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Season 13 Premiere: Lucky Number 13

Posted By laurareineke 4:29am GMT

Back in the “covered wagon days” when I was a contestant on Season 2 of "Project Runway," neither I --nor Heidi, Tim, and company -- would have ever imagined the show would continue on for eleven more seasons. Yet here we are! All these years later with a new season, new designers and undoubtbly new drama. So let’s see who was lucky or unlucky during this premiere episode of "Project Runway" Season 13.

The episode begins with 18 designers arriving in NYC for one final audition where judges Nina Garcia, Zac Posen and Heidi Klum will get to whittle them down to 15. After the audition, Heidi waves auf wiedersehen to three of the 18 who will have to pack their bags and go home...or be sequestered into an undisclosed location until further notice.

As in any premiere episode of a reality competition show, we get a quick get-to-know-you glimpse of each of the contestants, featuring soundbites from all the designers and judges. The new cast of "characters" is revealed and solidifies very early on who each person is supposed to be: Char, a single mom from Detroit, is self-taught; mousy, quiet Angela from L.A. used to work at an investment bank; Jefferson is fresh from school and used to be a hip-hop dancer; Mitchell is from Ft. Lauderdale and dresses as if he’s going to a Fire Island Bar-B-Q as opposed to an audition interview with Nina, Heidi and Zac; Kini is the bleach-blond guy from Hawaii; Carrie’s designs are considered referential and very Rick Owens; Fade is the "kooky" German who probably wears fanny packs while vacationing; India-born Sandhya had an arranged marriage and has a "definite point of view" (read: she’s the "creative" one); and Hernan is the Latino designer with the questionable taste level according to Miss Nina. Oh, and every other designer seems to reside in Brooklyn (!!??). On a side note: For the last 11 seasons, besides recapping the show, I’ve also had the pleasure of judging the casting/auditions, and this season was no exception. I was happy to see several of the designers I saw (and liked) at the L.A. auditions -- including Kini, Carrie, and Angela -- make it through!

The following day, the 15 designers find out what their first challenge is, as well as the identity of the one final designer who will join them. Last season, this Runway Redemption designer arrived to much flourish disembarking from a plane. This season, not so much. Season 11 designer Amanda Valentine (the sister of a member of Maroon 5, we are reminded), just walks into the workroom like another day at the park. Now, onto the challenge. Since the Grand Prize for the Winning Designer (and the eight runners-up) is to show a spring collection at Fashion Week, this first challenge involves creating a spring look from the fabrics that are inside 16 individual black trunks (five different kinds of fabric in three-yard cuts). The challenge is to give the judges a glimpse of what their collections might look like. And they have one day to do it.

During the workroom time, we get a good view of where the season might take us in terms of the designers and who's who. Already we get hints that Korina (one of the Brooklynites) will be the token not-so-nice one (rhymes with witch); flip-flop boy Mitchell is her Best Gay and “Peanut Gallery” co-gossiper; and (almost) everyone thinks Sandhya’s point of view is tacky and she shouldn’t be there. It may be too soon for me to make this prediction but I have a feeling that in Sandhya we have a new Natalia (from "Under The Gunn") or Patricia Michaels (from Season 11). This classic archetype is praised for creativity but hated by her co-designers.

The Runway
Before we get to the Runway, Heidi announces the Season 13 prize package worth over $300,000: $100,000 from Red Robin, the opportunity to design an accessory for the Red Robin servers (a fabulous fascinator hat and apron, perhaps?), a fashion spread in Marie Claire, Aldo shoes and accessories, Samsung home entertainment, Mary Kay beauty products, Brother sewing studio, and Best Western travel and hotel accommodations to “fashion capitals and other inspiring destinations." Oh yeah, and a Lexus (cough, cough). Moving on...

