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Project Runway Season 13, Episode 1: “The Judges Decide”

Fashion industry heavyweights Nina Garcia, Zac Posen, and Heidi Klum reprised their role as judges. Tim Gunn serves as mentor.

After a year hiatus, the original Project Runway is back with an all-new season, or as Tim Gunn called it (as he surrendered a fist pump), “Lucky season thirteen!” Fashion industry heavyweights Nina Garcia, Zac Posen, and Heidi Klum reprised their role as judges. Klum, of course, plays double duty as the host. 

Episode one began with the 18 finalists presenting their collections to the judging panel during their final audition. The first designer to go before the judges was Brooklyn, NY based designer Korina. Her collection was well received–prompting Heidi to ask, “Am I allowed to buy things today?” As expected, there were a few hits and misses but the judges seemed pleased with their final selections. When the audition came to an end, the 18 designers faced elimination: 15 survived, 3 were sent home.

Per the usual, Tim Gunn lead the remaining designers to the space where creativity flows and drama ensues: the workroom. Once the contestants settled into their spaces, Tim Gunn introduced this season’s twist: a past designer had been resurrected to compete in season 13. Amanda Valentine from season 11 was brought back through a vote via social media giant InstaGram.

For the season’s first challenge, designers created a spring look that would be representative of their spring collection if they made it through to New York Fashion Week. What’s the twist you ask? The designers had one day to build their look and could only use fabrics that were provided for them. Gasp–no shopping trip to Mood Fabrics! They could, however, trade fabrics with each other.

The guest judge was Julie Bowden, star of hit ABC TV sitcom Modern Family. First introduced last season, the “Tim Gunn Save” is back.

Now–on to the runway looks!

The Top:

Sandhya Garg’s winning design:

project runways season 13 episode 1 sandya garg runway look

Char Glover’s design:

project runways season 13 episode 1 char glover runway look

Amanda Valentine’s design:

project runway season 13 episode 1 char glover runway look

The Bottom:

Jefferson Musanda’s losing design: 

project runways season 13 episode 1 jefferson musanda runway look

Mitchell Perry’s design:

project runways season 13 episode 1 mitchell perry runway look

Angela Sum’s design:

project runways season 13 episode 1 angela sum runway look

The Rest of the Looks:

Korina Emmerich’s design:

project runways season 13 episode 1 korina emmerich runway look

Fäde Zu Grau’s design:

project runways season 13 episode 1 fade zu grau runway look

Kristine Guico’s design:

project runways season 13 episode 1 kristine guico runway look

Sean Kelly’s design:

project runways season 13 episode 1 sean kelly runway look

Hernan Lander’s design:

project runways season 13 episode 1 Hernana Lander runway look

Alexander Knox’s design:

Project Runway Season 13 Episode 1 Alexandar Knox runway look

Samantha Plasencia’s design:

project runways season 13 episode 1 samantha plasencia runway look

Carrie Sleutskaya’s design:

project runways season 13 episode 1 carrie sluetskaya runway look

Emily Payne’s design:

project runways season 13 episode 1 emily payne runway look

Kiniokahokula Zamora’s design:

project runways season 13 episode 1 kiniokahokula zamora runway look

Some, if not most, of the designers appeared to be shocked with the judge’s decision. What did you think of the outcome? Did you enjoy the first challenge? Which designer are you rooting for? Which outfit do you think was most flattering on the model?  What do you think about the collaboration with InstaGram for the #RunwayRedemption vote? Share your comments below!


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  1. grams2301 | | #1

    I'm sorry, I think sometimes the Judge's tastes are only in their mouth! The winning design was TERRIBLE!!! It looked like the shoulders were ripped and I didn't think it was flattering at all. Char's was great as was Amanda's. Either one of them should have won. Get with it Judges

  2. User avater
    DebbyLA | | #2

    I thought the very high waisted short shorts and top was innovative.
    I thought the torn sleeve winner was tacky.

  3. stsimon | | #3

    Sandhya is different from the other designers in that, despite her sweet demeanor, she is an true iconoclast, with a quietly subversive political point of view. Did you see some of the things she made for her audition? This "ugly" runway dress starts with a decorous floral print that she "dirtied up" by dying the top, then she fringed the raw edges and ripped the shoulders, providing a sharp aggressive line at the top. You look at it and say "Wha?? Why'd she do that?" And then you have to think about it. The fit is wonderful, too.

    This designer has something to say about women and fashion, and I'm looking forward to future designs from her.

  4. modestoash | | #4

    I really thought that Mitchell Perry's look was the losing look. Jefferson's shorts did not look good, but at least the outfit had some thought put into it.
    The winning look wasn't my favorite; however, I do see that it was innovative and unique.
    My favorite look was the dress and jacket made by Kiniokahokula. I'm a sucker for a nice simple cheerful dress.

  5. 416 | | #5

    I was disappointed with Jefferson. I thought he was going places but I guess I'll stick with Amanda. I have seen her fashions locally and they do look great for Music City buyers. I hope Amanda does better than she did last time. I'll keep looking at Project Runway.

  6. user-442143 | | #6

    The winning design was terrible. She didn't take the time to match the print where the seams ran down the front--something that you should expect in designer clothes. The tacky frayed edges were not a fashion statment but an indication of poor time management, and the ripped shoulders were not innovative. The backstory for this designer is what caught the judges attention--not her design ability. Mitchell Perry or Angela Sum should have gone home and Char or Amanda should have won.

  7. User avater
    iris68 | | #7

    When my husband and I saw Sandhya Garg's dress walking down the runway we both said - "She is out!" To our surprise and disappointment her design won. Do judges see something we don't?

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