Thursday, September 15, 2016

PR 15 Starts Tonight: Let's Meet The Designtestants!

Project Runway starts its new season tonight and, yes, once again, I'll be providing insights, critiques, digs and sarcasm, as I have been doing since the show's first season, back in 1937; it started on radio and, oy, was it hard to review a radio fashion show but I did it.

I like the Runway because, while there is bitchiness and cattiness and snark and nastiness and back-stabbing, there's also creativity and art. You can have your other "reality" shows, I'll take the PR and RuPaul's Drag Race because, first and foremost, there's talent and creativity.

That said, let's meet the designtestants ....

ALEX SNYDER is 30 and hails from San Francisco. He’s wanted to be a designer since he was diagnosed with ADD and traveled a lot and played with hotel sewing kits. Yeah, I don’t get it either.
Strengths as a designer? 
I am very well-rounded with an extremely proficient background in design, business of design and craftsmanship. …  I’ve worked and created everything from designer wear and ready-to-wear to swim, bridal and everything in-between.
Weaknesses as a designer?
Finding that line of making my personal designs approachable.
Uh oh; does he mean he makes unwearable clothes? I see a Tim Gunn Slap™ in his future. Alex wants to do the Make My Friend Over challenge but wants nothing to do with a Baby Challenge which I’m guessing means he’ll dress his friends in the fugly, but not an infant. He also says he cannot wait for a Team Challenge which is code for, “I’m gonna blow a gasket on this bitch.”
He is also certain he’ll win because he’s a “well-rounded” designer with a distinct POV … not at all like every other designtestant on the show.

BRIK ALLEN — seriously? Brik? — is 26 and joins us from Baton Rouge. He’s wanted to be a designer since he started sketching at sixteen.
Strengths as a designer? 
My greatest strength is passion for what I do. On top of that, I’m a skilled patternmaker and I know how to cut and sew quality garments.
Weaknesses as a designer?
I have so many ideas, which tends to make me indecisive.
Uh oh. Time management anyone? I see nekkid models on the runway. Brik is looking forward to the Hardware Challenge berceuse he’s a structured designer and likes metals; he does not wanna see any female wrestlers … but then who does? He’s also kinda a’scurred of working in teams, but again, who isn’t?
Brik thinks he can win The PR because he has a fresh style … like structured metal dresses?

CORNELIUS ORTIZ is 24 and from Boston; he knows he’s a good designer because he loves clothes like I know I’m a great chef because I love Chinese food.
Strengths as a designer? 
Mixing prints and textures and pattern making.
I see a bunch of solid circle skirts?
Weaknesses as a designer?
Plus size clothing.
Well, since Tim Gunn just wrote an op-ed about the lack of designers working with plus sized women, I see another Tim Gunn Slap™. Cornelius wants to redo the HP Challenge but does not want to work with nekkid people. I mean, how does one fit a circle skirt on a nudist? He does want to do teamwork because he loves to see what others bring to the table, which means he hates teamwork and will smack down anyone who isn’t into solid color circle skirts.
He says he will win The PR because he is “the complete package.” I see him going early.

DEXTER SIMMONS is 32 and comes to the PR from Oakland. He started making clothes for indie bands and people began wanting to buy his things; he went to FIDM but says he’s mostly self-taught.
Strengths as a designer? 
I’m really good on the fly.
Weaknesses as a designer?
Basic design challenges.
So the easier it is, the harder? Um, okay … ? Dexter is plainly and simply not up for a team challenge and says it’s a possibility that he’ll win.
There’s some confidence, eh?

ERIN ROBERTSON is 29, from Cambridge, and didn’t decide to be a designer until her freshman year in college.
Strengths as a designer? 
Ambitious, unique point of view, learning from mistakes, taking criticism positively, creating textiles from scratch, and having a good time.
Weaknesses as a designer?
Time management. But it ends up really being a strength. I’ve learned that over time I work well under pressure, so I think I put things off until that last minute on purpose. Positive procrastination.
Oh god … I’m sensing half-finished work and boob pads on models. Erin wants a repeat of the 3D Printing challenge and says there isn’t one that she’d hate to do. She also loves to work in teams, which is code for, she be swallowed up by stronger players.
She says, “OMG of course” she can with The PR because she handles stress and works hard. I note that she makes no mention of talent …

IAN HARGROVE is 30 and hails from Chicagothe city, not the musical. He knew he was a designer by taking an art class in high school.
Strengths as a designer? 
Taste level, editing eye and speed.
Weaknesses as a designer?
Hand sewing and complicated draping techniques.
Can’t drape, can’t sew, what do you do? He doesn’t know of a challenge he’d like brought back because, he says  he would do well at all of them … except for the Grocery Store Challenge or, I’m guessing, any unconventional one. He is wishy washy, love/hate about team challenges but says he’s a strong personality which translates to: will cry a lot.
As for winning The PR he says he thinks he can because, ahem, his “sh*t’s super cute.” I sense more tears.

