As you most likely know by now, Project Runway returns next Wednesday night. Normally, we have to take a few episodes to get to know who everyone is and what they’re capable of, but yesterday in NYC, Bravo had a fashion show to promote the new season and introduce mini-lines by the new contestants.
Michael Kors had to miss it to pick up his new boy in Korea, but Tim Gunn was there with his eyebrow raised next to Nina Garcia, who wore that fabulous horrified and disgusted look she gets on her face when bad fashion burns her eyes. Heidi was there, too, of course (how has that woman given birth so many times and maintained that figure? HOW) with lots of free shoes for the newbie designers to torture their models with. They made us wait a long ass time for a new season, but it looks like it will all be worth it. Welcome to Bryant Park! Let’s do this!
Kevin’s pretty cute, at least in his bio pic, and he’s Italian. He’s also well studied (from a family of Sicilian tailors and seamstresses, won Menswear Designer of the Year grant from FIT) and he has a job! He owns his own line and is a partner in a jeans company. Cute, talented, working. Way too good for me so I respect him and am afraid of him already. His collection is first to walk the runway, and it’s a good start.
He’s got a little Laura in him (socialite polish) mixed in with a bit of Jay (the 80′s never died, dammit!). I love Jay, and I love Kevin, and even though I don’t approve of the 80′s as a general rule, I applaud their efforts at keeping shoulder pads at least semi-alive so that my hero, Marlena from Days of Our Lives, can go to sleep at night feeling relevant and not like she’s an old, botoxed, stretched-senseless crazy woman who can’t stop clutching onto the past. Seriously. She still wears shoulder pads. God bless you, Marlena, and God bless you, Kevin!
The previews have hinted that Victorya is this season’s raging bitch. Too soon to say, but the spelling of her name is already forming a bad taste in my mouth. She could have made up the pretentious name while studying journalism in Paris, she could have made it up when she decided to drop the whole journalism thing and enlist in Parsons school of design, or her mother could have just been a horrible speller. I’m going with B.
Ridonkulous name aside, Victorya seems already to be a bit of a one trick pony, as she’s showing the same flowy dress in three different colors today. Don’t like sleeves? Get rid of em! No reason to throw a good, flowy pattern away. In her Bravo bio, she says that she designs dresses for herself and like-minded women. I haven’t seen her bod yet, but I assume by like-minded she means like-thighed or like-muffin-topped, because there’s not a figure to be seen on any three of her models. Wait. Never mind. Her bio also says she can’t live without her skinny jeans. OK, Me and Victorya are officially off on the wrong foot.
This girl has by far the best bio of all the designers, and I am not just saying that because we are both from El Paso, TX (HOLLA! or rather HOLA!). “An interdisciplinary artist, Elisa, 42, recently moved to back to the desert of Santa Fe, New Mexico after 13 years of thriving in New York City. She built the foundation of her work around “The Hunger World,” a pseudo-fictitious world of marionettes brought to life and mythos through writing, drawing, painting, performance, installation, and fashion. However, fashion has been her predominant “accidental” career income and reputation.” What the hell does any of that mean? Pseudo fictional world of marionettes? If coo-coo sounds aren’t ringing in your ears yet, you need to wake your ass up. Elisa has designed for many celebrities, my favorite being “Jennifer Connelly in Requiem for a Dream.” This girl is gonna be fun.
Elisa, not at all surprisingly, knows how to set herself apart from the pack. All three of her pieces are done in the same creamy color, like Heaven. Or Heaven’s Gate. Hard to say if she doesn’t know how to sew, or if she just really enjoys draping, tying and braiding all of her fabric onto her models. It looks like the extras in The Matrix: Reloaded are putting on a fashion show. The hooded number’s hot at first, because all you notice is a bangin’ body, but then the hood comes off and its all ears and a borderline offensive cut in the back. Call it talent, call it Units, call it a pseudo-fictitious world of marionettes; Elisa definitely has balls. Thank God the girl in the hood doesn’t.
Raimi is from Jerusalem, and he is another cutie pie. Thank you, Bravo, for handing us some cuties this season. He moved to America to be a fashion designer but dropped out of school to learn from life, man. This led to 6 years in retail, where he eventually became a buyer and was inspired to purchase two sewing machines. I don’t know why he specified two in his bio, but I am so taking him more seriously now. Ladies in little villages accross the world taught him his craft, and he’s already shown in Bryant Park, thank you very much. His resume is looooong, and surely you recognize at least some of his work.
