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Project Runway Season 12: Episode 1 “Sky’s the Limit”

Bradon McDonald's final design for the first challenge of Project Runway season 12. Bradon won the challenge.

More Tim Gunn! That’s my headline for the 12th season of Project Runway. The show has a new (improved) format, and now Tim will be sitting in on the runway shows. Tim also has a new special “Rescue” power. Just once this season, he will be able to save a designer from being voted out by the judges. Essentially, it’s what Tim did last season to keep Michelle Franklin on the show, and Michelle went on to win.

More changes:

1. The judges won’t know who designed what until after the judging.

2. After the runway show, the designs are assessed off the runway, in close inspection. For sewers, isn’t that a great improvement to the show?! Finally, we get to see the garments up close.

On to the recap! The guest judge was Kate Bosworth. Regular judges Zac Posen, Nina Garcia, and Heidi Klum were back. Tim sat with the judges, but didn’t comment during judging.

The designers had to work with nylon parachute fabric, which is difficult to sew. The show began with the designers arriving at an airfield. Skydivers dropped from a plane, and each designer had to use a parachute to create a look that defined his or her aesthetic.

The winner

Bradon McDonald’s design:

Bradon McDonald's final design 

The loser

Angela Bacskocky’s design:

Angela Bacskocky's final design

The best 

Sue Waller’s design:

Sue Waller 's final design

 Miranda Levy’s final design:

Miranda Levy's final design

The rest of the worst 

Sandro Masmanidi’s design:

Sandro Masmanidi's final design

Timothy Westbrook’s final design:

Timothy Westbrook's final design


The just-fine designs

Alexandria Von Bromssen’s design:

Alexandria Von Bromssen's final design

Kahindo Mateene’s design:

 Kahindo Mateene's final design

 Helen Castillo’s design:

Helen Castillo's final design

Karen Batt’s design:

Karen Batt's final design 

Justin LeBlanc’s design:

 Justin LeBlanc's final design

Kate Pankoke’s design:

Kate Pankoke's final design

Alexander Pope’s design:

Alexander Pope's final design

Dom Streater’s design:

Dom Streater's final design

Ken Laurence’s design:

Ken Laurence's final design

Jeremy Brandrick’s design:

Jeremy Brandrick's final design

What did you think?

I had a great time watching the first episode.

Do you like the changes to the format?

Do you think it’s a good idea to have Tim sit in on the judging?

Are you glad the judges are taking a closer look at the garments?

Do you spot a designer to watch already?

How many episodes do you give Timothy Westbrook? That’s “Mr. Sustainable.” I was sympathetic up to when his model started crying because he wouldn’t let her wear makeup or shoes. Then I was just sympathetic for his model, poor girl on national TV, and HE wears the great shoes. I think for the weirdness/drama factor, he could be around to episode 4. Just a guess!


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  1. User avater
    ustabahippie | | #1

    I LOVE that the judges won't know who designed which outfit until after the judging. Then they can't play favorites. I know it happens! And having Tim Gunn on the panel...it's about time! Too bad he can't comment.

  2. User avater
    kprincegentry | | #2

    I have already lost one of my favorites when they booted Angela. Yeah, her design was not much of a design, but Miranda, who was also one of my favorites did not follow the rules. This was an “Unconventional Material” challenge and she used less than 20 percent of the material. Tim warned Miranda and she snubbed his opinion. And now Heidi, Zac and Nina has snubbed Tim’s opinion. Why are you giving Tim Gunn’s more of a role in the decision of who is IN and who is OUT and not take what he said as advice. Guess we will see that this all plays out through out the season.

    My favorite line of the evening was delivered by Zac Posen referencing Sandro’s garment “She looks like a slutty cat toy”. Well said and well deserved!

  3. Lise_the_hobbit | | #3

    If they are planning on looking at the construction up close, I hope they will give the designers a bit more time so that they can do proper finishing of their outfits.

    I agree that blind judging (not knowing who the designers are) is a very good thing.

  4. CherieNightOwl | | #4

    I am a little disgusted with Timothy. I value where he is trying to come from as an environmentalist, but the way he treated his model is what bothered me the most. I am glad that she chose not to do his interpretive waddle choreography, but annoyed that she didn't get hair and makeup.

  5. User avater
    maks | | #5

    I love all of the changes, especially seeing the garments up close and the "Tim Gunn Save" option. The first episode was really unique so I do look forward to this new season.

  6. Flanerie | | #6

    More Tim Gunn is the right idea - !

