Project Runway Season 11: Episode 1 – Everyone Share Your Toys! [Runway Rundown]

Here we go again readers, we are off on another amazing adventure of hideous Poly-Blends, achingly beautiful garments out left field, gossipy moments in the aisles of MOOD and some stitch and bitch backstabbing. Season 11 of Project Runway: Teams Edition has begun! I always find that I love meeting all the new designers and seeing them adjust to a frantic pace from the word go, but there is always an aching feeling of same sh*t different day. With the decision to make every challenge this season a team challenge, Tim Gunn declared this his “Favorite season yet! The designers will have to work together to survive and collaborate like never before. It is just like the real world.” I like the premise too Tim, this will show who is too prissy to work with others and weed out the Artists, with a capital A, fairly quickly if they don’t become a team player.

What is the modern world of fashion design, if not a large collaboration to create products that SELL? Too many fashion designers get carried away with the idea that couture is going to make them rich, and in reality it is the designs that are inspired by their couture collections and made for a marketable price point, that will truly keep their rent paid and food on the table. It is unmistakable over the last several seasons that “Ready To Wear” is the focus of a flexible designer. Anyone can make a fugly fishtail gown covered in feathers and color blocked chiffon and call it art, but would anyone in their right mind buy it? Project Runway wants a designer to showcase that can do it all, and to make sure they are a marketable entity, they are going to make them continually collaborate to weed out those that are not.

As always the episode begins with the hellos, awkward handshakes, and googly wide-eyed gays and girls wandering into the eye of the camera. After the happy happy intros and Heidi and Tim greeting them, the bomb is dropped: You bitches are going to be working in teams for every challenge. You could almost hear the buttholes clench and teeth grit in the room. After a few moments they are split into two teams of eight. Our first team that deemed themselves team “Keepin’ it Real” has Daniel, Amanda, Layana, Patricia, Joe, Stanley, Kate, and Richard. The second team named the “Dream Team” consists of Emily, Cindy, Benjamin, Michelle, Tu, James, Samantha, and Matthew. The first challenge they are set off in their teams to each create a garment that shows their unique style and point of view with the guidance from the rest of their team. Their inspiration must be drawn from the city of New York with the Dream Team viewing the city from the roof of their new home The Atlas, and team Keepin’ it Real viewing the city from afar by boat. (I’m already sick of their team names.) One winner will be chosen from the winning team and one person from the losing team will be sent home. Each team will receive $1200 to spend how they will, which breaks down to $150 per person if they choose to divvy it up.

*Let’s take a sidebar moment and point out the amazing noise that was created by Patricia while on the boat that can only be described as a Primal Scream Yodel. You are one crazy chick and I like that. It reminds me of the suggestion someone once gave me to keep people from sitting next to me on the bus, “Every so often twitch your arm and smile at people and a few moments later pretend to cry, nobody wants to sit too close to that.” Is this your strategy Patricia, or are you just letting out your war cry to let them know that it is game on?!

I like the new group Crit that has each designer’s work discussed not only by Tim Gunn, but their team mates as well. I have a feeling we will see some juicy moments when feelings get hurt, or ugly prints are chosen. After the designers got some work time under their belts it became pretty obvious who was in trouble: Emily, the girl I described as the girly girl who thinks she is edgier than she really is. Seems like she thinks she has more time than she really has as well. After much pomp and circumstance in the interview process this episode with her about being not a “team player” and playing the game with no regret. She is lucky that Cindy (The Mom) comes to her aid just so she will end up with something to show on the runway.

This season we have a new judge, Zac Posen, standing in for everyone’s favrotie citrus fruit Michael Kors. Nina is back, Heidi is back, and this week’s guest judge is one of my favorite designers from the show Christian Siriano. With the first episode they always make the same mistake and show one person just a little too much so that halfway through the episode you know exactly who is going home. Perhaps they figure it is their only real chance to be seen so they throw in some extra footage, but I think everyone saw that Emily was doomed from the moment she started, and frankly her teammate Cindy was lucky she didn’t cut her ugly dress higher or she may have stolen the crown for fugliest thing walkin’ the runway this week. Let’s get down to business and talk about the highs and lows of what we saw this week.

