Meet the Project Runway Season 11 Designers

Posted on January 11, 2013

Attention whores: PRESENT.

Project Runway Season 11 -Teams Edition, premieres Thursday, January 24, at 9pm.

Once again, we are faced with a fresh crop of drama queens, darlings. Because Lifetime won’t be happy until Project Runway is broadcast every hour of every day.

So let’s do the usual round of pre-judging. Who’s the bitch? The naive one? The not-here-to-make-friends one? The sassy homosexual? The dilettante? The completely forgettable one? The self-taught one? The one with rage issues? Go to town, darlings.

 

Amanda Valentine, 31 – Hometown: Lincoln, NE; Resides in Nashville, TN

Current occupation?
I make my living now as a wardrobe stylist and costume designer. I work on everything from music videos to commercials to photo shoots. This month I’ve dressed musicians for red carpet, shot a hot-sauce ad and worked on a hospital training video.

Do you think you can win “Project Runway”?
YES! I design professionally. I’ve been designing for years. I also have a unique point of view that is forward-thinking and wearable at the same time. And doggoneit, I WANT it!

Benjamin Mach, 35 – Hometown: Sydney, Australia; Resides in London, England

Current occupation?
I work creatively on so many projects, including set design, costume design and graphic design, and when I am not being paid to design for others I am working away at establishing the “NARCISSUS by Benjamin Mach” brand.

Do you think you can win “Project Runway”?
For me the winner of “Project Runway” is n’t the person who walks away with the money prize in the final episode. The winner is the person who has longevity in the international fashion industry and is also embraced by the international fashion community over seasons to come. I have been designing for other brands for a long time, and I have gained experience on so many levels in my career that I feel as though I have the talent and skills to be a brilliant winner for “Project Runway.” My end goal is to establish myself as a celebrated designer in the real world, whatever the outcome of the competition. I’m living life to win.

Cindy Marlatt, 59 – Hometown: Kent, WA; Resides in Kent, WA

Current occupation?
I design my new line most days, and work part-time, as needed, at the funeral home that my husband and I own and that he still operates.

Do you think you can win “Project Runway”?
I think I could win PR with the right challenges. The mix of personalities that I may be teamed up with also makes such a difference. It’s really just the luck of the draw.

Daniel Esquivel, 48 – Hometown: Austin, TX; Resides in Austin, TX

Current occupation?
Freelance designer.

Do you think you can win “Project Runway”?
Yes, because I have my point of view about fashion.

Emily Pollard, 24 – Hometown: Richfield, OH; Resides in Falls Church, VA

Current occupation?
Graphic designer.

Do you think you can win “Project Runway”?
I hope so! There are so many talented designers out there with way more experience than me. I guess we just have to wait and see!

James Martinez, 29 – Hometown: Dallas, TX; Resides in Dallas, TX

Current occupation?
Designer of my own brand.

Do you think you can win “Project Runway”?
Yes, because I have what it takes.

Joseph Aaron Segal, 30 – Hometown: Framingham, MA; Resides in Providence, RI

Current occupation?
I work full-time designing and making my World of JAS and Pretty Snake collections. I also teach part-time in the textiles department at Rhode Island School of Design.

Do you think you can win “Project Runway”?
Yeah! I make awesome stuff!

Katelyn Pankoke, 23 – Hometown: Parkland, FL; Resides in Chicago, IL

Current occupation?
I am a designer.

Do you think you can win “Project Runway”?
I totally believe that I can win “Project Runway.” I have literally been training for this moment since the show originated. I know that I have what it takes to complete the challenges and stay true to my design aesthetic. I am confident in my ability as a designer, and I am determined to prove to myself and the world that it doesn’t matter how young or old you are, you can achieve anything you set your mind to.

Layana Aguilar, 28 – Hometown: Valadares, Brazil; Resides in New York, NY

Past jobs?
I got my very first job when I moved to America. I had never worked before, because in Brazil it is not very common for teenagers to have a job. I wasn’t very happy about it, but my mom explained to me that here in the USA all kids start working when they turn 16, so I decided to try. I started working at Costco in the bakery department. First I started wrapping cookies and bread, and then once they saw I was good at making flowers from icing, I was transferred to the cake department to decorate cakes. I had so much fun there. It was just like designing, but on cakes! After two years working in the bakery I decided to try something different, and I transferred to the Photo Lab department, where I also had a great time. I got to interact more with customers, design holiday cards and see very funny pictures! Five years ago people were still using regular cameras, so we would, accidentally, get to see a lot of “surprises” when developing rolls of film … I worked at Costco for a little over four years, until I transferred to FIT and moved to NYC. While attending fashion school I knew I had to gain as much experience as I could in fashion. I was able to volunteer for New York Fashion Week and land many great internships with well-known labels such as Wes Gordon, Carlos Campos, Rachel Roy, Marchesa and finally at Oscar de la Renta, a dream turned into reality, where I learned very valuable assets for my career.

Do you think you can win “Project Runway”?
Yes. Everything I do is a matter of heart, body and soul. Designing clothes for women fulfills me, so I am very determined to win. I have learned to understand fashion and its real importance by allowing everything around me to influence my vision as an artist and how I create. I become a better designer each day, by never making the mistake to think or say, “I live and breathe fashion.” Fashion cannot exist alone; all the experiences I live, and all that is happening around the world, create fashion. As a woman I have learned to design with all emotions and complications that we go through, and I long to bring beauty, to enhance personalities and to add power to the women who wear my clothes. As nurturers, women have a unique ability to care, share and make the world a better place. Women who inspire are women who are making a difference, and my goal is to inspire many of us through my work. Winning “Project Runway” will open many of the doors I need to accomplish my dreams.

Mat Arthur, 30 – Hometown: Hammond, LA; Resides in New Orleans, LA

Current occupation?
I manage a large salon in New Orleans.

Do you think you can win “Project Runway”?
I am going to have to bring my voodoo dolls.

Michelle Lesniak Franklin, 34 – Hometown: Portland, OR; Resides in Portland, OR

Current occupation?
When not designing and constructing clothes, I work part-time at a local design boutique, Garnish Apparel.

Do you think you can win “Project Runway”?
Yes. And I will.

Patricia Michaels, 46 – Hometown: Taos, NM; Resides in Taos, NM

Current occupation?
Fashion and textile design.

Do you think you can win “Project Runway”?
I think I could win “Project Runway,” because no one else can do what I do. I create from the drape to the pattern to the fabrication to the design. My garments have meaning behind them that comes from a very old culture then brought into a very contemporary realm. I hope to win, and I hope to continue to be able to design.

Richard Hallmarq, 40 – Hometown: Sacramento, CA; Resides in Sacramento, CA

Current occupation?
Admissions representative.

Do you think you can win “Project Runway”?
I can only do my best and hope it takes me all the way. Now, let`s do this!

Samantha Black, 28 – Hometown: Bronx, NY/ Fairfield, CT; Resides in Brooklyn, NY

Past jobs?
Women’s denim designer, associate junior designer.

Do you think you can win “Project Runway”?
YES, because my aesthetic matched with my drive is something not many people possess.

Stanley Hudson, 45- Hometown: Pomona, CA; Resides in West Hollywood, CA

Current occupation?
Stylist/costumer.

Do you think you can win “Project Runway”?
I think so. I think I’m a strong designer and my designs are what I think women would love wearing.

