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Season 13 Premiere: The Self-Confidence Issue

By laurareineke Fri., Jul. 25, 2014 ,4:29 am EDT

"Project Runway" Season 13. Yes, Season 13. I can’t believe it, and yes, I am feeling old. Is there any undiscovered talent even left in America? Maybe it is just the "lucky" number 13, or my lack of favorites last season, but I started this season with not much faith in the franchise. However, after only a few minutes, I am happily surprised.

The show starts with the big announcement that there will be three designers cut after showcasing a three-piece collection to Heidi, Nina and Zac. I wonder why they do this, and just don't cut the wheat from the chaff before they start filming. I suppose it's to fill the extra 30 minutes, and the need to do something different season to season, but it just seems a bit cruel and unecessary to me.

Our three judges remain. Heidi is her usual excited self, Zac remains rather droll, and perhaps because my heart has softened since having a baby, Nina seems an bit extra “Nina-ish” to me -- very short and to-the-point. Unlike some of the designers she clearly doesn't lack self-confidence.

Korina is the first designer to share her designs. I absolutely love the three pieces that she shares. If the other designers are at her level, this is going to be a great season. Jefferson is next, and although I love his story, and that he knows the body well, it doesn't seem to carry on to his designs, noticeably the super cropped jackets that just don’t seem like they would be flattering on many women. We then have a few more designers that don’t really capture my attention -- until Mitchell. While his designs don’t blow me away, I LOVE his personality. He has a great sense of humor. He seems to be sassy without being bitchy; although after a week of no sleep, we will see how that holds up. Tim also keeps me laughing, and I do think that he has an interesting point of view.

In reference to self-confidence, it is clear that Angela is sorely lacking in that department. It is such a shame because she is such a beautiful, smart and talented woman. I thought her designs were pretty, but I do agree with the judges that they lack excitement. Ultimately it did not seem to matter, because she was selected to move forward to the next round. I was surprised and disappointed that Tim was not selected, but I'm still feeling optimistic about those who were chosen.

So now the real action starts! Of course we are greeted with product placements (Aldo! Not bad. But...a refrigerator? I can only imagine that future challenge) and mystery trunks. The PR gods (producers) are kind and the trunks are filled with usable fabric. (I say usable because I totally got screwed with unusable/last-choice fabric on "All Stars," and clearly know the importance of fabric.) We start seeing sketches and nothing is really moving me too much. Then again, how often do the designs actually end up looking like the sketches on this show anyways? Time limits bring desperate measures, and usually this significantly changes the garments. While working, everyone seems pretty normal (it IS the first day), except Angela, who keeps showcasing her lack of confidence. Korina and Mitchell just love to gossip. I have a feeling that because Korina lacks the comedic personality, this will ultimately haunt her, while Mitchell will walk away unscathed (granted, a VERY early prediction).

Runway time!!

Sandhya – Love the idea of it, especially the unique take on the cold-shoulder trend. It is creative, but lacks finishing. Also, and it could just be me, but the zippers seem a little "been there done that."

Angela - Again, I like the idea of the pants, but the finishing is off. The top is interesting, but too many ideas in one piece! Needs editing.

Alexander – Not a favorite. Not crazy about the mixing of those prints, and although I like the silhouette, it is a bit basic. Nevertheless, it is a nice nod to the '60s. Middle of the road.

Sean - LOVE this. Great seaming and a sexy back. I'm a fan.

Carrie – The piece looked finished, and I love what she did with the print, but as "futuristic" as this tried to look, it ended up just looking dated.

Samantha – A chic look, but the pants seem a little short, and it is probably not the greatest choice to go with black for a spring look.

Mitchell – Wayyyy too "junior"-looking. The back of the shirt needs to hang down longer to give any real feel of "cool."

Kini - I really like this floral dress! I think he should have skipped the jacket and showcased the dress a bit more. I also think a lower neckline or small cutout would have kept the look a little younger.

Jefferson – Very student-y. The shorts are too high-waisted, and way too short, combined with a top that just needed more movement.

Emily – Bottom choice for me. The dress is just too long, and looks odd under the corset top. To me it looked ridiculously simple, and very questionable (Tim, where art thou?).

Hernan – I really thought this dress could have been a winner – in fact, I want one! He took a dated print and made it modern. He had interesting cuts in the back, but they did not clash with the print. Well done!

Korina – Great color, but ultimately safe. I actually think it would have been stronger as a dress, or as extremely wide-legged trousers. And please, please, lose the train.

Kristine – Not feeling this one. It is just way too juvenile, and honestly I can’t think of who would wear this. Maybe the top, or maybe the bottom, but for god's sake, it is much too much together.

Amanda – Just okay. I have seen the pants (not into the half triangles). The top was cute, but it was not strong enough to carry the outfit.

Fade – I thought this also could have been a winner. I was surprised by how cool this dress was in comparison to the three pieces that he chose to show the judges earlier. Looked super expensive and modern. Well done!

Char - I liked this. The skirt has been seen a million times but she pulled it off with great aplomb. The top was beautiful.

Judgment time! Well, I can't say I agreed with the judges (déjà vu), but it is early days yet. The top three ended up being Amanda, Sandhya, and Char, while the bottom three were Mitchell, Jefferson, and Angela. With Sandhya being the winner of the first challenge, is there any question this was a smack down to Mitchell and Korina's bitching earlier in the episode? And Jefferson, who seemed like a nice guy, with questionable taste, gets the axe.

In the end my favs didn’t get recognized but luckily none of them got sent home.