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July 28, 2014

Project Runway: Let's Start from the Beginning (season premiere)

by Annie Wu, posted Jul 17th 2008 12:31AM
Scarlett and Gunn(S05E01) Despite Bravo's ridiculously shoddy half-attempts to advertise the new season and my sour disappointment in the last group designers, I tuned in for a fifth go at Project Runway. Fingers crossed that I don't hate the world when this is all over.

Before we jump into the episode itself, I must rant. Yes, "must". As we all know, Runway is moving from Bravo to Lifetime after this season. I don't believe this is a smart move for the show, and it looks like Bravo is pretty annoyed about it too. Instead of overloading the media with promotional material weeks and weeks in advance to get hype in the system like they usually do, they didn't release designer bios and photos until days before the premiere. Plus, they've posted a full episode guide online, revealing all the guest judges. The season is barely off the ground and Bravo is insanely bitter that Runway isn't its baby anymore.

I desperately hope that this doesn't mean they totally phoned in all aspects of creating this season, as that would be insanely unfair to the designers, models, judges and viewers like me that will have to witness the slow death of a show that was once the classiest thing in the reality TV world. I apologize in advance for the bitterness that will litter this post. Blame it on Bravo's bad vibes.

This season's designers look... interesting. A lot of them strongly remind me of cocky art school hipsters that I frequently daydream about punching in the face. Conceited artist hate aside, I'm loving the diversity in the group. Please note this is "diversity" and not necessarily "creativity", as we later understood in the episode.

The "surprise" guest judge was Austin Scarlett from Season One. I must reveal my bias, because I absolutely adore this man. He didn't make the best outfits, but just looking at him and hearing him talk fills me with so much joy. In fact, I gasped so sharply when he skipped across the street, I choked on air. I then proceeded to babble on about how "Scarlett & Gunn" sounds like a really awesome 60s Charlie's Angels type show. Anyway, he revealed that the first challenge would be the same as Runway's very first, which Mr. Scarlett had won with a lovely corn husk dress. The designers would be given a set amount of money and then set loose in the grocery store to make an innovative and interesting outfit.

Check out all the outfits here.

Kenley: Dodgeballs and lawn chairs! Interesting shape, contrasting textures and colors. I liked this one quite a lot.

Suede: I have a really tough time trusting someone as a designer when I see them place a cut-up, denim vest with their name Bedazzled across the back in their closet. A guy with the same name as a Britpop outfit led by Brett Anderson can't be all that bad, right? Wait, wait... Yes. Yes, he can. Like most of the designers in this challenge, he grabbed a tablecloth as his main source of material. Remember what I said about diversity vs. creativity? I was extra-disappointed with what he did after Tim Gunn told him that his dress was too tablecloth-y. I was thinking that he'd do something to change the shape, but Suede decided the best solution to this problem would be to attach lots of tiny squares all over the thing. That didn't change the tablecloth-iness of it at all. Suede, you're killing me here.

Blayne: One of my big guilty pleasure movies is Mean Girls, so please indulge me as I borrow a little from that film... "Blayne! Stop trying to make 'girlicious' happen!" First of all, we don't need another "fierce". We already have one, and it's... well... "fierce". Secondly, Girlicious is that new Pussycat Dolls group and I've heard enough of that ridiculous name. I'm always a bit annoyed when designers try to force themselves into the "young artist" role by creating something they believe is edgy but is ultimately an aesthetic and technical nightmare. I don't even want to talk about the tanning.

Daniel: Now, this was cool. A dress made completely of plastic cups and it actually looked all right. I thought he should have won the challenge.

Stella: [ALMOST AUF'D] I don't know if she did this intentionally, but every time she said, "My fabric is trash!", I laughed. I think she picked up the crummy generic garbage bags to watch cost and that's where she got screwed. Despite the slightly boring nature of the dress, I honestly didn't think her outfit deserved to be the second worst.

Korto: She should be commended for creating such an interesting silhouette and being the only one to try produce, but... that salad business looked pretty nasty.

Kelli: [WINNER] I cannot believe this one won. I was taking notes throughout the entire episode, and the first thing I wrote for this outfit was "Hideous! You can't fool them with marble-y fabric." I guess I was giving the judges too much credit. Sure, the bleached and dyed vacuum cleaner bags were an excellent move, but everything else looked kind of ridiculous. Her innovation really saved her from her aesthetic weaknesses, because I'm sure without smooth moves like that spiral notebook eye and hook business, she would have been screwed.