Judges Heidi, Nina and Zac as well as “Modern Family” actress Julie Bowen are on hand for the first runway show. And mentor Tim is back in his side role to possibly save a designer whom the judges vote out (he gets one "Tim Save" per season). The runway show can be summed up in one word: meh! While a couple did stand out for me, there were some definite clunkers and for the most part everything was a 5 out of 10. I did like Korina’s coral-colored halter jumpsuit. I thought it was chic, slightly edgy and very "Runway," but she didn’t even make the “best” cut (and she was NOT AMUSED, as we saw from her stink face). Carrie’s was also one of my favorites (she also didn’t make the judges’ top). Instead, Amanda, Char and Natalia -- oops, I mean Sandhya -- were the favorites. Amanda and Char’s designs were praised for their construction but it was Sandhya’s creative, albeit not-so-well-made design that won. If there’s a rule on “Project Runway”, it's that creative designs almost always trump the need for good construction. Personally, my favorite was Char's. Her mix of draped and tailored fabrics with the colors really was a strong spring look.

I agreed totally with the judges in regards to the designers on the bottom: Angela’s pants with peek-a-boo side slits and asymmetrical top were a disjointed mess. The pants in particular affected Nina and Tim deeply: Nina called the pants’ slits "sluts" and Tim wondered out loud if Angela’s pants came with "a gift certificate for a Brazilian." Ouch. And then there was Jefferson. Nina -- who’s ON FIRE with the zingers -- said very slowly and deliberately, “W.T.F.” to his top-and-shorts look and called them "a bib" and "big diapers." She was completely right. Jefferson was out, and mousy Angela was in. And (almost) everyone was in shock at Sandhya winning. Get ready kids, because this season looks like it’s going to be another emotional, catty, kooky catwalk ride!


Runway Freefall

Posted By kim_messina 4:10am GMT

"Project Runway" is BAAACK: last night was the premiere of Season 12 of "Project Runway" and there's been some shake-ups. It took almost 10 years (Season 1 debuted in 2004!) and 11 seasons later for "Project Runway" to stir up its own classic format. As the saying goes, "If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it," but obviously someone thought it was time for some fixin'—and some new additions. So before I get to the new cast and my "Nick Two Cents" on this premiere episode, let's discuss:

The New
• First "Project Runway" designer/contestant to be hearing impaired/deaf.
• The runway got a "Hollywood set" makeover—stage lights and video screen.
• New retail partner: Belks—a department store chain with over 300 locations, primarily in the South.
• Instead of weekly challenge money, the designers will get a GoBank Debit Card and will manage their spending for the entire season.
• Anonymous runway show—judges don’t know who’s designs are coming down the runway.
• Tim offers opinions to judges and sits with the judges during runway.
• Tim brings up the top and bottom designs so judges can view them up close and personal.
• Tim Gunn gets to save a designer; only one for the entire season.
• And a prize package estimated at half a million dollars!
I am intrigued by a couple of these new additions, such as the judges not knowing whose designs are coming down the runway and the up close-and-personal look into the garments. (God forbid they did that during my season—several of my hot-glue-and-safety pin-loving cast mates would have been IN TROUBLE!).

Cast of Characters
I had the pleasure of judging the Los Angeles Castings/Auditions—along with Tim Gunn—and was happy to see two of the designers we chose make the final cut: Alexandria von Bromssen (the Aristocratic-sounding Euro from San Mateo) and Bradon McDonald (the former Mark Morris dancer who just graduated from FIDM, my alma mater). Besides these two, there's a bevy of "characters": (among others) a high heel-wearing sustainable fabric-burning unicorn lover; a swarthy mustachioed Russian with a Diva attitude; a costume maker who's made costumes for many Broadway shows including "The Lion King" (my guess is he does drag FOR SURE!); a blond-haired girl who wanted to be a "rockstar"; a posh-sounding Brit with a husband and two gorgeous little kids; a former Army officer; and a tattooed girl with lots of self-confidence.

Color and DRAMA
It is worth noting that there seemed to be more diversity than in any of the previous seasons—in terms of not just one designer of color but several. One thing that is not new is the DRAMA. I hear from a lot of the show's fans in my travels and events and they tell me that they dislike the DRAMA but love the creative process. Well, fans, too bad for you because if the preview of the season is any indication, this season will be DRAMA with a capital "D." So strap on your harness and parachute and get ready for a bumpy fashion free fall. Speaking of parachutes...

