By CJ Bomb (& Les)
The prodigal show has returned home. Project Runway is back on Bravo! We lost Tim Gunn and Heidi Klum but we got to keep Nina Garcia. Also, we picked up an amazing new cast. Les and I are cautiously optimistic. Everyone working on this show is legit. And the prize is also legit. 250K and collaboration with the Council of Fashion Designers of America? Count us in. We wonder what they are going to keep and change? Let’s dive in shall we?
Karlie Kloss enters doing a pose that Alyssa Milano always tries to pull off and never can. Les texts that her innate sophistication has already made the show better. The woman is a freaking supermodel for Pete’s sake. There are sixteen new designers that are highlighted in a runway show to give us a taste of their sense of style.
Meet The New Judges And The Designers
The seasons judges are Nina Garcia, Brandon Maxwell, and Elaine Welteroth. Two editors in chief of a legit fashion publications and a blue chip fashion designer. Plus, our resident superstar fashion pixie Christian Siriano as the new mentor to the designers. I have met him in person at a trunk show. He fitted me personally and was just as awesome as you would imagine him to be. ACTUAL fashion influencers and press are there. I’m guessing there is no rep from JCPenney. Les and I agree it is a nice way to begin. We like some of the looks more than others. We love Rakan, Tessa Clark, Jamall and Kovid. I guess Hester Sunshine is our resident kook. Nadine Ralliford is our hometown Georgia girl.
The designers head to the workroom which is in a very cool looking loft. Christian Siriano greets them and tells them he’s not there to judge, but to help guide and support them. He is perhaps the only human on the planet capable of taking Tim’s place. He’s also been through the process.
The First Challenge
The first challenge is related to the four judges. There are four photos showing them having their first “moment” in fashion. Karlie Kloss is walking a runway at age 13, Brandon Maxwell brought a picture of his mom modeling a suit in his grandmother’s store. Nina Garcia brought a picture of herself styling her first shoot. Elaine Welteroth brought her first cover shoot for Ebony magazine of Serena Williams rocking a bathing suit celebrating her curves and her strength. The designers have twenty minutes to sketch and talk to the judges about their inspirations. The judges explaining the backgrounds behind their pictures their words are amazing. Les and I are inspired. THEY HAVE TWO DAYS!!!!!!
Everyone is assigned a model. There are all shapes and sizes which is a great thing. Hester Sunshine is already annoying me. Tessa Clark grew up with miller dad and ceramicist mom so she is incorporating an apron into her minimalist design. Renee Hill loves the “mom” inspiration because she has NINE kids. Nine. Les texts: “Damn.” Frankie is doing a bodysuit.
A Deluxe Apartment In The Sky And Mood Money!
The designers head to a penthouse where they will all be living together. Everyone is thrilled except for Cavanagh who Les and I have already deemed the resident princess. She can’t remember the last time she slept in a twin bed, but thinks it was in Europe when they had to push them together to make a king. I’m happy Joan Sebastian Grey, who cleans houses for a living and Frankie Lewis who is currently couch surfing because her boyfriend dumped her, aren’t there to hear this entitled commentary. Renee Hill needs to be in a room with all women as she is a Muslim.
At Mood, everyone runs around frantically trying to get the fabric they need as well as the lay of the land. Lela Orr is an luxury eco designer so she is buying recycled fabric. Frankie is thrilled she has $250 to shop as she has never had this big of a budget. Cavanaugh who has eclipsed Hester Sunshine as my least favorite says that a two hundred dollars is an insufficient amount of money to shop for quality fabric. She is doing a jacket over a dress and hoping that the cheap wool crepe will work. I don’t like this woman. Christian Siriano is trying to help an indecisive Hester Sunshine.
The New Project Runway Workroom
Back in the workroom everyone settles in and gets down to pattern making. There are so many designers right now I’m going to try and remember everyone as Christian Siriano comes through and gives his critique.
They are focusing on Frankie, Hester, Cavanaugh and Tessa so that makes me think at least those four are going to be in the top or bottom. Hester Sunhine has realized she stupidly picked material she has never worked with and is now having major issues. Kovid Kapoor, who is one of our favorites kindly tells her she is talented and he believes in her. He is doing a “goddess gown.”
