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PROJECT RUNWAY.....Project Runway Season 7 Recap: Episode 1
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Back In The Big Apple!Yes, Project Runway is back kiddies, for its Seventh Season! Production returned to New York City...and not a moment too soon. Lifetime did not waste time in getting this season "in the can", edited and done with, to satisfy the fans who were left with a not-so-yummy taste in their mouths after the last "LA" season. For the Season 7 Opener, the designers returned to the Atlas Apartments where they were met by a I'm-pregnant-again-Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn to toast their arrival in NYC. First Challenge: Who are You?Now, it's "First Challenge" time: Designers must create a look that embodies who they are as a designer, pretty standard for the first Project Runway challenge. The designers take a trip to Central Park, where Tim is waiting for them-- instead of making a trip to Mood, Mood has come to them, in the form of a Central Park Outdoor Guerrilla Pop-Up Store! They have 3 minutes to grab as much fabric as they can. Then they can only select 5 pieces from all that fabric to take back to their workroom. FIDM Copycat:As they entered their newly painted Parsons Workroom (pink???) and checked out their Brother Sewing Room, I am struck at how much it mirrored the interiors back in the LA workrooms of the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising last season. Huney, back in Season 2, that same Parsons Workroom was GRAY and reminiscent of a hospital greeting area. And don't let me start on the sewing room, it had corkboards on the wall! That WAS the decor! They seriously were doing it "on the cheap" back in the day. Also, now the contestants were given an HP TouchSmart Notebook to help them with their sketching (say what?). Is this their First Semester of Fashion Illustration at Parsons?! The Cast Of Characters: Of course, it wouldn't be a Reality Show without having its cast of "characters". Yes, we know that this show stands out from others in that brain-numbing genre in that they actually HAVE a Talent. But that's not enough. It's TV kiddies. Character highlights: Miss Thang:"It's hard to be Gay, Black and from the Ghetto" Anthony Williams seemed to have thought he was auditioning to be on "Real Housewives of Atlanta", not Project Runway. The minute he came in the room, he turned up the "hoochie" factor a couple of notches (OK, MANY notches!). He seems like fun and I'm sure the producers just LOOOOVED him--however, if he can't back up his over-the-top persona with incredible creations, Miss Thang might be sent packing and forced to hang out with NeNe. The Token Straight Rocker Guy, Season 7's Jeffrey Sebelia:Seth Aaron Henderson is the Straight Rocker Guy. He likes eyeliner, and has a knack for over accessorizing. A Scarf, three necklaces, three rings, plus a cuff or two...I have a feeling I would not want to be standing behind him at LAX when we have to go through the TSA Security Check. Rock on Seth Aaron! The Quiet Pixie, Season 7's Leanne Marshall:Anna Lynett was one of the contestants I was privileged to have met during the LA castings. She was quiet, reserved and reminded me a lot of Season 5's Winner Leanne Marshall. Her designs mirrored her demeanor as well. The Crier:Oh darling Janeane Marie (what is it with EVERYONE having two first names this season?) Ceccanti. It's only the first episode and she's already crying up a storm! Bless her heart! I know that it's a pressure cooker/surreal environment up in there, but try to hold it back, at least for the first five episodes. Tim's New Boyfriend, Season 7's Logan Neitzel:Contestant Jesse LeNoir (is that a real name?) is this season's new "hottie". Move over Logan Neitzel, you've been replaced (just kidding Logan!). His Audition Video was one of the best. No wonder: He lists "Actor" as his first way of describing himself. He does remind me a bit of Christian Bale. I'm sure many a female--and male fan--can't wait for the producers to get those "Jesse Shirtless" shots edited into several episodes. The Ari Fish of Season 7, Miss Kooky:Ping Ping Ping!!! Two "Ari Fish's" in back-to-back seasons! But this one might have a little bit more design talent thank God! You just KNOW that when Ping Wu walked into the castings, the producers all high-fived themselves--they had struck Character GOLD! I actually like her quirkiness and free-spirit. In her MyLifetime.com Bio, it states that she's a physical therapist (as well as designer), I can totally see that. I can smell the incense and calming fragrance candles a MILE way! The Designs--My Faves and not so Faves: It was judging time, and well, let's all take a moment to clap for Nina and Michael's "return". Nicole Ritchie was the guest judge for the premiere episode. Last season it was Lindsay Lohan. Is there a pattern here? Maybe next season, Paris Hilton will make her Project Runway judging debut. I actually think Nicole did a good job. Her comments were nice, intelligent and she seemed approachable. Since this Challenge was to show who these kids were as designers, I admit that I was a bit--to coin Michael Kors--underwhelmed. Not so many of them really "shouted" at me or made a definitive statement of who they were as a designer. Except... Amy Sarabi: Interesting diagonal draping and tucking and it was "on trend" with her under-corset as outer-top, which John Galliano for Dior championed at the last Paris Haute Couture 09-10 Autumn/Winter shows. And the Winner, deservedly, Emilio Sosa: He might not be re-inventing the design wheel here but this was Upper East Side chic. Very Carolina Herrera and Oscar de la Renta. His original use of ribbon details, the fit, and the fact that he didn't just use the fabric he had but "re-created" something new, gave him the First Challenge win. It also helped that his model stomped it like the RENT was DUE! Love her! The Kooky Bunch: Number One: Ping of course. I know I am in the minority here, but I actually liked this. It was very Issey Miyake (one of her favorite designers) and showed some orginality--especially in a sea of not-so-exciting dresses. I know that it is not to most people's tastes but neither was Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garcons or Hussein Chalayan. Ping is NOT designing for most of America. She made a definite statement here. The only thing that was wrong for me is her choice of shoes. Gold strappy heels? Really? Maya Luz: As I watched her in the workroom, it looked as if she was going to come up with some FIERCE look. However, when this too-tight shift dress with an oversized ruffle THING came down the runway, all I wanted to do was get some scissors and cut it off! When Christian Siriano and Chris March did it, it was organic; on this design, it was forced. Seth Aaron Henderson: Can anyone say Hot Topic? Is it just me? I am not a fan of the picking up-of-the-fabric technique that we see in a lot of TACKY prom and wedding dresses. So just that alone, made me give it a "Nick No-No".Jay Nicolas Sario: Where are those scissors again?Anna Lynett: A gold brocade halter dress that I can find at a local Silverlake vintage store as well as the back racks of Chico's does not qualify as "making a statement". I like Anna for her quiet demeanor, but she will have to SHOUT next time in terms of her designs and creativity. Matthew Williamson's Pre-Fall 2010 Draped Chiffon Gown and Christiane King's Aufed Dress Finally, the "First One Out" Title went to Christiane King--She was on the right track with this design (as seen above next to the Matthew Williamson Pre-Fall look), however, she just needed more sophistication. I have no problem with color. I love color. I just think some of her color combinations in connection with the style, as well as the not-so-good construction got her in trouble. Bye Christiane! See you next week for another "Uncle Nick" recap...