Parachutin' Kids
On this first episode of "Project Runway," the 15 designers meet Tim Gunn and Heidi Klum at Wallkill Airpark in Wallkill, NY. As soon as you ask yourself, "But wait, aren't there usually 16 designers on the show?", a small plane flies in for a landing and out comes Kate Pankoke, Season 11 designer who the "Project Runway" fans voted to come back for a second chance. Following Kate's arrival, it was time to look up at the sky. It's a bird? No. It's a plane? Yes. Are those 16 skydivers in colorful parachutes? Si. Soon after the skydivers landed safely (Thank goodness), Tim and Heidi reveal the first challenge: Use parachutes to make an outfit. It's the Unconventional Material Challenge. The designers then make a run to grab which parachutes they will be creating their outfits with. Little Kate becomes Wallkill Roadkill when the designers literally run over her (Poor thang!). The designers then head to Manhattan and their Parsons workroom. Tim meets them there to tell them about their new GoBank Debit Card, the new HP tablet, as well as actual challenge rules: their creations must be mostly of the parachute fabric yet they are able to use some black and white ripstop nylon as their secondary fabric.

Tim Time
The following day, Tim walks in to check on their designs. Sandro (mustachioed Russian Diva) is making a swimsuit (Ummm, OK) and blonde "wanted to be a Rockstar" Angela is doing a too-short trench coat. Sue Waller (a frizzy blonde-haired designer who lived in France and loves using leather) is having sewing issues...as in she says she has never used "this type of sewing machine" (the industrial kind EVERYONE USES!). Part of me wants to slap her upside the head, but I hold back. Tim likes what Alexandria is working on, as well as deems Bradon's (the former dancer) creation very "James Bond-ish." He chastises Miranda (the former Army officer) for not following the rules and using too much of the "supplemental fabric."

Toxic Sustainability
And then there's Timothy, Mr. Sustainable Fabric Earthy Granola Crunchy Milwaukee boy. Bless his heart. He's so deep in his sustainable mantra, that it becomes almost UNSUSTAINABLE to continue to listen to him. Seriously. And then he completely (without realizing) nullifies all the sustainability talk when he burns man-made nylon polyester parachute fabric (and thereby releasing toxic fumes in the air) in order to achieve a special treatment to his creation. File under: Oh these kids. He has also been training his model to do a performance art walk down the runway. His model is probably all of 19 years-old and has A) NEVER seen or attended a performance art piece, B) never taken jazz or modern dance classes and C) has no clue of what poor Timothy is talking about. It comes as no surprise when on runway day, she doesn't do ANY of what Timothy told her to do.

Nouveau Runway
Day of the first Season 12 runway show and the designers are busy in their makeup and hair consultations. Mr. Sustainable Burning Man Timothy, tells the L'Oreal makeup and hair experts that NO makeup or hair products should be used on his model—as well as NOTHING that is plugged in, causing all the hair and makeup team to use their inside voice and say, "This guy is CRAY-CRAY." I respect his "I am the Queen of Milwaukee Sustainability" shtick but still...I'm beginning to think Timothy is doing all this for more air time (PS: it's working). On the runway, we get to see the "new" set73151;with stage lights and video screen. Heidi, Nina Garcia, as well as designer Zac Posen are back. Actress Kate Bosworth is the celebrity guest judge. It is then announced that Tim will sit with the judges as opposed to what he has done for the last 11 seasons (sit off to the side away from the cameras). He's not judging but seeing if this is the time to save a designer. In addition, Heidi announces the "anonymous runway" factor.

Billowy Top
When the designs come down the runway, I instantly know which are my faves: I love Jeremy's (Brit boy) parachute pants. I also think little Kate did well with her canary yellow dress. I was shocked that some of my favorites ended up in the middle and safe. But, oh well, better safe than in the "uh oh" pile. I was surprised by Sue's (the leather-loving designer) directional creation. It was one of my Top (as well as the judges). Her look was so gallery-owner fashionista. I gave her extra points for getting the front length perfectly right. Speaking of judges, this was the time when Tim brought out the Top and Bottom designs and the judges got up close-and-personal with the creations (Oh dear!). I read somewhere that Tim Gunn said that Zac was "surprised at how badly made the designs were." Well, dear Zac, I'd like to see what you can do in eight hours. Just sayin' Part Deux. Moving on...it came as no surprise (to me at least) that the eventual winner of this first challenge was the beautiful creation of former dancer Bradon. It was exactly what one does with parachute fabric. It glided, it had gorgeous movement, drama and runway sensibility. Oh, and his model was GORGEOUS; so "Vintage YSL Muse." Congrats Bradon!

