PR All-Stars: Star Power!

Posted on January 06, 2012

Yay! There was an actual, for-reals FUN episode of Project Runway on last night! Did we hit our heads and wind up in 2008 or something?

It’s too soon to make predictions – experience tells us that any reality show can have a good opening episode – but if the rest of the season shakes out to be anywhere near as much fun as last night, then some unpleasant things will have to be said about the previous couple of dreary seasons.

Namely this: The most important element of a successful Project Runway season is always going to be the casting. Producers take note: it MATTERS to the viewer who is up on the screen and when you give us a string of low-talent drama queens and have your judging panel INSIST that they’re some sort of Grand Master of Fashion (when they can’t even set a sleeve), and when you do that SEVERAL SEASONS IN A ROW, you wind up with an audience that is smaller and less likely to be invested in the show.

It’s not that there aren’t some drama queens in the above collection, nor do we think everyone here is of the highest talent, but the base talent level here is miles higher than the show has seen since at least Season 5. Casting matters. Case in point:

Schmeidi, we’re sorry to tell you, you’re the weakest link.

What surprised us most was how well the judges and mentors did. Joanna can sometimes come off abrasive (when we suspect she thinks she’s being funny), but she actually mentored the designers last night. She asked them incisive, probing questions and got them to defend their work to her. What she didn’t do was ask them to describe their outfit then hug them. Sorry, Tim. We love you, but you have been so marginalized in the past couple seasons that your role has become almost meaningless. More of what Joanna was dishing out and less hugs going forward, please.

Shifting the editor away from the judging panel and into a mentoring role is a rather large change for the format of the show. It changes both the mentor role and the judging panel.

And again, we’re sorry to say, having  no fashion editor on the judging panel may or may not have been responsible for this, but the judges made really great critiques and their decisions were hard to argue with. We’d quibble over who went home, but we don’t really have a need to argue with it.

To be fair to Nina, since she doesn’t deserve to have every bad judging moment of the past couple of years blamed on her, we think it wasn’t so much the lack of a fashion editor on the panel as it was the lack of people trying to come up with the best, bitchiest criticism for the cameras. Even Isaac was toned down on that front. And we have to admit, it was nice to get criticisms that didn’t have the words “disco” or “mother of the bride” shoved in in an attempt to make them funny.

But what it always comes down to is the contestants. And with this batch, we got a ton of professionals who know how to conduct themselves…

… but we also got a couple wild cards thrown in there just to make sure we’re not looking at the same types of garments over and over. It was the perfect mix of contestants.

And we look forward to more of Mondo and Austin trying to out-do each other in the Flamboyant Gay Dressing sweepstakes. If they both make it to the end, they’ll be showing up in the workroom in sequined caftans and turbans before this is over.

So congratulations, Rami!

When he showed his piece at the beginning of the show it was obvious that he’s going to make a concerted effort to NOT be the guy who drapes everything. We thought this piece was a bit too complicated for its own good but still interesting.

And to be honest, we don’t really love the shape here.

But Jesus Christ, just LOOK at the execution. Just LOOK at how many things he accomplished in the time frame when the last winner of the series can’t even make a sle–

Sorry. Broken record. But are we wrong here? Is this not an impressive look to put together from crap with very little time? Isn’t this the essence of what Project Runway is? And isn’t it sad that we have to point this out after a season of being told by the people in charge that “Project Runway is ALL ABOUT the drama!” No it isn’t. It’s all about the clothes.

And it’s another Auf for Elisa. Bless.

Her first look was typically Elisa, which means it was unusual and strangely beautiful while being extremely well made.

But this was pretty much crap. We thought back in the day that she was a very talented designer and we still think that, but she’s not built for the time constraints and various restrictions of this show.

Interesting, we’ll give her that. But when you put it up against the dress that inspired it, you come away with the feeling that she is much better off doing work away from the glare of the cameras.

Which isn’t to say that she isn’t crazy entertaining in her own right. We think she should get a spacey, New Age makeover show. She could go up to random badly dressed women on the street, spit on them, and then make them dress like a fairy in a cocktail dress.

We don’t know about you, but we’d watch that in a heartbeat.


[Photo Credit: – Screencaps:]

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