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Project Runway, Episode 1: Supermarket Sweepby Sandy McFarland -- 01/05/2005
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Introducing my favorite new reality show Project Runway! I stumbled across this while flipping channels and voila', I found me this little-advertised gem on Bravo! The gist of the show is that twelve wannabe designers vie for the grand prize of their own spread in Elle magazine, mentorship with the Banana Republic design team, and $100,000 to start their own line. Every week, the “designers” will be assigned a fashion design project. Whoever does the best job will get immunity from being "out" in the next week’s challenge. Whoever the judges deem the worst designer will go home. The final three will be featured in Olympus Fashion Week. Supermodel Heidi Klum is the hostess with the mostest, and Tim Gunn, from the Parsons School of Design, is her right-hand man, who checks up on the designers, asks questions, and guides them to the tasks.
The designers are an eclectic bunch, with a varying degrees of experience, talent, and age. You first get to meet them walking the streets of New York City, en route to the Atlas NY Apartments, which will become their home and where they begin their reality journey. The ever lovely Heidi Klum greets them on the sidewalk, and informs them that they were chosen from “hundreds” of applicants. (Why did that make me laugh?) Little by little the designers are shown spouting their excitement about being on the show, their goals and ambitions.
The designers are:
Austin Scarlett - Did he make up that name? He is a costume designer. I just love this guy already. He has perfectly plucked eyebrows and flawless makeup. He is so adorable I just want to squeeze him.
Jay McCarroll - He is a chubby hippie type of fella, who used to work on a porn industry web site, and is sick of handling dirty money! Porn to fashion, works for me!
Starr - Hmm, only one name, and she’s a lawyer to boot. She reminds me of that gal who played Olive Oyl on the Popeye movie. She is torn between lawyering and soothing her festering creative juices that scream she should design clothes.
Robert Plotkin - His fashion inspirations come from sports cars - sleek, sexy and dangerous! He learned to be a fashion designer through his mom’s beauty salon business.
Kevin Johnn - Kevin's been a designer for twelve years, and his family has its own fashion design business. His goal is to become the best designer in America.
Daniel Franco - He has a cute little cherub face, but his very blackish hair seems to have a static electricity problem. He had his first and only fashion collection launch in 1999, but is back to follow his bliss in fashion design.
Wendy Pepper - She is an almost 40 mom of one who runs her own small fashion business someplace in Virginia. Badly streaked hair seems to be her trademark.
Vanessa Riley - Vanessa is a short, stocky brunette, with longish, dark brown hair. She seems to have an English-y accent. She has a fashion design business in Texas. She seems fun and vibrant and I have a good feel about her.
Alexandra Vidal -The blonde cheerleader!! She oozes cuteness and is a bit of eye candy for the guys who tuned into this show in error. She has her own line which sells in various boutiques.
Nora Calguri - A perky short, spiky-haired bundle of fun. She already makes me smile. Just looking at her screams “creative arteeeest at work!!” Nora is a Pratt Institute graduate.
Kara Saun - A pretty black girl who seems confident and sure of herself. She is a costume designer from CA and has designed for Queen Latifah among others. I think she will go far. Like at first sight!
Mario Cadenos - A quirky, dark-haired fashion school graduate.
Heidi introduces the designers to Tim Gunn, a tall, gray haired distinguished type, who is the head of the Parsons School of Design Fashion Program. He welcomes them all. The Parsons School of Design is where all the creating and catwalking will take place. Heidi then shows the designers their work space, which is decorated in an early prison motif, with grayish walls and flooring. It's furnished with a bunch of long tables, bolts of fabric, an accessories wall, and various mannequins. The one thing that stands out is a BIG Banana Republic stencil gracing a far wall. (Did I mention that this show is sponsored by Banana Republic?) They also are introduced to the “Runway,” where the judging and eliminations are held.
Now it is time for the challenge! Heidi explains that their first challenge is called “Innovation.” The wannabes are to design a sexy, glamorous dress one might wear for a night on the town. But first, they must meet the models who will be strutting their creations down the runway. Just like the designers, one model will also be eliminated from each show, and the last model standing will also win a layout with Elle magazine. Not only do the designers have to design well, they also have to look out for the models little contest on the side! Now how fun is that? The models file on to the runway, as Heidi says their names. In random order the designers then pick their model
Austin picks Olga, A gal-next-door type, with a bright, winning smile and a long, light brown hair. Robert chooses Melissa , another brown haired beauty with her hair piled on her head. Alexandra picks Julia, a Twiggyish blonde with straight hair, pointy nose and bangs. Vanessa will work with Joy, a wholesome, blonde Swedish-y looking gal. Mario picks Erin, a strikingly pretty girl with very dark brown hair that has a bit of curl. Kara chooses Morgan, a blonde who has a just-crawled-out-of-bed-and-forgot-to-comb-her-hair-and-wash-her-face look. Kevin picks Martinique, a dazzling black beauty with long straight hair and bangs. She is also the first of the models to act excited to be picked. Daniel picks Mary. Mary, a brunette, also looks like she should have run a comb across her head. Wendy opts for Josie. Josie is a gorgeous black gal who has a healthy happy glow about her. She also seems thrilled to be picked. Starr ends up with Audrey, the last model standing. I had caught glimpses of Audrey clapping for the other models and seeming genuinely happy for them when they were picked. She is a wavy haired brunette with a heart shaped face and gorgeous smile. I'm surprised she wasn’t picked early on.1 2 3 Next-->
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