Project Runway, Season 10 Episode 1: Sew Many Damn Contestants! [Runway Rundown]

Well here we go again! Season 10 of the beloved reality competition Project Runway is underway with what looks like a strong group of contenders. As with every season the first episode or two are hard to get through as you try to figure out who is who in this crowd of 16 designers. It is almost like the high school hallway, too many people in your way as you try to get to where you are going. Let me hold your hand a bit and break down the episode really fast to that parts that matter.

SPOILER ALERT! As always, if you have not watched the show kindly back up and reread my last blogumn about the designers’ interview reels until you get a chance to unclog that DVR of yours. If you have watched the episode, proceed with me and let’s get to the nitty gritty!

Well every year they try to do the intro to the show a little differently and for the 10th season you could tell they amped up the “grandeur” of the first presentation from what they showed last year. I hated that overly windy, outdoor, sad clown parade we saw last season. This time it was high fashion in the heart of the world: Times Square. With all the flashbulbs, many clinking glasses, and a brightly charged night time setting in the LED screen mess of Times Square, I actually kind of enjoyed the idea of it all. They gave us just a taste of what is to come and then yanked us back to the start of it all… the arrival of the designers.

New Best Friends

Cue the typical “my mom died a year ago and that made me realize I couldn’t live without sewing chiffon for the rest of my life” speeches. Each designer was trying to be overly friendly and just kooky enough to tell everyone “I am THE one with personality here and a style all my own so watch out bitches!” Niceties were exchanged as they walked about the room meeting each other and showing their homework off…

Oh yeah, this year they finally did something kinda smart, they made each designer arrive with a completed look that reflects their signature style. I love that the first challenge isn’t some mess of popcicle sticks and glue, we as the audience get to see a quick summary of what these kids can really do. The first main challenge: Make a second look to pair with your first look within the time allotted. I must say, many of my fears about this group being overly conservative in their style were not founded here. The designs were a nice mix across the map and for once we appear to have a bunch of people that have a fairly good understanding not only of design, but construction as well. No spit marks to cut fabric in this bunch!

Next the designers got their fabric and got to work. Along the way we learned such fabulous things as Fabio is a “Freegan,” someone who eats food that has been discarded by small shops or major grocery outlets, basically a dumpster diver. Fabio, I’m sorry but I won’t be dining at your home. If I wanted half rotten food that had been dumped in a trashcan I would just follow Sally Struthers around all day and pick up her scraps.

It didn’t take long to see the divide growing between a few of the personalities. Dmitry hates everyone. Gunnar “Bitch Queen” Deatherage has a strong distaste for Christopher “Fellow Bitch Queen” Palu, most likely because they both are just too similar in temperment. (oh yeah, and Christopher is a better designer… neener neener) Christian was quoted saying about Gunnar “He should be on Toddlers and Tiaras” and I must say I agree. The pageant runway is down there sweetie, when you want to grow up a little and work with the adults stop hissing and get down to work.

As per usual with every episode, there was not enough time, Tim Gunn was “Concerned” about a few individuals, and things got hurriedly thrown together before it was time to hit center stage in Times Square. Guest judges along with our good ol’ pals Nina, Heidi and everyone’s favorite Ooompa Loompa Michael Kors were Lauren Graham and Patricia Field. All in all the presentation was a blur. With each contestant sending two looks down the runway, I barely had a change to gag or gasp before the next designer’s work was already walking down the runway. Before you knew it, thank you’s were sent to the crowd and we were hauled back to Parsons for the breakdown.

Instead of griping or spreading the love about all the different designers on hand, this week we will only focus on who was in the top and bottom 3. Heading up the pack with what the judges considered the best work were Christopher, Ven and Melissa. Melissa’s work was fairly good bringing her the number 3 spot with two black dresses based in her own words on “The Bauhaus art movement and the band.” You almost lost me there girly, but overall I liked her looks. Here’s a suggestion Melissa… Next challenge use anything but black. If you keep showing black stuff throughout you are gonna get nailed for it, they can tell already that this is your crutch. Also, beware the brown-black versus blue-black conundrum… under those lights you could obviously tell one dress was in another palette entirely, but lucky for you they worked together.

Designs by Ven

2nd place goes to Ven. I liked your work Ven but as expected you have zero personality. Your craftsmanship skills are impeccable, what you were able to do with the time allotted was almost criminal, but I just want to reach through the screen and shake some words out of you. All I got from this episode about you is you do good work, you look at this as a business, and you seem to have a lackluster passion that can only come from being successful under the wing of other designers for so long that you forgot why you started doing this in the first place. Prove me wrong mister, I would love to see that.

The winner for the week is Christopher – obviously. His two dresses were intricate pieces of layered angle cut fabric in softly patterned blacks. (One almost a brown) The gown really was to die for, the cut, the fit, and the intricate piece work made him the obvious winner for the week. Patricia Field brought up a great point, he managed to capture the delicate aspect of the 30′s and update the overall style for modern day wearability. Even I wanted to grab this dress, it was so good it looked almost effortless. (Of course, Gunnar was pissed he won… i’m sure this rivalry is just gonna keep heating up!)

Our bottom three for the week was fairly obvious Beatrice, Lantie, and Kooan. I’m still amazed Andrea Katz didn’t get nailed for that hidous hoop mess… girl I already can’t stand you and your shoddy hoops. Our first victim to be spared was Kooan, while kooky and out there in his style the judges wanted to see more of him. I like his sensibility, but I really hope we get to see more than just kimono influenced dresses that look like metallic Hot Pockets and cute little jumpers with crap sewed onto it in weird shapes. Raise the bar Kooan, cause right now you are coming off like cartoon Benihana chef with a penchant for shiny things.

Lantie was lucky this week as her hideous mess of “snakes in a flower garden” looked more like little house on the slut prairie. One dress was made of a white flower-tabbed fabric that even I wouldn’t pick up from the dollar bin downtown. The second dress looked like a mosquito net version of the first but smeared with shit. Not your best work sweetie, you better dress to impress next week and avoid gauzy fabric and animal skins prints at all costs.

Buh Bye

Going home this week was the shlumpy designs by Beatrice. Sorry girl but that little knit cape just made your model look like an old lady that moved from Omaha to New Mexico to open a tacky Southwest jewelry store. Your second model looked like an ugly red pleather couch from the 80′s, and you’re lucky the judges didn’t set fire to her on first sight. At least you got a consolation prize from this whole experience, not only are you the embarrassing first one sent home, but you get to live with the fact that Michael Kors called you a “Snuggie Designer.” Ouch…

At the end of the episode we got a few glimpses of what is to come: The Rockettes, another candy challenge, people leaving, lots of tears, and old disco bridesmaid ice skaters… I know i’m gonna be tuning in!

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