    No surprises the first week. Angela's garment was nowhere near as bad as Timothy's and Sandrino (Sandino?? have to check his name) but it was bland and boring and that always loses out to the more flamboyant, even the hideously flamboyant. Plus, I think the judges look at the designer, too, and think about which person will make better TV in the upcoming months...
    I'm surprised the judges didn't have more to say about the poor model's exposed body parts...but maybe they did and it got edited out. personally I'll be waiting for him to get booted off, but not before Timothy-no-electricity (unicorns???)
    I think the judges got the winner right, tho'.....and the second place designer, too.

  7. designs | | #7

    I LOVE the changes. It will improve the show immensely. Maybe a bit more time will be necessary for better finishing.

  8. Cherlyn | | #8

    I love the changes. I think the judges should not know the designer. This gives each designer a little edge. Sometimes, I think some designers were kept a little too long just because they were "fun" and not for talent. I like that they get a closer look. I thought the one designer that used more black was going to get away with it. I wasn't totally happy with the winning look since this basic design has been shown several times... I was hoping the second place winner would get it.

    I like to see that someone can come back and try again.

    I think we have some really interesting people with very little talent. Hopefully they will be gone quickly.

  9. sewing_teacher | | #9

    I love the changes to this season. The construction should be a part of the judging. In past seasons I have seen some pretty shabby construction. I also think that the judges not knowing who made what is a good idea. I love this show so much I DVR it and watch is sometimes more than once.

  10. samsstuff | | #10

    I like the idea that the judges don't know whose designs are whose until after the judging. As far as this weeks designs go, though I really thought Sandro should have been out. It was not beautifully tailored & way over accessorized. I also did not like Alexander Pope's design & the way it rode up when the model walked. Sandro's faux pas was a bigger mistake than Angela's & Miranda's really deserved some serious consideration, as she didn't follow the rules of the challenge. I love the winner, though. I wonder when Tim will use his "save option?" It'll be interesting to see.

  11. User avater
    RevDi | | #11

    Timothy or the Russian should have been booted off, not Angela; Timothy because he polluted the air with his process, refused to use the sponsor's products, and treated his model badly, and the Russian because he made an outfit that was badly cut, badly fitted, and in such bad taste the model's lady parts were exposed. And if Timothy was all about Eco-fashion, what was he doing in gold glitter pumps? He might make good TV, but he doesn't make good fashion.
    Angela's coat wasn't a knockout, but it was charming and whimsical and covered her model's crotch!

  12. user-2131610 | | #12

    I was absolutely stunned that the judges didn't decide to change the process for this one week & eliminate two designers this week due to special circumstances! I think Miranda should have automatically been booted for flaunting the rules and then they could have still chosen the worst design. I love the changes though, especially more Tim Gunn!

  13. user-2334979 | | #13

    I totally agree with RevDi, particularly about the Russian. And I definately do not think that Angela should have been sent home over those two, but I guess that's what makes us all watch project runway, huh?

    As for the changes, I love them all. I particularly like the fact that the judging will be 'blind' because people can't avoid any bias they may have toward any of the designers.

    Anyway that my two stitches.

  14. mom2harley | | #14

    I do like the changes - especially that the judges will be taking a closer look at the garments. I watch the show to learn whatever I can - not for the "drama". This way I can pick up little hints and ideas. Thank-you!!!

  15. Flanerie | | #15

    The blind judging is nice in theory, but the thing about it is that after a few weeks, the judges are going to know who designed each piece, anyway (for the most part) because they'll be familiar with each designer's style by then. Unless a designer really switches it up, their signature style is going to come through, especially when the field starts to narrow a bit.
    As for judging the finishing, they'd better give them more time, then! There's only so much you can do in a day. (That's one reason why I like to watch "Fashion Star," because you get to see a really finished product.)

  16. Ikebana152 | | #16

    I agree with an earlier comment that two designers should have gone home - Sandro for sending his model out vulgarly dressed and Miranda for breaking the rules. If you are going to break a rule at least provide us with a garment that is spectacular.

    I love that Zac Posen is there, not Mr. Kors. His comments are thoughtful, helpful and instructive - not snotty and condescending.

    Yes to all the changes, but maybe a little more analytical of the construction.

    More Tim Gunn - what could be bad?

    It was a toss up for the top two, both good choices.

    May the psuedo sustainable designer in non-sustainable sequined shoes be next..Talk about phony!

    If the melodrama and the offensive "bitches" conversations can be kept to minimum it looks like a good season ahead.

  17. ragbagsandgladrags | | #17

    wish we could see it in the UK, but it's not available here.

  18. mfrogers53 | | #18

    Looks like a great season. The new rules will keep it interesting. ragbagsandgladrags should try watching on line at mylifetime.com or hulu.com (free version)

  19. User avater
    Soli | | #19

    Blind judging will only work for so long. Yes to more Tim and a possible save down the road. IMO, the wrong dress won. I think Sue's red dress was much better than the winning design. Timothy and Sandro get my votes for a hasty exit. Agree that the wrong designer went home.

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