Review: Project Runway - Back to New York
by Michael Pascua, posted Jan 15th 2010 3:04AM
(S07E01) As if last season of Project Runway was a bad hiccup, we're returning to New York with Michael Korrs and Nina Garcia permanently on the judging panel.
The show opened up on the roofs of the Atlas Apartments. The energy of the show felt back to normal in New York City. The first challenge was borrowed from season four: pick from a whole ton of fabrics to display the designer's point of view. The twist was that the contestants had to edit down to five fabrics. In the end, most of the designers edited down to two fabrics. They were given one day, which felt steep for day one.
Casting did go a little far after having the boring contestants like Althea and Carol Hannah last season. This time I kept hearing the words "risks," "imagination," and "innovation" to remind me that there was an original point of view. I still don't know everyone, and temporarily I associate the person with their jobs like Disney guy, Comic Book Illustrator, Physical Therapist, and Advertising executive.
Only two characters emerged early on in the first episode: Ping and Anthony. Anthony reminded me a lot of Kayne from season three, but he definitely will have a lot of one liners, like his answer to his roommate's weight "...and I'm thirsty." I could see him survive several episodes just for the snark factor. Ping on the other hand was that one out-there contestant (like season four's Elisa). The only other person I can see survive far is Jonathan. At the moment, I see Jonathan as the narrator for the season, the closest to having the level interviews with just the right touch of bitch.
We still have L'oreal and Marie Claire sponsoring the show, but a new sponsorship this season is the addition of HP/Intel. They provided HP touch smart notebooks (I hope someone forgets it at Mood) and added a $50,000 "Tech Suite" for the winner. It feels out of place. How about Brother, giving the winning designer a $50,000 "Sewing Suite?" At least that would make sense. Along with our traditional judges, our guest judge is Nicole Richie. None of her opinions made much of a difference.
There was quite a blur of all the contestants jockeying for position. A lot of different aesthetics went through in the first episode. As the models walked down, there were a handful of dresses I didn't think pushed the bar, or gave a clear definition of what the designers could do. I didn't care much for Janeane's last minute dress; I was convinced she would have been one of the low scorers. Pamela's dress, both the shape and color, screamed Korto. I also didn't understand the amount of poof-florets on Jay's dress, but I gave him the benefit of the doubt because it was original.
The high scoring dresses were Seth Aaron (youthful), Emilio (deceptively simple, but technically savvy), and Ping (unusual, strong self-expression). After all the drama with Tim threatening him to finish a dress, Emilio was our first winner. The first challenge winner has never won, but they usually survive a long time and I hope that Emilio continues to wow the judges. The bottom scores were Anthony (poor fit and fabric), Christiane (bad fabric choices), and Jesus (ugly crocodile). Christiane was sent home.
I was happy with Christiane's elimination. The dress reminded me of Qristyl's red carpet dress last season, but not as good. While I did hope that Janeane would have been reprimanded, the early eliminations will go by quickly and we won't even remember Christiane two weeks from now. How did the first episode go? Leave comments as always.
[Catch clips from Project Runway on SlashControl]