Friday, July 30, 2010

Project Runway - Season 8 - Episode 1 - "And We're Baaaaaaaaaack!"

Is it me or was that the shortest hiatus ever?  Granted, I've been busier than Tim Gunn at a Macy's suit sale, but still, it seems like just yesterday Seth Aaron was crowned the (obvious) Season 7 winner:

"But enough time has passed that you forgot
about my horribly out of control faux hawk, didn't you?"

Either way, it's a new season so let's get to it!

First up - the format change! 

Now the show is 90 minutes, thanks to Models of the Runway being auf'd by the network.  Interesting.  I'll miss MOTR only because we got to know the models a bit better and had more people to root for.  So far, there's not much incorporation of the models names or anything in PR yet.  (The only fun fact we learn this episode about our uber-skinny friends is that one gal has "big boobs for a model."  Wheeeeee.)  But I'll let it slide for this episode as there were 179340834 designers to introduce, so we'll see how that plays out down the line.

Another format change is that there are now soundbites from Frau Heidi and Herr Gunn.  I enjoyed this change, however the opening where they summed up each contestant in a quick bite was jarring.  It was a montage of a bunch of names and faces I didn't know and with a blitzkrieg of information my OCD brain didn't know how to categorize and store.  It was not helpful, it was disjointed and panic inducing: "Was that it?  Was that all the introduction we get?!"  (But during this part, Heidi says "figger" instead of "figure."  This has nothing to do with anything other than I think it's absolutely adorsables.)

I enjoyed that the new designers all met in different parts of the city (instead of the tired meeting in the apartment and champagne on the roof bull honkey for the past 7 seasons) but sadly this too felt quite produced.  BUT!  I do have to hand it to the producers, they TRIED to make it different.  They listened.  We, the audience, were bored to tears.  We blogged, tweeted and yell-typed about it last season until our fingers and social media devices bled.  So they tried and for that, I approve.  (Because I know they were waiting with baited breath to see if I did or not... you know, because my opinion matters SO MUCH...)

The Characters:

Let's just talk about the stand-outs, shall we?  Let's start with Casanova.  Or as I like to call him, "The New Ping."

"Casanova is my real last name.
Not my fake one.  Which is Smith."

This guy is out of his league.  I said it.  I have no idea if it's due to his loose grasp on the English language, the culture differences or that his pants are too tight and cutting off blood to his brain, but my lord this guy is in trouble in my early (and humble!) opinion.  

(NOTE:  Remember that I can not sew.  I can not design and I certainly can not style myself.  But I can pass judgement like a champ.)

Next up in the clown parade, Mondo:

"If Orville Redenbacher and John Leguizamo had a baby,
it'd be me.  Cheese!"

Quiet, soft spoken and odd.  A little like Malvin from last season (but so far, no egg outfit).  And he's one of the only designers to not already have a line already produced.  Tim mentions that he was blown away by him at his audition.  So we'll see where Orville Leguizamo takes us this season.

And this season has a biddy on it: PEACH!

"I hope there's cheese cake 
and midnight talks about St. Olaf."

I'm glad that there's a sassy elder on the show.  And she's not even really old.  Oh right, this is America, she may as well be dead.  When you turn 50 you are considered a museum piece.  Let's hope she doesn't turn to dust during the run.  I KID!  I KID!  I'll send her some Viactiv just to make sure she's okay.

The last overt character, as far as I can tell, is Jason:

"I say old chap, have I mentioned that I'm straight yet?
I'm straight.  As an arrow.  No, ignore the hat."

OH JASON.  You silly man.  Not only do you have the dandy hat, you wear a corset with your sewing tools attached.  

"No, for real, I'm straight.  WHAT?"

What the hell, dude?  You're like a modern day Sweeney Todd.  I do not get you, sir.  I do not get you.  I know you say you're straight, but for real... you're pushing it.

OH.  And this next guy isn't really a character, but here's who I think is a super cutie and has replaced Season 6's Logan as my heart's desire...  Christopher...

"First thing tomorrow, I'm taking out a restraining
order on The New Old Biddy."

And HEY, Heidi thinks he's cute too.  So nyah.  I'm allowed.  I'm not dead yet.  As a matter of fact, Heidi and I are the same age.  She just has a lot more to show than I do.  Although I'm certain that I have more crows feet to show.  Anyhoo - let's just gawk and Christopher for a moment, shall we?

"I'm the hot dude in the middle of two awkward dudes.  
Ooops, sorry lady."

"When I make this face it seems as though I care when you speak,
and girls dig that."

Alright, back to the show... begrudgingly... oh Christopher's cute.  (And I still need to get out more....)


Everybody made it to Lincoln Center where Fashion Week has been relocated from Bryant Park.  

And they finally get to meet Heidi and Tim...

