A First Look at Project Runway: Teams

The designers begin their team-challenge journey in Season 11, Episode 1

Welcome back, Project Runway fans! A week ago, the second All Stars season came to a (rewarding) close. This week, we met an all-new set of designers striving to make it to Fashion Week – but with the addition of a new twist. Teams. All season long.

I (like everyone) doubted the premise when I first heard about it. Everyone will participate in critiques of their team members’ garments. They will be judged individually, but one team will win and one will lose – so it’s possible for someone to have the worst design and stay. I’m curious to see how this affects the workroom dynamic.

But, I mean, Tim Gunn says it’s his favorite season ever. Can’t argue with that.

Anyway. After the designers began to assemble, it was clear there were some standout characteristics, like Daniel’s mustache, Benjamin’s Australian accent, Michelle’s presentation of her age (“thirty-fou-dorable”), and Cindy’s past career as a funeral director. Patricia has the distinction of being the first Native American to join a Project Runway cast.

Heidi parted the group like the Red Sea, into two teams of eight: Team Keeping It Real and the Dream Team.

The Dream Team’s Emily only had sketches to present during the critiques, which we all know means disaster (ironic, since she talked a big game). Kate didn’t want to listen to her Keeping It Real team – until Tim said the same thing.

On the runway, Emily’s unfinished piece, Cindy’s horribly mixed prints, and some of the other designers’ “sad and boring” looks (stated by both Heidi and new judge Zac Posen, who replaced Michael Kors this season) had the Dream Team on the bottom.

Over on Team Keeping It Real, Daniel’s silk wool crepe suit felt very New York. I really liked Richard’s sporty, asymmetrical dress and Stanley’s metallic halter jumpsuit (though I wouldn’t wear it myself). And Patricia’s painted pattern with the pop of blue was a lovely addition.

All in all, a winning premiere. Are you looking forward to more from the teams? For now – auf Wiedersehen. 

By Jess Huckins, Staff Writer 

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January 25, 2013