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When the Sheet Hits the Fan

By CaitlinBergmann Thu., Jul. 28, 2011 ,5:07 am EDT

Well, kids ... time to take a shot of pity-party mouthwash and rinse out the bad taste that the Season 8 Project Runway finale shocker left in your mouths. Mondo is fine, and it's time to get on with it all, because here comes Season 9!

Anya Ayoung-Chee Project Runway4 Down, 13 to Go
We open with a chiseled Heidi and dapper Tim (shocking, I know) announcing that all 20 of the fashion hopefuls must appear before them, Nina and Michael with some of their favorite designs and sing a little song to the tune of "Please Don't Send Me Packing," as four of the designers will go home before the first challenge. Let the tap dancing begin.

And the Tony Goes to ...
The designers unpack and size up the competition. We have Anthony (a front-runner in the "crier" division), who is wearing a fierce scarf. Miss Heidi wants it, but he won't take it off. For God's sake, dude, give her the scarf! Viktor looks promising. Beauty queen Anya presents several expertly made garments and then announces that she learned to sew four months ago (is she a savant?). After she confesses that she had "a lot of help," Tim gives her the "pull on someone else's legs, mine are long enough" look. Time will tell. Olivier also seems to be one to watch. Most cringe-worthy moment: Rafael thinks that Nina keeps giving him a "come-hither" look. Ummmm ... really, dude?

Toga Party
David, Gunnar, Amanda and Serena are out, and the remaining 16 head to Atlas to unpack and crash, only to be dragged out of bed by a chipper Tim Gunn, who leads the string of sleepwalking designers through Manhattan. Arriving at Parsons, Tim announces the challenge: to make a garment using only their pajamas and one sheet from their beds. Thankfully, the contenders are given scrubs to wear as they tear apart the various jammies, sweats and boxers ... because naked ironing is a dangerous thing. Trust me.

Runway or Runaway?
It's runway time, and the designers are greeted by a GORGEOUS but rather subdued Miss Heidi. No short and tight and shiny … maybe next week. Judges are introduced, and Michael and Nina have virtual napkins tied around their necks, waiting for the fashion feeding frenzy. Guest judge Christina Ricci, polished and sweet, seems to be a gentle choice for the first runway — why make them wet their pants on Episode 1? The runway is a mix of the good, the bad and the downright ugly. There's everything from chic dresses to crazy pants, and even a puking clown. But I digress ...

At the Top
Anya's silk-kimono-turned-sexy-top and stovepipe pants put her at the head of the class, along with Bert and his chic dress made from his checked boxer shorts. Michael calls him out for his dated styling, but the dress is strong enough to overcome that lipstick and hair. Anthony Ryan is also tops, for his lace-embellished T-shirt and feather-laden skirt. Please look at that skirt and tell me that it doesn't look like it needs a good waxing ... Tim Gunn saw it. The judges, however, loved the look.

Joshua Christensen Project RunwayIn Deep Sheet (last pun, I promise)
Trembling in their shorts are the bottom three designers: Josh C., Julie and Rafael. Josh clearly struggled with fit and execution, which Nina declares is "garishly off." This leaves Josh wondering why his fellow designers never told him it was less than stellar. Really? Julie's look is a combination of an odd top with tragic pants. Rafael seems unfazed by Michael's remark about the "Flintstone disco patch" around his model's neck. It appears that he took his do-rag and made a "don't"; the sweatpants leggings didn't help. Nina was not amused. Thankfully, Michael Kors, the Mayor of One-Linerville, came this season armed with some great lines. He slays me.

Drum Roll, Please ...
And the win goes to ... Bert! He used a whimsical pair of boxers and a T-shirt to walk a darling little dress down the runway. Julie is sent to safety, which leaves Josh C. and Rafael shaking in their boots. I am a little worried about that puddle of sweat pooling under Josh. However, it is Rafael who is sent to clean up his workroom space by a pocket square–adorned Mr. Gunn.

Coming Attractions
The tension and drama appear to skip Simmer and go straight to Boil ...