Project Runway S8 Ep1: Sew Much Drama!

There are 17 designers instead of 16! They find out they are still auditioning (even though they were all on the show last night?)! There could be multiple eliminations! They must make designs out of their own clothes! No, wait! They make designs out of each other's clothes! They only have five hours! They don't get to meet their models! Oh the drama!

Even though they were really trying to pump up the drama for this first episode. I was glad to see some effort put into creating an interesting challenge. When the designers arrived outside Parsons, they were told they still had to audition with this first challenge since there were 17 instead of 17. As we discussed in the round-ups of this season's cast, that was clearly a ploy for drama, but mostly good things resulted.

Each designer had to choose an item from his or her suitcase to turn into a design. As a twist, Heidi told them to pass that item to the person on their right. To make matters worse, they only had five hours to create their design. After a brief HP commercial, the designers got to sketch then head to the Mood annex (no time for a real trip to Mood!) for extra materials. They were provided with model cards and measurements, but at no point did the models come in for a fitting until runway time. Tim made his rounds, but seemed increasingly concerned with several of the designers. Tim gave words of wisdom that were mostly ignored, but sadly the judges didn't consult Tim at all and eliminated some good talent, which brings us to the runway and judging: (Spoilers ahead as usual. If you haven't seen it yet, watch the full episode online.)

Valerie created this pink and brown and yellow dress. It looks rather cartoon-ish but I've seen quite a bit of this going on lately so at least it's current. She got a lot of detail work in for five hours, and actually executed a pretty dangerous top without exposing the model. Valerie was safe.

Peach seems to have a lot of fans on Twitter. I'd like to cheer for the oldest contestant, but I don't get her. She says she makes clothes for ladies who lunch but everything thing I've seen from her just looks like something I could have purchased at Contempo Casuals in 2001--very outdated teenager. In fact, I think I once owned the skirt version of this dress. It was $14.99 on clearance. Goodwill has it now. Am I missing the attraction to Peach? It's well-made enough, but lots of things are made well. Peach was safe.
Andy, will you please move in with me and make my clothes? I want that hat, and I want to know how you make a collar on a cape like that in five hours. If you can do this so quickly, you could totally solve my never-ending problem of what to wear tomorrow by simply making me a new outfit every night. You'd be like my own personal fashion fairy godmother. Thanks. Email me for my address. Anyway, back to the post. I like this. A lot. Andy was safe.
Sarah is an odd one so I expect to see some really interesting things from her. I'm not a romper fan. I'm also not a fan of rompers that look like cut off coveralls, but she made this fit a model she'd never seen before. That's excellent tailoring in five hours. I can see the Urban Outfitters set buying this. Sarah was safe.
Mondo didn't wow me. I keep having to look for the image I saved with his name on it to remember what he made. It's nice enough and made well. The color blocking with the print is interesting. But it's mostly meh. Mondo was safe.
Michael Costello created lovely detail on the neckline of the top. I also like the bubble gum pink flowing top with the shiny, tight black skirt. It's a nice mix of soft and hard. That being said, I could probably buy this at Bebe. I might have to go to Charlotte Russe for the top, but I could still buy it at almost any mall. It's not a bad look at all, but it's not a strong first showing either. Michael Costello is safe.
Kristin turned what, if I recall correctly, was a kilt into a collar. It was a unique idea, but the black fabric isn't quite right. The whole thing looks bulky. It's kind of like a bag of rags were used to make a collar on a tarp that was cinched into a dress. She did only have five hours, and she didn't do bad. But, again, not a strong first showing. Kristin was safe.
Christopher created a pretty cool dress with what could have been a pretty bad print. He made it look lux. I like the collar. It makes an otherwise unoriginal dress rather interesting. It looks ready to hit stores, which is something to say for a five hour creation. Not a bad first outing. Christopher was safe.
Michael Drummond could have had a hippie train wreck on his hands, but he made a rather chic little wrap dress. If it came to the knee, I'd be begging to own it. I think I could even wear it backwards. I adore back. The draping and the ornamentation are lovely. Also, this was a chic use of bamboo-style tye dye. hard to do. And I love that he used blue and orange. (Blue!) I'm looking forward to seeing more from him. Michael Drummond was safe.
A.J. worried me. When I read he loved Heatherette and thought of Paris Hilton as a style icon, I was questioning his taste level faster than Michael Kors coulc make a quip about hookers. While I can see elements of Heatherette and Paris Hilton in this look, I also see some Tim Burton-esque dark ballerina vibes going on. I rather like it. I'm impressed with what he made in five hours. The styling is pretty cool too. I like the chains. Very strong first look. A.J. was safe.
Gretechen's dress made me gasp when the model walked onto the runway. She had very little to work with--just a sheer jacket with some beading on it, but she created what the judges called the "clear winner." I want this dress. I love the demure look with the sparkle on the sleeves, and I can't get over the subtle sexiness of the open back with the sheer black fabric flowing over most of it. Almost anyone could wear this and end up on a best dressed list. It evokes Grace Kelly. I got the felling that all three female judges, especially guest judge Selma Blair, would have like to take it home. Gretchen won the first challenge.
There was no bottom and top three last night. Only a bottom six. April seemed to be the least of the offenders in the judges eyes. She deconstructed the blazer she was using by turning it inside out and leaving much of it unfinished. MK said if she wants to deconstruct than she should show them that she can also construct. Nina worried that the unfinished feel wasn't really on purpose, but was covering for the lack of work finished in the time limit. In the end she was safe.
Nicholas intrigued the judges with the idea of a sportswear item, like the bomber jacket he started with, turned into an evening gown. I like how he used the waistband as a the collar, but it stops there. While I think a bomber jacket pocket could look cool on an evening dress, this looked awkward. The dress pretty much flopped and left the judges bored. Nicholas was rewarded for his idea though and moved through to next week.
Jason started with a kimono. Turned it backwards. Stapled some stuff. Threw in some pins and left them there then sent his thankfully unique looking model down the runway. I'm still baffled that he didn't go home. I don't think he sewed anything. He may have made a few cuts, but I'm not even sure of that. Nina asked, "Did you think you could just put it on backwards and we wouldn't notice?" And Heidi pondered, "Why is he not using the sewing machine." Selma Blair said she did like that he had a look going on. This must of been the redeeming comment. Or he has mind control powers because we'll be seeing him next week. If I had known you didn't need to sew, I would have auditioned for the show.
Ivy was sure she was headed home after the judges had their say. They ripped her top to shreds. (Not literary. It already looked like that). And most of all they were appalled she simply used the pants Peach had doomed her with as pants with a few more details. (I think these pants should have been a mark against Peach. They are a "no"). I kind of like the top. I agree with the judges on the pants. MK said, "When something is that unattractive, you need to transform it." Ivy made it to next week.
Casanova. Hmm. Where do we start? This guy needs a translator. I really don't think he understands English that well. When asked to pick out a garment for their designs, he chose some brand new pants that cost over $1000. He clearly thought they would be returned. He is a bit flighty, but the language barrier seems to be his main problem. Nina had to translate on the runway. However, no language barrier is an excuse for this outfit. MK went on a quip frenzy saying the model looked like a mother of the bride belly dancer and a "pole dancer in Dubai." They didn't know what to make of him. They wanted to appreciate that he had come up with this from a simple blouse, but they had a hard time appreciating the look regardless of where it came from. I feel like he was given a pity vote because of the language barrier so we'll see him next week.
McKell was eliminated. I AM OUTRAGED. This was not the worst look up there. The judges hated the styling. OK. I can't really argue. The styling didn't work for her. However, the dress is kinda cute. I like where she took a button down shirt. The model does have some side-boob issues, but they have never seen these models before and no advance fittings were allowed so I think we can give her a pass on that. If all the other looks had been good or even sewed, I would have sent this one home. But that wasn't the case. She deserved to stay. Her portfolio is strong. Tim was even sad to see her go and reaffirmed that he though the dress was cute and was shocked by the outcome. I demand a recount. This was not a fair elimination. Bring back McKell.
What did you think? Did you like the challenge? What about the winner? Who is your favorite so far? Who should have gone home? How many episodes do you think it will take before they finally do a double elimination since they still have an extra contestant?