Obviously the Dream Team was dreaming if they thought they had a win this week. The best things they showed this week were Tu’s modern and sleek white short sleeved midriff top with zipper, and white skirt with both pieces showing white only on the front and black on the back. It was jarring when the model turned around in a really fun way. I loved it. Michelle made a fun and inventive dark waxed denim short dress with strips and contrasting grey details. It was young, and had some nice movement, she is one to watch. Samantha’s offering this week also really surprised me, she made a beautiful short sexy almost black dress with triangular sheer details at the neck, and loose whispy sheer panels at the waist. Her dress gave a nod to older fashions, threw in some early 90′s edge, and brought in some soft modern feminine lines that just made it a sweet wight to behold. Her garment was gorgeous and looked expensive. Too bad they were all on the losing team, cause these three really nailed it this week in my eyes.

The bottom three for the Dream Team this week were James, Cindy and Emily. James showed us his safe side with a boring black and pink triangular color blocked skirt and an ugly white tank blouse with a wad of fabric above her tits. I describe this look as “boring rich bitch,” you really need to do better dude. Cindy made a long grey and cheetah print dress with a Bob’s Big Boy red and white checkered center “belt” detail. Girl, your dress looked like a grease stained burger wrapper from Rally’s, you need to amp it up grandma! (Please tell me they aren’t running a burger joint out of their family Funeral Home. Perhaps her new name could be Mrs. Lovett?) Going home this week was Emily, but Nina said it best: “In all of our seasons of Project Runway, I have never seen such an unfinished garment.” Wow girl, ouch. It sucks to be sent home first, but for all that bravado, you totally didn’t show us what you were made of… that is of course unless you are made of ugly surged together piles of sheer fabric and poorly made tops with crappy prints of New York. Better luck next time Dream Team.

Team Keepin’ It Real were our winners this week with some very strong looks, but still a few dogs in the bunch. (Wow, already REALLY sick of the team names… perhaps I need to rename them?) The worst of the best this week in my eyes were Joe, Kate and Richard. Joe showed us what happens when a young woman buys a sewing machine, teaches herself how to sew a straight line, and the same day takes a pile of grey fabric strips and makes an impromptu toga for a keg party. His grey “strip dress” was just a mess, and he is lucky they were not the losing team or he woulda been gone. Kate gave us a fairly boring knit dress with ugly nurse shoes. You can do better girl, and watch those seams. The last of my worst this week was Richard, who the judges also decided were one of the top three looks on the team. His dress wasn’t hideous, but it was so asymetrical I wanted to grab it and yank on it to straighten it out. Yes Zac Posen, asymetry can be amazing, but this thing looks like she put it on backwards.

Our other two best looks this week for TKIR were Patricia and Daniel. Patricia may be a little nuts but she made a fun short (if shapeless) dress out of painted leather, with slashes showing an underlining of blue fabric. It was fun, had some movement, and was inventive. The judges like it, but they picked up on the same issue I did when I looked at her body of work, she needs to pay attention to the figure of a woman. Not every dress can hang away from the body, hopefully she can hack it and this wasn’t just a genius fluke moment.

Daniel was our winner this week with an entirely black ensemble of short pants, and shortened sleeve top with a large peplum. I thought it was modern, stylish, and could make a woman look like a million bucks. My only critique is it looked like something Sharon Stone would wear before she announces the is pregnant. Let’s be honest that people could hide a child easily into her second trimester, that is of course if there are any eggs left. On the bright side, it looks like Sharon Stone would wear it and it looks very expensive. Congrats Daniel on your brilliant use of the very hard to work with silk wool crepe, that stuff can be unforgiving and your garment looks like it took days to assemble.

Things to look forward to this season: Male Strippers, Trips to Europe, and Bette Midler… I’m in! Already this season feels a little freshened up even if it still the same basic thing just with two teams. Here’s to hoping we don’t hit episode three and start to hear you readers snoring! What did you guys think? Did Emily deserve the Auf or did you hate Cindy’s just a little bit more? Chime in below with your own bitchy critiques.

In other news: Ru Paul’s Drag Race starts Monday on LogoTV! I can’t wait, as this show is such a fun guilty pleasure to watch! Also, through some inside sources I have heard there is horrible disaster that is going to hit the us right before September 11th this year… Arsenio Hall is coming back to TV. *gag

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