Raimi starts with a metallic Judy Jetson all grown up and fabulous number and then moves on to a classic hourglass ballgown with pockets followed by chic update of a Deadwood hooker dress. Yowsa! Either Project Runway has taken on some healthy girls this season, or Raimi has figured out how to achieve the impossible and given skinny girls some dadonkadonk figures. I’m a total mo and and I whistled, I catcalled, and my eyes popped out of my socket like when Jerry hits Tom on the head with a frying pan. Holy moly, what broads. The black number with the pockets got hoots and hollers from the audience. Me likey Raimi. On the downside, a woman who actually does have some hippage will look like a snake that swallowed a monster truck tire in these gowns.
I think I love you, so what am I so afraid of?
Simone’s bio says she’s 32, and I don’t buy it. It also says she specializes in “organic and surplus fabrics”. In other words, anything she can pick out of or off of the ground. Ew. Looks like she came across a dumpster full of lime green silk and old pantyhose. This girl will have no problem working on a budget.
Simone likes lime green, gloves, and models with extremely clunky walks. These girls look like it’s taking all their energy just to put one foot in front of the other. They might just be wearing the heaviest Aldo shoes ever made, but I have a feeling the walking is Simone’s idea of earthy realism. She also sews her silks so that they are pinched and cheap looking. I am getting a definite “Fuck you world, I’m Simone and I sew left-over silk wrong on purpose” vibe from her. Her first cocktail dress is pretty adorable, but it goes downhill from there. She reminds us why shoulder pads shouldn’t be brought back ever (sorry Kevin and Marlena) before running out of green and shoving her last model down the runway in black short shorts and a silk blouse. Hat check girls went out with hats. I don’t see either coming back any time soon. And why did they have to make the model with the jiggly butt wear these flimsy shorts? Poor baby.
A doll-like boy named Marion. He just can’t be sane. His line reminds me of my fourteen year old angry Christmas when I gave my family empty shoe boxes wrapped in trash bags. I could’ve given you nothing, or I could’ve given you everything you really need. Think on that one, MOM!
Marion is going to be a blast. Not only are his clothes funky and all over the map texturally, but according to his bio, he just opened up a store in Dallas which he refers to as “an oversized curiosity cabinet, with a mad sense of whimsy.” Need I say more?
It’s tough to get a true handle on Jillian’s personality from her polished bio, but she does say her fashion must is a sweater dress with opaque tights. Umkay. Her fashion inspirations are military jackets and armor, and she uses both the opaque tights and the military jackets in her line today. She also seems to really dig silver. This is the season of shiny. Tell your neighbor.
Jillian’s first outfit is a weird German hunting jacket with brown tights. I feel bad for her model, who looks like she’s chaffing. Nina Garcia turns to Heidi and makes a face like someone burped in her ear. The second piece is a silver cocktail dress, thigh-highs (opaque) and garters, which I’m sure did nothing to help Nina’s face, but Jillian’s third outfit includes a silver ruffled riding jacket that’s pretty killer. The silver tights, however, make my eyes roll back into my head. We get it. You like tights. I suspect Jillian has varicose vein issues.
I can’t wait to see what Jillian does in the swimsuit challenge.
Ricky was inspired to become a lingerie designer by his mother. Yikes. He’s also the guy with wacky hats that cries a lot in the previews as he says “I can do this” over and over again. That always means that you can’t do this. Always. I have a feeling Ricky is going to be delicious meat for us to snark about for at least the first two weeks of the competition, so I’ll leave him alone for now, except to say that people with wacky hats that express their “personality” are wahoos.
Mom, I thought of you as I made every single one of these.
Chris is the fat guy with the Fred Flinstone shirt from San Fransisco who’s always guffawing really loudly in the previews. He made his mark designing giant hats and wigs for Beach Blanket Babylon and wants to design for a woman who “likes to stand out in a crowd”. You don’t say. His fashion musts are “anything bright.” Congratulations, Bravo. You have found an actual cartoon.
For his line today, he shows the black slutty young adulthood mini, the silver slutty middle aged kinda mini, and the older woman not mini but still slutty. At least he’s consistent in his tackiness. I predict Chris will make it far in this competition because he’s, well, the fat gay guy in Fred Flinstone’s shirt that designs huge wigs and hats for Beach Blanket Babylon. Lord help us.
