Excited that once again, it is Project Runway time! We were able to see many previews for this upcoming season — looks to be a dramatic, 16th season! The designers met each other during their welcome session, sipping on some Grey Goose “Espresso” martinis. Tim & Heidi soon joined, entering in super big style, specifically in a super gigantic RV. Heidi reminded the designers to expect the unexpected, and with that, we were in store for our first surprise!
This season, the models being used range from size 2 to size 22. The models also will get some airtime thru the use of a confessional mirror. Each week, the models rotate. Tim & Heidi wasted no time getting right into the first challenge. Each designer had to create a red carpet look, demonstrating their point of view as a designer. This was a 1-day challenge, with a $300 budget at Mood.
Huge sponsors for this season — PILOT, with the use of Friction erasable pens for sketching; Brother sewing & embroidery studio; JC Penney accessory wall; Avon for makeup & hair. Prizes for this season include the chance to collaborate with JC Penney to create a limited edition capsule collection; $40k prize pack thru Brother Sewing, including 2 industrial machines; a 2018 Lexus; all expense paid trip to Japan; a spread in Marie Claire; $100k, and more!
The Tim Gunn save is in play this season. And rounding out this week’s judging panel of Heidi Klum, Nina Garcia, and Zac Posen was actress Olivia Munn. The judges raved about the 1st runway. I thought there were some highlights, but I saw that many had an upwards trajectory for improvement ahead. Additionally, I don’t think some hit the mark on creating for the red carpet. But all in all, still an excellent runway!
I’m still wavering on my final top 3, but it would have been very different than the judges. But ultimately, I was 100% in agreement with the winner of the week, Deyonte. I could see his bold aesthetic coming thru in this look. Would this look be loved by everyone? No! But I could guarantee seeing it on red carpets now and it would make many best dressed lists.
Deyonte said Cannes, but I could see more. The flower placement perfection comment was spot on. This would be a look for a strong, confident woman.
Avon SHOUT-OUT — not for the hair, little matronly, but the makeup was beautiful!
Here are my other faves of the week, giving them a little shout-out!
So I actually know Shawn & Claire’s label and had no clue they would be on this season! I was not impressed this week with Shawn, but Claire’s look was gorgeous! Little more of a departure from the work I am used to from this design team, but if this is her solo voice, I LOVE IT! AVON SHOUTOUT — all around for beauty here, perfection!
I was surprised Amy impressed me this much on Week 1. I know she is known for quality and I saw that in this look. But I wondered what would set her apart from other minimalist designers? The ability to transform this look sold me! With more money and time, perhaps the top bra could have been a bit more elegant or sophisticated, but overall, job well done! AVON SHOUTOUT — love the bun, gorgeous makeup as well
A stand alone photo for Kentaro’s look doesn’t do it justice, but the movement here, the fascination attained as it walked the runway, deserves accolade! His previous work with drama and feminine beauty was a clear read in this first piece.
I was wondering what Ayana would, working with her cultural influences with each given challenge. I was impressed. A woman who wanted to don a head covering could really be a stand-out on the red carpet in this look. But additionally, even if this look was sans head covering, it would be super gorgeous. The floral embellishments were captivating.
Moving on to the judges’ faves. I was not surprised Kenya was in the top. I was surprised to see her more shock value aesthetic tamed in this challenge. Overall she did well, but it was not my fave. There was an elegance to this, but I had 2 reasons for keeping this out of my top, both of which the judges mentioned oddly enough! The bodice was a little wonky. And then something with the fabric choice perhaps, wasn’t making this dress look super high quality. But job well done for the 1st challenge!
Brandon struggled this week, so color me shocked that he was in the top. This was more on the bottom of my list! I think you could see it in his face he was confused on making the top as well. I wasn’t sure what red carpet I would see this on and really, this just lacked sophistication for me. Since he is safe, landing in the top, maybe this will give him confidence to forge ahead and impress me in future weeks.
The bottom 3 made more sense than the top. It seems as if Shawn & Claire will get much airtime this season, so I knew she wouldn’t be going home week 1. But this was disappointing to see from Shawn given her experience. She is all about being bold and modern, so I am hoping for more from her in weeks to come. The shorts were such a throwaway here, not making this fit for any red carpet. One of the judges said “club-by” and that was a good label for this.
Leaving ChaCha and Batani in the bottom 2, I was happy Batani was safe. I was so impressed with her previous work as well, so seeing this trainwreck was very disappointing. Even despite the mistakes seen/made, why was this her goal for the week. The color, the use of lace, doesn’t really seem like her forte or aesthetic. The back was worse than the front. And why did she lie about the hidden mistake/tear/hole!
This sadly left ChaCha out first, which anyone leaving first is always sad! He had such a great spirit. And with a wacky, interesting aesthetic, I would have enjoyed seeing a little more. Not sure he would have had the ability to stay for the long-haul, but seeing the fun exuberance wouldn’t have been bad for another week or two! But this look was not that exciting, very much a hot mess!
Until next week……