Hello there, Project Runway fans! It’s been awhile. Last season, the “teams” twist didn’t win me over completely, but this time, edits to the Runway formula have me riveted.

First, Kate from Season 11 was voted back. I didn’t hate her, so that’s nice. Also:

  1. The designers will manage their own money.
  2. The runway show is blind, so Heidi & Co. don’t know who made which piece. Plus, they get to inspect the garments up close and chat with Tim Gunn before making a decision.
  3. Tim gets to save one – just one – eliminated designer over the course of the season.

 
I still miss Michael Kors’s wit (love you, Zac!), but that last tweak more than makes up for it.

It’s tough to get to know the designers at the beginning, but a few stuck in my memory. Sandro sent his model out in clothing short enough for Lifetime to black out her crotch. Timothy refused to work a sewing machine or use chemicals – you know, like hair products and makeup – on his model. Justin is deaf (a Runway first). And Alexandria is that person who just knows she’s going to win.

To begin the show, the contestants raced for parachutes that fell from a plane overhead, which then became their primary material. I love the unconventional challenges, and this one didn’t seem so bad compared to Christmas ornaments and hardware.

The workroom drama this week revolved around the “sustainability-focused platform artist,” Timothy. He wouldn’t let his model wear shoes, but was okay with burning nylon and releasing fumes – all while saying things like, “We have to save the forest to keep the unicorns alive.” Agree with your message, guy, but not your method.

On the runway, aside from Sandro’s privates-revealing piece, no one loved Timothy’s zero styling and poor design nor Angela’s hooded poncho. Miranda was in the top until the judges realized most of her garment was not made from a parachute (an Unconventional Materials 101–level error).

There were also a lot of great pieces, though, like Jeremy’s colorblocked cargo pants, Bradon’s cording and huge train, and Sue’s ombré maxi dress.

I don’t know about you, but I’m all in for this season. Join me next week – and until then, auf Wiedersehen.

By Jess Huckins, Staff Writer

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July 19, 2013