Crafty Manolo » Welcome Back to the Runway!

Welcome Back to the Runway!

By Twistie

So… did anyone else watch? Or was I alone for this one?

I have to say I miss Heidi Klum’s wacky humor, Tim Gunn’s (call me, Tim!) avuncular charm, and Michael Kors’ fascinating flights of simile… but I still really enjoyed the first episode.

Of course I have a lot more to say, but I’ll put it after the cut to avoid spoiling anyone who doesn’t want to be spoiled.

I’m glad they didn’t milk the arrivals too much. Anyone who’s been a fan of the show knows these designers and doesn’t need that much to get reacquainted. At the same time, I’m glad they showed Michael greeting Mondo by picking him up and twirling him around. Those two developed an absolutely adorable friendship in their season, and I’m delighted to see it continues.

First up,  each designer was asked to bring along one piece to show where they are now as designers. That was fun. Some were no surprise. Elisa’s piece had wings and she sent her model down the runway barefoot. Austin showed an evening gown. April’s work looks as cool, wearable, and elegantly funky as ever. Mondo had a look that rode the edge of conservative old lady and naughty schoolgirl… yet worked. Mila’s dress was color blocked, though she has added beige to her black and white palette and it did have some flowiness on one side.

There were, however, a couple real surprises. Kenley’s dress came straight out of the closet where the worst bridesmaid’s dresses go to die. This kind of shocked me, because as much as I hated Kenley’s attitude in  her season, I never denied her talent. Yes, it fit beautifully, but a royal blue strapless mermaid gown with a ginormous white fabric flower plastered on the shoulder? Really? David’s Bridal would yawn. Rami showed a little strapless dress that featured plaid and had some serious structure. Rami! The king of solid color draping! And yet it retained his signature flow at the same time. Color me intrigued by that.

But wait! There’s an actual challenge to come! The designers are herded to a dollar store for the ever popular (well, with viewers, anyway) Unconventional Materials challenge! We are reminded that the first ever PR challenge was unconventional materials, and that Austin won it with an amazing dress made of corn husks. But there’s a twist to this UM challenge: the outfits the designers make have to relate to the pieces they showed in the opening runway.

So designers find stuff to work with, go back to the workroom, create, and snark on each others’ designs. Michael worries because he and April chose the same black and white mopheads as materials. He really breaks out in a sweat when Jerell points out they seem to be using those mopheads in a similar fashion. Austin has a literal meltdown. No, really. His dress is made of plastic and it accidently comes in contact with a hot glue gun, making a nasty hole at the last minute before they have to go back to the apartments. Michael interviews that this is clearly the end of Austin Scarlett. Oh ye of little faith!

Morning comes, designers do last minute touches, Austin adapts his design to feature a cut out to hide his disaster, models are fitted and prepped for the runway, and the show is on.

The top three for this runway are Jerell, Rami, and Mondo. Yeah, those were my picks, too. All three looks were great and Rami’s was an amazingly structured piece. While I think he does beautiful draping, I’m glad he’s branching out and trying new things. In fact, his umbrella dress took the win. Oh, and on All Stars? Winning a challenge comes with bragging rights only. No immunity.

The bottom three in the challenge were Sweet P, Gordana, and Elisa. Sweet P made a mess of colorful wash clothes and belts that… just no. It didn’t work. At all. Gordana would have been fine if she’d done a little editing. The streamers were cool and the judges all adored her use of Brillo pads. Alas! She didn’t stop there. She covered the whole thing with little sparklies that it didn’t need and the look kind of collapsed under the weight of itself. As for Elisa, well, she made a look that was quite similar to her winged dress of the opening runway… except with painted hot pants and a model who wore shoes this time. It was painfully costumey, but I could actually see something like that being the fantasy piece in a real collection. At this point I considered Sweet P officially screwed.

I, however, am not the judges. They let Sweet P’s dogawful mish-mash of wash cloths off the hook and booted Elisa for making an oufit that required an explanation instead of standing on its own two feet.

Look, I do happen to think that Sweet P is the better designer. I also have a great fondness for her from the personality I’ve seen on my television. She’s got lots of talent and makes me smile. Elisa is clearly an oddball – though a rather charming one, I think – who will never, ever, ever fit into mainstream fashion design. I scratched my head when I heard that Elisa made the All Stars. I just also happen to think that a hand painted fantasy piece that was beautifully made – even one including hot pants and an explanation – is a better design than a lumpen mish-mash of junk store items that can be immediately identified in the finished product.

Sorry, Sweet P. I think you should have been aufed.

Still, there’s lots to come on the show! Miss Piggy as a guest judge, panic in the workroom, and – probably best of all – a total verbal cat fight between Austin Scarlett and Isaac Mizrahi! Place your bets now! Austin, I have every faith in you.

3 Responses to “Welcome Back to the Runway!”

  1. Orora Says:

    I know! I gave a “Oh no, you di-int!” when Isaac and Austin got into it. Can’t. Wait. Bitchy queen cat fight!

    Contrary to what I’ve felt about previous seasons of PR, I think this is gonna be a good one. I think it’s finally back to must-watch status.

  2. Orora Says:

    Totally agree with you on the Auf. Sweet Pea seems talented and very sweet, but that was a monstrosity.

  3. Twistie Says:

    @ Orora: I love, love, LOVE me some Sweet P, but that dress was seven different kinds of tragic at once.

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