and controlled. The black in the skirt was oddly placed, but when it was all together the look was successful.

Bert took home the top honors in the premiere gaining immunity for next week. I agree with the judges, his look was chic and wearable. Anthony was a very close second; if he fixed the skirt the results would have been different.

Unfortunately we lost Rafael. It made sense since the judges didn’t believe he knew his look was bad. He was fun to watch for the first half, I’ll miss his personality and camel toe.

With the amount of designers it’s difficult to get a good read on each. It’s clear there is no shortage of talent this season. We’re all looking forward to what challenge the producers can come up with and the dynamics between cast mates. Who will be the bitch, who will be the mamma bear and who will be the favorite gay?

Who is you’re favorite so far?
Do you agree with the winner and loser this episode?

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