Project Runway, the regular season, wound up recently, but it’s already time for another All-stars season! I have watched the first 2 episodes, and thankfully, because of episode #2, I am very excited about this season. With this first challenge, I felt underwhelmed, but after #2, I am hooked!
The designers met with host Alyssa Milano at the MetLife stadium/field, for introductions and challenge details. The theme this season is rookies versus vets, and given that, it made total sense for the 1st challenge to be a team challenge, rookies v. vets! Each team was tasked with creating a cohesive, fierce collection. To choose between fall or spring, the designers did a quick stitch relay (8 stations — sewing, cutting, pattern, tracing, pinning, hand sewing, etc.). The rookies were close, but the vets came out on top, choosing spring, leaving fall for the rookies.
Each team had a $1000 budget, but the winner of the relay race received an extra $500. And so with that, the teams were off to shop at Mood and get started on this 1-day challenge. This season’s mentor, aka Tim Gunn, is Editor in Chief of Marie Claire, Anne Fulenwider. And the same judges as seasons before, Isaac Mizrahi and Georgina Chapman of Marchesa. The first guest judge was PR designer, Michael Costello. Also new for this season is Intermix, as the accessory wall sponsor.
Before Mood, each team planned and organized. At this stage, I saw more from the vets, who decided to go with an “Art Basel” theme. Once in the workroom though, it seemed as if the rookies had it a bit more together, focusing on a 70s inspiration. During Anne’s check-ins, overall, she felt the designers were playing it safe and needed to step it up!
I agreed with Anne, but I didn’t see that many of the designers stepped up to the task. I found faves within each team, but if I had to pick a winning overall team, I did agree with the judges’ assessment in choosing the rookies’ Fall collection. I did not agree however with the top 3 from this team. I am surprised that Amanda, Kelly nor Candice didn’t make the cut. Their looks really gave this collection some pop and flare!
The judges picked Merline, Char, and Edmond, leaving Stanley and Kimberly safe. I kind of felt all of them played it a bit too safe, but of the judges’ top picks, I would have gone with Edmond. It was a minimalist look, but I did like the color, and it seemed the most well made of this top 3 chosen.
If not Edmond, then maybe Char?? Her look was very basic to me, so not sure how it made top 3. It just felt safe, but I did love the color used. Merline won the challenge, and even after hearing the judges’ comments, I am confused. I remember she got rave reviews during her season and I was always left perplexed!
Shoutouts for all Styling, Intermix, Umberto & Rodial
70’s vibes are not really my thing, so the vets really should have had this in the bag. But I didn’t see the most cohesion here, and many of the looks fell flat. I was glad the judges pointed out how amazing Ari’s look was because it was such a shame he was in with the bottom crowd!
Shoutout — Umberto & Rodial, but overall for this collection wrong shoe choice from Intermix!
Shout-out — Correct styling here from Intermix, also on point with hair & makeup
The bottom 3 was Ken, Casanova, and Helen, ultimately with Casanova going home. This was the right call based on this bottom 3, and all in all, it was the right bottom 3 as well. Helen was safe from the bottom 2, but I think the reason she landed in the bottom was because of how safe and uninspiring this look was. I know she can do better!
Ken had some construction issues, but just as with Helen, it also lacked vision and innovation. Casanova too suffered from those same issues, but there was not a lot of effort in this look, just far too basic.
Gorgeous hair & makeup, Umberto & Rodial!!
I definitely found much more excitement in this next runway!