So I've been sitting here, watching NBC's primetime lineup and feeling really bad about it, what with Jeff Zucker and Jay Leno being the devil twins incarnate or whatever, waiting for Project Runway to start, getting increasingly anxious because WHAT IF IT SUCKS AGAIN? One transitional season we can forgive, right? But two awful seasons, back to back?
To cope with my fears, I have already eaten an entire damn bowl of popcorn. (94% fat free, dammit. Shut up, #310!) Okay. Here goes.
We meet Seth and Janeane, rapid-fire, while the helpful bottom-right Lifetime Heidi Klum logo tells us that we are watching the premiere NOW and threatens to eat half my TV screen. Whoever provided the area rugs at Atlas just got shafted, man.
At the two-minute mark we have our first cry. And Janeane wept.
Anthony talks about growing up "gay, black and in teh GHET. HO." while wearing a fabulous butter-yellow ruffled tuxedo shirt. Good for him and all, but there's something about his over-the-top mmmmm-snap-girlfriend! confessional interviews that reminds me of the Chicken Tetrazzini lady.
Aaaand, a bunch of other people. Whatever. Prove yourselves, chickens, and then you'll get recap inches. They are all here to win and innovate and not make friends and throw buses or whatever.
Rooftop celebratory toast! Heidi is pregnant and goes for the cider. She looks…oh, fuck, so gorgeous. It's just not fair. For once, the first challenge does not start RIGHTNOW WHILEURALLDRUNK, but instead begins the next morning in Central Park. There's a lot of fabric strewn all over park benches. Homeless people are all, "Stupid gentrification, assholes." Challenge is one of the typical early generic Show Us Your Point Of View challenges. The designers have a couple minutes to grab as much fabric as possible. Then they are asked to edit for two minutes…choosing only five to unfurl and mash into a Mood bag. Ping has Issues and Anthony confessionals, inexplicably, with "Ping. Ping. PONG." Something tells me he was not talking about her unfurling issues.
Back at Parsons, for some Biggest-Loser-caliber product placement, what with the Brothers' sewing machines to the "innovative" HP tablets that the designers can sketch on, if they want to. They're also a great place for sticking your Extra Sugar-Free Gum!
Model time! The background music is a bit aggressive and loud, but does nothing to distract me from the fact that Jesus' model is strutting around the workroom in a classic shitting-brown-fabric dress/train combo. Do these people watch the show?
Tim time! I don't know who anybody is yet, therefore I shall mention that Tim's tie matches the walls of the workroom. Seth seems like a Poor Man's Jeffrey Sebelia Sans Neck Tattoo with a punky plaid thing and a lot of zippers.
Emilio is nowhere close to finished, and Tim tells him that they've never had "any one, in the history of the show, just not finish. Ever!" Except for…dude who sent down a near-naked model in a sheer caftan last season? Oh, are we just all officially pretending last season never happened? 'Cuz I'm fine with that.
Janeane gets a not-great assessment and — surprise! — cries about it.
Concerned Tim is Concerned. Designer Reaction Shot Editor Monkey is gleeful.
Janeane. Crying. Again. DRINK. And oh! It's the return of the Bluefly accessory wall! It…looks about the same as ever.
Runway time! HP has added to the prize pack with a "technology suite." But who cares! Nina! Duchess! And Nicole Richie, who I actually kind of love. She is also pregnant, and actually looks a bit more real-world pregnant than Heidi. Which is to say: tired, swollen, slightly pissed off, and craving upstart fashion designer brains.
And lo, people, you guys. We have PRINTS. We have COLOR. We also have puckered seams, wonky hems, and bizarre frippery on boobs and crotches, but it's so nice to not sit through yet another all black-and-white-and-gray runway show. Of course, the designers really had their fabric chosen for them and the producers may have purposely overloaded the options with bold colors and patterns…so we'll see what happens when the designers get to do their own shopping.
Bottoms and tops: Christiane, Ping, Anthony, Jesus, PoorMansJeffreySSNT, and Emilio. (Glad to see the fake-out loser's edit is alive and well this season.)
Christiane (who is a serial ProjRun-audtioner, finally getting on this season after multiple rejections) made a dress that reminds me a bit of Qryyssstilliylslisll's attempts at "luxurious" prints last season. Bold, tacky gaudy, cheap-looking, even if they are actually expensive. The judges — our glorious judges — are spot-on with their criticisms. This is a weird, badly-sewn mess. I hate it.
Likewise. Hate. Although maaaaybe slightly less. Anthony tried to do something "interesting" but I somehow doubt this really represents him as a designer. Probably more what he thinks SHOULD represent him as a designer. The front is not terrible, but then the back is hideously made. I predict a lot of "taste level" discussion about this guy.
Okay, here me out on this one. I like it. Yes. It's odd. Yes. Ping is definitely cut from the same conceptual cloth as Ari and possibly Malvin, with one fundamental difference: She's not an asshole about. In this episode, anyway, she's kooky and different without making an endlessly big DEAL about how she's kooky and different, and clearly respected the show and the confines of the challenge. Last season, with all the rotating unqualified judges basically saying "I would like, so totally wear that!" or "I would never wear that, ew!" week after week, I was happy to see that something different was chosen for the top three.
Unlike, say, THIS ONE, which I think the judges completely overpraised. Though I might be disliking the styling more than the actual dress. Because this is some terrible styling. I want to beat this styling with that terrible purse and kick it with those terrible shoes. But the dress has one or two extra elements, and the front looks like she's wearing a bunched-up gingham apron. Nina does accurately peg it as "commercial" several times, and you can see on Sethrey Sebelia's face that he knows that's not a compliment, particularly for someone who is trying SO. VERY. HARD. to be edgy and punk.
Jesus is really, really young. And it shows. This is a Barbie doll's idea of what glamorous grown-up ladies wear. She's a snake! A pooping snake! With a little Tarzan thrown in! She's fierce! I'm terrified of women who are not my mom!
The more I look at Emilio's dress, the more I like it, actually. It's a cute little dress, and waaaaaay too many designers pulled variations on the asymmetrical strappy neckline (thank goodness I saved all of mine from about five years ago, SUCK IT, FASHION INDUSTRY), but for all of the drama over whether Emilio would finish in time, it was the best-made thing on the runway. The weaving, the fit, the hem…all pretty much perfect. I also love how the fabrics are complimenting but not matchy-matchy. I know I loved Ping's for going beyond the "I would wear that y/n" criteria, but…I would like, so totally wear this.
Emilio wins, and Christiane is sent home. All those auditions, and she's the first to go. That's gotta suck, but she takes it in stride. I bet Janeane is still crying.
Next time: Tractors! Dirt! Flabbergasted Tim! Project Runway is BACK, baby.TOP POSTS