Not Enough Parachute, Un-Sustainable Styling, V-JAY-JAY Spotting and Too Short Poncho
Now on to the bottom. Oh Timothy. You and your high heels (Were those glittery heels sustainable?!). You leave your model barefoot with no makeup and hair and with burnt yellow nylon parachute fabric. And then there's Sandro "Mustachioed Russia Diva." Remember his so-called swimsuit he was making? Well, it turned into much more than that. He showed the model's CHA CHA, in other words: her V-JAY-JAY—in the outfit he created. It was unforgiveable. Zac called it a "slutty cat toy." Heidi deemed it "a disaster." Yet, somehow, he was safe. Also on the bottom were Miranda, the former Army officer (because she didn't utilize enough of the actual parachute fabric), as well as blonde-haired "rockstar" Angela. She made a hooded poncho—and nothing else. It was too short and it was missing something (a bottom perhaps?). As a result, she was the first designer out. And no, Mr. Gunn did not save her. One challenge done and lots more to go. Who will be the next "Project Runway" winner? Stay tuned kids, we've got a whole season ahead of us and clearly much more DRAMA to come!


Collaborate, Communicate, Eliminate

Posted By kim_messina 4:25am GMT

It’s a new year, a new "Project Runway" season—and a new judge to boot! We’re onto Season 11 if you can believe it, and immediately, the familiar faces of Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn pop up on the screen to announce that this is going to be a "different" type of season, one with a "little twist": TEAMS! Every challenge for this new season is a Team Challenge, they declare. Klum and Gunn say that this will be a chance for the designers to work together, collaborate and communicate (yeah right!). Oh, and they forget to say CAUSE FABULOUS REALITY TV DRAMA. I have two words for it all: Oh Dear! Also, Thank GOODNESS I didn’t wait until Season 11 to be on the show. Amen.

Casting Gold
The new batch of designers has no idea of this "little twist" as they make their way to Manhattan and Parsons. We are introduced to our Season 11 cast of characters, which includes everything from a cute Latina (Layana Aguilar), African-Americans, Whites, a Native American (Patricia Michaels), a funeral home director (Cindy Marlatt), the gays (naturally), straight boys (?), foreigners (Australian Benjamin Mach), a mustachioed guy who can somehow afford a $4,350 "Bird of Paradise"-printed Givenchy Men’s Spring/Summer 2012 jacket (Daniel Esquivel), a girl who looks like everyone’s fun hairstylist (Michelle Lesniak Franklin), a guy whose last name is Hallmarq-yes, like the Birthday Card—but with a Q!—and a cute girl straight out of the HBO series "Girls" (Emily Pollard). This last girl instantly declares that she’s going to win it all and all the other designers should begin packing and go home. My sixth sense tells me she'll be regretting every word she said.

I Remember…
I had the pleasure of being one of the casting judges last year for Season 10, but little did I know that we were also choosing the designers who might also make it to Season 11 (slaying two birds with one casting stone, as it were). I remember seeing Benjamin (Australian), Cindy (funeral director), as well as several of the others and saying "yes or maybe" to them all. I was happy to see that they actually made it on the show, even if it was a season later.

After all 16 designers are assembled, Heidi and Tim enter the room to much hootin', hollerin' and OMG's; it was very "America’s Next Top Model" when the models meet Tyra. Their faces quickly turned from wide happy smiles to "Oh HAILLL No!" when the Fab Duo tells the cast that this season is "Project Runway Teams!" Before they could run out the door and catch the next AirTrain to JFK, Heidi separated them into two teams and informs them of their first challenge: to create a garment that shows who they are as designers within a "team" setting. Their inspiration: New York City. The teams separate and go on their merry way. Team "Keeping It Real" gets to see NYC "from afar" (on a boat trip) and "Dream Team" gets to view the Manhattan skyline "from above" (from The Atlas Apartments rooftop).

Why Aren’t They at Parsons?
After their champagne and canapé-filled day trips, both teams meet up at their new workrooms at 1407 Broadway. Side note: I wonder if they were filming Season 10 at the same time as this season and therefore the Season 11 designers weren’t able to be at the "regular" "Project Runway" workroom at Parsons. Moving on...Tim Gunn enters and tells the designers that they will again use the fabulous HP Tablets, Brother Sewing Room as well as have access to the Lord & Taylor Wall and L’Oreal Paris Makeup Room. After caucusing, sketching and collaborating, they all head to Mood where they have $1,200 (which averages out to $150 per designer) to buy fabric and trims.

