A Times Square Anniversary Party!
Happy 10th Anniversary "Project Runway"! As a member of the "Runway Club" (it's like the Mickey Mouse Club, but more fashionable), it's not surprising that the show has survived this long. Back in 2005, when I did Season 2, I knew that I was going to be part of something that was iconic in TV History. The show premiered almost 8 years ago and well, as we now know, it has become the "Grand-Daddy" of all Fashion Reality Competition Shows. In fact, last week, while on a trip to Mykonos, Greece, I was switching channels and stumbled on Greek TV and guess what was on my hotel TV? Season 6 of "Project Runway"! In Greece! Say no more. 2012 marks the Tenth Season of the show and last night's premiere was a doozy so let's get to the Recap'ing shall we.Center of the Universe Fashion Bang
It is quickly revealed that the first challenge and runway show is taking place in the HEART of NYC, "Center of the Universe": Times Square, for the first time EVAH! Models are under a tent squeezing into their clothes; designers are putting the last minute touches on their garments and the Stars of the show Heidi, Tim, Nina and Michael are greeting the crowd with a Champagne toast. Cut to the previous day...The Who, What and Where Are You From
Since Season 3, I have had the privilege to judge the castings and this past Spring, I took part in the LA Castings for Season 10. I, obviously, had no idea who would make the Final 16, so it was with great delight to see several of the designers I saw during those castings, actually make it onto the show. This included Elena (Miss Futuristic Thierry Mugler-meets-Claude Montana-meets Lady Gaga), the lovely Beatrice "jersey knit" and blonde-haired Melissa, who loves black and edgy.JapaFro, Dumpster Diving and Christian Siriano 2.0
Besides these three ladies, we quickly get to scope out the rest of this season's talent and characters. Speaking of characters, between Buffi the "Roller Girl" with her sequined hot pants and Kooan "JapaFro"/Harajuku Boy hair and style antics, it's a tough one as to who is the most kooky (Team Kooan is my choice!). There's also earthy-crunchy-hipster Fabio, the first ever "Freegan" (He searches dumpsters for food say WHAT!?), dark and serious Dmitry from Belarus who used to do Ballroom Dancing (Love that!) and the requisite bitchy Twinky Gays cutie Christopher, Christian Siriano 2.0 Gunnar and Raul "Pointy Hair McBitchy." Other designer highlights include the grandma of the bunch, 58 year old Andrea who has a BA, an MA and MFA, in everything but the sun, Lantie, who likes Snakeskin bibs and Ven, Mr. Couture.Now That's a Well-Made Suit Mr. Gunn
Their first challenge involved bringing one look from home that best exemplifies their design aesthetic. But then Tim Gunn after the requisite "Welcome to Parsons," and "How do you like my custom-made windowpane plaid suit, tie and hankie ensemble," tells them that they must create a second companion look in one day and with a $100 budget. It's "Make It Work" time! He then officially tells them that the fashion show will take place in Times Square. After screams of "OMG! I will be a STAR!" they all get to drawing, Mood-shopping and Parsons work time.Beatrice Sewing Fail
During the workroom, there is evidence of who is doing well (Ven, hello!) and who might not. In the "Might Not" column, Beatrice admits that designing is her forte but sewing ... not so mucheey. Time for a "Nick Side Bar": Beatrice grew up in a family who owned fashion manufacturing businesses for TWENTY years! At the LA castings, we thought this would be an asset. It would seem that she ate, slept and breathed sewing machines and sergers. She gets on "Project Runway" and can barely sew a knit v-neck collar. What gives?! What was she doing the entire time at her parents businesses?! Brushing her pretty long hair?! I digress. Let's just get to the runway show and the Top and Bottom.Crochet Pooping From a Dress and Draped Flower Couture
We're in Times Square, thousands of fans, tourists and photographers everywhere, all trying to get a glimpse of the fashion madness. In the middle of it all are the judges: Heidi, Nina, Michael, actress Lauren Graham and the first-ever "Project Runway" guest judge, Patricia Field, of "Sex And the City" styling fame. Here's the rundown: there are some crafty student projects for sure. Lantie, what were you thinking with the crochet-pooping-from-a-dress look? And Andrea BA MA MFA Katz her second hooped-skirted look was from a Cirque du Soleil show that never made it to Vegas. Good ones for me, included Ven's elegant Angel Sanchez-meets-Giambattista Valli ensembles, as well as cutie Christopher's bias-cut paneled backless and fishtail gown. These last two were the top, naturally. I would have picked Ven, only for the fact that BOTH of his looks were sublime whereas Christopher only really had ONE strong winner (His LBD's fit was awkward at best and the zipper buckling was wonky). But alas, Christopher won. And congrats for that first challenge win. Now to the bottom.The First One Out
Kooky Kooan created two cartoony looks that I was sure costume designer/stylist Patricia Field would love, but even she wasn't in on the joke. Kors rightly called one of his looks "teletubby"-like. True. His designs were very Agatha Ruiz de la Prada (Look her up kids she's from Spain), but they need a bit of refinement. Less cartoon, more couture. Lantie and Beatrice were also at the bottom (No surprise there). This was a tough one and I probably would have bet money on Lantie being out only for her mud-colored tulle, snakeskin bib and pooping crochet concoctions. But ... it was pretty Beatrice who was the first one Auf'ed. Her two looks were uninspired and sad as La Klum pointed out. What a bummer to be the first one out for sure. When she came for the LA Castings, I warned her that she would have to do something more than knits and that might be her Achilles Heel. I never would have guessed that her downfall would be because A) she sewed poorly and B) her clothes would be deemed sad looking. She was so nice and cute too. Oh well, one down, fourteen more to go until we have a Season 10 winner! Oh, and did I mention how excited I am that "Project Runway" is BAAACK?! Oh yeah, I just did!