Mondo Guerra Recaps 'Project Runway' Season 12 Premiere
The show's first "All Stars" champ weighs in on the episode, in which one designer may have been pushed in the mad scramble for materials, while another tortures his model with "sniff-your-armpit choreography" and deprives her of shoes.
Grab a parachute and hold on to your seat, cause Project Runway season 12 is about TAKE OFF.
Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn are back with a whole new season and a whole new runway, welcoming 15 new designers and one lucky former contestant to the starting line of a more than half-million-dollar race -- the biggest prize package in Runway history.
With that much at stake, you know someone's getting pushed.
The season 12 premiere started straight out of the gate, assembling the new hopefuls on an airport runway where they are quickly greeted by the returning designer voted back by the fans for a second chance -- Kate Pankoke from season 11.
I've been outspoken about my support for fellow season eight alum Valerie Mayan to return, so I was kinda bummed to see Kate. But good luck to her -- she'll need it. Especially since some of these season 12 designers aren't afraid to push.
Heidi and Tim revealed that the designers will be creating looks out of skydiving parachutes (which careen down from the clouds -- much to Tim Gunn's amusement). But first, they'll have to scramble for their chutes.
At the starting gun, Kate took a nasty tumble as she raced for a yellow one. But on second inspection, this recapper thinks the lady was PUSHED. I'm just glad she fell on grass and not the tarmac.
(Did anyone else see the push...?)
Anyway, after the designers scraped themselves up, we learned that there are some other new revisions to the classic Project Runway recipe. And so far, fans of the show seem to like what's cookin'.
For one, Tim Gunn is now Top Gunn armed with a one-time, overriding save of an eliminated designer. He will also be joining the judges at the runway shows to offer advice and show the top and bottom looks up close and personal. The runway shows will also be anonymous, meaning the judges won't know whose designs are whose until after they are scored.
But where are my manners? Roll call, please! The 15 new designers of season 12 are:
Alexander Pope, 38 - New York, NY
Alexandria von Bromssen, 38 - San Mateo, CA
Angela Bacskocky, 33 - Richmond, VA
Bradon McDonald, 38 - Los Angeles, CA
Dom Streater, 24 - Philadelphia, PA
Helen Castillo, 25 - Union City, NJ
Jeremy Brandrick, 41 - New York, NY
Justin LeBlanc, 27 - Raleigh, NC
Kahindo Mateene, 34 - Chicago, IL
Karen Batts, 29 - Queens, NY
Ken Laurence, 24 - Birmingham, AL
Miranda Kay Levy, 29 - Milwaukee, WI
Sandro Masmanidi, 28 - New York, NY
Sue Waller, 45 - Brooklyn, NY
Timothy Westbrook, 24 - Milwaukee, WI
In the Workroom:
Season 12 is chock full of characters.
There's Sandro, the Russian bull in the china shop who seems charming one moment and sinister the next. Alexandria's brooding and moody demeanor doesn't seem to be making her very many friends. Sue, on the other hand, gets by with a little help from her friends as she struggles to use the Brother machines.
Justin (pictured above) blew me away at the Atlanta castings. His work is really special, and I love his commitment to representing the deaf community. Bradon seems authentic, grounded and incredibly driven (and gets bonus points from me for being a dancer). Sassy-shoes Ken isn't afraid to share his opinion -- I have a feeling we'll be hearing some zingers from him this season.
But the diva of the workroom by far is Unicorn Princess Timothy. Did he mention he was a sustainability designer? I like some of his ideas -- but not necessarily the way he expresses them. No wonder his fellow Wisconsin-er Miranda wasn't too thrilled to see him. Is this guy for real?!
No trip to Mood for the first challenge. The designers can use black and white supplemental fabrics, but the core of their designs must be parachute material. They get two days to complete the challenge.
Oh yeah -- Tim also announced that when they do eventually shop at Mood, there's another change: no more cash. The designers will now be managing their own spending for the entire season using their new GoBank accounts and debit cards.
I wonder if any of the designers will go broke? (I know I would...)
On the Runway
Looks like black boxes aren't just for planes.
In perhaps the most jaw-dropping moment in Runway history, Sandro's swimsuit encountered a garment malfunction to end all garment malfunctions. Sandro's design showed off his model's "good china," as my dear friend Peach Carr would say.
Vagina on the runway aside, this was one of the most memorable shows in years. All of the bright colors and varied silhouettes made for one helluva runway. I'll go on the record and say I am VERY excited to see what the designers create this season.
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