Analyze Me Not
Back in the workroom, they begin their draping, pattern making and fabric cutting. "Native American Patricia" is hand painting fabric to mimic the NY window cityscape she witnessed on her boat ride; "Funeral Home Cindy" is mixing prints and "Mustache Daniel" is schooling many in his team, showing them proper draping/cutting techniques. Tim walks in for his critiques. Here’s where it gets interesting. Not only does Tim give his "two cents," but so do their corresponding team members. To be frank, as someone who has been designing for over 20 years, owns a decade-old design company, I’m not sure if I would’ve had the patience to have been appraised by a "young-ums" who just got out of design school and barely began post-school work. Most of the designers seemed OK with it—for now. But I venture to guess, their claws will come out and, as Heidi and some of the judges later suspect, things might get sketchy and ugly between designers during these "critiquing times."

Ban The Glue Gun
Day of the runway and the designers are putting their final touches on their creations, except for "HBO’s 'Girls' Emily." She barely has anything done. She proclaims that the only thing on her mind is "to finish something." Ya Think? She ends up gluing most of her mess of a top (Can we PLEASE BAN the hot glue gun once and for all?!) and "Funeral Home Cindy" even makes a skirt for her since otherwise, her model would have been walking bottom-less down the runway.

The Part of Michael Kors Will Be Played By…
Finally it’s show time. Heidi walks in, announcing a change in the "Project Runway" Judging Program: Michael Kors is "Out" (for now) and designer Zac Posen is "In." Running a billion dollar Fashion Empire can be daunting so Kors probably wanted some "Project Runway"-free time, on some fabulous island. Nina Garcia is there (Gracias a Dios—I thought my Colombian Diva would have been with Kors on a Seychelles Holiday too!). Guest judge is Christian Siriano, Season 4 Winner. The designs come down the runway with Team Keeping It Real first, followed by Dream Team. According to Heidi, there would be one winning team—with the winning designer—and one losing team with the worst design.

Dior Couture Redux
It was pretty obvious who had the best: Mustache Daniel, Native American Patricia, and painted tunic was sleek and gallery owner-esque and Richard created a very "NYC girl" gray and black asymmetrical jersey number that screamed Heidi K. while walking with her kids through the East Village. Daniel’s was the most finished and chic, by far. He created a black exaggerated peplum jacket with cropped skinny trousers that looked very Paris. In fact Zac Posen hinted at it. I won’t hint here, I’ll call it out: it was VERY Raf Simons for Dior Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2012. I’m surprised Nina didn’t say how referential it was. But…it was still superb, well made and therefore got a rightly-deserved win.

Dream Team-The Good and the Not-So-Muchey
The Dream Team therefore was the worst. It was kind of sad since a couple of my favorite looks of the entire night (as well as Heidi's) came from designers on that team including Benjamin’s airy chiffon dress (modern and beautiful) and Tu Suthiwhat Nakchat’s two-piece outfit (so directional and very Thierry Mugler/Claude Montana—for 2013). James, Cindy and Emily brought the entire team down with their tacky-licious and uninspired creations. Posen called James' skirt and top "pedestrian" (Ouch!). She looked like a girl going out for a Jr. Assistant job…in 1998. Cindy’s printed dress with a checkered waistband was more Mom on a Carnival Cruise to Aruba than NYC (their supposed inspiration).

Go Pack Your Bags Emily
But it was Emily—and that mess of a top—that was the obvious worst. She glued half of it and didn't even sew a closure. Oh, yes, and Cindy made her skirt. This was a situation when someone made it onto "Project Runway" that just wasn't ready. From the editing, it almost seemed as if they would keep Emily as the judges were making excuses for her. I was prepared to throw something at the TV, if in fact they decided to keep her. But alas, they did not. With all the "built in" drama being directed at the designers for this 11th season, they will have to heed Heidi’s words and communicate, collaborate in order not to be eliminated. Good luck designers!


A Times Square Anniversary Party!

Posted By kim_messina 3:57pm GMT

Eight Years, Ten Seasons

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!