Tu Nakchat, 26 – Hometown: Chacheangsao, Thailand; Resides in Springfield, VA

Past jobs?
Assistant designer, and I have worked in all the positions in a restaurant, from dishwasher to server to cook.

Do you think you can win “Project Runway”?
Yes!! Why not?

 

More info about the designers here.

 

[Photo Credit: Barbara Nitke for Lifetime]

    • http://twitter.com/Chucko78 Chuck Barthelme

      I bet I can guess who the crazy ones will be just from their pictures.

      • http://twitter.com/PhDKnitter marlie

         You can also tell who’s woefully in over their heads, as well.

      • oekmama

         LOL, whaddaya mean crazy? nutjob-crazy or crazy skills or crazy aesthetic? Or attention-whore crazy?

        If we only look at pictures, does how they dress for this reflect who has style? Or are they too busy designing to dress themselves?

    • http://twitter.com/chylde chylde

      Layana = Anya. Meh. 

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Lucía-Gavello/1253586868 Lucía Gavello

        Really? I don’t get that at all, she seems to have experience in fashion whereas Anya didn’t know how to use a sewing machine.

        • leighne

          I thought Emily = Anya.  A graphic designer who thinks the other designers have more experience….

          • l_c_ann

            Or BM thought that if one Anya was good, two would be better.

            Ducking and running, now.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/6PQUNH7VYANAXMRMEEM763V3EU victor liu

            Both Layana and Emily have the strongest portfolios, however. Hope they can sew.

            • Terrible_Person

               Well, Layana’s portfolio is mostly sketches. Good sketches, sure, but I can’t tell if she’ll make equally  good clothes.

            • http://profile.yahoo.com/6PQUNH7VYANAXMRMEEM763V3EU victor liu

              Oh right, mostly sketches!
              You should check out Layana’s audition. She brought some very strong pieces, and that’s how I think she’ll be a contender.

            • Terrible_Person

              I wish I could. I keep getting a “This content is currently unavailable” message in every video. Probably because I’m outside the US. Guess I’ll have to wait for the show to start.

            • fursa_saida

              UGH, don’t you hate that? It makes me nuts. 

      • iwittmann

        “because in Brazil it is not very common for teenagers to have a job” 
        Errr, I’m brazilian and it’s not true, at least for the ones who are not priviledged or spoiled. Maybe she was too young to remember when she moved… 

        • http://twitter.com/Alloyjane Alloy Jane

          It’s probably a class issue, not working until you are done with school.  In Central America, you have to pay to go to school, so parents don’t want their kids losing focus and getting a job before they are done with at least high school. None of my Salvi-dwelling cousins worked before they were 18 and I have 15 of them over there.

      • annieanne

        I’m picking Layana or Benjamin as the judges predetermined winner.

    • OrigamiRose

      Seems like there is a lot of dead weight in this group.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Lucía-Gavello/1253586868 Lucía Gavello

        I’m expecting them to cut it in half by the second episode… 

        • OrigamiRose

          We should be so lucky.  So many of these sketches just made me cringe at the skills and aesthetic that will be on display.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Lucía-Gavello/1253586868 Lucía Gavello

            I just saw the portfolios, I think the cast picture is telling, the ones in the middle seem like the “strongest” ones, no?

            • OrigamiRose

              That’s a very good point, yes.

            • amf0001

              I think you are right… now I want to see their images disappear,  Top Model style..

      • Synnamin

         why I stopped watching the show and just stick to TLos recaps.

    • Melissa Brogan

      “Current occupation? Graphic designer.
      Do you think you can win “Project Runway”? I hope so! There are so many talented designers out there with way more
      experience than me. I guess we just have to wait and see!”

      I’m already hearing “I just learned to sew six months ago!” in my mind.

      • Terrible_Person

         I thought the same at first, but after looking through her stuff, I doubt it. She has plenty of designs to show in her past work. There are even sketches of a collection for Zac Posen (btw, isn’t there some conflict of interest here, seeing as he will be a judge?)

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Lucía-Gavello/1253586868 Lucía Gavello

          I saw some interesting stuff there too, but the Posen collection you are referring to seems to be an assignment for a class (the sheet reads “senior collection” and has the professor’s name), I don’t think she really worked for Posen. But I agree, her portfolio was one of the strongest of the bunch IMO.

          • Terrible_Person

             Silly me, I didn’t notice it was for class, thanks for pointing that out. Still, I agree there’s interesting stuff there. I’m looking forward to seeing what she can do on the show!

    • Sobaika

      Already rooting for Layana.

      • Angela_the_Librarian

         Me too! I love that her inspiration for getting into design/fashion was working at Costco!

      • http://twitter.com/Alloyjane Alloy Jane

        I know!  She seems so sincere and her CostCo job story is pretty funny.  Poor girl, there will probably be actual attempts to break her.

        I think it’s interesting that they have more not-20something people than they normally have had in the past.  I guess they’re trying to seem like the screen for professionalism…

      • random_poster

        She seems like a hard-worker. I like that.

      • par3182

        I already want her to shut up.

        • Call me Bee

          Yup.

          • fursa_saida

            God yes. She seems self-absorbed to me.

    • Susan Collier

      It’ll be interesting to see if Mat and Richard have any fashion experience. Their bios are pretty vague.

    • MK03

      I already want to bitchslap Benjamin, Katelyn and Patricia.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Lucía-Gavello/1253586868 Lucía Gavello

        Benjamin looks like Tim Gunn and Jay Manuel’s love child, I expect him to be obnoxious. And Patricia… for the love of god woman, WHAT ARE YOU WEARING.

        • UglyTalents

           And what is Samantha wearing?!

          • Derek_anny

             She’s wearing her aesthetic.

            • Call me Bee

              Ugh.  She’ll be gone soon, if Nina has anything to say about it…

          • kitu4

            I posted this somewhere else but… Samantha’s aesthetic is something only she posseses because it is FUG. 

        • MK03

          I’m just loling ever her assertion that “Nobody else can do what I do.” Sure, sweetie. Except every other artist in the southwest.

      • Kimbolina

        At least Benjamin’s answer to the “Do you think you can win?” question was better than the typical, “Of course!  Cause I’m awesome!” etc etc.

        He kind of looks older than 35, no?

        • lundibleu

          I like his attitude, tho’ I guess he could get irritating too. I looked at his age and … no. I know people often look older than they are, but 35? Really?

          • Terrible_Person

             His influences are promising, but his past work doesn’t really live up to that. Still, maybe he has some surprises up his sleeve. There’s hope anyway, right?

          • patticake1601

             It’s that Aussie sun that bakes us from childhood!

    • EverybodysStarling

      After 10 (+2) seasons the designers are all just so cliche. You don’t have to know them to know their roles. 

    • http://profiles.google.com/shannonlstewart Shannon Stewart

      Why do they even ask the “can you win” question?  Are there a lot of people going on this show thinking they can’t?

      • OrigamiRose

        I actually find the way they respond telling.  It’s an opportunity to flesh themselves out a bit and the ones who used it for that end give me some hope in what they will produce.

        And then there is this response: “Yeah! I make awesome stuff!”

        *sigh*

      • Qitkat

        Best reply goes to Mat Arthur:
        I am going to have to bring my voodoo dolls.

        • Lily-Rygh

           I’m already rooting for this guy, just for having a sense of humor about himself.

          • http://twitter.com/tangodiva Tanya Wade

            Yes, Mat sticks out right now for his humor. Hope he can bring it, voodoo dolls, gris gris and all!

