New Show Recap

Recap: Project Runway, Episode 9.1: “The Answer is Always Used Underpants.”

Greetings, fashionistas, reality tee-vee-istas, judges-who-use-too-much-orange-self-tanner-istas – it’s Project Runway time! PR is one of my fav-or-ite shows, even if they did choose a hipster troll who “designs” brown diapers to win last season.


Gretchen designs terrible shit on Project Runway


We shall not speak of this abomination again.

But this is season nine of Project Runway, and this year they are going to shake things up a little bit!  (You know, just once I wish when someone said that, they actually shook something. Or someone. “Shaking things up” has officially jumped the shark. Too bad for you, Shake Weight.)

How will all this shaking shake out? Well!

– There were twenty contestants who got whittled down to sixteen!

– … That was it.

They came from all over:  big cities, little cities, medium cities. All in search of a dream: to have Michael Kors fart Oompa Loompa glitter on their designs, preferably accompanied with a witty (and perhaps rhyming) bon mot.


Things start out very sassily, with this contestant Anthony saying, “I didn’t come here just to go home. I will be one of those sixteen.” He’s wearing a crocheted ferret around his neck, so you know he means business.

Anthony Ryan Auld, Project Runway
It's made from the yarn of his enemies.


Let’s meet some of our contestants. We won’t meet them all because, dude, there are twenty of them and we only care about the best and the best train* wrecks, amIrite? Plus, I’m paid by the job, not the hour.

* And by “train,” I mean “an elongated part of a skirt or robe trailing behind on the ground.”**

** Yes, I’m already beginning the sewing puns. The exit is through the rear if you want to back out now.

Kimberly likes to work out in a sequin tank top. I can’t hate on that. I’m a girl who likes her sparkle. So is Michael Kors.

Anya was a Miss Universe Pageant contestant – Miss Trinidad and Tobago. She learned to sew four months ago when she applied to Project Runway.  (I smell a future train wreck. Yes!) Tim was horrified at her lack of experience.

Tim Gunn Project Runway
OMG, I think someone just used the word "Vagisil" in front of Tim.

I am horrified as well. This is the part of the blog where I put on my snobby sewing hat and tell you I used to be a theatre seamstress. I got money for it and everything. The ones on PR who can’t sew (and then inevitably whine) just get on my last toe wart.

Laura is a bubbly blonde who attended the Boca Raton Barbie School of Design, whose professors are a consortium of old ladies named Blanche Deveraux and their visiting ten-year-old granddaughters. Everything was flowy and pastel. And I don’t mean that in a good way. (Is that even possible?)

Fallene whipped out a badass little feather cocktail dress, and then expounded on her passion for menswear for women.

Rafael thought Nina was hot, and that they were “clearly talking sex with our eyes.” When I reached out to Nina for comment, she said, “Yes.  I enjoyed my eye-sex with Rafael. You know what they say – it’s not the size of the cornea, but the motion of the retina.” Indeed, Nina. Indeed.

Bert is a fifty-two year old guy – not a demographic I can remember seeing on this show very often. He worked for Blass, Scaasi, and Halston in the 1970s. Damn. He stopped designing in the 1990s when his partner became ill and he used booze to get through the rough patch. Eleven minutes into the show, I want Bert to win. Halston, mothafuckas!

Anthony (he of the ferret) is a colorblind testicular cancer survivor. He designed a shirt with a tiny monkey print on it. I have a weakness for novelty prints, so I hope he goes through. Plus, a guy who’ll tell you about his one ball on the first interview is always interesting.

The four rejects were David, Gunnar, Amanda, and Serena. I didn’t tell you about them because they were boring and that’s why they didn’t make it I guess. Lifetime is a harsh mistress. So is Michael Kors.

As the contestants settled into their apartments at the Atlas, they unpacked glitter belts and extra pairs of black-framed eyeglasses.

The very next morning, Tim Gunn broke into their rooms at 5 a.m. with a special key and woke them up. Somehow I don’t think I’d be terrified if I saw Tim Gunn walk into my bedroom as I slept. I’d probably ask him to snuggle in. He looks snuggly. He came to collect them for a “come as you are” party and told them all to bring a sheet. “Come as you are” means you’re not allowed to put on a bra. Oh, Tim. Their destination: Parsons The New School for Design.

Challenge, ahoy: create a look out of the bed sheet they brought and what they were currently wearing. Dyes, closures, and notions were supplied. I’m calling this challenge the Maria Von Trapp Special.

Boca Raton Barbie (Laura) was like super happy because she wore satin pajamas. With lace! Oh, yeah. Lace, bitches. She says things like, “Are you speaking foreign?” I’ve decided I like her. It might not be right, but that’s where I am.

From checkered boxer shorts, Bert would design a one-shoulder dress. Kimberly remarked that Bert’s model will have “nut juice” on her. This dress will definitely put the “junk” in some lucky model’s trunk. I love you, Bert. If you turn out to be a giant, untalented dillweed, I’ll be very put out.

Several contestants tried dying fabric for the first time in their first challenge on Project Runway, a decision which would surely turn out like unicorns and moonbeams. I’ve been thinking about auditioning for the television show Paragliding with the Stars. Now, I know what a glider is, but what part is the para? Never mind – I’m sure I’ll figure it out as I go along.

Remember Anya? The one who couldn’t sew? Turns out she can’t sew, and that posed a challenge when she was asked to sew clothing on the sewing clothing show. I can barely keep up with the twists and turns here, folks.

Captain “I Beat Cancer!” Anthony decided to dangle feathers from the crotch of his garment, forcing Tim Gunn to say the words “pubic patch.” (On an unrelated note, if anyone can tell me how to turn that into a ring tone, I would sure appreciate it.)