Cavanaugh tells us about how her father, who has recently passed, was so proud of her and a big inspiration in her life even though he wasn’t a fashionable person. Our hearts soften towards her a little bit.
Venny Etienne thinks his outfit is too basic so he adds feathers to make it more festive.
Frankie Lewis realizes she has put a seam down the front of her body suit and needs to redo it. Gary “Garo Sparo” Spampinato tells her that she doesn’t want “the toes of the camel”. Truer words, Garo. He’s worried Frankie struggling.
A New Project Runway Twist
The next day, Christian Siriano and Karlie Kloss come in and Karlie announces a new component to the show. On select challenges the viewers will be able to vote on their favorite looks and the viewer favorite as well as the judge’s winning choice will be manufactured by 19th amendment and sold on the Bravo website. The designers will take pics of their models in their completed looks and post them to Bravo’s Instagram story. Les and I agree that this is a good twist.
More Advice From Christina Siriano
Kovid Kapoor is soooo excited to have Christian Siriano critique him. He calls him Mr. Siriano. He explains how he wants to do a structured jacket over his flowy goddess dress. Christian tells him to think about not doing too many elements and keep it cool and modern. Maybe not do the jacket.
Venny Etienne is taking Christian’s advice by not adding more feathers to his look or adding more patchwork elements to the top. Christian tells him the feathers on the hips are the statement of the piece. KISS is always good advice. I use it frequently. (Keep it simple stupid). He also tells him it’s alright to cry. We love Christian.
Christian Siriano tells Cavanaugh that the jacket over her dress needs to be very special, otherwise she has just done a basic black dress. He tells her to get moving.
Oh Frankie. Christian Siriano tells her to make sure the fit of her bodysuit is celebrating her model’s body, not constricting it. He points out some basic design issues. She assures him she will keep it classy as there are no stripper poles on the runway.
The Project Runway Models Arrive
The models come in and Les and I are confused. Is this all the critique we are getting? Cavanaugh is in trouble. She sewed her jacket incorrectly and it is way too small. Kovid Kapoor makes us love him even more when his models tells him how excited she is to be the first transgender model on Project Runway. He tells her how honored he is to dress her. Kovid says she is gorgeous and that she’s an actual goddess wearing his gown. He feels a connection to her as they both come from countries where being who they are is basically illegal. Back home in India, the neighbors called the police on him and his boyfriend of eight years. They were forced to flee.
Frankie Lewis did not account for her model’s height and her bodysuit is looking more like a bikini. She starts to cry. We are guessing Frankie and Cavanaugh are going to be in the bottom two. Hester Sunshine comes over to comfort Frankie Lewis and Christian Siriano then runs over to help her simplify and encourages her to make it work.
We know for sure that Frankie and Cavanaugh are in the bottom. As Afa Ah Loo steps in to help Frankie put in a zipper, Cavanaugh asks her MODEL to hand sew something. Afa tells us he is more inclined to help Frankie because she and Cavanaugh are two very different people. He thinks Frankie is very kind and warm and Cavanaugh? Well he doesn’t want to be a douchebag on TV. I guess our princess vibes were correct.
After hair and makeup, the designers head off to take their photos for Instagram. Cavanaugh tells us she would never use a phone to take a picture for social media. All the pictures they use are professionally shot. Girl, have a fucking SEAT. Tessa Clark has no problem using her phone. She does it all the time and has five different accounts. Six people step in to help Frankie finish. Cavanagh thinks the only person who you should be counting on should be you. I do think that Frankie is way over her head. I also think that Cavanaugh should be worried about her extremely basic look.
Karlie Kloss comes out looking like the supermodel she is. There is no guest judge this week.
Inspired by Brandon Maxwell
Venny Etienne Les texts: No like the feathers. I just don’t think most of us want feathers highlighting our hips. It’s very editorial though.
Nadine Ralliford Les texts: No like this biker shorts. I don’t care for this either. It is a weird juxtaposition of elements and while I’m usually down for that, I don’t think these elements work together.
Cavanagh Baker Basic and boring. Slit too high. Les didn’t even comment on this one.
Renee Hill. Les loves Brandon’s triple take on this. I think it is very classy and elegant take on a traditional suit. Taking the skirt off and turning it into a cape worked.