Jennifer: She managed to create a decent looking dress with just paper towels, but I have no idea what she was thinking with that lipstick. When I attempted to explain it to myself, I could smell hair burning.

Jerry: [AUF'D] I was promptly reminded of Dexter's Laboratory when the model rounded the corner. Any and all serial killer references were fully appropriate as well. It was a rare moment, but the judges and I agreed: This was the was the worst.

Terri: That mop top was a fantastic idea and she totally deserved some credit for it, especially in that sea of tablecloths.

Jerell: This was such a weird outfit, with unusual color choices and clashing textures, but it definitely worked.

Wesley: Not bad at all, but not spectacular either. Big Bird's slutty sister probably owns an outfit like this.

Keith: If he had figured out a way to make this outfit with a material other than tablecloth, he probably could have made it into the top three, at least.

Emily: Big collars and balloons are always fun, but this outfit didn't have much else going for it.

Joe: This guy just glued some pasta on muslin for the skirt, and I was surprised that the judges didn't call him out on that. I suppose the color palette was nice, but apart from that it was pretty boring, as there was nothing even remotely special about the silhouette.

Leanne: I feel like such a jerk for ripping on all these outfits! This was just straight-up horrible. I think I would sooner eat it than wear it. True facts.

Who should have won?
Kelli59 (27.7%)
Korto8 (3.8%)
Daniel63 (29.6%)
Austin Scarlett always wins72 (33.8%)
Other11 (5.2%)

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sarah

tanboy was the worst. i thought his creation looked okay at first, but the picture makes it look hideous. girlicious... what a cliche. AND his name is Blayne. can't get any worse than that.

yes, i too felt the Bravo bitterness, from the lack of promotions to the recycled theme for the first challenge.

July 22 2008 at 12:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
NavStar

Daniel's was cool... from the waist up. It was very Thierry Mugler. But the design was just this hollow shell from the waist down. He needed to do more piping and detailing with the cup lips. It needed more structure. It was like a giant armadillo shell from the waist down.

I really like Keith... a lot!

July 20 2008 at 7:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Liz

Kelly's skirt was interesting, and she was very innovatice, but the top was ugly. The coffee filters make anyone's boobs look terrible. I think she could have done better. Still, props for being clever, and thats what this one was all about.

July 17 2008 at 4:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Liz's comment
Liz

*innovative

wtb edit button

July 17 2008 at 4:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Liz

All of the top three deserved to go home. I wish we could just kick them out and spend more time on the better people right now.

Blayne is so gross with his girlicious and tanning and the sniffing (you're not fooling anyone pal). His outfit was the ugliest thing ever. I hope he is the next one kicked off.

Jerry deserved to go home for his slasher nurse outfit. The worst part was, he thought it was great. What an ego! It was boring, ugly, and not even constructed well. Terrible.

Stella didn't even try. I think she might make some interesting things later, but I'm not sure she has the creativity for Project Runway.

July 17 2008 at 4:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Maria

Hated your review as much as I hate many of the new fashionistas.
Kelly was fantastic! Korto got too much credit for hers. They were SOOOOOO easy all of them. Most of their designs sucked. Others were ridiculous and no one got bashed like they should. Plus the players were just too "im the gal/guy".
Get a better review'er if you are going to be "bitter". To coin Jeff-it lacked creativity, flow, and demension. This was phoned in. Bleh.

July 17 2008 at 11:39 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Diego

I loved Wesley! Very nice design I feel on the dress; simple yet very tastefully done.

Oh and did I mention, sexy?!

July 17 2008 at 10:09 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Sam

God, I wish tan boy had gone home. His outfit wasn't just a dud, it was an epic, hideous failure. Plus, he should really spend his last weeks with his family before he inevitably succumbs to Melanoma.

July 17 2008 at 2:52 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
nickmagoo

man, i wish blayne wasn't from seattle (my home). what a wannabe tool. tanning? holla? girlicious? guh...go back to your espresso stand and make me a latte, dude.

stella's constant negativity was hilarious (at least for one episode).

the right one left though - that was hideaous. both the coat and the dress stank.

July 17 2008 at 2:41 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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