JENNI RICCETTI comes from San Francisco, is 22, and says she ‘s wanted to deign since she was seven; at seven I just wanted to stop pooping in my pants. I kid … or do I?
Strengths as a designer? 
Visual concepts and strong execution.
Weaknesses as a designer?
Time management and finishing pieces that do not inspire.
Seriously, why do people who know they don’t work well under time constraints try out for a show built on time? And then she says she loves the Unconventional challenge and hates designing for Regular People … she needs more time to make clothes for The Irregulars. She’s also fairly certain she’ll hate working in teams and being slow and hating people, well, it don’t look good for her.
But, she says her drive and passion will help her win, if time doesn’t run out.

KIMBER RICHARDSON is 42, from New York, and has loved fashion since she was a kid. I’ve loved Mary Poppins since that age, too, but I cannot fly an umbrella.
Strengths as a designer? 
Sewing, patternmaking and I have a strong eye for fashion.
Weaknesses as a designer?
Sketching is my weakness.
I wait for Tim to ask her about her design and for her to show him a pack of Gumnmies and say, “Here it is!” She wants a Flower Challenge, but cannot decide which one she loathes. She does not, however, loathe teamwork because she says more minds mean better designs; apparently Limber has never seen The Pr.
She does know that she’s going to win because she’s “awesome;” just don’t ask her to sketch.

LAURENCE BASS is from LA and is 41; she knew she wanted to be a designer since she was ten; it didn’t hurt that she studied for six years in Paris, though.
Strengths as a designer?
I’m super creative.
Weaknesses as a designer?
Lawdy lawdy lawdy! She’s outta time already? That won’t help because she has no idea what challenge she’s like brought back, and she doesn’t work well with others.
She will win, however, but won’t say why because she wants to stay humble and because the interview was over and she took too long to answer.

LINDA MARCUS is 55, from Milwaukee, and has been sewing since she was twelve. She has no formal training but she employs the trial-and-error method which on TV turns into the Error Method.
Strengths as a designer? 
I think because I am older, I can relate to women who want to still look relevant and edgy while at the same time look appropriate for their age. I love to make designs that both a mother and daughter can share. The design is the same, but it might be styled much differently on each. I have also used that same philosophy on clothes for a recent line that is unisex.
Weaknesses as a designer?
I think my biggest weakness is not being traditionally trained.
So, she’s good because she’s old, and bad because she’s untrained. I am not seeing a lot of Linda for too long. She does want to make a dress from the Card Stock Challenge, but doesn’t want to make clothes from Candy. She is Pollyanna about team challenges which means she’s be eaten … like candy.
She knows she can win, but also knows she’s older and has no training. Um … good luck?

MAH-JING WONG is 28 and a Philly boy and my First Crush this season based solely on his picture; remember I also thought Ken Laurence was cute before his season started and he became a monster. He’s known he was a designer since he was eleven, and says he was self-taught back then.
Strengths as a designer? 
Understanding a woman’s body and how to dress her.
He’ll hate the menswear challenge, I’m guessing.
Weaknesses as a designer?
Not sure yet.
Too many to mention? He wants to do the Barbie Challenge … dear lord, maybe I spoke about his cuteness too soon …and says he loves working with teams though there may be fights and he may be in the middle of them.
He’ll win The PR because he’s hardworking and talented and no one else is?

