Friday, July 30, 2010

Project Runway, Season 8 - Episode 1

It hasn't been too long since we were dishing about Seth Aaron, Mila, Emilio and (of course) Ping. But, as Heidi says, one day you are in and the next you are out. So auf wiedersehen, Season 7! Bring on Season 8!

And so it begins.

Even though we are dealing with the same format that's been used for eight seasons - challenge, runway, critique, deliberation, elimination - something about last night's premiere felt more exciting and vibrant. I'm attributing it to the extended 90-minute run time which was used for to show more time in the work room and more judges deliberation. How great to hear the judges thoughts beyond a few funny quips from Michael and few death glares from Nina!

Of course, at this point in the competition there are too many designers to get attached to or dismiss anyone just yet. Let's not forget that Season 4 winner Christian Siriano was in the bottom several times before really winning the judges (and us) over - remember that horrid Bitten challenge outfit? So who knows if someone had a surprisingly good week or a freak dud of a week - only time will tell who will truly be able to cut it. And since So You Think You Can Dance is still on for another two weeks and there is no way I can bust out two full reviews, here is a quick list of my thoughts (to help jog your memory, click the designer's name to see their runway look):
  • Challenge: Before the 17 new designers even made it to the Atlas Apartments, they had to sacrifice an article of clothing to one of their fellow designers. Similar to the challenge in Season 2 when they could only use the clothes they were wearing as fabric, but I enjoyed the twist that whoever was eliminated wouldn't even get to move in. Ouch.
  • Judges & Tim: The dream team was back and joined by actress (and apparently internationally recognized sharp dresser) Selma Blair, who turned out to be an insightful and thoughtful judge. I love when Heidi says what everyone else is thinking ("I think it is just ugly") and I especially adored when SeƱora Garcia got to speak Spanish to Casanova. Also worth noting is that Tim Gunn is already speaking up about his disagreements with the judges - preach, Tim!
  • Least Favorites:
    • Casanova - That dress was the epitome of bad taste. I don't care if he thought it was sexy - it was just plain vulgar.
    • April - Poor thing. The young designer is clearly way over her head. The look was completely unfinished and way too short. Having only five hours does not eliminate your sense of taste, does it? Yikes!
    • Ivy - The top was overworked and just plain ugly, a poor knockoff of Season 5 winner Leanne Marshall. The antique couch fabric pants were awful, and she needed to shut up and take the criticism. 
    • Jason - Hot mess disaster. It looked like the model had a sheet wrapped around her and she was on her way to a toga party (Note: I make better togas than that). And though last minute pins and [groan] glue are no strangers to the runway, I think this may be the first time a designer has used staples on a garment. Remind me why he didn't go home?
  • Favorites:
    • Peach - J'adore the blue and white floral print, and the red accent along the top was perfection. The fit was great and the model worked it
    • Gretchen - The clear winner by a mile from the instant the model stepped on the runway. When was the last time we saw such a sophisticated and understated dress that was still so interesting?? Love love love the sparkle cap sleeve and sheer back!
  • Elimination: Though I didn't love it, McKell was so off my radar as far as people who needed to be shipped off and sent home. The styling ultimately did her in - the horse hair and flower power bag were terrible choices and made the clothes look even cheaper. Still, McKell seemed fun and hippy-dippy; I would've liked for her to stick around.
Hmm... looking at the list I had way more dislikes than likes on the runway, but I guess that's bound to happen early on when we are still weeding out the bad seeds. What did you think of last night's episode? Was 90 minutes too long? Were you as physically, emotionally and spiritually offended as I was by Jason's disgrace of a design? And do you secretly wish Casanova stays on the show so we can hear Nina speak some more Spanish? Sound off in the comments!
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