Project Runway Season 8 – Episode 1 – And Sew It Begins

Season 8!

And I’m really late to blogging this season — though, in my defense, I’m all the way up here in Canada and, as always, we get these shows a little later than the rest of you.

To be really honest, I’d felt my interest in Project Runway waning in the last few go-arounds. The challenges seemed tired and there weren’t any designers that stood out and made me think, “Wow!”

Could it be that everything that’s possible to say has already been said before?

I was a little aghast at the thought that Project Runway had tacked on an extra 30 minutes to the air time. Was that really necessary?

Well, let’s get on with it, then, and see for ourselves…

Tim and Heidi welcomes us back and, in a new twist, they give brief intros into each designer as we’re shown the usual prologue introducing us to the new designers…but no, wait! They’re still doing this premiere intros!

Of course. Why wouldn’t they? They do, after all, have an extra 30 minutes to kill.

First thoughts? I don’t understand a single word coming out of his mouth. Part of it is the Puerto Rican accent, but another part of it is the crazy talk.

“New York eat me or I eat New York or New York take me or I take New York from the balls,” he says.

Alrighty, then. Moving on…

AJ is so cute even though his self-described party girl designs give me pause. Sure, it’s designed for the girl who’s “willing to wear anything and everything” but it just looks…unrefined.

AJ tells Sarah, another contestant, he’s glad that he met someone so cool because he was afraid he’d find a contestant who was some old person who knew nothing.

Cue Peach Carr, who looks prim and proper — I half expected a posh British accent.

“Am I going to be the oldest? Hell to the yes. God yes! In fact I’m expecting a nine-year-old to walk in and be my roommate,” she says.

I think I already love her.

I guess that says a lot about me in terms of what I like to wear. I make no bones about this: I’m not exactly a fashionista in the sense that Tavi Gevinson is considered one.

Don’t get me wrong. I love to dress up, but it’s mostly for stuff at the office…except, hopefully, less boring.

Speaking of boring, we get an awkward moment when Jason and Gretchen meet on a street corner.

Apart from asking one white person what nationality she is (which seems to give her pause…’cause, seriously, I was also thinking, “Um…she’s white? Like you are.”) and then answering, Jason seems to have nothing else to say.

Tumbleweeds drift past as we all hang our heads and cringe in embarrassment for him. Gretchen sort of looks at the camera quickly a la Jim Halpert, as if it say, “Awkward!”

He says he’s wearing this boring hat to make a statement — to intimidate people like a Roman soldier. And this just leaves me scratching my head going, “What?”

I think Matt Bomer can pull of a hat in White Collar, but I haven’t really seen any other man pull it off.

The designers converge at the Lincoln Centre, the new home of New York Fashion Week, where they’re met by Heidi and Tim, who tell them that the challenge before them is the last phase of the audition process: the competition really starts after this elimination challenge.

Heidi instructs the designers to take out one garment from their suitcases that they’d like to incorporate into their piece — and then to pass the item to the person to their right.

“I took one of my favourite pants — it cost $1,007,” Casanova says. His face is comically dismayed — after all, they were never-before-worn Dolce & Gabbana pants.

If it was me, I think I would have fallen to my knees, sobbing wretchedly, “Why?!” as I shook my fists at the heavens.

But I’m sort of melodramatic that way.

When Tim checks in on the designers, I’m reminded of how one should always deliver constructive criticism: carefully.

“Is it sexy or is it vulgar?” he asks Casanova.


Arched eyebrows. “Really?”

That’s all.

See what the eyebrows are saying where there is silence.

I was a little surprised when Tim seemed to actually be telling Peach what she do with her completely unforgiving fabric.

It harked back to Ben de Lisi from the British version, Project Catwalk.

I don’t think it’s ever the mentor’s place to flat out tell a designer what she should do when she’s at a loss as to how she should make something work. That’s not Tim’s place. He can critique what’s already been done, but that should be it.

Some highlights from the runway show:
-McKell’s dress made from AJ’s boring blue shirt
– Andy’s outfit made from Gretchen’s skirt — it looked very dramatic, very Asian…which is an aesthetic I love (because, you know, I’m Asian)
– Gretchen’s dress — it was understated but floaty and gorgeous

Low lights:
– Peach’s dress didn’t seem to incorporate Michael D’s wrap enough. It was sort of a cop-out to use so little of it
– Nicholas’ gown made out of Christopher’s bomber jacket looked really stiff and a little boring
– Jason’s use of staples on a kimono he barely worked over
– Casanova’s barely-there dress which looked totally vulgar — and Dame Nina agrees with me on that ’cause she arches an incredulous eyebrow and mouths, “Okay…”

The designers left on the runway are among the highest and the lowest scorers.

Gretchen is described by Heidi as “the clear winner.”