Heidi:  "Another season?"
Tim: "Yep.  I'm already drinking."

Tim: "Come closer, I want to motor boat your face.
Wubba wubba wubba wubba..."

Oh dear.  Anyhoo...  Heidi tells the designers that there is a twist already in the game:  They are still auditioning to be on the show.  Um, technically, this is episode 1, so they are on the show.  So it's not really a twist.  It's an episode with an elimination.  Um, that's standard.  Right?

Heidi tells them to open their suitcase and take out on piece of clothing.  She then tells them to pass it to the right and that the garment they receive will be incorporated into the look they will make for the runway show that will happen after just 5 hours of work time.  Everybody drops a figurative brick at the announcement.

Casanova is particularly put out by the news as he pulled out a pair of pants that cost $1070.  REALLY, CASANOVA???  I think if you put ALL my clothes together they wouldn't be worth that much and you dropped that kind of coin on ONE PAIR OF FREAKING PANTS?  

"Hello, Pants.  You are the only person who understands Casanova."

Don't they look like you could just get another pair for $60 at The Gap?  Moving on...

"5 hours to sew and no champagne?  Bullshit!"

At Parsons, they all get set up at their work stations and Tim lets them know that Mood has created an annex at Parsons so they don't have to travel to get their fabrics.  

"Thank you, Moooooooooooood!"

The designers are assigned models randomly (damn, no awkward kickball team line-ups!) and they all just get sewing.  Some have problems, others don't.  Some designers are focused on soooo heavily in the episode that I know they will not be joining us for the rest of the season (that apparently hasn't started yet).  Others are down right ignored to the point where when I see them later on I exclaim, "Where the hell did that person come from??!" (Note: I also startle easily...)

There's a lot of talking in this episode...  too much to sum up that really doesn't have much to do with the runway results.  So... Yakkedy-shmackedy,  let's jump to the runway!

Guest Judge... Selma Blair:

"I love a good bang."

"Me too!  We're talking about sex, right?"


"Oh thank God we get to sit down now..."


She turned a kilt into a collar.  A'ight.  This look is fine, and I agree that she should be safe and part of Season 8 (whatever) but the front side bustle isn't doing it for me.  Somehow it makes the fabric look like cheap car seat leather.  But her Piperlime accessories were indeed thoughtfully chosen.  (GAG.)

Michael C:

Yeah.  It's fine.  Again, this was a five hour challenge, so for five hours, great!  Although the severe side part on the model is off putting.  Looks like she's combing over a Bump-it.


Hmmmmmm.  I don't know.  Is it the dress I don't like, or the model.  Or the color?  Or the model's hair?  Or all of it?  Okay, all of it.  Sewn well, but YOINKS.  The color.  The blandness.  I've seen couches at nursing homes with more personality (and mystery colors).


Okay.  A little Corpse Bride for my taste, but I'd wear a hoodie to a wedding, so what do I know...


I could do without the "funeral maitai hat" as it makes the outfit look over done.  Yeah, it's the hat's fault...


YAY!  He's safe!  YAY!  Oh yeah, nice dress. YAY! CUTIE PANTS IS SAFE! (I know... shut up.)


Oh sweet lord in heaven, is that prison gear?  It looks like if you were making a women in prison film for a "sexy" film.  Why are her lips the color of death?  What the hell?  Is it me or is this crew a little morbid?


Not sure about the boob bandages, but other than that...  Actually I don't like much of any of it.  The colors are weird and it looks like she was given a brown paper bag as her initial item.  

Michael D:


Side note:  I'm guessing hats are the new faux hawks this season with designers....


Sweet.  Cute.  I like it, but couldn't wear it.  She had a knitted scarf to use and it fell apart whenever she touched it.  So she used it in the neck and a little poof in the back.  She did what she could and looks like the broad knows how to sew.  But I worry about her fabric choices.  (See Ivy's look in the "barely safe" section...)

WINNER:  GRETCHEN (aka Granola Girl)

Our green designer from Portland pulls out a win in this non-season-8-opener-non-opener-non-episode.  I'm confused by this dress as a win as it's just a black dress.  Yes, she has weird applique (spelling??) fabric to start with, but... really?  This is the winner?  Hmph.

BARELY SAFE, but invited to Season 8...


Um... zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.  He used the ribbing from a bomber jacket to make the awkward stole thing on her shoulders.  Needless to say, it bombed.  (I'm here all week, folks!)


AHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Are they remaking "Thriller" because this would work.  There's a lengthy discussion about how can you tell if something is deconstructed well before you know if the designer can construct.  I dunno.  I think if it looks like crap, it's crap.  This is safe only because there is worse to come...


She got Peach's toile pants and made... capris!  The judges were not impressed with that nor with the shirt.  I admit, not the best effort, but glad she's still there as I like her personality and I think she got stuck with only 5 hours to make something.  Hopefully she's learned she needs to push to stay on the show.  


