When Tim Gunn says it is his favorite season ever, you know it’s going to be a good one. We start meeting designers: Layana Aguilar, from Brazil; Richard Hallmarq already funny, says menswear goes drag; Kate Oankoke, self-described type-A who designs wedding dresses; Michelle Lesniak Franklin, geek-chic designer which definitely grabs my attention; Daniel Esquivel with a rocking mustache is repping Austin (woot! If he’s awesome, I may have to go stalk him) is a self-taught designer; James Martinez is apparently a klutz, after than we get a few faces in quick succession. We then meet Kate who is very young and confident, lets see if she has the skills to back it up; Benjamin Mach from Sydney, dapper in his bowtie designs; Cindy Marlatt is a former funeral director – she and her husband own a funeral home, after 20 some years of funerals, she went back to school to be a designer. Good for her!
In the midst of the mingling, Heidi and Tim appear on the runway to welcome everyone….and introduce the twist. The fact that it is Project Runway teams does not seem to be going over very well. So we are going to start the season off with two teams of eight. As Tim and Heidi point out, in the real world, you have to work with other people. The inspiration for this first challenge is New York City – one will be from the perspective of above, from the roof of the Atlas and the other will be from afar, they’ll be taking a boat onto the Hudson. The garment needs to show who they are as a designer but still have input from the team.
Up on the rooftop, the team is attempting to bond whilst drinking champagne and admiring the view. It really is a fantastic view of the city. The other team almost immediately names themselves team “Keeping it Real” and seem to have a good rapport right off the bat. The other team has named themselves the “Dream Team” hmm usually when they name themselves something like, they fall apart.
The designers gather ‘round Tim in the workroom the next morning as he further explains the challenge and budget. They have a $1,200 budget which equals to $150 each but they can split it anyway they see fit. Tim gives them a little time to caucus and sketch (I love that he uses caucus frequently, such a great word). Off to Mood where the usual panic and chaos reigns. We really don’t see much of their choices other than a whole lot of black. Kate already annoys me. She’s very cocky and giggly and says that she is better than everyone. Oi. Patricia, our first Native designer, is causing doubts with her painting of fabric but I don’t share that doubt. There have been some VERY successful painted fabrics in the past. Time shall tell.
Time for Tim to come around the workroom to evaluate how the designers are doing. He’s wow-ed by Michele and concerned by some of the other designers on the the Dream Team. Most of the designers don’t have much completed so it’s hard to see where it’ll end up. He calls Keeping it Real compelling and again, it’s hard to really get a gauge on where they are. On both teams, we’re seeing some interesting, both good and bad, designs. All too quickly, the day is over.
It’s the day of the runway and already Emily is in a panic. She should be as she has absolutely nothing done. This is where the team aspect gets interesting, two of her teammates this morning in the apartment, said they would not help her but clearly she needs help and can bring the whole team down. Would they really sacrifice a possible win? Models file in and it’s time for hair and make-up…and Emily now has a half of a jacket, still not good. Well time to go to the runway, lets see how this all plays out.
Heidi welcomes them to the runway wearing an awesome textural skirt and a see through top which frankly, if I had her body, I’d wear too. She gives a rundown of the prizes, the one that gives everyone a gasp is a new Lexus and of course the money. She introduces us to our new judge, Zac Posen as well as Nina Garcia (please don’t go Nina! Not ever!), and our guest judge today Christian Siriano (love that sassy man).