Jack is a model, a swimmer, and is also the Design Director of a company called Weatherproof Active Wear. His fashion must is a sugar daddy. Love it! You shouldn’t work to get a swimmer’s build for nothing. Jack seems to have a Jackie O. seen through a magnifying glass aesthetic for his first two pieces, but then he drops the Jackie and keeps the O(….k?). I don’t know how he went from the most fashionable first lady ever to Rue McClanahan’s fainting couch on The Golden Girls, but he did. I know it’s wrong, but I find it kind of soothing. I always loved The Golden Girls.
Thank you for being a friend.
Steven is a Preparator for the Exhibits and Collections Department at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, which from what I gather means he helps get exhibits ready. He has no training, but he liked to “draw figures and explore fabrics” as a child, so there ya go. Hm. I honestly don’t know what to make of this one. I got lost in Google trying to find out what the hell a preparator is. I suspect my confusion will last his entire stay.
His first model is in a beautiful vertically striped day dress, which makes it hard to tell what her body looks like. The second is in a black funeral dress from the 50′s, and she’s also wearing some kind of grieving tutu. Again, hard to tell what kind of figure she has. You can tell, though, that this is the most awkward model ever born. She stomps her way down the runway and poses at the end like a football player waiting for a pass. The third model is wearing a ball gown with Marie Antoinette hips as wide as a breakfast table. Steven doesn’t seem to even be striving to flatter the women’s figures, and when I re-watch the preview I realize why: “My worst nightmare is to end up designing for drag queens. Again.” Yay, you. You were blessed with actual women to work with. Now stop hiding hip bones and Adam’s apples.
I have to be honest with you, Kit scares the shit out of me. She’s wearing a beret (who DOES that?), she’s come up with an alias (Kit Pistol) for herself instead of just changing her name like any normal flake, and she describes her design aesthetic as “serious fantasy” that “empowers women”. When weird artistic chicks who still try to resemble Cyndi Lauper talk about fantasies that empower women, they don’t mean in the equal pay/right to vote kind of a way. It usually means rough, bossy, dirty sex. Kit does not disappoint. Straight men have been empowering women in this way forever and they’re called pigs. I’m just saying. These models look extremely uncomfortable in their tight, rigid uniforms of the night and can barely walk in their spiked heels. I call closet woman hater!
My name’s not Christiiiiiina! Slap.
Christian’s the little twerp who resembles Amy Sedaris in Strangers with Candy and tells us that he’s “kind of a big deal” in the preview. He does seem to have some kind of talent, but he’s all over the place. If his pieces tell us anything about his personality, it’s that he’s a little Oliver Twist wandering around in elf slippers dreaming of the day he meets his princess Gwen Stefani and takes her to lunch with his BFF, Lauren Bacall. This kid has homo hodge podge disorder written all over him. I can’t wait to see someone yell at him.
The Oliver, The Gwen, and The Bacall.
Sweet P is the oldest of the bunch, and she’s wanted to be a designer ever since being obsessed with Sonny and Cher as a kid. I hope she brings out some of those silk moo-moo things Cher was so fond of back in the day. I could use a good laugh. Sweet P is pretty milquetoast. She likes vintage clothing and just quit a job working in sleep wear. Really? Then why are you showing it today?
Ready to Wear: To Bed
Carmen was going to be an architect but changed her major to fashion design. She was eventually named best fashion designer in her class and then lived in Paris for awhile before starting a clothing line called “Sistahs of Harlem”. The only thing that ties her line together is head coverings: two hoods and a big orange hat. The plaid short shorts are cute but way done. The shiny (there is is again) green pants that come out next make the anorexic chick wearing them look like a paper doll, and the final outfit is just a hooded cape. Bizarre. Is anyone as confused as I am by Carmen?
And that’s all fifteen! The deck is stacked for a fantastic season. There is a lot of talent on the runway this year, and even more psychosis than we’re used to before the first episode has even aired. Who are your picks to win this thing, and who do you think is going home first? I say Kevin, Raimi and Jillian will make it to the top and the first to go will be either Ricky or Sweet P. I don’t care what happens. I’m just glad to have my favorite show back. Here’s to a great season, gasmii!