Friday, July 29, 2011

Pubic Safety: The Project Runway 9 recap

The most interesting textile you have is the one on your head- Tim Gunn.

Oh, Project Runway, how I've missed you. There's so much I've wanted to talk to you about in the last year: Kate's gown. Gaga's meat dress. The national debt crisis. 

But you are back, and (almost) all is forgiven. And now Heidi promises us some sort of devilishly diabolical twist (okay, that was redundant. . .bear with me, I'm still trying to iron out some of the recap kinks). 

What could the twist be? Co-ed dorms? Tribal councils? Dresses made of human hair? (Oh wait, they already did that in Season 4.)

Naaa, it’s just four more contestants who aren't going to make the actual show. Except for the part where they’re already on my TV screen, on the actual show. When Project Runway decides to do a twist, they just go bananas with themselves. Calm down, show! Don’t lose what makes you you!

So we meet the newbies as they parade their work in front of the K2G2 panel (that’s Klum, Kors, Garcia, and Gunn, BTW).

There’s Serena, who cancelled her Icelandic wedding to audition for the show. (Spoiler alert: Bad idea.)

There’s a guy named Gunnar Deatherage, the single greatest name in the history of reality television. (How could the show have cut him? How? Didn’t they think about us bloggers and our insatiable punning needs?)

There’s Anya, Miss Trinidad and Tobago (for reals), who is not only incredibly gorgeous, but is also some sort of fabric whisperer. She just learned how to sew a few months ago but already has near Christian-Soriano-level skills. Tim Gunn and Michael Kors are skeptical—but Heidi, heroic champion of gorgeous women across the globe, believes! (And is later proven right.)

There’s Rafael, the flat-ironed love child of Justin Bieber and Prince, who thinks that Nina is eye-sexing him. Lulz.

There’s Burt, who lists his age as 102 (see what he did there? He owned the joke before it could own him—well played, Burt, well played.) He’s actually 57, which, come to think of it, is sort of is 102 in Project Runway years. 

There’s the incredibly cute, sweater-clad, floppy haired Oliver, who “speaks foreign” (more on that later)—and is clearly this season’s crush-worthy androgyne.

There’s Joshua, who favors torso-baring tops and speaks in fashion riddles. (His collection is designed for a neurotic woman who wears white gloves, he explains, as Michael Kors nods as though that actually makes sense.)

There’s Anthony, a survivor of testicular cancer (“so I rock one now” he overshares) who is wearing an artfully knotted, homeless-chic scarf that Heidi really wants—a lot. I mean, she goes full-on Veruca Salt on that scarf: “Daddy, I want it now!” Her pleas fall on deaf gay ears.

Okay, anyhoo, goodbye Gunnar Deatherage, goodbye wedding girl (hope Iceland—and your fiancée—will still have you.) Goodbye two other people, who didn’t make an impression. 

And we have our Final 16. The actual contestants on the actual show . . .actually.

Lovable roly-poly, ascotted Josh looks out the window of his new NYC apartment.

“I’m a Mormon, I’m in a strange place, I don’t know these people and I will no longer be the same,” he sighs. (Cutest sentence ever uttered on Project Runway? I think yes.)

Everyone collapses into bed, but then, at 5 a.m., Tim Gunn comes a creepin’.

If you’ve ever secretly suspected that Tim Gunn is a vampire—and let’s face it, haven’t we all?—this little 5 a.m. visit really adds fuel to the fire. Yup, Tim Gunn is as impossibly crisp, groomed, and refreshed at 5 a.m. as he is—well, all other times of the day. 

(But if he’s a vampire, how does walk among us in daylight, you might ask? Hello? Do you not watch True Blood? Fairy blood, obvs.)

"Grab a sheet, don’t change out of your jammies, and meet me downstairs," Tim says. 

“Can I at least put on a bra?” asks Becky Ross, who, surprisingly, does not sleep in flag jammies like her great, great, great, great Aunt Betsy. (It’s History, people, look it up).

