Project Runway Recap: Season 12 Premiere!

People jumping out of planes! Exposed vaginas on the runway! Dear readers, are you ready for the utter madness that is the Season 12 premiere of Project Runway

The Challenge: Random strangers literally jumped out of airplanes for no other reason than to throw their parachutes on the ground, thus delivering the materials for this unconventional challenge. It was exactly as ridiculous as it sounds, but the great thing about the parachutes as the material is that they all came in bright colors. For once, we didn’t see a sea of safe black dresses on the runway!

Guest Judge: Kate Bosworth – for once, they found a starlet I actually find fashionable to serve as a guest judge! Her critiques were friendly and constructive, which is really all you need to make a great judge.

ALEXANDER POPE
Age 38; Ridgewood, NY
Photo: Lifetime

Photo: Lifetime

Alexander, or Ginger Dandy as I like to call him, is almost too much to handle, but he’s got a background in Broadway costuming, so I’m tentatively on his side. I liked the pattern he created – it was impressively flattering and chic, and the colors worked well together. But the purple fabric on the shoulders and the legs clung to his model’s body in a weird way, making it too clear that this dress was made out of a parachute.

ALEXANDRIA VAN BROMSSEN
Age 38; San Mateo, CA
Photo: Lifetime

Photo: Lifetime

The pockets are awesome, and from the front, this is a pretty strong look. But the thick, crooked seam down the back is a serious problem, and it takes away from the clean, chic-but-athletic vibe this dress had going for it.

ANGELA BACSKOCKY, Eliminated
Age 33; Richmond, VA
Photo: Lifetime

Photo: Lifetime

I didn’t know something in such bright colors could be so depressing, but this is just the saddest little smock in the world. I almost want to give it a hug. Now, this certainly wasn’t the worst thing on the runway, but it was deserving of the bottom three.

BRADON MCDONALD, Winner
Age 38; Los Angeles, CA
Photo: Lifetime

Photo: Lifetime

Bradon better hope that they don’t switch up the models soon, because this girl was on FIRE. Don’t get me wrong, his design was ethereal and dramatic and certainly one of the best on the runway, but his model sold it like her life depended on it. This was one of the looks that made this a truly fun and fabulous runway show – dare I say it, it actually made me excited for the rest of the season. And here I thought I was way too jaded for that!

DOM STREATER
Age 24; Philadelphia, PA
Photo: Lifetime

Photo: Lifetime

Dom Streater, whose name is so awesome I can’t believe she’s not already a famous designer, managed to make separates, which I respect. The skirt’s got some major construction issues, but I like the idea of this look at the very least.

HELEN CASTILLO
Age 25; Union City, NJ
Photo: Lifetime

Photo: Lifetime

How she can sew with those claw nails, I’ll never know. She’s trying way too hard to solidify herself as The Bitch, which makes me want to ignore her, but this look is pretty good. It’s got a few too many design elements and I don’t like the styling at all, but there’s potential here.

JEREMY BRANDRICK
Age 41; New York City, NY
Photo: Lifetime

Photo: Lifetime

This was the only look that got an audible “Wow” out of me, so that’s something. It’s got some construction issues that would keep it from getting the win from me, but I would definitely have placed this in the top. I’d straight-up love those pants if they had a few less things hanging off them, and the top was a great idea, if lacking in execution.

JUSTIN LEBLANC
Age 27; Raleigh, NC
Photo: Lifetime

Photo: Lifetime

The construction is actually quite good, but this was a total middle-of-the-road, forgettable look. It lacks design and originality; it’s good enough to be safe only because there’s still over a dozen other people on the runway. As the season progresses, we’ll see. I’ll give Justin the benefit of the doubt for now.

KAHINDO MATEENE
Age 34; Chicago, IL
Photo: Lifetime

Photo: Lifetime

This was one of my favorites. I know the fit in the bodice isn’t great, but the pleating in the skirt was so expertly done, I can’t even imagine how she did that to a parachute in a day and a half. Tweak it slightly and it’s red carpet ready, which is more than you can say for most of the other looks on this runway.

KAREN BATTS
Age 29; Queens, NY
Photo: Lifetime

Photo: Lifetime

I really hated this look. The black lines matched up, but the random patches of blue fabric behind it didn’t, and this blob-like silhouette gave the model no shape whatsoever. And it seems like the entire back was done in regular fabric instead of parachute material, so this had basically nothing going for it. Karen’s lucky there were vaginas exposed on the runway, or she might have found herself in the bottom three.

KATE PANKOKE
Age 24; Chicago, IL
Photo: Lifetime

Photo: Lifetime

Who voted to bring back this completely unremarkable designer? She’s boring as the day is long, and her soundbites sound even more rehearsed than they did last season. Anyway, this is cute enough, but almost saccharine, and not as memorable as she clearly thought it would be.

