For the uninitiated, “Project Runway” (2004-present) is “on Lifetime, I guess?” The show is in its 15th season and has stacked up an impressive 50 Emmy nominations despite using phrases like “magically muppety” to describe its designers’ work. Some say the task of quantifying such a layered cinematic masterpiece is too great for just two people, but we — Ana, with her sewing experience, and Emily, with her mother’s hand-me-downs — are going to try.
To kickstart the season, the new designers gather together in a room where they compare hip tattoos and become acquainted with #DesignerJenni’s abhorrent laugh. None too soon, the new guinea pigs/designers run around with only five minutes to collect as many party items from the room as possible. Host/German supermodel Heidi Klum and mentor/our patron saint Tim Gunn then each drink bottles of Moët (hello, product placement) to celebrate new beginnings.
The collected goodies, which must become the heart of each designers’ “look,” including treasures like paper lanterns and lots and lots of glitter (which, we hypothesize, will be featured on the workroom floor for the rest of the season). Throughout the chaos of the treasure hunt, we meet Dexter, who originally planned to be a herpetologist; Erin, who ran away from her Mormon upbringing; and Tasha, who designs for girls who don’t like to shave their legs (we like her).
In the workroom, with only 10 hours to create a runway-ready look, Brik (yes, that is his name) is in the corner throwing tons of glitter onto ABBA-approved bell-bottoms. Erin is cutting gumballs in half and dissecting yellow wigs and Ian, a fashion school dropout, is putting Polaroids onto what looks like a pillowcase.
Ian declares he is not nervous to meet mentor Tim because “part of being an artist is getting ‘crit.'” But when Tim encourages Ian to push himself to be more creative, Ian retorts that his potato sack took a lot of effort and represents his “sleek” aesthetic.
The second part of the episode is the runway show. Judges Klum, Creative Director of Marie Claire Nina Garcia, fashion designer Zac Posen and the guest judge, “The Today Show” (1952-present) anchor Savannah Guthrie critique what the designers created. We followed “suit” by bringing in our own guest judge: Ana’s roommate, comp-sci and drama major and resident dad-jeans-fanatic, Ben. While originally telling us, “I don’t know what you want” and “Am I doing ok?,” he eventually got into the Runway swing. Like us, Ben was eventually won over by Brik’s glittery pants and also favored 24-year-old Cornelius’s neon green dress, saying, “It looks like a salad.”
The winner of the episode is Erin. She describes her style as “two [parts] crazy, one chill,” which is the ratio of neuroses to calm we live by, but we didn’t love her look. Maybe it’s because we are two insanely pale white girls who don’t look good in yellow. But also, who wants to wear fake hair around their chest and arms?
As expected, Ian is kicked out of the competition, but only after Brik is unfairly critiqued and provoked to tears despite his awesome glitter pants. Tim says that the group will miss Ian’s “spunk,” which is generous because he was kind of the worst. Until next week!