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TV Recap: Project Runway - Premiere

Before we even start, I would like to give thanks. Thank you Project Runway for providing a respite from the writer’s strike, and thank you, Heidi Klum for being so awesome. When Ellen asked you on her show what we could expect from this season and you shrugged your shoulders and said, “the same s—t,” I just about died. Also, it’s probably good that you clarified that you meant that in the best way possible, but it wasn’t necessary. We all love this show.

So, first things first: the designers move into their apartments, which are no longer the Atlas apartments, but are now Gotham Apartments. I can’t really tell the difference. In any case, it’s move in day, so we get to meet the new crop of contestants!

Contestant Roundup:

Rami Kashou is a freelance designer from Jeruselam who apparently dressed Jessica Alba up as a schoolteacher from Little House on the Prairie for the VMAs.

Chris March is a costume designer who designs for drag queens! I love him already. He’ll be really good at the off-beat challenges where they have to make dresses out of found objects, as his dress he designed out of a salad is pretty hot.

Christian Siriano looks as though a flowbee, a weed whacker and a pigeon fought to the death on his head. He’s kind of fierce? And kind of a celebrity? And kind of says everything like it’s a question?

Carmen Webber is an ex-model. According to her, you could be a great fashion designer, but if you haven’t modeled, you don’t know the first thing. Interesting.

Jillian Lewis is a designer and illustrator for Ralph Lauren. I would love it if what she designed and illustrates for Ralph Lauren are bedtime stories which she then has to read to him every night. Dude could totally afford to hire someone to do that for him. Also, her shoes look like they may be Prada, but are definitely hideous.

Kit “Pistol” Scarbo is wearing a butterfly barrette. I’m already exhausted. She says, “Kit Pistol is kind of like my Mark Twain. It’s my alias.” And we’re five minutes into the show when I get my first official nemesis of the season. She goes on to tell us that “life is too short to have on a bad outfit.” So how do you explain the BUTTERFLY BARRETTE?

Kevin Christiana looks like Joey Fatone in N*Sync’s heyday. He has very complicated facial hair and goes out of his way to say he’s straight. Straight or not, is there a girl in the world who is all, “ooh, baby. Yeah, give me some of that intricate facial hair. Go after that beard with a zig-zag pinking shear. Unh. You know how I like it?” ‘Cause to me, that’s pretty unsexy. It’s right up there with air-guitar and a dude wearing a top with no bottoms on the list of things that decidedly do not turn me on.

Jack Mackenroth looks way younger than 38.

Steven Rosengard works for the museum of science and industry in Chicago. Aw, he’s going to be the quiet, geeky one of the season. I like him.

Simone LeBlanc has an honest vision. Which makes her unique? I don’t know.

Elisa Jimenez is an accidental fashion designer. She makes marionettes, which is totally creepy.

Marion Lee is a flower shop owner. He’s wearing some sort of ruffled shirt thing that may or may not be made out of a couch.

Ricky Lizalde is a lingerie designer and dancer who comes from a family of 14(!) He gives his intro interview and totally starts crying. It’s not just a game! It’s his life!

“Sweet P” Vaughn. You’ve got to be kidding me. Apparently the name comes from when she was in an all-girl motorcycle club. Oy. She has two tattoos: one of Sweet P, and one of Mean P. Do not like!

Victorya Hong was born in Korea and has always been an overachiever.

The gang gets their first Tyra Mail—oh, wait. Sorry. Project Runway has been off the damn air so long I’ve forgotten what’s going on. Anyway, Heidi and Tim are waiting for the contestants in Bryant Park, home of fashion week. Everybody gets there and enjoys their customary champagne toast, so they get good and tipsy before the first challenge. Tim and Heidi come out and both look crazy-skinny. Tim also appears to be wearing jeans, which, as he would say, “concerns me.”