JIM Designs said…
I agree with you:
Andy and Gretchen are my favs.

I also agree that McKell should NOT have been the one sent home.
Casanova should've. His outfit was AWFUL. At least McKell showed something cute on the runway, not stripperish.
Sarah O. said…
I completely agree with your post. McKell's dress was not the worst one on the runway, and I even thought it was kinda fun and cute. I thought that if anyone were to go home it should have been Jason and Casanova. The fact that Jason didn't even sew his garment and sent it down the runway with staples and pins is unforgivable; and Casanova's model was WAY too naked.
Anonymous said…
i thought michael's was totally adorable and I thought the bomber jacket evening gown wasn't as bad as everyone else seemed to had a pretty shape and seemed flattering on the model. Kimono boy really should've gone home though! I mean come on!
Anonymous said…
I must be the only one who thought Gretchen's dress was peeeewwwww weeeee butt ugly. Those shoulders, icky. They really accentuated the fact the model has no neck. The hem line....huh? It looked like a choir gown that got bedazzled. Micheal or Andy should have won.
Jael Paris said…
Anon, I don't get the appeal of Gretchen's dress either.

As of now, Andy has all my love.
Rachel said…
I'm so with you on the eliminated designer... WHAT?! They eliminated a cutish dress but kept the homeless kimono monk and the pole dancer?? Oookay.

I really didn't like the winning look though. It was meh for me. I loooooved Andy's outfit and his model was AWESOME. She sold it!

Robin said…
I finally watched this!

Peach: Totally agree. I don't get her at all. They even made fun of the clothes she *brought*!

Romper: Thought the same thing about the Urban Outfitters gang.

The AJ look: Had everything I love in a dress (minus color) but I forgot about it the second it was off the runway.


Jason: I totally agree. What WAS that? Maybe if he stopped mentally fondling his model's breasts (and bragging to the camera about said mental fondling) he could have actually sewn some clothes. Send that loser home.

Ivy: I thought looked okay, but the judges did point out its weaknesses to me. The toile pants didn't kill me personally, but doing zero to them did.

Casanova: I dislike him, but at least he was interesting. I was okay with him staying for now.

McKell: My second favorite dress!! If there were slightly more boob coverage, I would absolutely buy and wear that. And if it were given to me, I'd solve the side boob crisis and wear it all the time. LOVED this dress. I didn't mind the styling terribly. I agree- total garbage that Captain Staples McBoob gets to stay and she was the ONLY ONE to go.

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