        • Cathy S

           Yes, he’s my favorite so far.

        • momjamin

          Mat’s voodoo dolls, and Cindy’s “sure I can win if I get the right challenges, and the right people, and if I get lucky…” are my faves.

          • formerlyAnon

             You have to admit, Cindy’s got the concept nailed. Ability isn’t the prime factor. The only thing she left out was “if the producers think I’m good t.v.”

      • http://www.djplaw.com/ Tadiana

        These types of questions (“Why should you be the next winner of ____?”), and their answers, make me cringe every time.  It’s meaningless.  Just shut up and show me what you can do.

      • MoHub

         Emily’s reply sure looked that way.

    • leighne

      So excited to see Amanda from my hometown of Lincoln, NE.  I wasn’t planning on watching this season but they sucked me back in with her casting.  Her family is apparently Lincoln’s claim to fame since her older brother is a member of Maroon 5.  Here’s to hoping her shoe choices aren’t any indication of her design choices.

    • AuntieAnonny

      I just have to say, completely off topic, but who did they hire to take these photos? They’re incredibly unprofessional and just plain shitty. They went to Wal-Mart, right?

    • Funkykatt

      I told myself I wouldn’t watch another PR but now I am sucked in. 

    • Pennymac

      Uh, I seriously think my PR give-a-damn is broken. Scrolling down made me feel exhausted at the prospect of getting to know these folks.
      A word to Layana: Using more words than anyone else to answer simple questions does not make what you say more true. Full of yourself much?

      • Chickadeep

        “Using more words than anyone else to answer simple questions does not make what you say more true.”  No, but it *could* mean she doesn’t know how to edit herself!

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/DBSIHWVY4ECXGNXAXFXJMSCNIE Katrin

        I prefer that over some of the three word non-answers.

      • kimmeister

        The people who talk the most in these blurbs seem to be the ones who get eliminated early on.

    • Funkykatt

      Tu Nakchat says he can win with just “why not”? I’m with him, sometimes they give it away for whatever reason. 

    • UglyTalents

      I already love/hate Benjamin!

    • PastryGoddess

      Funeral Home lady: going home first 

      Samantha Black: Taste issues

      Mr. Admissions rep: overly defensive about his job

      Lady Mystical Caftan: will use crystals and/or burn sage as part of the design process

       Mr. NOLa: Talks slow with an overly pronounced Georgia Accent

      Emily: Hiyeeeeeeeee

      Lanaya:  Pretty people should not have to thread their own machine

      Santa Ana Boots: Everyone looks around to see why he’s still there in week 6

      • OrigamiRose

        Totally laughing at my desk here.  Thank you!

      • tereliz

        Why would Mr. NOLa talk with a Georgia accent when he’s from Hammond? That’s like three whole states away. I thought his quip about the voodoo dolls was kind of funny, even if I have my doubts about how long he’ll last since it doesn’t look like he’s currently working in the fashion industry. 

        I do agree that Funeral Home Lady is going home first. ;)

        • PastryGoddess

          Mostly because he seems like the type to play up that southern accent to the point that it becomes unbearable

          • Scoobydrew

            he wont play up a southern accent, he is going to go Cajun … 

      • http://profiles.google.com/h.e.waddell Heather Waddell

         I’m getting a “privileged” vibe from miss Samantha too. It’s the FairfieldCT/Bronx/Brooklyn combo that just screams “HIPSTER WHO THINKS SHE KNOWS ABOUT HAVING IT TOUGH”

    • bitchybitchybitchy

      Oh, let’s just award the win to the Brazilian Anya and skip the whole season.

      • MilaXX

         I wouldn’t knock her just yet. She appears to have a bit of hustle and has at least worked in fashion. I don’t are if they cast the pretty girl if the pretty girl can sew.

        • bitchybitchybitchy

          I’ll dial back some of my cynicism about PR and wait to see if Layana can deliver the goods.

    • baxterbaby

      Well I know who the chatty one is. Maybe she’ll talk her fellow contestants to death.

      • SugarSnap108

         That was my main take-away glancing through this.

    • http://twitter.com/marieldrucker Marie Drucker

      Michelle bears an uncanny resemblance — especially around the eyes — to Christina Applegate. If you ignore the hair color. There’s just something in her looks.

    • http://twitter.com/lisledanielle Danielle Lisle

      Where do they find these stick thin 20something women? Why are there never 20somethings that are size 10, like me?

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1129137319 Paula Pertile

      Looks like some serious crazy in that group. I’m already rooting for the funeral home lady and the voodoo doll guy. 

      • Terrible_Person

         I was pleasantly surprised by funeral home lady’s designs! Looking at her picture made me think she was dead weight for the show to shed in the first episodes (and she might be), but I covet some of her clothes.

    • erinbinek

      Don’t care.  I think I’ll pass this time.

    • Mb

      I’m rooting for the guy with the voodoo dolls.  

    • MoHub

      Not only is Lifetime filling the mandatory designer profiles, it’s multilayering to be sure every category is covered.

      Over-40 designer? Check
      Foreign-born designer? Check
      African-American designer? Check
      Jewish designer? Check
      Asian or Asian-American? Check
      And so on …

      Not sure if the requisite straight male designer is there, though.

      • bitchybitchybitchy

        It’s the PR casting call: one designer from each group that we’ve tested through focus groups of our chosen demographic.

      • http://www.facebook.com/fiddlecub Kevin VanOrd

        Perhaps. And if there were too few people of color, we would be calling for the producers’ heads that the group wasn’t multicultural, or was made up of too many white designers. As easy as it is to look for a pattern, or some conspiratorial thought process, truth is, the racial and ethnic makeup of the cast, no matter what it is, will have bitter kittens searching for complaints to make, either real or imagined. 

        From my perspective, there isn’t an “over-40 designer;” there are *five* of them. There isn’t just one black cast member, but several. Why are we poo-pooing this, and not saying, “how wonderful?” This is a diverse group: people of different cultures, colors, sizes, ages, experience levels, and degrees of “attractiveness,” as it were. Why would we complain about diversity? When did we become so cynical that we look at this group, and instead of saying, “Good on the producers for such a diverse cast,” we say, “A diverse cast? How hollow and predictable?” One post, and people complain about a lack of diversity. The next, people bitch because there’s too much diversity. 

        If this cast lacked a black cast member, the kittens would be calling it out. And so the cast features several, and people complain anyway. If anything, this serves as proof that some kittens simply cannot be pleased, and will simply seek reasons to bitch, because they have already made up the full story in their heads. What racial/ethnic/religious/gender/size/age/sexual orientation ratios would you prefer? What would it take to please? Is the solution to only cast young, middle-class white people, because it’s the only way for a non-white designer to not be seen as “filling a role?” 

        Pardon if this was a bit overreactive. I just don’t get it. “Oh no, the cast is multicultural, so everyone that isn’t white is a ‘token.’ ” This is such a reductive, insulting, and counter-productive way of viewing diversity. “Oh, you were chosen because you are the ‘over-40′ one, even though actually, there are five over-40 ones.” Please. 

        • bitchybitchybitchy

          I can speak only for myself. I think that PR has become very formulaic, particularly for someone who has watched the series for a long time. I see people who to me have been cast because they fill a slot that Bunim-Murray’s team feels  is necessary to appeal to the audience that B-M and Lifetime want, and that that is independent of whether the person has design skill/experience/talent that could help them to actually succeed as a designer.