NATHALIA JMAG is 23 from Framingham and  realized she had potential to be a designer when she took a sketching class in college. At first I didn’t think I had what it takes, but after taking that class I realized I could be a great designer.
Strengths as a designer? 
Outerwear, sportswear and ready-to-wear designs.
Couture? Nowhere?
Weaknesses as a designer?
Gowns. I’ve only made a couple of gowns. I prefer to make separates so designing a full gown is tough for me.
Yup; no couture. I see Zac Posen pummeling her for her first gown. But then oddly, she wants to do the Avant-garde Challenge and then says she doesn’t wanna do any challenge involving a gown. And, since she says she works well in teams, I’d like to see her do an Avant-garde team gown challenge.
She does says she doesn’t want to be that designer that’s says, “Yeah, I’m gonna win!” and then get eliminated, but she believes in herself and the universe … as long as there’s no gowns!

RIK VILLA — I hope for a Rik and Brik coupling — is 31, from Los Angeles, and became a designer so he could make clothes that fit him properly.
Strengths as a designer? 
Construction skills and taste level.
Weaknesses as a designer?
He has good taste but he goes too far? Oxymoron much? He doesn’t want to do the Sample Maker Challenge — and I have no idea what that was — but loves to work in teams though he doesn’t compromise. Again, oxymoron much?
He says he’ll win The PR because he’s been running his business alone for five years. Yeah, I don’t know what that means either.

ROBERI PARRA is a Miami boy, all of 32, and first wanted to be an architect but then drifted into fashion when he realized you  couldn’t wear a building.
Strengths as a designer? 
I am very focused and curious, and technically and conceptually open to experimentation.
Weaknesses as a designer?
I tend to stay in the research mode all the time. Sometimes I need to force myself to stop.
That’s gobbledygook for he lacks time management skills.  He wants to do the Museum Challenge, but does he want to design a museum? I’m confused. He does not want to dress animals … has he seen some of the models? He does, though, want to work in teams and is sure he can win The PR and then build his own fashion house … the actual house, I mean.

SARAH DONOFRIO is from Portland and is 34, and took private art lessons as a child and then started sketching people and clothes. She sketched a bathing suit line at 10 with the tops made of piano keys and fruit.
Strengths as a designer? 
I have extremely good trend intuition and know how to update classic styles or previously top selling styles to remain relevant. At the same time, I’m not afraid of taking risks when it comes to mixing colors or prints, and I know when something isn’t working.
Weaknesses as a designer?I have sometimes chosen sellability over edginess. Being a local designer, I only had so much inventory, and I wanted it all to sell. Don’t use that cool, deadstock vintage, checkered happy face button on that blouse, just use black so people will understand it, etc… While my garments are unique and stand out, I also felt limited sometimes as I needed commercial appeal.
Oy, this one’s a talker … She wants to do the Make A Garment From an Old Bridesmaid’s Dress challenge again, but doesn’t want to do any challenge involving pajamas or sheets. Huh, I guess that pesky Klan challenge will be shelved again. She says she will hate a team challenge but says she’ll win because … oh hell, let her say it …
“I think I can win because I can make really amazing things in a really short amount of time, but I also know my limitations. Also, I know how to take a crazy idea and make it polished, which is sometimes hard to do without compromising the initial design integrity. Oh, and I don’t take things personally. I take all advice at face value and just try to keep key criticisms in mind. The ability to take criticism- constructive or not- will get me through each challenge!”
Like I said, Talker.

TASHA HENDERSON is 33 and comes to us from Shreveport; she’s wanted to designer since she was a child because she loves fabrics. But she has no formal training, except from her mother and “other fashion credentials via school and training.” Wait? No training or education?
Strengths as a designer? 
My strength as a designer is making pieces that are trendy and building pieces. I also have a great eye for style.
Weaknesses as a designer?
My weakness as a designer is overthinking. I will overthink a design during execution sometimes.
She’s trendy but does too much. Someone give her The Edit Button. She wants to a Dumpster Diving Challenge and any other challenge they throw at her. She loves a team challenge because she and her husband are a team, so  I’m guessing she’ll try to marry her teammates to “make it work.”
And she knows she’ll win because she’s trendy. Cue Nina Eyeroll™.

Let the games begin … tonight!


Anonymous said...

"Pesky Klan challenge"! Bob, you are my very favorite snark monster! I only went back to watching this show because of you. I wish there was a challenge for those of us who are built backwards, you know, flat in the back and bubble butt in the front. I can't be the only one shaped like that! Looking forward to your commentary.

the dogs' mother said...

I picture Tim permanently stationed in the doorway,
"It's Time, people, move, move, move!!"
Love your descriptions and will look forward to
the recaps. :-)

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Brik is cute and I bet he'd look good in a man bun.