Would vanity be Rafael’s downfall? The adorable designer hadn’t come up with much, but he didn’t want to remove his best piece of fabric (his head wrap) because his hair looked a hot mess underneath and he didn’t want to look “homeless.” Rafael, get your shit together! You are a person who says “OMG” aloud to express yourself. Look at your life! Look at your choices!

The second day of construction/runway day dawned. Tim came and talked to the designers about L’oreal makeup, Garnier hair products, and Piperlime accessories. Heidi mentioned Mercedes Benz Fashion Week and Marie Claire magazine. And I’m typing this blog on my HP Envy notebook, which is sleek, stylish, and makes it super-easy for me to kiss corporate America’s ass.

Our judges were Heidi, Michael Kors, Nina Garcia, and Christina Ricci, there to peddle her new show Pan Am, or as I like to call it, Sex and the Shitty Seat Next to the Lavatory in Aisle 35.

I noticed one trend as I watched the runway show: gynecology. There were some short skirts sauntering by, and I’m pretty sure I saw one model’s cervix. It looked pretty good. Cervix is not an accessory I would normally wear, but maybe I can find a better one than mine on…

The top three: Anthony, Anya, Bert (yay!)

Anthony designed a gray blouse and teal skirt banded with stripes of black lace. Not really my thing, but the judges seemed to like it. I enjoyed how Christina spoke about the good proportions– an important thing on a shorter woman. Amen, sister!

Anya pulled it off, constructing an adorable pair of gray pants from the sheet and a snappy silk top out of her pajamas.


You may be a dark horse, but I’m still giving you the side-eye, Anya. I have to admit, you’ve got taste, that much is very clear.

Bert’s asymmetrical underpants dress belongs in my closet now.


The bottom three:  Julie, Rafael, Josh C.

(I would like it noted – blogger’s honor – that I chose the three bottom-dwellers before they were announced.)

Rafael produced a sleeveless white, weirdly scalloped blouse with a leopard bib that Kors called a “Flintstone Disco pouch” (RIP head scarf) and ugly gray pants. Christina said “It looks like a lot of time was put into it.” Awwww.  That’s the PR equivalent of telling someone “But we can still be friends!”

Julie made what I can only describe as “Hello Kitty, goodbye taste.” Kors pointed out the… unusual placement of the pocket. Yes, the masturbation pocket will surely be a hit for Spring 2012. Hopefully it comes with a plug-in for the Hitachi Magic Wand.

Does this pocket make me look horny?



A rabid sweatpant attacked Josh C’s model.  He made a weirdly pleated red tee, a weirdly everythinged gray shrug, and white shorts that gave the model a spare tire.


Let’s face it – women want a spare tire when God didn’t give them one naturally. That’s just science.

So who won and who lost?

Bert won! Yay for PR‘s bashful uncle! I love a touching second-chance story, and I hope Bert goes far.


Bert Keeter, Project Runway season 9
Image courtesy of

Rafael’s Flintstone Disco pouch came up empty. I hope he does well in his next life challenge; he seemed to be a nice guy.

Until next week, my lovelies, remember:  Your panties or boxer-briefs may lead you to victory, if only you take them off and put them on a stranger’s boob.

By Lucy Woodhull

Lucy Woodhull is a novelist, humorist, parodist, and all-around geek. Her new venture is THE SHITTIEST PRINCESS, a series of un-fair-y tales right here on Persephone. You can check out her sexy, fun romantic comedies at

18 replies on “Recap: Project Runway, Episode 9.1: “The Answer is Always Used Underpants.””

I actually didn’t love Anya’s pants. Yeah, it’s pretty awesome that she can make them after only sewing for a few months, but I think the crotch looks weird. And I was sure the judges were going to point out that the neck of her halter was the neck of her nightgown. I mean, I know that wasn’t against the rules but I still thought someone would mention it.

There really was a lot of nearly-visible cooch on the runway this week.

Your Laura love is breaking my heart. I want someone to make her cry, and I’m already annoyed that I had to sit through the entire first episode without seeing it happen. Are you guys talking foreign. ARE YOU GUYS TALKING FOREIGN. UGH. Meanwhile, how do you make a 110lb 6′ model look thick? Have any one of 4 or 5 of these designers dress her, apparently. I’m sorry to see Rafael go because he seemed more genuine than some (lookinatcha, One Nut) but my God that outfit.

But mostly I’m glad Bert won, because his model deserves something for wearing his skid marked shorts (the first person who argues has clearly never done a man’s laundry) hanging off of her breast. Bless her heart. It really was a cute dress though!

I know her “foreign” comment was super silly, but in her interviews she said nice things about some of the other contestants, and I got the vibe that her heart might be in the right place, even if it’s all drenched in Barbie. I hope I’m right.

I’ve been racking my brain trying to think how I would have made Julie’s godawful pink patterned flannel work. Maybe use it as a tightly ruched or gathered or fine-pleated element in a garment, so that you could see there was a pattern (ooh! visual interest!) without being able to see the actual monstrosity itself. And definitely dye it, for crying out loud. Can you imagine the fabric dipped in black dye for a bit to turn everything in the pattern into various shades of gray (hopefully)? I could see that used in maybe a snowboarder-ish hoodie or something (per her design aesthetic).

Yeah, if not being able to throw on a bra were a rule that was enforced, I would’ve had to tell dear, sweet, sweet Tim Gunn to fuck off, and I really wouldn’t want to have to do that.

Here’s another thought: if Bert had to surrender his boxers to the challenge, that means he was free-balling all day long! D: But I do love Bert. He is staging a comeback in life, and that is truly awesome.

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