        • http://twitter.com/Alloyjane Alloy Jane

          What Bitchy*3 says.  It’s a formula created to rope people in and nothing else.  So quite frankly, the BM approach is –to use your words–  “a reductive, insulting, and counter-productive way of viewing diversity.”  It’s nothing but a marketing technique and that, to me is gross.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/DNWEFT2SVBX5T3NPMROQCT4U2U jennyv

      Looks promising! I want to lock Layana and Katelyn in a room together and see what happens ;)

    • MilaXX

      Quite an eclectic batch & a heavy Southwest representation.
      Cindy Marlatt = Peach 2.0
      James Martinez = Sassy Gay not sure if he’s Kayne 2.0 or Josh M. 2.0Richard Hallmarq = Occupation: Admissions Rep? WTH? He can’t even list freelance designer?
      Samantha Black – I knew she was from NYC as soon as I saw her outfit.

      Not sure what to make of this season. I really need to see portfolios from this group.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_JSGAZPEESHQT47ATH55GNOHHBY Erin

      Zzzzzz huh?  Sorry, what?  I feel bad for you, TLo, that you feel honor-bound to keep blogging this boring-yet-nasty pisspot of a show.  I admire the honor, mind you, but I still feel for you.

    • gabbilevy

      Mat Arthur just for the voodoo doll comment.

    • NDC_IPCentral

      Tooooo many people, and boy, most of them have inflated senses of selves.  At least a third seem forgettable, and two or three seem to have no real design/apparel chops.  The fine hand of Bunim-Murray casting rests on this like an anvil.

      • http://www.facebook.com/fiddlecub Kevin VanOrd

        Why are we blaming Bunim-Murray? This kind of comment makes me wonder if you’d actually seen earlier seasons. Many PR designers from the beginning have had greatly inflated egos; this is hardly new to show. No design/apparel chops? We’ve seen young people with little experience create amazing and interesting clothing; and we’ve seen veteran designers show terrible clothing and get cut early in the proceedings. 

        I am hardly a PR apologist, but these kind of comment is a myopic reaction based on your feelings about BM and ignores that what you point out has been part of the show since day one. Inflated egos are new to the Bunim-Murray era? Kara Saun, Santino Rice, Jeffrey Sebelia, Christian Siriano, Vanessa Riley, Kenley Collins, and many others would have something to say about that. Forgettable is new to Bunim Murray? How many of these names do you remember: Wesley Nault, Emily Brandle, Jennifer Diederich, Danielle Schriffen, Bonnie Dominguez, and Stacey Estrella, to name a few?

        • bitchybitchybitchy

          Christian Siriano has the design chops to back up his ego. I’d add that Jeffrey Sebelia does, too.  Certainly there have been designers from previous seasons who weren’t memorable.  I did  find that I enjoyed more of the seasons that were produced for Bravo than the more recent seasons on Lifetime.

        • NDC_IPCentral

          Dear Mr. VanOrd:

          I, indeed, have “actually seen earlier seasons,” as Tom and Lorenzo (whom I’ve met and who are friends off this board) know; I have been a faithful Project Runway viewer since mid-way in Season 2, and I have seen the repeats of Season 1, in the good old days when the show was on Bravo and given more weekly airtime, including re-airing of previous seasons.  I have seen the Bravo/Magical Elves work and I’ve seen the Lifetime/Bunim-Murray work.  I vastly prefer the former to the latter, but I do continue to watch the show, although my commitment to it and enjoyment from it is vastly diminished.

          It is my opinion, which I certainly am entitled to hold and am happy to express at Tom and Lorenzo’s invitation on their Fabulous and Opinionated blog, that Bunim-Murray’s casting and scripting choices have dumbed-down what had been a very engaging reality competition show.  As my Bitter Kitten friend bitchybitchybitchy notes, many of the colorful personalities from the past, at least the Bravo/Magical Elves days, had the designing skills to justify their presence on the show.  Of course, during the Bravo days the program also featured several two day challenges to permit more than frantic, slapdash, glue-gunned garments.  The show also was produced and aired more intelligently so that the finale coincided with the particular season’s Fashion Week so that there were only a few finalists competing, and they had a long time to design, make, receive Tim Gunn critiques and re-think before the runway at (then) Bryant Park.

          My opinion is shared by quite a number on this site, namely, portions of the Bitter Kittens/PUFs/minions crew.  If your opinion differs, fine, but please do not impugn my posts with “this kind of comment makes me wonder if you’d actually seen earlier seasons” replies.  I have, and I’ve been here with T Lo since the beginning.

          All the best,

          NDC

    • MintaHallWriter

      Did anyone check whether any of these folks can actually, like, SEW???  I only saw a couple people who fessed up to having any serious professional experience.

      Yet another season of less-than-mediocre talent made even worse by the godawful concept of making EVERYTHING a team challenge.  Didn’t the Lifetime folks pay ANY attention to the criticisms of the past several seasons???  What we want is designers given interesting FASHION challenges with at least a modicum of time to actually carry them out and do interesting fashion.

      RUMOR ALERT:  How about we all start a rumor that they’re moving it back to Bravo and changing the name of the series to (wait for it!)

      REAL DESIGNERS OF NEW YORK

      And every show we’ll have someone throw a dinner party in which they all blame each other for everything they’ve ever seen/heard/made up. And end up screaming at each other in pure slap-face bitchery. We’ll have Luann and Ramona and Sonja and whoever else is in the NY Housewives franchise show up as referees/judges.

      Oh, wait. That was last season…

      • http://www.facebook.com/fiddlecub Kevin VanOrd

        So much cynicism. Is there any reason to suppose that most of these people cannot sew? Anya was certainly an exception to the rule, but even in early Bravo seasons, there were designers whose sewing capabilities were hardly top-notch. Granted, the show hasn’t earned much goodwill in recent seasons, but I see no reason to cast aspersions on these individuals when we know so little about their talents. 

        • Peeve

           Down, boy. The show has more than earned the cynicism of the fans. I’m glad you don’t feel that way, but those of us who do have a right to feel any way we want. And cast aspersions…

    • MintaHallWriter

      Could we just bring back Frokemon?  I miss him. 

      • l_c_ann

        Or are we getting Frokeman 2.0?

        • MoHub

           Are you thinking the Thai guy?

    • tignor

      Emily looks like she really has to pee.

    • mjude

      im going with the guy with the voodoo dolls

    • Laylalola

      I used to love analyzing these but now have zero enthusiasm. And it’s a season of nothing but team challenges. I’m exhausted. I think this is probably the season I sign off.

    • Winter_White

      Dammit, I was still basking in my success:  I’d finally walked away from this show!  Which I no longer enjoy, but had grown addicted to.  And now – already – a new season…succumb or resist?… (While I’m deciding, I’ll go ahead and place my chips on a dark horse:  “Admissions representative” Richard “Hallmarq.” ["Let's do this!"])

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Austen-Jane/100002245814326 Austen Jane

      I would love for someone to answer the second question “No, I don’t think I can win PR. I am doing this for the relaxing environment and pleasant companionship.”

      I also LOVE that the 23 yo points out that she has been training for this since the show started – which for her was right around puberty. Might not want to flaunt her youth to the fraulein.

    • LiterateWonderful

      At least the 50-something woman understands the game — it all comes down to luck and personality.

      Love and want Patricia’s jewelry.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=673315619 Heidi Cron

      There is a guy from my hometown!!! If I had to judge by personal style, I’d vote for Mat and Katelyn, and Taos lady would be the first to go.

