Make it work! 15 new finalists were selected to compete in what just might be the most unique season of the fashion reality competition — and it proved to be an emotional roller coaster ride as Julie Bowen guest-judged the premiere episode.
Bring out the cat claws for lucky season 13 of Project Runway, which debuted on July 24 on Lifetime. There will be the usual tears, eye-rolls, and exaggerated hand gestures, and if this first episode is any indication of what will happen on the rest of the season, you are guaranteed a fabulous but emotional ride.
The episode begins with 18 faithful contestants who are still trying to secure their spot on the show, since 3 will be cut and only 15 designers will make it through. So with that begins an explosion of personalities, from the obscene to the frighteningly timid.
‘Project Runway’ Season 13 Premiere Recap — Meet The Designers:
There’s Mitchell, the feisty South Florida designer who came from tragic beginnings and loves sporting a good pair of short shorts because in Florida, “the shorter the shorts, the closer to God.”
He also adds: “I’m not going to be so big headed as to say ‘I’m going to win,’ because, you know what, everyone who ends up saying ‘I’m going to win’ is that dumb one who’s out.” Good for you, Mitchell.
Then we meet Tim, whose muse is a “middle-aged, lesbian woman.” The judges were confused by his oddly proportioned, androgynous designs, but at least judge Zac Posen seemed to love the “lesbian couture” — or so he says.
The most interesting from the bunch, and the only one to receive unanimous praise from all three judges, is Sandhya, an Orthodox Indian who has taken her traditional roots and turned them into inspirational designs.
She reveals her creativity, (and perhaps a hint of rebellion), with her subtle, but not unnoticed, middle finger print, which she explains as being directed towards the men back home in India because they don’t treat women well.
The judges were immediately impressed by her play on the subversiveness of Indian language and culture. After all, fashion speaks louder than words.
The Challenge of the Unconventional:
No surprise here — the first challenge of the season is to create an unconventional (can we stress that enough on the show?) look for a spring collection that could be featured in New York Fashion Week by using the three fabrics provided in an ominous looking black briefcase.
Since the fabrics may not all be the same, contestants are free to “beg, borrow, and steal” from each other, in the words of Tim Gunn. This leads to a flurry of pouty lips and awkward introductions in the hopes of snagging another’s better-looking fabric.
Before the challenge begins, Tim clears the elephant in the room by bringing in the highly-anticipated past designer who has been voted back by fans — and it’s Amanda from Season 11!
Of course, her return to the workroom only earns the designer a ton of furrowed brows and the classic “she has the advantage with time management because she has already done this before” spiel that we’ve heard countless of times when Kate made her very unwelcomed return last season.
The Worst Of The Designers Brings Out The Best Of The Judges:
There were plenty of gorgeous and interesting designs displayed on the runway, but there were plenty of disasters as well — earning the designers plenty of snarky (but hilarious) comments from the judges. Zac presents his usual earnest and spot-on critiques, Heidi Klum rewards designers with the benefit of the doubt, and the always outspoken Nina Garcia delivers the bite.
“W.T.F.” Nina gawks at designer Jefferson‘s debut ensemble. “The crop top is so short, and so angled, it looks like a bib!” His eyes bulge in shock and dismay, and you’ve got to feel a tad sympathetic for the poor guy, even if the outfit is indeed a terrible piece of creation. “And the shorts, they’re so high up, it looks like she’s wearing some big diaper.”
Of a different look, Nina remarks, “Instead of calling those ‘slits,’ I’m going to call them ‘sluts.’”
Nina is back, ladies and gentlemen.
‘Project Runway’ Premiere Winner:
In the end, Sandhya takes home the prize during week one and wins immunity. Jefferson and Mitchell didn’t have the best luck, finding themselves in the bottom two — but Jefferson was the one to be sent home.
We said bye bye to the bib, and Mitchell breathed out a sigh of relief for not saying he was going to be the winner.
— Crystal Yao