“Project Runway”‘s Third Season has officially kicked off on the Bravo network, and, of course, all “Project Runway” junkies are fervently analyzing each and every designer’s first project, looking for hints of greatness and deciding who’s the next Wendy Pepper/Santino/Daniel V./etc. , which is half the fun of watching. It’s difficult to pick the clear winners, but the first episode has definitely provided some insight, which will be dissected here, along with guesses as to how some of the contestants will be “auf wiedersehen’d”.
First things first, let’s just get it out of the way: Vincent only stayed out of pity in the first episode. Can anyone think of any other explanation? His dress was a simple, 30-minutes-to-sew shift with wicker (WICKER?) pockets and, to quote Nick Verreos, a bunch of “wickety-wack trim”. Let’s just pretend the hat never happenedÃ¢Â?Â¦ I can’tÃ¢Â?Â¦ it’s tooÃ¢Â?Â¦ ugh. Anyway, he’ll get a few more sympathy votes until the first team project, in which he’ll be chosen as a leader and consequently get voted off, much to the relief of annoyed milliners worldwide.
Malan will prove to have nothing more than pretentiousness and bad 30’s knock-offs in his talent holster. If there’s a god of fashion, he will be gone soon. If there’s a god, period, he’ll lose his voice in a freak case of severe laryngitis that only effects his laugh by next week’s episode.
Angela and Bradley will make weird, ugly crap that they will defend as “artistic” and “conceptual” in hopes of not being “auf’d”. These defenses will not work, and they’ll be disposed of rather quickly – Bradley before Angela. Robert will laugh in evil delight when Bradley leaves, believing it karmic retribution for the smiting of his beloved pillow and pillowcase by Bradley.
Katherine will remain unremarkable and sneaking by the judges until all the other dead weight has been “auf’d” (kinda like Robert and Kara before her). Then the judges will realize that she’s not much better than those who have been already kicked off and get rid of her. This series of events will lead to the audience feeling bad for poor Katherine and suddenly rally behind her, saying she was kicked off too soon and unfairly (kinda like Austin and Nick before her).
Jeffrey is the wild card in the competition – he’ll either step it up and show us a wildly different and exciting design aesthetic that will launch him through the rest of the season to the top 4, or he will continue to be Santino Light and just make ugly shredded crap that he will defend to the death. Let’s hope for the former – the audience shouldn’t have to suffer through the second coming of Santino, nor should the designers.
There are a few designers that are almost as wild a card as Jeffrey. For example, Angela, although she was previously mocked, could be hiding a great design sensibility behind those randomly-added fake flowers in her first outfit. Alison, Uli, and Bonnie are equally iffy. Their designs from the first challenge are neither glorious nor hideous, but simply a matter of taste. From what I can tell, that might be what it comes down to when they get eliminated – a matter of what the judges preferred this round, which is certainly better than being the most obvious of the bunch. Of the four uncertainties, I see Alison going the farthest. She has more mass-market appeal without looking like she belongs next to the Jaclyn Smith collection at Kmart, as evidenced by her model’s excitement to wear the first outfit she made. The more general appeal a designer’s outfits have to the audience, the farther they tend to go in the competition – a good way to track this is to catch the designer auctions every week on Bravotv.com – as of the Friday after the airing of the first episode, Robert’s outfit was going for almost double the bid that Keith’s outfit had recieved. Allison’s dress also had the highest bid of the four previously mentioned ladies.
Now for the sure bets, a.k.a. “They SOOOO got gypped!”, the common refrain being screamed at the television when they left the runway. Robert, Kayne and/or Michael will definitely be in the top 4. If they’re not, it’s a crying shame. All of their first dresses were wonderfully creative and lovely, and it’s not unreasonable to expect more of the same from them as the competition heats up. The only detriment I see in any of them is in Michael, and it’s his ego that could be a dangerous entity. He doesn’t seem to be too much of a jerk yet, unlike the first challenge’s winner, Keith. He’s got such pompous attitude that he’s practically begging for fate to bend him over and paddle him like a lowly freshman in “Dazed and Confused”. One gets a sense that many of the other designers will laugh with maniacal glee when this happens. Sadly, Keith also has an equally good chance of being near the top. He’s got a sharp eye and knows when to rein it in, which are both valuable skills in the competition.
Of course, this is just one person’s humble opinion, and only the editors and producers of the show know who the top 3 are at this point. Of course, one likes to think they have a stronger guess than most when they have obsessively watched both the “Road to Runway” special along with the first episode, and used the sneak peeks at designer portfolios to gauge just how talented the “Project Runway” contestants are outside of the competition. Any other wannabe authorities on who’s in and who’s out should keep in mind that even the most talented designers can’t always compete well in the “Project Runway” format. Kara Janx is perfect evidence of this – many internet fans were simply shocked at her collection at Fashion Week because it was so fantastic, when all her work for the show had been mediocre at best, minus the “Garden Party” dress. This factor is what leads to such uncertainty in the guesses for those who were part of the middle group in the first episode – they may have had strong portfolios, but the shock of so little time and such odd material choices put them in the lower echelon for the first challenge. Some contestants just can’t acclimatize their creative process to the speed of the show – and that’s ok, we’ll still delight in their hopefully-ungraceful exits from “Project Runway”.