Inspired by Karlie Kloss
Lela Orr. I think the asymmetrical top is a nice color but too long. I also think the shiny skirt worked fabric wise, but I’m not sure about pairing it with tennis shoes. It looks poorly made.
Rakan “Shams” Aldeen Les hates this jumpsuit. I think it is the wrong fabric choice. I know how much work went into it, but between the washed out color and the shape it feels basic and not in a good way.
Jamaal Osterholm Les hates this one too. I actually like this. And once I can stop focusing on the model’s nipples, I am really digging the pants. I bet this looks a heck of a lot better in person.
Bishme Cromartie Les texts one word: AWFUL. She thinks this challenge was too wide and abstract. I like the sleeves of the top but I think the pants are not flattering at all.
Inspired by Nina Garcia
Garo Sparo Les is digging this. I think his take on sailing chic is at least interesting. I’m not sure about the corset belt.
Tessa Clark Les thinks that she should have worked on matching the front to the back more. I LOVE this. It’s modern and cool. I love the simplicity of the neckline, the length of the tunic and how the straps flow in the back. It looks expensive to me.
Sonia Kasparian I don’t even remember this designer. Les writes: Been there, done that…Just dress a lady in sails and send her off. I actually like it. It looks like a modern sailing kimono jumpsuit. It flows nicely down the runway.
Sebastian Grey Les thinks that this is a good look. I think it looks editorial for a photo shoot on a yacht. The ties around the ankles look good on a runway and in a photo but would be a major pain in the ass in real life. I have a pair in my closet. They have been worn once.
Inspired by Elaine Welteroth
Afa Ah Loo Les thinks the train of the dress made the model look bigger and it was unflattering. I am in complete agreement on this. If he had hemmed the bottom properly and left off the train this dress would be amazing. It looks heavy as it is.
Frankie Lewis We hear Nadine Ralliford telling Cavanagh to stop worrying because this is the look that is going home. Cavanagh replies that at least she took a risk. Les texts: Cheeky on runway = going home. It is going to be between these two as this is awful but Cavanaghs was awful AND boring.
Hester Sunshine Les loves the idea of a deconstructed cocktail dress. I actually don’t hate this. I weirdly kind of like it and think it would look great on a young girl.
Kovid Kapoor Les thinks that Kovid’s dress has been done too many times. I think it is a pretty flowy goddess dress. Not much more than that.
CJ & Les Choose Tops & Bottoms
Les must have gotten distracted because I didn’t get her top and bottom three. So I’m just going to imagine she thinks Frankie is headed home and I agree. My favorite was Tessa.
Elaine Welteroth wants to know where Venny thinks his girl is going. She tells him she would wear the jacket. Nina has a great reaction to this? She thinks that there is a lot going on but she would rather have more ideas than less. Brandon thinks the model looked confident and happy wearing it and that it what matters most.
Brandon Maxwell cannot believe that Cavanaugh spent her whole budget. He thought she had money left over to buy herself a drink. Nina Garcia’s look made ME almost burst into tears. Elaine Welteroth says that it says a lot that she’s not surprised by any of their critiques on her basic boring dress.
Brandon thought there was a quiet strength to Renee Hill’s look that totally represents his mom. Awwwww. Elaine Welterworth was so impressed with her skill set that she cannot wait to see more.
Nina Garcia thinks that Lela Orr captured young Karlie’s essence but there’s not a lot of design. Karlie Kloss thinks if you are going to do simple you need to do it perfectly.
Nina Garcia thinks that Tessa Clark’s design looks expensive and that is the best compliment that she gives: LUXE. She thinks the cut of the pant is superb. Brandon Maxwell got chic fisherman.
Frankie Lewis starts off by telling the judges she knows this sucks. Not a good way to start. Elaine Welteroth tells her it lacks craftsmanship. Nina Garcia thinks comfort equals confidence and this is awful.
Won won? Who went home?
Tessa Clark is the winner! So the designers decide basic is worse than bad. Cavanaugh is headed home.
So what did you guys think? Love it? Hate it? What is better? What needed to be better? We are dying to hear your thoughts. I know this was a long one. Personally, I wanted more critiques personally.
Have a FABULOUS weekend and see you next week for more Project Runway! xoxo CJ and Les!