The Project Runway crew (minus Michael Kors who was replaced this season with the uber adorable Zac Posen) is here to once again take over your Thursday nights and provide us Portlanders with endless amounts of water cooler gossip thanks to local designer Michelle Lesniak Franklin making the cut.
The first few episodes of a new season are always too confusing with tons of folks milling about like an awkward family reunion. Let’s move on to first impressions of the new cast of characters. Right off the bat our own Franklin makes a charming debut talking about her geek chic. Accidental Salvador Dali impersonator Daniel Esquivel is instantly a favorite with an infectious laugh and a mustache that won’t quit (plus leopard smoking slippers). Additionally, Tu Suthiwat Nakchat, a Thai designer appears to be as adorable as much as he loves fashion and Patricia Michaels has some serious potential with her tribal inspired design aesthetic. One young designer, Emily Pollard, pretty much guaranteed her fate with this quote. “I’m sorry but I’m gonna win. So everyone else may as well pack their bags and go home.” Making a statement such as this is equivalent to being the person in the horror film that goes to check on the noise in the basement. Bye, bye Emily.
Once assembled Tim Gunn and Heidi Klum reveal the big season twist: Designers will be working in teams. In theory, this is a fantastic idea. In the actual fashion industry, all designing is done in teams with multiple people working towards finding the proper fabric, working on the silhouettes, sourcing materials, researching customer demographics, etc. However, this seems to have gone slightly awry quickly thanks to two things. One, the worst team names of all time: Team Keeping It Real and Dream Team. Oh boy. Second, the teams didn’t seem to have any sense of cohesion whatsoever. Essentially everyone just made what he or she wanted with little to no help between the groups (kudos to Franklin for acknowledging that point). Hopefully as time goes on there’ll be a little more interaction there and a sense that there is actually a team.
In the end, cutie pie Esquivel and his magical moustache won with a killer Balenciaga-esque suit and horror film rules stood true with bravado equaling demise. Young Emily Pollard sent out an outfit that Nina Garcia declared, “In eleven seasons that we’ve done this, I have never seen such an unfinished garment walk down the runway.”
Tune in on Thursday night at 9pm to see what challenge lies in store next.