Well, it's time! Project Runway is back in our lives.
First, some good news: Tim is blogging again. For those of us who are really not into video blogs or "extended workroom footage," since that is time consuming and frankly dull, this already makes the season better.
I also began this season with a little more optimism than last. It wasn't because the team was back in New York, but it all just somehow felt more like Project Runway, with more of the old PR spirit.
That being said, I'm not sure how I feel about what seems like increased award-winning and professional experience amongst the designers. There seems to be a huge disparity between people just starting out and the people who have dressed people for red carpets and won couture awards already. While this doesn't mean the results will be affected (witness the person who departed this week), I have trouble rooting for someone who is already in the loop. I like PR best when it is about plucking someone out of obscurity. Some of these people seem like ringers.
Also on the negative, my heart broke a little after the beginning of the challenge, seeing those leftover bolts of fabric on the wet, dirty park sidewalk. What a waste.
On to the fashions:
Amy (check skirt, white gauze corset top): Personally, I thought this was dreadful. Too short, the draping wasn't attractive, and the top was incomprehensible.
Anna (yellow dress): The hemming was questionnable here, but I actually thought this was a cute dress otherwise. I kind of liked the peach fabric better, though, than the gold. This was safe, but not a winner.
Anthony (green floral dress (it looks black, but Tim tells me it's green)): I'm really rarely a fan of the "growth" dress, a dress with something growing out of it. I didn't think this dress was right for this fabric. It made both design and fabric look cheaper than they were. It all looked a little too craft projecty.
Ben (cinnamon dress with sci-fi shoulders): There was also some questionnable hemming here, and puckering in the back. I didn't care for this dress. The fabric color was "hard," the neckline and sleeve length "sweet," and then we have the pointy shoulders. While I suppose in some world those elements could be unified, I didn't feel they were in this dress. It didn't make my eyes smile.
Christiane (blue and print one-shoulder dress): As this dress was on the runway, I kept trying to remember the designer from last season who had a similar affinity for print growths. Qristyl. That's all I could think about. I didn't think this dress was as bad as some others, but it wasn't a successful look nevertheless. Seriously, from the side it looks like she's wearing a print apron. I also hear the construction was horrendous, but that is difficult to see in the pictures due to the darkness of the fabric.
Emilio (print and purple one shoulder with print skirt): I really liked this dress and was glad it did well. I actually did not think it was going to win, even though it was my favorite. I really liked the fit of the top part especially, and the way the one shoulder was put together. Someone on the rate the runway commented on the shoe choice, which I agree was egregious, but the dress is super cute. I'd wear it, albeit with different styling. It's a comfortable looking dress, but one with uniqueness.
Janeane Marie (khaki skirt, black top): While Janeane's look was not very interesting, I think she came through on the "point of view" angle. The skirt is unattractive when you get right down to it, but if you saw this coming down in the middle of a person's runway show, it would be the "sleeper"--the look that doesn't strain you but sort of eases your palate in between show stoppers and makes you want to buy a piece because it looks realistic. I'm nervous for Janeane because she seems unsure of herself, but I do appreciate a good save.
Jay Nicolas (tweed skirt and green print corset): I file this under WTFudge? Again with the growths, including one right in the middle of the stomach. I really like the fabrics, and I like the idea of the pleating done with the top, but the pieces were too small in that way I hate, and that flower on the stomach was ridiculous. There is no occasion on which that look would be appropriate. I hate that flower on the stomach so much I would have sent this guy home for that.
Jesse (brown plaid jacket and skirt and red blouse): At first I hated this look, in fact I still dislike the "jacket," but I was in favor of the red blouse. I thought it was sassy and I'm still not sure how it stays up, which intrigues me. I liked that the designer was trying something different, though I'm not convinced it was successful.
Jesus (brown croc gown): "Nobody Fs with the Jesus!" That's a Big Lebowski shout out, because it's Friday and I'm a little random. I gotta be honest, I didn't think this look was ugly. Sure, it was a little cliche in certain circles, but you'd be able to find people to wear this, unlike other looks. Someone in the comments compared it to Thandie Newton in the Chronicles of Riddick, which is pretty fair. It is a little costumey, but that was okay with me. If the kid had been auf'd for this, I would have been pretty annoyed, especially considering shady Jay Nicolas's look.
Jonathan (black dress with belt and trim): I didn't get a good look at this dress; I think it was first, and I wasn't ready. I thought the top of the dress was like tree branches, with the black silhouetted on the white, but I see now that's not so. I wish it were, because I would have liked that better. Examining the pictures, I see some construction issues with this garment. Going to have to keep an eye on this cat, though, because the dress was at least wearable and real.
Maya (gold sheath with "growth"): I looked at this dress and thought, I've seen this, and not only seen it, but seen it in the bottom. I could see, I think, what Maya wanted to do here, but the floof on the left was nicely understated while the floof on the right was too long, not quite the right shape, ending in a weird place. That being said, I quite liked the dress fabric, which was kind of brocadey. Y'all know how I love brocade.
Mila (grey skirt, brown print top, black and blue jacket, lined): This designer got way a lot done, no? I'm not a big fan of most of these prints (see my opinions on What Not to Wear on the subject of ugly prints), but I liked the shape of this look and particularly the jacket, which I'd almost wear. The look was almost runway ready, in a way, and well styled, I thought.
Pamela (shocking pink dress): I'm sure most of you can predict that I loved this dress. It's pink! I liked it almost as much as Emilio's, but the back kind of not so much. The website said something about this being reversible, and I'm not sure how, but I'm intrigued. I'll be anxious to see what else Pamela puts out.
Ping (red and green fabric): Hobo chic or Boho chic? You decide. I don't think I ever saw this garment to any sort of advantage that would make it Richie's favorite. Not only does it not have hanger appeal, but it also doesn't have TV appeal--I can't see it. I do know that I hated that suspender with a passion.
Seth Aaron (check dress with gingham trim): I thought this was going to win, not because it was my favorite but because it was very complete. It was a little reminiscent of Jeffrey's work (I hate comparing them this way, but it's what sprang to mind), and the shape was cute. The fabric was sort of punk lumberjack. Yes, that is my take on this garment--and that's very popular right now, according to girls' stores. Not a fan of the red zipper, which sort of ruined the experience for me. Maybe if it had been thinner. He also made spats for the shoes, which I respect, and trimmed them to match the dress. That was a better place for bright red zippers.
So, lots of people to watch in the coming weeks. I'm glad PR is back, and I hope I'm able to stay awake for it (I have been falling asleep during my favorite shows each week--I fell asleep three times during FRINGE, for heaven's sake!)