HOT MESS.  This is a hot disaster and deserved to go home.  He basically took the kimono he was given and turned it around. Then he used a stapler.  A FREAKING STAPLER.  Does he have a Staples Easy Button on his tool corset?  Holy Versace I don't even know where to begin.  Her hair is a scary mess, the boots are unsavory and the look on the model's face screams "get me outta here."  Oh and by the way, this is our "busty" model friend.  Yeah.  She's busty.  The straight guy made sure to say so.  


In his defense, he got a flowy shirt as his garment to use.  However, he didn't need to be so literal.

This "outfit" is atrocious.  Selma says it looks like it would be sold at a store called Dazzles that sells wigs and dresses.  (I think she just shared a little bit about where she bought her wig hair today, kids...)  It's just a miss.  Kors calls her a pole dancer from Dubai.  (I hear Dubai is requesting an apology.)  This look too should have gone over the one that is ultimately auf'd.

Oh and in a PR first, Nina had to ask Casanova in Spanish why he should stay on the show.  I was so taken by her Spanish that I didn't listen to his answer.  But I think that's okay because it probably made little sense in the end.

AUF'D...  McKell:

I knew she was leaving based on how much energy they put into her story/character in this non-episode.  In short: This should not have gone home.  Casanova or Jason should have been in the bottom 2 for sure, but not this.  It's constructed well.  Oh sure, the bag is a disaster according to the judges, and so is her hair, but HEY THERE, FOLKS, SHE CAN SEW.  I'm not so sure about Casanova and Jason.  

McKell: "I call shenanigans.  
And I'm not talking about my hair which I call Predator Chic."

So right off the bat, the judging makes no sense and I am angered.  Is that good or bad television?

And there you have it - the first not-episode of not-season-8!  It's all uphill from here, kids!

"That's right, I spell 'bitches' without the 't' cuz I'm an artist."

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  1. I thought McKell was robbed. If it wouldn't have shown so much side boob, I'd see myself wearing that dress. There were much larger train wrecks than hers.

  2. How the hell did Mitchell.. er Ping... er Casanova stay? Oh right, drama and storyline - not actual talent.

    Why did the judges seem more concerned with the styling then the dress? I can't remember another time when I heard the term "styling" so much. Who cares!!! Talk about the dress!

    McKell shouldn't have gone home. I can tell I'm not going to like Kristin. Or Jason ("what's your nationality?" Really?). I like Peach. And who buys $1070 pants?

    How is this a final audition to be on the show?I'm pretty sure they are currently on my television, the guide says "Project Runway" and they just made a garment, sent it down the runway and got judged You're not officially on the show until you check into your room? And what happened to Models of the Runway? If it hadn't been for the original MOTR, I would have stopped watching during the season that should not be named.

    An hour and a half show and all I'm left with is a bunch a questions!

  3. Well.... it's better than last season? I ask it as a question because I'm still not sure based on the end result of the episode. Leaving Casanova and Jason on seemed more like a production decision than a fashion one. Oh... and Casanova didn't answer the question even after Nina translated! He said what he possibly did wrong with the dress, not why he should stay on the show. That boy is crazy in two languages.

    My two favorites are Peach for personality and Christopher for eye candy cuteness. And they both made nice clothes, so that is a bonus. Please don't let either of them turn into the villain!

    I'm also hoping we get to know the models a little bit. Nicholas's model was gorgeous! April's was odd.... but maybe that is because she styled her hair to look like half of her head exploded!

    Hoping next week is a little better since we won't have the bizzare opening clips.

  4. Why the heck did they send McKell home? Why were they interested in what Jason has to offer? I'm glad to be back on the Project Runway train. :)

  5. Oh honey WELCOME BACK, how we’ve missed your blogs!
    I’ll admit I completely spaced on A that the season was starting and B that the show was on until about 10 minutes left in the show (90 min every week….really?!) so I bailed knowing that Jennifer would catch me up and girl you did not disappoint.
    Does anyone else think A.J looked a lot like Daniel from a few seasons ago?
    The meeting in diff parts of the city sounds very real worldish to me, are there going to be drunken brawls too?! However like yours aid they tried to mix it up a bit so BRAVO, oh wait my bad. 5 hours is insane to me, I’d be a little miffed if I went all the way there, went straight to work had 5 hours to make it happen, and then went home without so much as a don’t let the door hit you line from Tim. I’ll reserve judgment until next week when I promise not to forget again !

  6. yeah...I hated the opening of the show...I started rolling my eyes within the first 5 seconds...if they wanted to include Gunn and Klum's opinions then they shouldn't have made it so choppy and forced. They sounded like they were reading from cue cards. And badly written ones at that. Horrible.