“It’s beautifully cut,” Michael tells her. “I can see it on a million girls.”

“It was really a special, simple dress,” Selma agrees.

Heidi then tells the rest of the designers that, because this is the final phase of the audition process, there is no top three and bottom three — everybody is in the bottom.


Michael sneers at Ivy’s reinterpretation of Peach’s pants.

“No offense to Peach, but I have no idea why she packed those,” he says.

I love Michael. He does mean in just the right way.

He tells Ivy that the shirt looks like it’d gone through a paper shredder while Nina describes it as “mumsy.”

Ivy refuses to take their criticism and claims she still stands by her outfit.

The judges’ main problem with her was that she made pants out of pants — the question was whether she had any taste.

Jason’s disastrous reinterpretation of the dress reminds Heidi of the smock she wore when she got her hair cut.

“Did you think you could just put it on backwards and we wouldn’t notice?” Nina further demands of him.

This other chick — the young one who was just out of school (I forget her name) was dressed down for her “raw” look that just looked unfinished. The judges had to ask whether

I was a little surprised that McKell was in the bottom. Is my taste so off that I would like something the judges find fugly?

But when Nina and Michael start their critique, it seems more about the styling than the actual outfit.

Heidi calls it “butt ugly” because it’s not tailored.

“She lives in an alternate universe,” Michael says.

Again, I have to ask, “Was it really that bad?” It just seems like the judges kept harping on the styling more than the actual outfit, which admittedly, didn’t flatter the model.

Meanwhile Casanova’s outfit is dubbed by Michael as looking like “a pole dancer in Dubai.”

It was comical when Heidi asked Casanova to defend himself and explain why he should be given another chance, I had to bust out laughing, ’cause he had the same, “Say what?” expression that I usually have when someone asks me something stupid.

They actually had to get Nina to translate.

The judges continually said, “The taste is questionable” — which is putting it really mildly.

Selma Blair cracked me out when she said this was the sort out outfit you’d find at a discount store called “Dazzles” — which is hilarious ’cause there’s actually a dress store like that in this one mall I go to a lot.

I’ll only admit to going in there a couple of times, but I can safely say that I will never buy anything from there.

Ultimately, the judges had to ask whether they should reward the person who played it safe versus the person who didn’t really complete their look — but only because of the time constraint?

This challenge was the shortest in Project Runway history, after all — the designers only had five hours to design an outfit, Selma was quick to point out.

I was really surprised when Jason was allowed to remain in the competition.

Casanova, Ivy and McKell were in the bottom three and I thought Casanova was the one who’d be booted out — I thought it was insanely cruel to have McKell walk backstage to cries of “Yay!” from the other designers only to have her admit that she was actually booted from the competition.

It was so awful having to see McKell sit there, trying to keep a brave face while Ivy and Casanova walk back in to declare themselves safe.

She tells the camera that, you need to pick yourself back up even when you’ve been knocked down…words of wisdom.

It was interesting to see the designers head back to the apartment and discuss the aftermath of the runway — though, there wasn’t enough of that, I think.

I have to say: I’m actually looking forward to this season!

My love of Project Runway has been revived!

~ by justj on August 9, 2010.

10 Responses to “Project Runway Season 8 – Episode 1 – And Sew It Begins”

  1. Good to know that the new season is more exciting. Just wondering where/how you are watching the episodes from Canada. Last season was on Slice (with a few week delay) but they do not seem to mention the new season yet. Other ideas?

    • Hi there,
      Unfortunately, it looks like Canwest has cancelled Project Runway Canada. The second season was airing on Global TV, but there are no plans at this time to continue with the series. You can read more here:

      • Thanks for the heads up on the Canadian version – too bad.
        In fact I was asking about watching the US version on Canadian TV, since we don’t get Lifetime…

      • Oh, sorry! I misread the question.

        I know Slice usually airs it — but there’s a huge delay between when Lifetime airs it in the US and when Slice finally picks it up in Canada. I know they’re now winding their way through repeats of season 6.

  2. I too am wondering when it’s airing in Canada and whether or not Slice will be airing it?

  3. When can I get season 8 on a Canadian channel? I always watched the previous seasons on Slice

    • There’s usually a huge lag between when the Americans get to see it and when they air it in Canada. Unfortunately, I haven’t seen any word of when Slice plans to air season 8.

  4. For the past few seasons there’s been a lag of about 4 weeks…. never this long. And when the U.S. season was starting, at least Slice would indicate on their website when the airing would begin in Canada – they didn’t leave us guessing. With Season 8 it’s very frustrating that Slice isn’t saying anything at all. It makes me wonder if they will be airing it at all….

  5. I wrote Slice to ask when Season 8 will be airing. They say the Project Runway is not on their Fall schedule but to check back in “a few months”. So much for that.

    justj, are you watching Season 8 on-line? If so, what website?

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