KEN LAURENCE
Age 24; Birmingham, AL
Photo: Lifetime

Photo: Lifetime

The pictures don’t do it justice, but that ruffled strawberry-colored thing moved so beautifully on the runway. Even though it was pleated and constructed, it still sort of floated like a parachute, and it was kind of brilliant. I loved the color palette and the styling – Ken’s another one that I’m excited to see more from.

MIRANDA LEVY, Bottom 4
Age 29; Milwaukee, WI
Photo: Lifetime

Photo: Lifetime

I was impressed that the judges bumped Miranda from the top to the bottom when they realized her excellent look was made almost entirely out of regular fabric, and the parachute materials made up maybe 15% of the look. Her work was impeccable, but they were right to be sticklers for the rules. Every other designer could have made a significantly more polished look if they had only used the parachutes as accents. But if she can actually abide by the challenges, I’m looking forward to seeing more from Miranda, since this look really was fantastic in all other respects.

SANDRO MASMANIDI, Bottom 4
Age 28; New York City, NY
Photo: Lifetime

Photo: Lifetime

What do I hate most about Sandro? This outfit in general? The fact that his model’s vagina was hanging out for half the runway show? The fact that his accent was twice as heavy in front of the judges as it was in the workroom? There’s so many things to choose from. But even I’ll admit, I gasped when I saw the preview at the end of him sucker-punching a camera. I might watch for the clothes and not the drama, but that’s going to be HILARIOUS. That being said, I’d have sent him home for this atrocity in a heartbeat. Nothing else came close, as far as I’m concerned. I never thought I’d need to say it, but your model should not have to use a rope-merkin to conceal the fact that you can’t manage to cover her vagina properly.

SUE WALLER, Top 2
Age 45; Brooklyn, NY
Photo: Lifetime

Photo: Lifetime

I wasn’t sold on this at first, but every time I look at it, I love it more and more. The rouching, the colorblocking – she didn’t hide the fact that the dress is made of parachutes, she just made it look like sort of parachute-couture. I’m not sure Sue can work a sewing machine well enough to stay in the competition much longer, but this was an impressive first showing.

TIMOTHY WESTBROOK, Bottom 4
Age 24; Milwaukee, WI
Photo: Lifetime

Photo: Lifetime

Who didn’t laugh when Zac Posen pointed out that burning synthetic fabric isn’t exactly sustainable, when Timothy presented himself as the environmental queen of fashion design? This little prick expects the Loreal hair team to be able to come up with a workable hairstyle that they’re not ashamed of presenting to the world without use of a blow dryer, a straightener, a curling iron, or basically anything but a brush and bobby pins? And it’s downright offensive to tell your makeup team that your model simply doesn’t need it. Stage lights mean everyone needs makeup. Anyone who’s spent ten minutes under bright lights can tell you that it washes you out and erases your features. And then he doesn’t let his model wear shoes on the runway, but he stomps on stage in a pair of gold glittery high heels? F off, you selfish idiot child.

Miscellaneous Threads:

– Kate, who was voted by “the fans” to return to the show from last season, showed up to the parachuting event in a private plane while the rest of the cast watched. Um, why?

– I vote that all future materials for this season be launched out of the skies.

– I was skeptical of the new accessory wall from Tim’s description of it: “Belk epitomizes the modern southern woman.” That’s great, but why the south when it’s a fashion competition in New York City?

– Tim said the designers will be managing their own spending and budgets throughout the season. Since they didn’t buy any materials this episode, I have absolutely no idea what the hell this means.

– Tim now gets to watch the runway show (as he always has, but on camera now). He also presents the top and bottom three looks to the judges so that they can examine the work up close, and he can describe their processes in the workroom. He also gets one opportunity this season to save a designer who the other judges chose to eliminate. It’s a lot of new rules, but only good things can come from the judges actually having to see how much glue, spit, and safety pins are holding some of these dresses together. Oh, and the runway show is anonymous – the judges aren’t told who designed which looks. Though it’ll be pretty obvious a few episodes in.

– Zac Posen said Sandro’s model “looks like a slutty cat toy.” Someone’s been reading the Michael Kors dictionary!

– “We have to protect the forest to keep unicorns alive.” Timothy basically told us from the beginning of the episode that he was a faux-hippie moron lunatic, didn’t he?

Judges’ Top 2: Bradon and Sue
Diva’s Top 3: Bradon, Sue, Jeremy
Judges’ Bottom 4: Miranda, Sandro, Timothy, Angela
Diva’s Bottom 3: Angela, Timothy, Sandro


© Democracy Diva, 2013.
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3 responses to Project Runway Recap: Season 12 Premiere!

  1. eric choty loveyoudercher

    love you, thank you for this. shall be watching the runway via mi diva favorita. you better be in new york city when i’m there

  2. MoHub

    Isn’t this THE FIRST TIME IN PROJECT RUNWAY HISTORY that a designer was moved from the top to the bottom group? Ah, precedent!

  3. I almost shit myself and dropped my glass of malbec when they said “Belk fashion wall”. BLAHAHA, it might as well be Sears!

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