    And god...he made me laugh at the hat intimidating remark but other than talent. He did absolutely nothing to his garment. No style. No creativity. No taste. Ugh. He should have left. At least Casanova tried to do something (though with hideous results).

    I don't have much hope for this started badly and ended badly. I want more focus on the garments. I want more honest reactions to being kicked off the show or handed their asses by the judges...this whole "I'll be ok, I'll be back" crap gots to go! Especially if I felt I should still be on the show, you can bet your butt I'd be very honest with my feelings. Geez...

    Over all: LAME.

    Great blog though!

  7. McKell shouldn't have gone home, the design was cute. It could have been improved but she only had 5 hours. Casanova, Jason or Ivy should have gone home. Ivy made ugly pants into uglier capris. Jason had 5 hours and it looked like he did nothing. Casanova sent a mostly nude model down the runway and what little was there wasn't pretty or interesting.

    Glad the blog is back!

  8. I about peed over your Mondo= John Leguizamo + Orville hahaahaha! My fav piece was AJ's. I thought Gretchen's was a period movie costume piece, who would really wear that and where?!?! The prominent spot of the staple gun on Jason's corset tool belt should have gotten a close up shot on the show, it is clearly his go to tool (WTH?!). He is also a super creep, what professional would be all creepy (sorry no better word) about his model's boobs?! He should have gone home.

    Are you going to comment on The Santino and Austin Show? I loved it, I adore them. I hope for some Santino singing and Austin sporting their gowns.

  9. Can we all just give a big collective "WHEW!!"

    Cuz we were left last season with a HUGE cliff-hanger, wondering if Jennifer's blog would return!!

    I think the predictable stuff was only predictable to PR veterans, as opposed to last year when even Dubya Bush was at home figuring it out. Forrest Gump last year knew within the first minute - "I think that gurl is gonna ruin her roommate's sweah-terrr."

    Orville Leguizamo DID make me pee (but I was reading this on the toitie at the time, so it's okay).

    Jason aka Thomas Crown, methinks thou protestest too much, especially since you already have a design line and therefore should likely have already worked with actual female models at some point. The design biz has lotsa nudity all the time, so most folks get quite used to it.

    Peaches is the new Brown Sugar, except white and creamy (you can tell I'm hungry).

    Casanova is only being kept on the show for one reason, so Tim Gunn will have someone with a bigger skull than his around. Casanova's melon is a misshapen mess.

    And I like how Heidi put Nina (who looks amazing, btw) on the spot with the translation stuff, even tho Nina was clearly uncomfortable with her Spanish. I never liked Santino's works, but you couldn't ever disagree that he had a strong (and weird) point of view.

    I see no points of view yet, but I really did love the still photo of the auditioner, the photo with the girl on the black rocks in a long Julie Taymor dress melting into the rock formation.

    Anyways, it's back, thank you Mooood and thank YOU Eoooolin for gifting us with you and your blogfun!

  10. I am SOOOO glad you are back with our hysterical and entertaining PR recap blogs Jennifer!! I have been a huge fan of PR since season 1 and discovering your brilliant blogs a couple years ago makes it even more fun to watch PR. Sometimes I think reading your comments about the show are better than the show itself. Esp last season 7! I don't blame you for not wanting to recap the last few episodes of season 7. I so glad you came back are blogging again about Season 8! I think the producers listened to you and so far the few changes to the pacing and format are a welcome fresh change. Thanks again for coming back! Yay! And stealing your famous phrase, "Happy Fists"

  11. Love your recap!! Your're hilarious and I'll be reading from now on!! :D xo

  12. Oh my stars - thank you, everyone, for reading and commenting and sharing in my silliness!

    Until next week, make it work! And if you can't make it work, staple it. (RIGHT?)

  13. "busier than Tim Gunn at a Macy's suit sale" - HA! thanks for this and the other laughs today!

  14. Yay! Project Runway is back and so is this blog! You make me laugh out loud, Jennifer. Love it.

  15. Even with the fact that McKell was basically auf'd for her styling of her model and that Jason sooo deserved to leave, I'm still cautiously optimistic about the season that lies ahead. And of course looking forward to your blogs afterward makes me smile inside! I'm already super annoyed by Ivy and Jason and I feel the annoyance level will only increase!

  16. I've been a fan since season one and I've never missed an episode. But after watching the first episode of this season I think I'm finally going to have to let this show go.

    McKell was robbed. I guess PR is more about styling now than making a good dress.

    Cassanova or Ivy or Clockwork Orange dude should have gone...

  17. CLOCKWORK ORANGE = Love. That's so right on. Heart you, Mae. Keep watching so you can share your spot on observations!

  18. SO, I see you are a prejudiced...poor you.

  19. all of the designers are good in project runway season 1-10 dvd box set ,love them ,love their style.



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