“Come as you are!” Tim demands. 

Oh Becky, never ask, just do. Which is exactly what Laura “I’m not a Barbie doll!” Kathleen manages to do, sneaking in a little compact powder and foundation before she whisks out of the apartment. (Who’s the dumb blonde now?)

So through the streets of New York they parade, legs bared, boobs sagging, and some waggish New Yorker has the wherewithal to shout: “Work that sheet, girl!” (One wonders if he was speaking to one of the boys or one of the girls.)

They make it to Parsons and the challenge is simple: Using the jammies off your back and the bedsheet off your bed and assorted adornments and fasteners off the GarnierFructise™ L’O’real™HP™Brother™ Toyota ™  accessory wall , make an outfit that wows the judges. 

(In case you were wondering, they are given scrub-like getups to change into, so a new twist this season is not to design in the nude.)

 A few hours later, Tim Gunn comes to assess their progress.

He likes what Anthony is doing, but feels that his feather placement is a little on the pubic side.

“My designs seem to have gotten more pubic ever since I lost a testicle,” Anthony replies. Okay, he doesn’t actually say that. But oh, how I wish he had. . .

Tim also likes Fallene Wells, but is a little confused by the puking clown on her pants. (“Is that a . . .toilet?”) Because nothing says high fashion quite like a puking clown.

But the highlight of Tim’s coaching session is when he moseys over to Rafael, who has a Technicolor do-rag snuggly wrapped around his head and is working with the most boringly generic set of jammies ever.

“The most interesting textile you have is the one on your head,” says Tim and it strikes me as a bumper-sticker-ready aphorism, along the lines of “Be the change you want to see in this world.”

Rafael nods in agreement but then confesses to the camera: “I couldn’t take it off because my hair looks a hot mess.” (As opposed to yesterday’s follicular triumph?).

The next day, Rafael has fixed his hair to his—and only his, mind you—liking, so is prepared to incorporate his scarf into his outfit. Unfortunately, he chose to create some sort of barf bag/necklace that should never have seen the light of day.

Meanwhile, Oliver has met his model, who speaks Italian, as does he, prompting mensa Laura to say: “Are you two speaking foreign?” (I weep for the future of this nation.)

As for Anya, she’s doing all these ambitious things—dying silk, making trousers—and she actually says “It didn’t occur to me I’d be that far behind until I was that far behind.” But it’s all just one big misdirection. I told you: Fabric whisperer. Her pants and top are AWESOME.

Runway time. . .mostly meh stuff. 

The Top 3 are Burt (who made a truly lovely, tone-on-tone asymmetrical frock), Anthony (whose striped shirt with random patches of lace and ass-skimming micro mini skirt didn’t float my boat, but what do I know?— the judges loved it), and Anya (who, as mentioned, rocked the hell out of those pants.)

The Bottom 3 are Julie (whoops! she was supposed to be a contender), plus clueless Rafael (providing us with our first camel toe sighting of the season) and—oh noes!—Josh the Funky Mormon.

Back stage, this season’s Gretchen has emerged. 

“I’m not in the right spot. What the hell?” says some girl named Danielle. 

“You’re in, you’re safe,” one of the designers says innocently, thinking perhaps Danielle doesn’t understand the way things work.

“That’s not good enough,” Danielle snaps.

(Do these people take some sort of class on how to be a reality show villain?)

So. . .Burt wins, which is kinda great, because he needs the self-esteem boost and the respect of the “old people have cooties” whippersnappers.

Plus, despite the suspect styling, his dress really was the best.

It comes down to the Quakin’ Mormon and Señor Hair Don’t and I was actually very worried about cute Josh, but he is . . . safe!

Rafael is sent packing. Too bad. I would’ve enjoyed making further fun of his hair.

And is it just me, or did anyone else see Nina slip Rafael her phone number as he left the stage?