Monday, August 1, 2011

Project Runway Season 9 – First Show

Herewith, my review/stream of consciousness initial impressions on the first show of season nine of the ever-lovin show we know as Project Runway that aired last Wednesday, July 27. Obsess with me …

Regarding the contestants – call me cynical (I’ve been called worse), but … OF COURSE you have to put the testicular cancer survivor on the show. OF COURSE you have to put the former Miss Universe contestant on (even though she can’t sew, more on that below). OF COURSE you have to put on the cute 57 year old man who recently lost his partner to AIDS and is beating an alcohol problem …

But the beauty of the first show is the inherent promise that all the candidates possess. They’re all brand-spanking shiny and new, freshly scrubbed and eyes twinkling. It’s anyone’s game at the beginning. Any one of them could be a star.

Regarding the true stars, Heidi Klum looks fan-freakin-tastic. But I have a complaint: they didn’t show her legs at all in this episode. There should be something in her contract about always showing leg, although I believe she’s an executive producer so that may be moot.

Michael Kors looks slightly less…orange?

Nina Garcia is consistently stylish – props to my Colombiana compatriot.

Guest judge Christina Ricci had some relevant comments but looked a bit too thin for my tastes, in that bobblehead kind of way.

Regarding the first challenge – the 16 contestants are ripped from sleep in their trendy communal lofts at 5 am and ordered to march as is (no showering, not even allowed to put on a bra) through the streets of Manhattan with only a bedsheet to cover themselves. HORROR. That is one of my nightmares that people will see what I look like when I first wake up. Aside from the horror of being awoken at 5 am, which is the middle of the night. After this experience, I would henceforth sleep fully dressed and in full make-up. I may just start doing that in my life anyway just in case.

One of my two favorite quotes from this episode:

“It didn’t really occur to me that I would be that far behind, until I was that far behind.” – uttered by the former Miss Universo contestant from Trinidad. She is lovely and stylish.

On the surface, she’s got that going for her. She’s gorgeous and she was a Miss Universe contestant. Hampering her, however, is her admission that she can’t sew – she only started learning sewing skills four months before the show. Haven’t the producers learned their lesson yet in putting people on the show who can’t sew? I reject that choice. Although lo and behold this contestant did surprisingly well in the first challenge – could it be that the judges know better than I do? Hmmm.

Prior to airing the first show of the new season, Bravo aired a special pre-show to chronicle the audition and casting process, which was interesting. I applaud this addition to the line-up. Of course I only caught the last 15 minutes or so of that show, but I’ll catch up on that when Bravo replays it about 57,000 times.

Other new thing this season, during the first show, they invited 20 contestants to NYC and had them all show their wares on racks like during the casting process, and eliminated 4 of them right off the bat. So 4 of them had to go home before the show even started. Kind of a bummer.

Early on, the runway shows seem so long since there are so many contestants. Then as the season progresses, and there are fewer contestants, you find yourself wishing for more outfits on the catwalk. Early on, I don’t learn names. Early on, I don’t get attached too soon. You never know who is going to be eliminated from the competition and break your heart.

Second favorite quote of the night, from Michael Kors commenting on one of the ensembles, that was, in his estimation, “… instead of being fashion forward, it’s fashion backward.”
Tune in this Wednesday for installment two of this season, and we'll discuss. No?

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