      • l_c_ann

        I’m hoping that Taos will shine through in clarity of style and a feel of the high desert.  Maybe even a few inspired by sunsets designs. 

        Probably overthinking, nevermind.

    • http://jedilora.livejournal.com/ Rachel

      Well now I’m conflicted. There’s someone from my hometown, and they DIDN’T say Boston, so woo, but…he looks BORING.

      • MilaXX

        I’ve been to Framingham a few times. His designs remind me of the folks there.

      • NightOwl

         Have you seen his designs? They are cray-cray in all the best and worst possible ways. He dresses one of my friends and it is the type of stuff a “certain type of girl” can wear. Looking forward to seeing what he comes up with (it may involve cats with googly eyes!)

        • JohannaEG

          I’m from RI, so I am honor bound to root for him. But, yikes.

    • http://www.facebook.com/AdriannaGrezak Adrianna Grężak

      I won’t be surprised if they try to create another Anya story with Layana Aguilar, just judging by how much she already loves to talk about her “story.” I’m an immigrant from a working class family, and I found that whole paragraph irritating. 
      I don’t know if I’ll watch this season, the team challenge aspect sounds awful. 

    • MissMariRose

      I think Patricia is PR’s first Native American contestant. At least now we’ll see some genuine Native culture inspired fashion instead of the faux crap that Wretchen sent down the runway.

    • l_c_ann

      I already feel great sympathy for the people who know what they are doing who will be paired with know-nothing dead weights. 

      Because does anyone really think that pairings will be random?

    • Frank_821

      I don’t know anymore. At least a few of these people have the right attitude like this Benjamin guy

      last night I looked at their portfolios. Only a few of them seem to have any kind of distinctive or developed point of view

      I’ve been living in austin for some time now and gone to a lot of local fashion events and I’ve never heard a blip about this Daniel guy. He does appear to have ability but I don’t see a fully formed POV based on what’s posted. but there’s potential in what was shown

      That girl Amanda looks like she has good construction skills though

    • http://www.facebook.com/ann.verwiebe Ann VerWiebe

      I think it doesn’t matter, because the team format is going to ruin everything (more than it’s already been ruined). But, I would like to say, “Amanda, what are on your feet?” Also, if Cindy wins, I will officially apply for next season. With my costume shop background, I’m happy to make clothes out of dog beds, I can drape and I’m a super fast seamstress. 

    • Pants_are_a_must

      Mat Arthur is going to be my favorite, I can just see it.

    • Whimsique

      The entire cast looks like they need to be on antidepressants.

      Also? Most of their clothes don’t show any personal style at all. It doesn’t bode well.

    • Girl_With_a_Pearl

      Which one is the straight guy?  Not that I’ll be watching after they crown AR.

      • formerlyAnon

         I don’t know, but can you be a clothing designer (and teach at a good design school) AND gay, and show up to be photographed for publicity for a t.v. show in wrinkled, baggy, khaki pants? At age 30?  Wouldn’t your fellow designers descend upon you and strip you of your credentials, drumming you out of the fellowship, like when they court martialed Chuck Connors in the opening credits of the ’60s t.v. western “Branded?”  (Yeah, I know most of you guys weren’t watching t.v. at the time)

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/XPWSQ2BDU5XJIA23AMYVBRWZBA Eric

      Some of they have spent waaaay too much time of self-image – and “Hallmarq”?  

    • Judy_J

      Judging from their assessment of themselves, I’d say we’ll be seeing quite a bit of crap on the runway this season.  I don’t hold out a lot of hope for this bunch.

    • swissgirl

      Remember, they’ll be working in teams and no Duchess! Some of them look really out there. Let’s get dumb All-Stars out of the way and get this thing going already!

    • Girl_With_a_Pearl

      They could be the best contestants in the world, but with one-day challenges, lots of team challenges and a predetermined winner, what’s the point?

    • snarkykitten

      Benjamin does a lot of talking for a guy who apparently does nothing

      that’s as far as I got.

      no wait, I scrolled to the bottom. I default-support the guy from Thailand cos he lives in the next city over from me.

    • MilaXX

      So looking at the photos on Lifetime’s site;
      Benjamin is a draper, but his stuff looks nice and polished. You can tell he has experience in the biz.
      Daniel’s are mediocre. It’s disappointing that the clothes look so unpolished. There are a few wonky hems & not pressed seams.
      Amanda’s pictures feel a little bipolar. There’s some really edgy stuff, then there’s some Pocahontas/earth child stuff and a few just plain average department store looking pieces.
      Cindy’s clothes are mostly well made department store clothes. She does have a gray jacket with a hood that I found interesting and bonus points for having some menswear experience.
      Emily does a lot of loose, unstructured garments with a tendency to embellish. Not exactly in love with her work.
      James does menswear as well. I think his menswear is much better than his womenswear.
      Joseph – Lots of knits and chunky shoes. Not really crazy about the designs. I wonder if he makes any of his textiles.
      Kate – Mostly Bridal wear
      Layana- Not very happy to only see one actual garment and several sketches. The one dress is nice, but not enough to wow me.
      Mathews pictures are very artsy,but he’s another one showing menswear.
      Michelle’s clothes feel a little anthropologie like. Meh
      Patricia’s pictures don’t really showcase the clothes well. Looks like lots of flowy, lose pieces.
      Richard’s pieces are very flashy. Maybe a little too much. Besides Benjamin, he’s one of the few I want to see more from.
      Samantha’s stuff is okay. Some things I like, but she has one gold dress that just screams JLo.
      Stanley – Department store clothes.
      Tu- all sketches.They may make interesting clothes, but I’m not interested in sketches.

      • http://twitter.com/foodycatAlicia foodycatAlicia

         I am pro-Joseph because “I can win, I make awesome stuff” is such a good response to that question!

    • muzan-e

      But – but – Oh Em Gee, you guys, Amanda shot a hot-sauce ad. Winner!

    • MzzPants

      Voodoo dolls always win.

    • Citric

      How can Daniel have that mustache and have such boring responses?

      Still, that mustache is making him an early favorite.

    • Kate4queen

      So Layana for the win then? 

    • Imasewsure

      I love me some Layana… she sounds energetic and adorable without being crazy… that being said… I won’t watch this and will rely as usual on TLo to give me the skinny each week!!

    • Synnamin

      Mat looks the most entertaining, but wanted to root for Patricia (older, established, larger woman – omg, someone who won’t freak at the real women challenges!). alas, her past-work portfolio is a huge turn off. Mat looks like he might have some editing issues

    • Kenisha Hill Phillips

      Dude who lives in London = villain.
      Older woman = mom. Let’s hope she gives us another great line like “good china.”

    • Fordzo

      Any person who believes that their experience in the photo lab at CostCo will positively influence their ability to win PR has my vote.  

      I was really hoping Joe Biden was going to play a role in her story, though.  The Biden and CostCo are eternally linked in my mind.

    • BeeBeauNYC

      WHO DRESSED THESE PEOPLE?

      • Beth Gardner

        Their shoes alone make my eyes roll back in my head.

    • MoHub

      Largest complement of 40-and-over designers in Project Runway history!

      • Aly Light

         Also, a good amount of ethnic diversity. So that’s kinda cool.

      • formerlyAnon

         Makes me wonder if we’ll be seeing the contestants down tools en masse for nap time about 5 days into filming.

        • MoHub

           I keep busy, don’t nap, and am older than the oldest competitor there.

