Project Runway Season 9: Episode 1 recap

July 31, 2011
By Sheryl Blasnik

On Thursday, August 28th we were introduced to the top 20 finalists as Season 9 of Project Runway premiered on Lifetime TV.  After being in NYC for just one day four candidates were eliminated following a “show & tell” session with the 3 judges (Heidi Klum, Michael Kors and Nina Garcia) and Tim Gunn. Then there were 16…

The first challenge was truly that; a challenge.  Waking up at 5am to Tim Gunn’s unannounced “wake up call” the pajama game began.  The top 16 were challenged to create a look using their pajamas they had just slept in and one white bed sheet brought with them from the residence at The Atlas.

The top three were amazing as each one who rose to the top had their own unique set of challenges.  One had only been sewing for 4-5 weeks which greatly concerned the judges during the casting call.  Another was not only color blind but had beaten the odds and survived cancer.  The challenge winner is 57 years old and had not worked in fashion for years also surviving the loss of his partner to Aids.  Quite a backstory for Season 9 of Project Runway.

Let’s start with the winner.  Bert Keeter, age 57, attended Parsons School for Design and the New School in NYC from 1975-1977, studying fashion design. His previous experience includes working for Holly Harp, Bill Blass, Arnold Scaasi and Halston.  He lives in Los Angeles, California.  His challenge was to work with orange-check boxers and a grey t-shirt.

Bert Keeter Project Runway

The next designer who impressed the judges with her tailoring skills is Anya Ayong Chee who hails from the islands of Trinadad & Tobago.  Anya has a fine arts bachelor’s degree in communications design from Parsons School of Design.  She was a contestant in the Miss Universe Pageant.  Her aesthetic is heavily influenced by the diverse cultures that comprise Trinidad and Tobago, and the Caribbean as a whole.  Her challenge was to take a silk kimono nightshirt and a sheet and transform them into fitted pants and a Japanese print silk halter top.


Anya Ayoung Project Runway

Next designer praised for his work was Anthony Ryan Auld.  He is 28 years old and lives in Baton Rouge, LA.  His education includes a Bachelor of Arts in fashion design, with a minor in business, from Louisiana State University. When asked if he had won any awards related to design Anthony proudly replied I received “Best in Show” at Fashion Group International’s Dallas Career Day in 2010.  Anthony turned PJ’s into a lacy tank top and a ruffled mini-skirt.

Anthony Ryan Auld Project Runway

This is only episode one.  Who is your fan favorite so far?  Only time will tell.

Photos:  Lifetime TV

Sheryl Blasnik



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