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‘Project Runway’ Recap: Designers Team Up For Entire Season

Fri, January 25, 2013 4:22pm EDT by Add first Comment
Project Runway Season 11 Recap
Courtesy of Lifetime

Designer and former ‘Runway’ contestant Michael Costello talks us through the Season 11 premiere episode in his latest recap.  The latest crop of designers learn that this entire season will focus on teamwork — which can only mean even more drama!

“You’re only as strong as your weakest link,” Tim Gunn says as he and Heidi Klum reveal that Season 11 of Project Runway is going to be a team competition. Even though there is no I in team, only one will come out as the winner of Project Runway. Let’s see if “team work really makes the dream work,” as was proposed in the episode. This should be interesting…

Does working in teams mean there will be less drama between designers? I’ll miss the old Project Runway but I’m so excited to see how designers work and grow with the input of a team this season.

The designers were split up into two teams with their first challenge ahead: to create a piece using inspiration from New York City. One team gets to view NYC from afar (by boat), the other team gets to view NYC from above (from the roof of Atlas apartments.)

The team from afar has decided to name their team Keeping It Real.” Let’s see if the team will still be “Keeping It Real” as the season progresses. On this team there is:
Stanley Hudson: He is a costumer, you know what that means he must love drama.
Kate Pankoke: She is a bridal designer with a “Type A” personality. She says if she had her own way she would clone herself. Yikes! I’m not sure if we would be ready for that.
Richard Hallmarq: He claims that his hometown of Sacramento is the “other fashion capital.” I hope he wasn’t being serious with that one; otherwise I’d have to strongly reevaluate him being in the fashion industry.
Patricia Michaels AKA “Water Lily”: She’ll kill me if she uses too many Aztec prints due to her Native American descent. That print is beyond overdone. But still — umm, I have to say I’m kind of obsessed with this lady ! I love her already.
-Every TV show has to have a Blonde Barbie, that is Amanda Valentine.
Layana Aguilar is the Brazilian Bombshell; lets see if her designs can look as exotic as she is.
Joseph Aaron Segal: He is the quiet, slightly geeky boy of the team. I want to see him show his personality more.
Daniel Esquivel, the bullied 9th grade drop-out describes his aesthetic as simple, elegant, glamor. When I look at him I just don’t see that. I see a more rugged style with all that scruff on his face.

The team with the view from above has decided to call themselves the “Dream Team.” Will they be able to live up to the name Dream Team that Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen’s 1992 Olympic Team was nicknamed? Only time will tell. Dream Team includes:

Matthew Arthur: He is from New Orleans and he must be a party animal; he describes his style as the “3am girl.”
Samantha Black just screams “swag” to me.
Tu Suthiwat Nakchat: He’s quiet, but he seems talented — and who knows, he could be the silent assassin of the show.
James Martinez looks to me like a salesman, but maybe he does have good construction skills like he claims.
Emily Pollard: The young designer from Virginia with a very big ego about herself. Let’s see her ego matches her skills.
Benjamin Mach, the sweet Aussie with the bleach blonde hair…adorable.
Cindy Marlatt is definitely one of the more interesting of the bunch. The nice older lady happens to own a funeral home with her husband. How can someone so happy have such a depressing job? Let’s just pray her designs don’t show any signs of death. In a strange way, she kind of reminds me of my lovely friend Season 8 and All Star Peach Carr.
Michelle Leshiak Franklin calls herself “fedorable” and “geek chic” sounds like another hipster from Oregon.

Getting Started

As the teams split up and go to their workrooms to start creating team “Keeping It Real” gets a lot accomplished with the input of the team while the “Dream Team” worked more solo.

On team Keeping It Real, Daniel stepped it up as a leader and helped his team members. A few people thought Patricia’s design looked very crafty. Overall, they did great as a team and had really god dynamics.

The Dream Team, on the other hand, didn’t necessarily work as a team. They gave opinions but didn’t really help each other. Emily struggled really badly. When she didn’t get anything done, teammate Cindy was nice enough to help her.

On The Runway

Then the moment we’ve all been waiting for the first runway show of the season! With judges Zac Posen, Nina Garcia, and Christian Siriano. So fabulous.

All of team Keeping it Real’s looks looked good, but Dream Team’s were either a runway dream or runway disaster.

After judges discuss, they decide the team that wins this challenge is Keeping it Real. The top 3 highest scores were Daniel, Richard, and Patricia.

The losing team was the Dream Team and the bottom 3 were James, Emily, and Cindy. The judges thought that Emily’s look was one of the most unfinished they’ve ever seen and Heidi said “It looked like her 8 year old daughter made it”

In the end unfortunately Emily was sent home.

–Michael Costello

Until next week, thanks for reading Project recap! Check out Michael Costello Couture, follow me Twitter @michealcostello and Facebook and Tweet with me every Thursday during Project Runway Season 11!