The first challenge is generally making an outfit out of found objects. This year, Heidi explains, it isn’t. Instead, the designers have to go to tents, which are filled with $50,000 worth of fabric, and create a garment that reflects who they are as a designer. Yawn. When Heidi says “go,” the contestants make a mad dash toward the tents—except for Chris, who just kind of trots behind everybody. They all seem to get the fabric they want. We cut to Elisa getting grass stains all over her chiffon because she wants to infuse it with natural elements. Also, she is insane.

After the commercial break, we get our first “make it work” from Tim. The designers cheer. I have missed this show! Speaking of which, Elisa’s endless babbling about creating a cascading gown like water falling off the back reminds me why I love the Project Runway editors so much. She’s clearly a loon and the bouncy clown music that they chose to underscore her ramblings with lets you know that they think it too. I heart them. What’s even better is that everybody else thinks she’s crazy too (She’s sewing her dress onto herself!). When Christian talks about how she’s like a rain goddess or something, I figure out what’s bothering me about Christian: he’s basically a character Andy Dick would play in a sketch show.

Good ol’ Kit Pistol interviews that she’s worried that the judges might be confused by her designs. I’m confused by her bow necklace and the fact that all of her accessories look like they came out of the ½ off bin at Claire’s.

Tim visits! He makes his rounds and says Rami’s dress is stunning. He’s concerned about Christian’s top, which isn’t symmetrical. Christian, of course, is they guy who is all, “that’s the look I was going for.” Tim doesn’t buy it. Simone has a lot of finishing to do. He wants Elisa to ask herself, “did I take it as far as I needed to?” I don’t really know what that means. Apparently, neither does Elisa, because she just goes to sleep.

There’s 10 minutes left and Christian gets in my favorite line of the episode: “Don’t go into the fear box people!” Words to live by.

It’s model time! Elisa hand measures her model like she’s a horse. Ha! Simone never put the zipper on her dress and has to sew it onto her model. Elisa’s model got all sorts of tangled up in her hot mess of a dress. She says she intuitively thought that she should chop off five feet, but didn’t. I have a sneaking suspicion that’s going to come back to bite her in the ass.


Heidi introduces the judges: Our old favorites Michael Kors and Nina Garcia are joined by designer Monique Lhuillier.

First up, Elisa: Her model, of course immediately gets tangled. The dress looks like 15 dollars worth of spandex with a bunch of crap stapled to the back.

Chris: Purple gown. It has an interesting tie in the back, but otherwise, eh. It seems too short.

Kevin: Some hideous shiny cocktail thing with pinstripes. His model seriously looks like a cocktail waitress in a Sopranos-themed restaurant in Atlantic City.

Sweet P: Red and gold bubble dress. Eh.

Simone: Her dress really does look unfinished. The jacket-thing seems completely superfluous.

Jillian: Red dress that looks like it is physically weighing the model down. I’m afraid she’ll topple at any moment.

Christian: The jacket and skirt are both so puffy; they even make the model look big.

Victorya: Cute but boring black dress with annoying straps and oversized flower.

Rami: It’s basically a grey toga.

Ricky: A silver and black cocktail dress that looks like something one of the Hiltons would wear.

Jack: His dress is the first one that I like. It’s a beautiful black and white pattern with blue sash and blue tie at the neck.

Marion: His dress somehow manages to be porny yet frumpy.

Steven: A very chic suit, but with a crazy bustle in the back.

Carmen: She dressed her model in my grandma’s karaoke night outfits. Well, if my gradma were Judy Jetson, that is.

Kit Pistol: A really cute black and grey pattern strapless dress with a completely fug red…thing over it. Is it a half shirt?

Chris, Kevin, Sweet P, Jillian, Jack, Marion, Steve, Carmen, Kit are all safe.

After further deliberations, in which Nina has absolutely no poker face, the judges determine that Victorya is also in, but the winner is Rami, with his fancy mother-of-the-bride toga. He has immunity in the next challenge. Christian and Ricky are also in. The bottom two are crazy Elisa and boring Simone. PR judges love crazy, so Simone is out. Ah, Simone. We barely knew ye, and we cared even less.