          • formerlyAnon

            Wasn’t meaning to accuse the older cast members of being enfeebled, rather of being less susceptible to producer pressure. From comments made over the seasons, all of the cast seems to wind up sleep deprived and exhausted because of the filming schedule. 

            I was envisioning Tim’s consternation when he visited the workroom during season 4(?), missed Chris March and “found” (I’d guess that was staged for cameras) him napping in the break area.

            • MoHub

               Chris was napping because he has diabetes. And he still got his work done.

    • Lilithcat

      Do you think you can win “Project Runway”?

      Did they really expect any of these contestants to say “No, I’m just here to make friends””?

      I am working away at establishing the “NARCISSUS by Benjamin Mach” brand.

      Translated:  I am the egocentric “sassy homosexual”.

      Cindy Marlatt is out:  too old
      Patricia Michaels is out:  plus-size

      Yes, I’m cynical.

      • bitchybitchybitchy

        Come sit here by me (virtually) and we can snark together….with a good bottle of wine.

        • Lilithcat

          Any time!

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QFW22QV426LUOEPGASPZJWJMDE MishaFoomin

      Joseph Aaron stumbled over to PR from his IT department…

      • Aly Light

        I know, how did the PA let him stand in front of a photographer in that outfit?

    • Allison Woods

      Anyone who does the granny panty thing is immediately on my short list of people who need to go.

      Several others I like so far though.

      • bitchybitchybitchy

        Granny panties remain, for me, on my personal TopTen list of crimes against fashion.

    • Call me Bee

      Old people!  Chubby people!  Tasteless people!  Foreign people!  You can certainly tell it’s Lifetime.

      I predeict that those who are convinced they will win will not win, and who are not sure that they will win will not win, either.  And I hope the older woman kicks ass. 

      • Stubenville

        And in ten seasons, not one disabled person.  

        • MoHub

          Anthony Ryan Auld is color blind and has one ball. Does that count?

        • formerlyAnon

           You’d think it would be irresistible to the public relations folks at Lifetime, wouldn’t you?

    • http://twitter.com/drnels Nels P. Highberg

      Lots of old people in their 40s like me!  And is Cindy the oldest contestant ever?

      Of course, the teams idea has me so turned off, I’m waiting for TLo’s recaps to decide if I’m going to watch or not.

      • MoHub

         Yes. Cindy is the oldest contestant in Project Runway history! Just hope she doesn’t freak out under the stress.

      • BuffaloBarbara

         I think Bert was older.

        • MoHub

           Nope. Bert was on the lighter end of 50.

        • http://twitter.com/drnels Nels P. Highberg

          Nope. Bert was only 57 at the time.

    • Monday1900

      These couldn’t be more stereotypical answers if TLo had written them as satire.

    • jw_ny

      I saw a show with a craft segment that showed how to make a fringed tee shirt like the one Samantha is wearing…I’ll bet she saw the same show.  She’ll be out sooner than later…fringe!  ;)

      Layana…guessing she’s the bitch/drama queen of the season, as well as Anya 2.0.  I just couldn’t be bothered to read her novel.  X_X  Fearing she’ll be around for the duration. 

      I gotta throw my hat into the ring in favor of Voodoo doll guy…love a sense of humor.  :)

      • http://frankbettecenter.org/ sleah_in_norcal

        i fear samantha may suffer from the dreaded “taste issues”.  layana looks like anya and ivy rolled into one.  also seems she can’t shut up, so she could be just insufferable.  she’ll probably be around most of the season just because she seems to fit lifetime’s style.

    • MoHub

      Emily is the closest to a homegirl for me, what with living in Falls Church. Too bad I have no faith in anyone who says she “hopes” she can win PR!

      • PinkLemon

         va reppin’!!

        • MoHub

           I’m in Maryland—still DC suburbs, though—but my daughter lives in Sterling. But as I said before, I have no faith in the girl as she seems to lack both the confidence and hunger needed to go all the way.

          • Elaine Lang

             Good Heavens, I used to live in Sterling, moved away about 5 years ago.    Godspeed to your daughter, in Chain Store Hell.   At least she has the Glory of Wegmans.

            • MoHub

               Yes. Her proximity to a Wegman’s is the one thing that makes me jealous of her move from Maryland.

              That, and the fact that she can get wine shipped to her door.

            • Pam Winters

              Patton Oswalt has a great bit on his hometown of Sterling (where I have in-laws). 

              Have there been any PR designers from Maryland besides that one from a few years ago who made it to the finals? It’s not like we don’t have artsy folks here.

            • MoHub

               Christian Siriano, who is probably the most successful PR alum, is from Annapolis.

    • http://www.facebook.com/rosie.emlein Rosie Emlein

      I work with Joe!!!  He’s the nicest guy ever, and a really talented, original designer.  I’m interested to see how Bravo will distort him…

      • jw_ny

         They can’t air anything he doesn’t do or say!  ;)  (and fyi… PR is on Lifetime network now)

        He looks like a nice enough guy…I wish him well.  :)

      • http://frankbettecenter.org/ sleah_in_norcal

        he looks like a sweetheart and if he’s a teacher at RISD, he must have some smarts and talent.  hope he has a high tolerance for bullshit.

    • http://twitter.com/monstredujour slug

      No love for Joseph? His PrettySnake stuff is fun as hell and I’ve been coveting several of his pieces for ages. 

    • http://twitter.com/LPsometimes LP

      I’m rooting for Stanley Hudson because he has the same name as a guy on The Office.

    • PastryGoddess

      The more I look at Funeral Home Lady’s shoes, the angrier I get.  That is some serious fug and not in a Granny Chic sort of way either

      • Aly Light

         I think she’s going to be the quirky one. I can already hear the canned “quirky” music cuing up whenever she starts sentences with “Back in the funeral home, me and my husband used to do it this way.”

    • sherrietee

      Emily’s a local gal!  And so is Tu (actually he’s about 15 minutes from my house.) I might watch it if they make it past the first round. 

      Oh, who am I kidding.  I haven’t watched it since Wretchen won.

      • PinkLemon

         Springfield reppin’!!

        • sherrietee

          Occoquan baby!

      • MoHub

        Always nice to see someone from the DC area—as long as we don’t get another Victorya.

        • Pam Winters

          Was she from DC? I bet she moved here to be near the nexus of power or some such tripe. 

          I hate that I can’t remember the name of the woman who went really far a few seasons ago and who was from PG County somewhere.

          • MoHub

            She was from suburban Virginia. Don’t remember which town, though. And of course Wendy Pepper is from Middleburg, but she seems to have cleaned up her act.

          • MoHub

            Victorya lived in suburban Virginia; I think her mother moved the family there. And of course, Wendy Pepper is in Middleburg, although she seems to have cleaned up her act.

            Kimberly Goldson lives in White Plains, MD, although she originally hails from Brooklyn.

    • http://twitter.com/Srmarymartha Sister Mary Martha

      It’s been way more than five years since people stopped taking pictures to be developed at Costco. I haven’t even done that in 10 years.

      • formerlyAnon

         Oh, Sister, your admirable social media/tech skills have skewed your view. I’m sure you’re right that their business has plummeted, but folks over 50 have not all been converted to digital by their children. Many folks over 50.

      • Elaine Lang

         Actually, the fact that you can send your digi photos over the internet and have them printed out on the Costco machine by the time you get there?    Keeps them relevant.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=503432049 Kerry McCombs

      From the pictures I’m all about Miss Samantha Black!

