It's time! Tonight, Project Runway returns, with the usual panel of judges returning, and Tim Gunn.
The profiles and portfolios are up at mylifetime.com if you'd like to check them out.
To make things interesting, some friends and I are doing a sort of PR Derby: picking a designer from the first show based on the introductions of that person, the same way you might pick a horse from its appearance in the paddock or parade ring. The design portfolios serve as the race program. As the show moves forward, in subsequent episodes you might pick a designer for the week by how the show is edited. You also might pick a designer for the whole season, your "favorite to win."
Feeling daring? You could pick your horse from the design portfolios. Here are my observations:
Alicia seems to favor androgynous sportswear. There is a green shirt that I quite like in her portfolio; otherwise, it seems a bit like an American Eagle catalog. That's not a bad thing as far as marketability goes, but it leaves me without much impression.
Andrea has some very interesting shapes in her pieces. There is a purple sweater, back-tying, that I really quite like. I see a lot of emphasis on the backs of her clothes, which makes me curious. She also seems to makeover clothes, which should stand her in good stead for PR.
Beatrice shows a lot of leggings in her collection, which concerns me. Another intereresting issue is that her drawn pieces are way different from her completed pieces. That confuses me as to her aesthetic. Regardless, I can't get behind the leggings.
Buffi's portfolio turned me off as soon as I got to the drawings with the ladies' nipples showing through the shirts, and the truly hangerlike models she drew. Given the sort of blah nature of most of the drawn clothes, it's hard for me to feel engaged, despite the bright colors in her completed clothes.
Christopher has some cute pieces in his drawings, but components of the finished pieces concern me--the absurdly short lace skirt, for instance. That being said, the pictures also suggest he doesn't have quite the resources that some of the other designers have, so I am at least interested in seeing what he can produce on set.
Dmitry is a front runner for me at this point. While I usually set styling aside, I was intrigued by the capping feature he did with his model, to put the focus squarely on the clothes. The ruddy, draped dress is really perfection for me, and I wish I owned it. I don't like all of his pieces (looking at you, jumpsuit), but there is something about his aesthetic that I like.
Elena's pictures won't load for me. What I see of the thumbs kind of reminds me of Dune. Her dream client is Lady Gaga, so I guess that squares with that impression.
Fabio has the distinction of being my least favorite. He portfolio is full of diapers and sheets. I'm going to hope this was a flaw in selection, not a sign of his actual thematic influences. Asylum Chic is not for me.
Gunnar, I'm afraid, might take himself too seriously--or at least, his pictures have a melodramatic bent. The clothes are cute--the set with the tan coat and blue blouse with jabot (the binoculars shot) is really quite dreamy. The settings and more importantly lighting, though...too much, too dark. It's like there is too much Autotune. Gunnar is self-taught, according to his info, so some prods from the judges might help.
Kooan has some color, which is a point in his favor, and there is also some unisex modeling happening, which is intriguing. The aesthetic put forward, though, is not something I can love at this point. I am filing him under "Whole Lotta Look" until further notice.
Lantie's dresses show promise--mixtures of textiles and patterns, but not in ways that make my eyes cross. The one with the fishnet sleeves is a total winner. She lists Star Trek as a design influence, which makes me smile. She's not a favorite at this point, but I will pull for her for a while anyway. There is some good potential.
Melissa's accessories are more interesting to me than the clothes in her portfolio. She has a few different arm bands that I like, especially the one with the ID bracelet. The clothes seem kind of bleak.
Nathan's a draper. I quite like that first little dress, with the twists and the flower. I feel like he could do a lot with thin, stretchy jersey. In the interests of full disclosure, I should note that Nathan went to BGSU, where I work, so while my design favorites are going to be unaffected, I will likely also root for him because we share a school.
Raul's pieces seem to be all over the place. The men's pieces look like they belong together, but the women's decidedly do not. Evidently he is self taught, so that is likely why things are hit or miss. The menswear at least looks interesting; some of the womenswear not so much.
Sonjia seems to enjoy patterns and mixing them. The shapes of some of her gaments appeal, but I don't feel drawn to any of her work in the portfolio. She may surprise me, but right now it's a non-start for me.
Ven likes red. Even so, I really like the white dress he put in his portfolio, with the off-center seam. It's clean and svelte, and shows restraint without losing design--something PR often lacks. I'm interestsed to see what he can produce with PR's nutty time restrictions.
So, there it is. It's a little scary for me to pick favorites right now, since we haven't been introduced to the personalities. But there are clearly people who intrigue me and others that leave me shaking my head.
Tonight's the night! Ladies and Gentlemen, get our your racecards!