Friday, July 30, 2010

Project Runway - Season 8 Premiere Review

This review contains spoilers. If you wish to watch the premiere online before reading, you may do so here. Please do not read this review if you do not wish to know who was eliminated.

Well, as many of you know, the latest season of Project Runway premiered yesterday. Now, to tell the truth, I'd recently fallen out of love with this show. Last season, especially, seemed to be a culmination of drama and petty fighting, and choosing personality over talent... However, from the first scenes of this episode, there was a palpable change in tone from all of the previous seasons: the show seems lighter now, almost auto-satirical. Heidi, Tim, and the judges seem to take themselves a little less seriously this season.
I have a good idea who I'm going to like and dislike throughout this season. Casanova and Ivy are definitely my favorites at this point. I can tell I'm not going to like Jason - mostly because he thinks Bowler Hats are intimidating and has no concept of Hat Etiquette, but also because he just comes off as a jerk. I might be wrong, but I think he's definitely going to be this season's main villain. I get the feeling that Peach isn't going to be a total peach throughout the show - did anyone else get some serious Laura-from-Season-3 vibes? Also, I predict that Michael Costello is going to be the one who gets on everyone's last nerve. More on my predictions next time.
One of the other major changes fans of the show will notice is the way the contestants are introduced. In all the past seasons, the designers were shown arriving at Atlas or Gotham apartments - wherever they happened to be staying that season - they have them meeting each other outside, in the streets of New York, on their ways in to the Big Apple. I suppose this is because of the challenge I'm about to explain, but I hope they keep it that way for a bit. I really enjoyed seeing how the designers interacted outside the comfort of the dorms; the edge of competition, the awkward silences, etc.
They also showed parts of the audition interviews, which is something I don't remember from previous seasons. I liked that simply because it reminded me of American Idol and I couldn't help but picture a line of thousands of designers, each carrying a bundle of their clothes.
I suppose the main reason for them meeting outside their rooms this season was that they hadn't finished the audition process. The more observant fans (myself excluded) probably noticed there were seventeen contestants instead of the usual sixteen. This was because (according to Heidi and Tim) none of the present designers had yet made it to the actual show. They would all have to prove their worth in a 5-hour challenge before they would officially be on the show, and they were warned that maybe more than one of them would be going home.
I really did not like this about the first episode. I felt it came completely out of left field and if you're going to invite the seventeenth person to fly out to New York, at least tell them they made it onto the show.
Anyway, the designers were asked to take one piece of clothing out of their suitcases to use in this challenge. Then, the designers were asked to pass this piece of clothing to the person to their right! I really enjoy seeing the designers' faces when twists like these are thrown at them. I felt really bad for Casanova, though, who (for some ungodly reason) chose the $1,000 Dolce & Gabbana pants he had just bought and had never worn...
Most of the work time isn't really worth talking about here. Suffice it to say that I don't think Tim Gunn has ever been seen without a hand somewhere on his face.
Then came the runway show! If you'd like a refresher, you can see the runway fashions here. Here are my favorite looks: Andy's, Gretchen's, and one of the Michaels.
At the end of the show, as usual, six designers were left on the runway while the rest were sent backstage to the green room. However, the first thing they did was pick the winner - Gretchen. I was a bit thrown off by this, but even moreso by the fact that the remaining five designers were the bottom five. They really didn't treat the contestants well in this first episode.
Some guest judges tend to be a little tentative in railing on the contestants, not this week's! She went off on pretty much everyone, which I think adds insult to injury to the fact that they were tricked into thinking they were on the show.
Finally, after a commercial break, the bottom five were narrowed down to three: McKell (the sympathetic contestant), Casanova (the ESOL rating magnet), and Ivy (the talented one who misunderstood the challenge). At this point it was obvious to me what was going to happen - McKell would be out and they would continue with sixteen contestants, and I was right!
McKell, of course, was crushed, especially because she had left her nine-month-old child to come to New York. Yet, besides the whole sympathy thing, I really cannot for the life of me remember what she made... Especially since the Lifetime website makes my dinosaur of a computer crash. Clearly, whatever it was wasn't memorable enough. Goodbye, McKell! We hope your baby is happy and healthy!

Don't worry, I'll keep watching and giving you the skinny on what's going on up at Parson's!

Nostalgically Yours

PS: Did anyone watch that new show "On the Road with Austin & Santino"? Well, at least it's a more creative follow-up than "Models of the Runway"...

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  1. What a pity, I can't watch the video in germany. But I checked out the fashion. It's nice but...only nice. Nothing that makes me shiver with fascination. The best one is one of Michael's pieces (Picture Nr. 12) but it's also not remarkable and innovative enough for me.

    GRRRREAT post!

    And thank you very much!
    I'm happy that you like my painting!

    It's funny but some weeks ago I was in an art supply store and thought about doing a stained glass art piece but it's very, very expensive.


  2. I'm sure I'm not the most fashion-forward person watching the show or following your blog, but I was severely disappointed that Jason was kept on the show. I completely agree with your thoughts on him-- a) I don't like his attitude at all and b) I thought that outfit (minus the finished look with hair and makeup) was attrocious.

    I suppose they have to keep some villians on the show for the drama, which is the only reason I think they kept him. That and the Garnier crew did some amazing hair and makeup on that model.

    Did anyone else catch the comments about his model's breasts? I'm sorry, I think that's the least professional comment to be made when working with people. In the future, Jason should keep his boners to himself.

    Very sad to see McKell go. I thought she was really sweet and I thought the dress was adorable and honestly can't see why the judges really disliked it.

    Thanks for the post and I look forward to more of your thoughts on Project Runway!



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