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Project Runway 9, Week 2 – A Pet Project

Last week, on Project Runway, 20 designers descended on New York City to duke it out for the privilege of being one of the 16 actual contestants on the show. Actually, they had to show their designs to Tim Gunn and the judges. Amanda, David, Gunnar, and Serena didn’t make the cut and were duly sent home.

The other 16 settled in at Atlas Apartments. Very early the next morning, Tim woke them and gave them their first challenge: make an outfit out of a bed-sheet and their sleep-wear. Bert won, and Rafael was sent home.

The next morning, the designers get up to face the day. Joshua C. reminds us that he was almost eliminated at the last challenge and says he “hopes to get by” this time. He’d better stay out of the bottom, then. His roommates, Joshua M. and Bryce, talk about how different it is with Rafael gone.

On the runway, Heidi tells the designers they will “unleash their creativity” and sends them off to meet Tim. As usual, the designers try to guess the meaning behind Heidi’s hint, with one of the guys guessing that it refers to S&M. I know this show’s on a cable channel, but I kind of doubt that – even though they did have a drag queen challenge one year…

The designers meet Tim at Petland, and he tells them that it’s time for the “unconventional materials” challenge. They will have to make an outfit out of items found in the pet store. Tim strongly warns the designers not to use a lot of fabric, as the point of the challenge is to test people’s innovation and creativity. He does reassure them that they will have muslin they can use as a base. He also gives them a budget of $300.00 and a half-hour to shop.

Anthony takes note of where most of the designers are going– and heads in the opposite direction, as he doesn’t want to use stuff that all of his peers are using. Bert, proving that there’s always at least one designer who doesn’t listen to Tim, selects a dog bed and dog costumes. He also wonders aloud if they can use live animals and Tim tells him no. Anthony decides bird seed will be just the thing for creating texture. Cecilia thinks dog food could work as beads and Laura chooses a large dog cone as a base for a skirt.

While her fellow designers are grabbing things, Fallene tells us that her parents were artists and encouraged creativity. They even let their kids draw on the walls. Olivier talks about how he traveled all over Europe, and how he’s uncomfortable with the challenge. He’s used to high fashion – not “crafts.” Joshua M., on the other hand, is enjoying the challenge and is confident that he’ll win. While Julie selects large dog food bags, Laura talks about her upper-class upbringing and how her parents used to take her places like Neiman’s.

Back at Parson’s, Fallene has decided to make a strapless dress. She’s nervous because she believes the other designers are expecting her to do well, given her obvious quirkiness, and she feels pressured to deliver. Olivier is using material from a dog bed, while Bryce is using puppy wee-wee pads. Viktor , who also bought wee-wee pads, is dying his lavender.

Tim comes in to make his rounds, and he starts with Viktor, who is making a lavender dress. Bert is making a little black dress, and Tim isn’t impressed. He then checks on Joshua C., who is making a belt from the rope of a cat’s scratching post. He finds Olivier is using pet bedding for his look. Tim is concerned about Julie’s look, and seems to be at a loss when he meets with Laura and her dog cone miniskirt. Tim finds Joshua M. is using aquarium rocks and toys in his look – and cautions him about time. He sees that Anya is making a top out of colored leashes. He stops by Fallene and also warns her to watch her time.

Afterwards, the models come in for their fitting. As usual, some designers find their clothes don’t fit the model. This time, it’s Viktor who discovers his outfit is too tight. Joshua C. also worries about fit, while Joshua M. doesn’t have a finished top for his model to try on. Laura’s model tries on the plastic dog cone skirt — and Laura immediately sees that the “skirt” is so short that the model’s butt is showing. Realizing this won’t fly with the judges, she scraps it and starts making a new skirt. Bryce is working on a blue skirt, while Anthony is gluing bird seed onto his outfit. The designers then go home for the night.

The next day, the designers get back to work. Anthony dislikes the grass fringe he’d made for his skirt and cuts it off. Tim sends in the models, leading to the montage of women getting dressed and made up. Becky asks for “dangerous eyeliner” on her girl, while Olivier wants sawdust glued on his model’s eyebrows. Bryce frets that his outfit isn’t a winning look, while Anya is gluing colored leashes to her model to ensure that she has a finished top.

On the runway, Heidi introduces the guest judge, fashion designer Stacey Bendet, just before the show starts.

Danielle apparently used a net or something similar, for her brown, short-sleeved shirt that looks like it was made from a net. The skirt is dyed to look like acid-washed blue denim. Fallene made a brown tube top, a patterned red skirt, and a wide leather belt. It’s surprisingly conventional for somebody who thinks a picture of a vomiting clown is a good decoration.