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Project Runway – And Sew it Begins

Gretchen was the clear winner.

Don’t you just love the first episode of each season from Project Runway? Everyone is so fresh-faced and excited, and filled with ego, ambition, and creativity. How many times do we hear how they are each going to crush the competition, how they all have what it takes, and just how amazing each of them are out of their own mouths? And now we get to watch the transformation as they all come crumbling down one by one.

Upon the designers’ arrival to the Big Apple, they have the ceremonial roof-top party. And of course their challenge begins right away with Heidi’s announcement of a surprise. Now they learn that they haven’t truly made it on the show just yet. They have to complete one challenge in order to make it onto the “real” show (just in case no one noticed though, they’re already on TV, and therefore already on the show. I’m already confused?)

The challenge was to take an item out of their suitcase and incorporate it into a design in the shortest challenge ever presented (only 5 hours!). And in typical Project Runway fashion, they then had to pass their hand-picked item to the person to their right and let them butcher their personal belongings. I thought Casanova was going to cry when he had to pass off his $1,070 Dolce & Gabanna pants to be hacked apart by a stranger.

At this stage in the game, there are so many designers that hardly any focus is paid to many of the garments. I just finished watching the show, and I am already finding myself forgetting the 17 pieces. However, I agreed with the judges that Gretchen was the clear winner, with perfect design, construction, and style.

The bottom six was where the action was and where most of the attention was given. Upon arrival Ivy was the most peppy, upbeat, and positive, and after her critique from the judges, her spirit ended up crushed and smothered. Michael said her blouse looked as though it has been through a paper shredder and Nina called it “mumsy.”

In the end, it all came down to styling. Jason’s garment that was literally held together with staples won him a spot, because he paired it with the right boots, right hair, and great makeup. McKell was out because her semi-cute dress was styled with a tacky handbag and unflattering hair.

So what did you think? Did you agree with the judges? Or do you think they got it completely wrong?


A.J. Thouvenot


Andy South


April Johnston




Christopher Collins


Gretchen Jones


Ivy Higa


Jason Troisi


Kristin Haskins Simms


McKell Maddox


Michael Costello

Michael Drummond


Mondo Guerra


Nicholas D’Aurizio

Peach Carr


Sarah Trost


Valerie Mayen



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  1. Cherlyn | | #1

    I was surprised to see Casanova continuing because his design reminded me so much of this past sesson: too much skin showing. I personally thought he had more "breat" showing than McKell! A little lower in the back and we could have seen her crack! Granted, McKell's skirt length had issues, but that shirt conversion was a good idea! She deserved another week and Casanova should have been gone. If not him then why not Ivy: Hello! She made pants into pants! The judges kept pointing this out; yet she continues. They hated her top but I sort of liked it. I didn't care for Sarah's hotpants jumpsuit ---- those were made in the 70's---not new!Jason's project was just ugly! There is another one that could have gone. He didn't have a clue what to do with his garment. No color and no imagination. I personally thought there were four people that could have been given the "ax"----guess we'll see what happens next week.

  2. sews4fun | | #2

    I agree with everything Cherlyn said and for all the same reasons. I could NOT believe Casanova got to stay and McKell was sent packing! That being said, I also have to say what a terrible thing it would have been for Casanova to be elimated due to the destruction of his incredibly expensive pants. I just bought a refrigerator for less money! French doors and freezer on the bottom! I hope he doesn't sit down and calculate how many hours he had to work just to pay for a single pair of pants! Still, that abomination he made wasnt enough material to string a kite tail with. I was sad for McKells 9 month old baby and I thought to myself, she wont stay even if she keeps winning, I know few women who can leave a young baby for long periods of time like that. I wish McKell luck, she looked tired and sickly and I hope life treats her and her baby well. I can honestly see Casanova staying for a few weeks because there is a distinct personality there and he is entertaining. As for the rest of them, who knows? We'll see.

  3. User avater
    ceeshell | | #3

    I like to look at these outfits as if my very slender and stylish thirty something daughter would be wearing them. I think that Casanova needs to go. His dress looked like something a pole dancer might wear, it was backless, sideless, and tasteless. Jason Troisi’s handkerchief hem was an unfortunate choice for the back. McKell got high praise from Tim at the start, the sides could have been better cut, and the hair was only good from the rear. Mondo Guerra’s choice of fabric, I don’t remember what he started with but the fabrics didn’t work together. And the ruched front and back panels needed to have more fabric. It simply looked strained. And excuse me for being catty but Valerie Mayen’s look only needs a cape to become a super hero’s costume. The rest I could see my daughter and her friends happily wearing.

  4. KL48 | | #4

    I think the judges got it wrong. McKell should not have gone home. I loved her cute little dress.Jason with the black mess of staples should be out.I also dislike nasty, catty comments from the judges- especially Heidi! Tim Gunn is the only one of the "professionals" who has any credibility with me anymore.He truly has a heart and is very aware of how hard this competition is on the new designers.And I would enjoy seeing more of the design and sewing/execution segments expanded upon in the new 90 min. timeframe.

