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Project Runway 2 – The Premiere, the Designers, and the Scoopsby Sandy McFarland -- 11/17/2005
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As mentioned in a previous article, Project Runway's season premiere will begin on December 7, at 10 p.m. What I didn't know then, but I am sharing now, is that the second episode is going to follow immediately after the first. Twice the bang for your cable buck! Rumor has it that Bravo will also have a Project Runway marathon sometime before the premiere, for those who missed out last year. As time is running out, I expect if that's going to happen, it's going to be soon! Unfortunately, I have only heard the rumors, but not the times.
This season promises sixteen wannabe designers, four more than last year's twelve. This also means sixteen models, and though I strained my eyes to see if the amusingly insane Morgan would be returning, I really couldn't tell. I guess we'll just have to wait and be surprised. Bravo has promised to not ruin the winning format of Project Runway, so just like last year, the contestants will compete in design challenges, where the best stay and the worst leave.
Once again, Project Runway will be hosted by new mom Heidi Klum. Tim Gunn, of Parsons School of Design, will continue to ride herd over the designers, and Fashion Designer Michael Kors and Elle Magazine's Nina Garcia will return to judge. Anne Slowey will not be back and her judging role will be filled with rotating, challenge-specific guest judges. Rumor has it that last year's winner, Jay McCarroll, and the designer I loved to pick on, Wendy Pepper, may partake in this rotation. The designers are competing for $100,000 seed money to launch their own line, a 2007 Saturn Sky Roadster, a spread in Elle Magazine, and a mentorship with Banana Republic.
Don't forget the models are also competing to be the last model standing. Once the first designer leaves, the following assignment promises that a model will be left over. The model not picked will not return. Like last year, the model who walks the walk with the winning designer during New York Fashion Week will win a layout in Elle.
Bravo is being very tight-lipped on sharing contestant information, so I decided to play super sleuth and see if Google could tell me a bit about their backgrounds. From what I have found, many of this year's designers are very well immersed in the fashion world already. Of course I am not getting any of this information from trusted sources, so believe what you will. This year's designers, and the smidgens of info I could dig up are as follows:
Raymundo Baltazer, 24, L.A. – Alas, my detective work turned up nothing.
Kara Janx, 29, Johannesburg, South Africa – She already is selling her designs at Saks Fifth Ave. A blogger mentioned that she finds her designs boring, as one site is dedicated to boy's shorts. I checked out a few of her designs, which left me underwhelmed, but as of yet, I'm not judging her. She's making a living!
Chloe Dae, 33, Houston, TX – Owns a boutique in Houston, named Lot 8. She opened it with the notion of always carrying some of her own designs, which include men's shirts made into dresses. Okay, I'm intrigued!
Emmett McCarthy, 42, NY – I've had no luck, thus far, finding out any information on him.
Marla Duran, 51, Allentown, PA – I wondered if she might be the next Wendy Pepper, but actually liked the one outfit I could find that she designed. Her designs are described as having "original details, vintage & Asian inspired prints, fine fabrics & workmanship." I'm already interested!
Santino Rice, 30, L.A., is a designer with Los Angeles-based Pegah Anvarian. A former designer of Single, launched a young designer line in June. 2003. Los Angeles-based Wheat & Rice is a coordinated sportswear collection that targets women 18 to 40 years old. Using luxurious fabrics and rich colors to create "wearable, beautiful garments," Sadly, I couldn't find any designs to check out.
Kirsten Ehrig, 37, L.A. – One blogger yelled out to her, saying she is still his favorite model. Well, it isn't much but it made me smile.
Heidi Standridge, 25, Atlanta, GA – B.F.A., fashion, Savannah College of Art and Design, 2002, and is an assistant design manager of Joy Baby for The William Carter Company. She wrote, "I recently had my debut for my Fall/Winter 2005 Women's Ready-to-Wear collection in Birmingham, Ala." She, too, could be interesting!
Diana Eng, 22, Jacksonville, FL, Rhode Island School of Design, is currently working on a collection of clothing using digital prints and mathematical patterns. Her designs include a hoodie that takes photographs for blogging and an exploration of biomimetic clot hing. Diana also harbors a hand penchant for frogs. Diana sounds very unique, I can't wait to see what she does!
Nick Verros, 38, LA – One blogger said that Nick was a flat-sketch instructor, calling him "nice, laid back, and very hardworking.” She added that he worked in a couture house in Europe, and was asked to be a personality on Queer Eye for the Straight Girl. This is certainly a fellow I'll be keeping an eye on.
Daniel Franco, 31, L.A. – Ahhh, Daniel! We met him last year, briefly, on Project Runway 1. He, too, has loads of experience, and his website boasts of his samples being displayed in the windows of Saks Fifth Ave., as well as having several successful trunk shows. Daniel has promised a new attitude. Hopefully his second chance will play out better than Survivor's Bobby Jon.
Guadalupe Vidal, 29, L.A. – A family friend described her as "really nice!" Hey, it's something!
Andrae Gonzalo, 32, L.A. – His website says that each garment he designs is intended to function as a living communication device that has the power to spawn intriguing conversations. This works for me too!
Daniel Vosovic, 24, NY – One blogger speculated that this was a fake name. Sigh, I didn't promise I would get great information. I bet his name is real!
Zulema Griffin, 28, NY – Could this be the next Kara Saun? She has been a costume designer for off Broadway, television, and many theatrical events. The designs I viewed tell me this is the gal to watch.
John Wade, 24, L.A. – I had no luck here either. There are a lot of “Jon Wade”s out there in "Google" land, I can tell ya that. Unfortunately, none sounded like him.
There ya have it... and I am dying to find out more! If you readers have anything to share regarding these designers, please drop me an email. Now I'm going to take off my Sherlock Holmes hat and get ready for another great Project Runway season. See you December 7! (And if you missed Project Runway the first time around, remember to look for the marathon!)
Sandy McFarland can be reached with questions or comments at email@example.com.
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