Starting off the show for Team Keeping it Real is Stanley’s silver/purpleish jumpsuit, it’s nicely tailored, next is Kate who sends out a sleeveless dress constructed out of what looks like white astroturf with leather cord details…allllll righty. Richard sends out a black and grey color blocked jersey dress that is half flowing, half structured – very interesting. Next is Patricia’s shift dress with her painted fabric, very nice. The way she painted the fabric and then made slits gave it wonderful subtle movement – there is a little blue detailing that just great. Amanda sends out beige skinny pants with patches on them and an asymmetrical flowing blue tank top, she’s not overly confident about it. Layana’s model has on a short little black dress, interesting almost sweetheartish neck line and laced up the back – frankly it looks like something I’ve seen before. Joseph sends down a pleated dress with three different hem lengths in varying shades of grey, lilac, and cream. It’s different that’s for sure. Daniel has a gorgeous, very structured jacket with an equally structural peplum paired with tailored capris, impeccable tailoring especially for just one day.
On to the Dream Team where Matthew opens the show with a short black and white patterned bubble skirt paired with a collared white sleeveless shirt with a mesh detail on the back, very cute and wear-able. Samantha sends down a navy dress with an interesting chiffon and cutout neckline and chiffon overlay on the skirt, it’s fit on the top is great but the bottom overlay kind of looks like weird butt wings. Tu’s outfit is just. No. I don’t like it at all. It is a white cropped jacket with puffed structured sleeves and a prominent zipper paired with a high waisted asymmetrical mini-skirt. Oh hey, the back is black. That doesn’t help. Which of course means the judges will probably love it. James sends down a white tank with bit of a ruffle detail with a high-waisted black and mauve color block skirt. I like this outfit…because I already own this outfit right down to the quilted kate spade purse he styled her with, seriously. He took zero risk. Emily’s hot mess…I mean outfit is next. There is no doubt that she threw this together, not even a little, she’s rightfully horrified. It is a black mini-skirt with some sort of sparkly tube top and a silver mesh cape. Seriously. Very bad. Benjamin sends down a short shift dress in shades of grey and beige that give the illusion of color blocking with different layers of chiffon. I don’t get the long cape/train but it’s a perfectly nice dress. Cindy has a long patterned dress (hooray for patterns!) with a weird red and white check sash banded detail. It’s, um, interesting. It just doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense, it’s long and wants to be flowy yet it’s hobbled around the bottom so the model struggles with walking. Michelle is next and her dress, well I don’t know. I want to like it, I like the idea of it -she used a waxed denim and made an interesting dress but i don’t get the tan straps ppouch detail, I think it’d be stronger without it.
Overall I think Team Keeping it Real is stronger but we shall see if the judges agree! Back from a commercial and yay! I am right! Dream Team isn’t very dreamy thus far. Daniel, Richard, and Patricia are the top three. The judges love Daniel’s tailoring, that it looks expensive and is very wearable. They are impressed with Richard’s use of asymmetry, that it is flattering which isn’t the easiest to do with asymmetry. Patricia is a storyteller that’s for sure! They love that you can see the cityscape in the pattern and that it’s tactile.
James, Cindy, and Emily are the bottom designers from the Dream Team. Right off the bat, they felt the same way about James’ outfit, it was just boring and not inspired. Ouch, Heidi says that Emily’s outfit is something her 8 year old daughter would make, and yeah, it is. Nina calls it the most unfinished look to ever come down the runway. She also calls out the other designers for not helping since it is, you know, a team challenge. Michelle pipes up and says they did help, yeahhhhh. No. They didn’t, at least not until the very last minute. Zac tries to be nice and says he sees the little moment on the shoulder of what she was going for but overall, just no. Cindy gets called out for the bad patterns, it’s just bad. They get chastised as a team for basically not being team players. The judges deliberate with the designers gone, it’s pretty much what they said to their faces, nothing new.
Ok commercial which means it’s time to predict the winners and losers. I think Daniel with the win and Emily goes home.
Yay! Daniel gets the first win, good for him! Not a bad way to start off the season, that’s for sure. Obviously Richard and Patricia are in. James is also in, hopefully next week he’ll have an original thought. It’s down to Cindy and Emily….and Cindy is in, which means I’m 2 for 2, Emily is auf’ed. Not really a shock, Cindy may have had a bad dress but Emily had pretty much nothing.
Until next week, stay fab!
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