I grew up in the Augusta area, living in Waynesboro for as long as I can remember. I went to college in Indianapolis, interned at the Chronicle over summer and Christmas breaks, and landed a job as sports clerk the summer after I graduated. Eventually, the sports job turned into writing for the business section and now I report on local business happenings as well as writing for the Shopgirl column/blog.
Posted July 29, 2011 01:22 pm - Updated July 29, 2011 04:11 pm

ShopGirl blogs Project Runway: Season nine, episode one

They're baaaaack...the first 45 minutes of Heidi, Michael, Nina and Tim this season came out Thursday night, and it did not disappoint.


If you haven't already, watch the episode here so you have an idea of what happened.


The episode starts out with the unsurprising "surprise"...the 20 designers that were shipped to New York are actually still not safe, and four of them won't make the cut to the first challenge.


I liked seeing the interviews and rack appraisal, but Heidi? Drunk or something. She's always crazy,  but this was a new low. Or maybe high. 


I did think it was nice of her to put on the feather cape...it did not have a ton of hanger appeal, but looked amazing on a human. 


The Miss Universe chick, Anya? Oh, if I was a contestant I would hate her. How could you not? She is literally a beauty queen, has an undeniable sense of style and is a sewing savant. I loved seeing Michael, Nina and Tim totally not believe her sewing. What did Tim say? "I hate challenging your credibility"....oh how I have missed that man's manner of speaking.


I was surprised they cut David. He's one not to worry about, though. He has a very sellable aesthetic, just not very mind-blowing. He'll make it as a designer, I just don't think he would be good reality show material and the judges recognized that. Best of luck, David.


On to the competition. 


This first challenge was really creative, I thought - Tim surprised everyone in the middle of the night and carted them off to Parsons in their pajamas and one bed sheet apiece, then told them to create a runway look with what they had. Project Runway gave them dye, closures and trim to enhance what they were working with and it surprised me how few designers cashed in on that. Anthony Ryan was the only one who used trim to effectively bolster the weaknesses in his fabric. Watch that boy.


Once looks got on the runway, I was appalled at Joshua's design. Wow. That horrific red shirt, those nauseating white shorts...the sweatshirt/shrug/cape? There is no excuse for that. The bad was very bad in this episode.


With that being said, Rafael was an obvious choice to go home. I'm always glad to see an untalented, tasteless drama queen go home. He had the most material to work with out of anyone in that room, and he used a teensy bit to make the worst pair of leggings I have ever seen topped with an ill-fitting vest-shirt. The only save was that he did a lovely scallop detail on the back, but the back? Oh, honey. And then the insecurity fest about the head wrap...how bad do you want it, Rafael? Not bad enough to show everyone a bad hair day. And clearly, a fabric necklace was the best use of the very interesting textile. 


Julie...very weird. She's leaving in the bottom third, I would put money on that. Her collection that Heidi raved about was really just regurgitations of the same pattern and silhouette, so I wasn't looking for miracles from her. I think we got one, though, in that her look was miraculously terrible. Points, huge points, go to her for admitting that the look was a flop. I liked Julie ten thousand times more once she admitted that her look was awful. Thanks for that, Julie. Surprise us.


Of course, I'm also pulling for Burt. I hope his wonderful personal story doesn't overshadow his design work, and that's likely to get thrown at him on the runway.


Bert's dress...I thought was beautiful. Bert's look was ruined by the Farrah hair and weird bracelet/bag. It was a very Ralph Lauren design, a simple ponytail and just a bangle or something could have made it a really beautiful look, not just a beautiful dress. I agree with Christina Ricci, though, that I didn't notice the bad styling until Michael pointed it out because the dress was so simply beautiful. I want it.


He deserved to win, hands down.


Bert's look had impact, but I feel like Anthony Ryan had the most beautiful and innovative design. Knowing his material limitations, he designed his look based on what the fabric would communicate the best. I can't wait to see what he will do with less limitations and more creative parameters. Anthony Ryan is my favorite. He has good thoughts, and seems like he would be fun to hang out with.


I predict blue hair girl is going to be a get-lost-in-the-crowd middle 50 percent person. She'll be here for a while, and she'll provide the annoying commentary. On her look: no, it is not well constructed. It looks horrible, and the fact that the color is pastel-y is the least of your worries. Don't do a one-shoulder with such a stiff, chintzy fabric. What, what, what were you thinking.


Oh how I have missed Nina. Her passive aggressive compliments, her cold cutdowns. Just an amazing person. Thank you. It's good to have all four judges back in the snob-saddle and dishing out beautiful insults.


Favorite quotes:

"Oh my god, are you guys talking foreign?" - self-nicknamed "Barbie"

"I hate challenging your credibility, but I'm baffled." - Tim