  5. Hopelovepeace | | #5

    I loved the Michael Drummond piece, but I forgot what he started with? It is very beautiful. I would guess it would have been top 3 if they had stuck to that format.

  6. User avater
    MysteryWoman | | #6

    I think the judges should have kept McKell, too -- her dress was cute and completed, unlike some of the others. Overall, I thought Peach's was the most put together and wearable. Especially considering what she had to work with! And dresses stapled? Hmmm . . . How did that person get put through to the next round? Seems like a darker, more sinister Project Runway this time. The music on the commercials has sort of a psycho-kind of creepy sound to it. Personally, I liked the fun, focus-on-the-creativity seasons better . . .

  7. AnnKiepe | | #7

    I don't watch TV so I have been following through your posts.

    All I can say is: "what a lot of ugly looking 'stuff,' clothing is too good a word for most of this junk"

    The fashion shows have been around so long, and the supposed need to have something new at all cost has reduced the couturiers and the wanna-be couturiers to putting together ridiculous assemblages that make me laugh and cringe at the same time. Am I the only one to think and say this?

    I look at the New York times photo essays of these parades of bizarro costumes, and all I can say is: "are people so stupid and easily duped that would actually pay money to be figurea of fun and ridicule by wearing these 'things?'

  8. Skymom | | #8

    Some pretty ugly stuff this week, but with 5 hours and a garment that you have no connection with to start probably would be tough for anyone. I thought it funny that Peach ended up making a dress out of fabric that looked a lot like the pants she handed off to Ivy! Her finished dress was legitimately cute, though. I actually didn't agree with Gretchen as the winner, only because I thought the dress was uninventive and rather dull, and the hemline looked dated to me. But it was, at least, a valid, wearable garment in a sea of hot messes.

    I'm looking forward to seeing how the season progresses. I have no sympathy whatsoever for Casanova and his pricy pants. What's a designer doing paying that much for trousers with someone else's name on them? He should make his own, like the rest of us. And what are we to make of his toddler-sized necktie?! Does he shop at D&G or BabyGap? On the other hand, they could develop an anime series starring Mondo and I'd watch.

  9. User avater
    RevDi | | #9

    I too was outraged McKell was given the ax. I thought her blue dress was charming, and I appreciated Tim for at least affirming his original opinion when she was sent home. Casanova could easily have been sent home - his taste level is more than questionable. Also the young lady who turned a tuxedo jacket inside out, cut off the sleeves and lapel and didn't finish the edges - this is fashion? And takes five hours? Please! And of course Jason with the staples was inexcusable. I thought they had standards of sewing to adhere to?

  10. Ajoywise | | #10

    Wow, some pretty awful stuff! Seriously, how could Casanova still be on? He made a gorgeous model's perfect figure look positively horrific. Aren't designers suppose to hide flaws not create them? And what about that inside out, chopped up April Johnston creation? A 5 year old could have done better with a sharp pair of scissors. I can't even imagine that Theuvenot messy ballet costume on anyone. Troisi should have been axed. Gretchen and Drummond were the clear winners here.

  11. sewfungirl | | #11

    After watching the extended judging on Demand, I felt that the guest judge (can't think of her name) was extremely rude to McKell who I think did not deserve to go home. The stapled garment and also the nearly naked model were unacceptable. I don't see how Jason's garment made it through, it was a hot mess.

  12. Miscismom | | #12

    Casanova making it through just makes me surer than ever that some contestants are "marked" in the beginning to stay on for at least a few weeks. The producers want their personalities in the mix. It obviously has nothing whatsoever to do with talent, style or taste level.

  13. tangirl | | #13

    I know I'm a little late with this comment but Heidi Klum is a perfect example of how brainwashed the American public can be - to me she looks like a cavewoman and doesn't dress much better. I love the concept of project runway, but what makes Heidi a judge of fashion? Personally, I think Victoria Beckham has much better style and her taste level is lightyears beyond Heidi's. I agree with just about everyone - the little dress (McKell???) should have stayed. The hair and pink makeup on the model was terrible, and I questioned the purse the second I saw it, but the dress was actually kind of cute.

  14. ACCD | | #14

    Bad Halloween Costumes. What ever happened to classic, wearable designs?

  15. 1336 | | #15

    I really enjoyed the show.

  16. flatCAD | | #16

    Don't agree with thte rasults at all!! The winning design was simple and forgettable. Mundo, Michael Drummond or Peach should have won. And either Casanova or Jason should have left. Judges seem to play favorites based on personality of contestants; maybe for ratings..

  17. KiwiLee | | #17

    Nicholas D'Aurizio's long blue frock was the only one of these I'd be seen in. Lovely back styling with those pleats.
    Didn't see the programme (too busy sewing) and frankly, looking at the results, I don't think I missed much.

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