Drab or Fab? Project Runway Season 10 Begins! [A Tall Glass of Shame]

Alright kids, it is time once again to crack open the closet and play dress up with Project Runway. Season 10 of the beloved reality competition begins tonight at 9pm (8 central) on Lifetime Television for Women and Gay Men! As usual I will be your cohort along for the ride with weekly updates every Friday morning of what fur was flying the night before.

With Season 10, Lifetime has given us more than just some names and faces to judge our contestants with, they have posted their interview sessions and a tour of their closets on the website. So you don’t have to bother wading through it, I did it for you. Don’t worry, I double checked and Kenley isn’t coming back as a big surprise twist this season.

From what I can tell it doesn’t seem like an overtly crazy bunch of varied sensibilities, if anything the people selecting the contestants this year went a little “safe.” Until we get a few episodes in we won’t be able to see what design niche people are best with, but for now the designers all appear to be fairly talented at construction and tailored garments. (Talented, but bland)

Now let’s talk some shit about these people we barely know!

Alicia Hardesty

She described her style as “original tomboy.” These outfits appear well made, but dull. They look like garments that small framed lesbians from the Northwest would love. I am so sick of the zippers as decorative add ons, its not cool and it doesn’t really look good. If you want to see that technique used effectively and in a fairly original way look at the final collection on PR by Jeffrey Sebelia. If you put a zipper on a garment make it functional, otherwise it is just a trim girl… pointless. It crosses over into Hot Topic Land very quickly. As for personality, Alicia seems kind of quiet and unassuming. Hopefully she will manage to come out of her shell a bit in front of the cameras, otherwise the deer in headlights look will get old really fast.

Andrea Katz

“Hoops make people smile.” Dear god that is the scariest sentence I have ever heard a contestant utter! I already can’t stand this lady. As she is one of the older contestants, I’m sure we will have more “mothering/smothering” drama in the workroom. Andrea’s hoop inspired collection looks hideous and like something a Cirque Du Soleil clown would wear. #ughbarfandeverythinginbetween

Beatrice Guapo

Hailing from Marina Del Rey is Beatrice who described her aesthetic as a mosaic of ditz, I mean knits… Beatrice seems like a caricature of herself while playing the dumb cute California girl routine, but I’m guessing she could be one mean bitch if she turned on you. Her style is interesting, but I don’t find the mix of knits and sheer/ shiny panels all that inspired. Color blocking t-shirt dresses with mixed fabrics has been done to death. When in doubt throw a scarf with it! “Put a scarf on it!” NEXT!

Buffi Jashanmal

While Buffi is quirky to the 10th degree, her style does have a certain sophistication about it even if it is all sequins, metallics and crazy printed knits. She has a good eye for balancing the crazy with the simple. I think she is certainly one to watch, if she can show range without toning it down too much for the judges she might just wow us with some of the most innovative and crazy designs we’ve seen on the show in years.

Christopher Palu

Well, the judges gave him a “Maybe” during his interview and I have to say I agree… but it should have just been a No. We know he made it to the show, but until we see him get his hands on a challenge, all I saw was a lot of black and some leather and taffeta. Not much to go on dear Christopher… I sense some Auf’in in your future.


Dmitry Sholokhov

I’m seeing a lot of deconstructed pieces as well as architectural garments. I’m intrigued. The judges gave him a “maybe” but his work is far better than Christopher’s.

Elena Slivnyak

Sounds like miss Elena doesn’t like to be rushed… uh oh… You might have some trouble finishing if you get too picky honey. While she seems to be a little obsessed with overwrought complicated garments that take forever to make, her neoprene futuristic designs are really spectacular. I’d love to see if she has a talent with fabrics outside her comfort range.

Fabio Costa

Hey look, a wearable sheet! #yawn Hey look a chunk of ugly fabric that turns into a hat, or is a scarf? #doubleyawn

Gunnar Deatherage

Sweet Gunnar from Louisville has obviously auditioned before for PR, but seems to have toned it down and gotten himself out of the pageant wear world. He is designing like a big boy now. Gunnar appears to have a good eye for color, pattern and fabric, but it remains to be seen if this guy is too green to be able to keep up with the more experienced in this group. His work looks wearable, flattering to a woman’s body and just plain cute. My main concern: Craftsmanship. Watch the puckering on those seams buddy. If he lasts and keeps learning from any criticism brought forth he might do well in this competition.

Kooan Kosuke

If a Harajuku girl and the band LMFAO had a baby, it would be Kooan. This guy is super quirky but in an adorable way. His work is very strongly influenced by Japan, but he has a modern and fresh take on each piece of clothing. He likes crazy “out there” fabrics, but from what I have seen he seems to have a knack for keeping it wearable and not too ridiculously costumey. I look forward to seeing what else comes from him, he could go really far.

Lentie Foster

Conservative Party Girl is how I would describe dear Lentie. All of the judges voted “Maybe” which I can understand. Her work is pretty simple and we’ve kind of seen this type of stuff before, but I like her style and look forward to her possibly showing us her technical ability applied to a more varied body of work. She is hiding some great stuff in there, I can feel it.


Melissa Fleis

Black. Modern. Leathers. Not too gimicky. Hand dyed and hand sewn pieces. Nice stuff, but there are colors other than black… If she can play with some prints and colors I bet i’ll fall in love with her stuff!

Nathan Paul

“Social occasion designer” is how Nathan describes himself. His work is on the conservative side of design, but his choice of fabrics and tailoring makes each piece very fresh and stylish. He has a comfortable ease in front of the camera, and is super talented so I think he will do VERY well in this competition.


Raul Osorio

His interview kind of stumped me. I didn’t see enough to really form an opinion about his stuff, but I did really like his textured take on the Little Black Dress. I’ll hold judgment till I see more. He does have a few menswear pieces in his portfolio so I know there is some flexibility to his talent.


Sonjia Williams

Finally someone working with prints! Jesus! Sonjia has some beautifully tailored pieces including a yellow and white print pants that are truly gorgeous. I am loving what i’ve seen of her work so far so already going into this she is an instant favorite of mine.

Ven Budhu

Probably one of the strongest competitors this year, but alas his personality is so flat… His voice almost puts me to sleep. He seems uncomfortable in front of the camera and that could put him at a disadvantage. Wake up Ven and show us a little something more about you than the fact that you like cologne and keep your clothes in dry cleaner bags! As for the clothes, he likes red, and white, and some more red. Hopefully he can try some new bold colors that aren’t necessarily his favorite hue. The construction of the one big gown he showed in a vibrant red, shocker, was absolutely stunning. While his design aesthetic is finely tuned, he may need to work double time to get any of his ideas off the ground if they are always so complex.

Tune in tonight to watch this new group sew their little sweatshop fingers to the bone. Check in here starting tomorrow and every friday till the finale to get my snarky ass take on one of my favorite shows on TV! The judges are all back along with Tim Gunn and Heidi Klum, so no big changes there, just some relief that we aren’t subjected to the ever groan worthy Isaac Mizrahi from Project Runway All-stars.

I look forward to bad decision making, ugly fabric choices, time management slip ups, stapled hems, hokey observations from Michael Kors, tears and of course Heidi’s famous Auf Wiedersehen! Already the rumor mill is chattering about a few members up and leaving the show this year. Whether it was because of drama or because they couldn’t “make it work” remains to be seen. You’ll read about it all here in the Runway Rundown!

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