    • http://frankbettecenter.org/ sleah_in_norcal

      benjamin looks like a candidate for upper class twit of the year.

    • http://twitter.com/Merneith Merneith

      Honestly, I don’t think I care. I’m not in the least interested in the All Teams – All the Time format. I don’t watch this show for the interpersonal bullshit and I guess B/M isn’t interested in my viewership.

    • joe_tey83

      What kind of stupid question is ‘Do you think you can win “Project Runway”?’ ?

      No, they don’t think they will win, duh. They enter the competition solely for the specific purpose of losing and the thrill of being eliminated.

      • bitchybitchybitchy

        They also enter for the distinct probability that Heidi will laugh derisively at their work before she dismisses them with the dreaded “auf”.

      • MoHub

         Emily’s answer was close to that. “I hope …” Really? And pointing out how talented everyone else is?

        • formerlyAnon

           Some people can be good at what they do but bad at selling themselves. Younger women are over-represented in this group. Granted, very few of these people appear on t.v. ‘reality’ competitions.

          • MoHub

             But in a competition, you not only have to believe in yourself, you may even have to believe that you’re better than you are and convince everyone else that that’s true. You cannot enter a skills contest hoping you’ll win.

    • kimmeister

      So . . . is there never going to be a week without new PR content???

    • KSuKim

      For a minute there, I thought TLo was writing the captions.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mary-Stone/100001328135240 Mary Stone

      Two words:  Train.  Wreck.  Staying right the haill away from this misguided travesty of a once-great show.

    • BuffaloBarbara

      Amanda: All I’m hearing is “Nashville” and “dressed musicians,” and my mind is going to a “Thank  you for the Country  Music Award” place.  Which is probably not fair, but hey, this is all about pre-judging, right?

      Benjamin: Your brand name is “Narcissus.”  I think TLo’s “Hit it, attention whores” may be superfluous.  But he seems to accept that he’s not winning.

      Cindy: Has a strategy, but seems not to be playing the same game as everyone else.  Possibly a dark horse in the styling end of things, having worked in funerals.

      Daniel: Can’t be bothered to answer questions.  Cannon fodder.

      Emily: Gosh, is everyone looking at little ol’ me?  More importantly, has everyone got a good angle for it?

      James: See Daniel

      Joseph: I pre-emptively like him from his nerdy photo.

      Katelyn: Training for years, eh?  So, what’s  your Bitter Kitten name, anyway?  Or are you over at Project Project Runway?

      Layana: Really, really thought about her answer.  She has a character to play here.  But it seems like a pleasant character, and I think I’ll like her.

      Mat: Is going to play the New Orleans card for all it’s worth, but kind of seems bored with it already.

      Michelle: See James

      Patricia: Taos, eh?  Southwestern clothes for rich snowbunnies and artsy types.  Which isn’t a bad aesthetic, actually.  It’ll depend on how the judges react to it.

      Richard: See Michelle.

      Samantha: No idea here.  Drive and aesthetic and oversized fringe.

      Stanley: Seems to believe that clothes made are supposed to be worn by women who will feel good in them.  This is alien thinking (or maybe it’s just what the beautiful Georgina thinks is a designer’s job, though Isaac knows better and I’m sure the regular judges will as well).

      Tu: See Richard.

    • Toto Maya

       I don’t know if I can do PR anymore. I’ve never missed a season until this All Stars one. I’m just not feeling it. It’s so boring. Last season I didn’t even care who won because everyone was boring and awful. And I have zero confidence in their ability to improve this season. Who cares? I feel like nobody who is serious about being a real designer is going the PR route anymore. These people can just sew and want to be on television. Boring. If I’m wrong I’ll go back and watch I guess.

    • deltabronze

      “Teams” is just a device for creating maximum conflict. PR has jumped the shark with this. I’m out.

    • CarolinLA

      Benjamin looks like he could be Seth Aaron’s gay brother.

    • myristica_fragrans

      i want daniel’s boots and patricia’s poncho.

    • Stubenville

      A new excuse to drink myself silly on Thursday night. I wonder how long will elapse before we hear a sob story? 30 minutes?

      • bitchybitchybitchy

        I’d say 15 minutes at the max.  No way is LIfetime going to let anyone go longer than that without playing the pity card.
        Then again, I’m just cynical that way.  BTW-if you hear that Washington D.C. metro area liquor stores are finding the merlot disappearing from their shelves, it’s just me stocking up for the first 15 minutes of the first episode of the new season.

        • MoHub

           Be sure to leave some for me! Although I have a real weakness for Malbec.

          • boweryboy

            Mmmm….malbec.

            • MoHub

               I just got hold of a rosé made from Malbec grapes. It’s very different and totally amazing.

        • BuffaloBarbara

          With the number of people they introduce in the first episode, fifteen minutes would be pushing it.  I vote for someone coming up with a sob story while walking dramatically and purposelessly toward the first meeting of another contestant.  Shall we hold a betting pool on how many minutes it takes for the first dead relative to come up?

          • MoHub

             Often, the dead relatives don’t come up until the finale, as in Anya’s case. Gay men with dead partners tend to surface right at the beginning, though.

    • siriuslover

      They picked some of the worst-dressed designers for this season. Why should I root for them if they can’t dress themselves or iron their clothes? God, imagine them trying to use a steam iron right before a runway show…

      • boweryboy

        I think as of late designers on this show feel they have to dress weird or funky or poorly as some sort of creative statement.   O

        My opinion is it’s not about what you wear it’s about what you design.  I am with you though.  If you wearing something that’s crappy, ill fitting, not flattering or just flat out ugly then I’m going think you’re a good designer.

        • bitchybitchybitchy

          The designers may well believe that they should dress in a way that will get them more screen time.

    • Crow Winters

      Benjamin Mach looks like Max Headroom

    • pattycap11

      Based solely on these photos, my prediction for final three: Mat Arthur, Michelle Franklin, Benjamin Mach, with Mat for the win.  Congrats, Mat!

    • http://www.facebook.com/tessa.bonneville Tessa Bonneville

      I really hope this season is awesome. One of my DISH co-workers is convinced it’s going to be terrible because of the teams thing, but I’m staying optimistic. As long as it’s better than last season, we should be good. It’s crazy how busy Thursday nights are for me and my boyfriend when it comes to the shows we like to watch. We used to argue all the time over which shows to record, but now that we’ve got a DISH Hopper, we can record up to six things at a time. I’ve been addicted to Project Runway for years, so it’s really nice to know I don’t ever have to worry about missing an episode due to conflicting DVR timers!

      • littlemissstrange

         What the hell is it with these Dish people? All over the place now with their DISH COWORKERS WHO WORK AT DISH. Is robot? If not robot, how sad must Dish human life be.

        • MoHub

           It’s okay. I’m on a personal campaign to flag/report every one of those less-than-subtle DISH promotions I come across. I could use some company, though.

      • http://twitter.com/Alloyjane Alloy Jane
    • ccm800

      I have never NOT Looked forward to a season as much as this team-centric bullshit of an idea. 

    • MoHub

      “I have worked in all the positions in a restaurant, from dishwasher to server to cook.”

      Is Tu sure he’s on the right show? Seems he might have thought he was applying for Top Chef.

    • formerlyAnon

      Opinions, predictions, snotty remarks? Yeah, I got ‘em.

      But there are just so many of these designers, and I just can’t muster the energy.

      I will say, a refreshing number of ‘em seem to have a realistically fatalistic approach to being able to win, even if it’s semi-cloaked in positive thinking and bravado. And the voodoo doll guy wins the soundbite competition.

    • ChaquitaPhilly

      …it is to laugh!!!

    • alyce1213

      I already have starter favorites: Layana, who seems funny and chatty and really thought about her answers, and Samantha, because she looks cool and she’s from the Bronx.  Things could change, though.

      Oy, Patricia is a textile designer? — if she designed the top she’s wearing, it does not bode well for her.

      I guess I could be cynical about the next season, but I won’t.  I’ll watch, and bitch, and visit here for everyone’s opinions, as usual.

    • unbornfawn

      This group already is coming off like a bunch of tedious attention whores. Not looking forward to this season at all.

    • Melvis Velour

      I was looking at Daniel from Austin (full disclosure I’m also living in Austin but not originally from the only bright blue spot in a big ass red state) and I’m thinking who the hell dresses that way here?  All of the hipsters who’ve inundated this town like the backwash from Hurricane Sandy are still in skinny jeans, vintage (overpriced) cowboy shirts and chugging PBR…  You’re not Auntie Mame and you’re not going to ride the hunt side saddle…

    • Kacper Nedza

      Can they just STOP? At this point PR is like watching your drunken childhood friend make a scene at a party and pretending you don’t know them.

      I dig the funeral parlor lady, though.

    • boweryboy

      Meh.  They all look insufferable.

    • LambeeBaby

      Cindy out week one, Richard out week two,  Daniel out week three. Stanley, Katelyn and Michelle in the finale.
      The unconventional challenge should be at a spice market. I’m seeing star anise and tea bag skirts.

      • LambeeBaby

        Oh and I forgot, ambulance for Joseph week 3.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/6PQUNH7VYANAXMRMEEM763V3EU victor liu

      Benjamin’s a cutie.

    • Elaine Lang

      After a look at their own getups and a skim through of their word-things, Michelle and Stanley seem like the only two who aren’t Batshit Insane.    this opinion is subject to change without notice.  

    • barbarienne

      Going down the list, I’m going to guess:

      Amanda: Not here to make friends. Here to win. But possibly in over her head.
      Benjamin: A contender, who will be eliminated late in the competition when he just gets too creative/weird for the producers’ taste, assuming he doesn’t stresspuppy his way into an early auf.
      Cindy: In over her head.
      Daniel: Who knows. Dude said nothing. I’m gonna go with has some skills but early cut due to boringness.
      Emily: In over her head.
      James: Not here to make friends.
      Joseph: Will annoy everyone or jeopardize his own projects by trying to help the weaker members of his team. Potential contender.
      Katelyn: A contender, if her aesthetic isn’t too casual.
      Layana: Has skills, but she’s gonna be a drama llama, I predict. No one babbles on that much without being spoiled and desiring to be the center of attention. (I speak from experience here; I am that person.)
      Mat: In over his head.
      Michelle: Either a contender, or someone who has great construction skills but isn’t a creative designer. Either way, not here to make friends. I want to see her and Amanda on the same team.
      Patricia: I sense an early departure due to time-management issues. Also, potentially not a team player, but that may benefit or hurt, depending on how it affects her designing.
      Richard: In over his head.
      Samantha: Has skills, but I suspect will need to learn to edit herself.
      Stanley: Dunno what he’s gonna design, but I suspect he will be entertaining in a good way.
      Tu: Probably in over his head, but he’s just so damn adorable, I hope he lasts a few weeks at least.

    • oekmama

      I have a question for all other Bitter Kittens. Have you EVER been able to guess who would come out the winner, or Top 5 or Top 3 based on these initial intros/portfolios, or even just the pictures?

      I have a theory I’m trying to work on, since Anya’s win showed me that maybe another logic is at work here… 

      • JosephLamour

        Id be interested to know what that is…

      • tereliz

        Last year I predicted that Elena would be the dark horse and come up with the best final collection. It was a decoy, and I believe I said something about her keeping her head down (ha!) and working hard and sneaking in for the win. 

        Obviously that didn’t happen, but she did have what was arguably the best final collection out of the contenders and decoys at NYFW. 

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/6PQUNH7VYANAXMRMEEM763V3EU victor liu

          It’s interesting.

          Last season, I pegged Elena (high fashion w/ an original twist) as the winner and either Sonjia (twee and fug and all over the place) or Christopher (studenty, derivative, and unprofessional) as the first auf based on the strength of their portfolios. Yet, Elena never produced anything near her best (besides her decoy), and Sonjia and Christopher were both frontrunners! 

          Just goes to show that PR isn’t about the best up-and-coming fashion designer, it’s about the best reality show contestant. 

          Even stranger, I found Dmitry’s portfolio work to be top tier, but his competition looks yawn-worthy (sans his print challenge look) and his final collection utter fug. Yet he won!

    • Laylalola

      Jesus, did they really not notice that everyone else has 2 sentences to respond and Layana has 500 words per question? Guess who’s the producer’s Anya this season ~~

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/6PQUNH7VYANAXMRMEEM763V3EU victor liu

        It shouldn’t be that bad. Layana has the strongest pieces in her portfolio and audition, and she can probably sew.

        • http://twitter.com/Alloyjane Alloy Jane

          Yeah, I liked her stuff.  She seems like a jolly gal who has a story for everything.  I think it was sheer naivety that caused her to answer the questionnaire so thoroughly.  They gave her something to fill out, she filled it out to the best of her ability.  At least that’s what I’m getting from her, because most of my friends are like that.  We’re a pack of chatter boxes and those of us who aren’t are chatter box enablers.

          I hold out hope that she is real and my feeling is that the PR/BM machine will try to eat her alive.

    • adnama79

      1 Portland, 1 Austin and 1 Taos – at least maybe we’ll see some interesting fashion alternative viewpoints before those 3 get kicked off.  I just hope none of the westerners are like Gretchen – I don’t have high hopes for the dude from Austin, though.

      Costco, as a woman, nurturing woman experience girl is going to get on my last nerve.  She is already on several.

    • save_the_hobbit

      Love Joseph Aaron Segal’s stuff, but I’m wondering if it’s his shop on etsy that I saw…I’m pretty sure I had favorited that cat sweater and those leggings!

    • kitu4

      Samantha Black …your aesthetic is not something many people posses because judging from your outfit it is straight up FUG. 

    • Nancy DeSimone

      Framingham, MA REPRESENT!

    • libraangel

      Too many of ‘em! 16?! And some are not doing fashion: should I say OY now already?!

    • save_the_hobbit

      No idea if anyone else has already found this, but here’s Joseph Aaron Segal’s shop on etsy. I’ve been ridiculously in love with the cat sweaters for awhile now, I’m actually pretty excited he’s going to be on the show!

      http://www.etsy.com/shop/PrettySnake?ref=seller_info_count

    • http://www.facebook.com/izzzyy Dixie Murphy Ross

      AHH! someone from my hometown! oh god, that’s just weird! *brain breaks*

      (He better not suck.)

    • Jane Dough

      I think TLo should produce their own show. Seriously, how could it not be fabulous?

    • fursa_saida

      Oh my god. Most of these answers are horrific for various reasons. At this point I’m team voodoo dolls.

    • http://twitter.com/Ty_Luh_REY †¥Lå

      I’m predicting that Layana will win just based off how much coverage was given to her by Lifetime in her answers compared to the others.