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Ryan on the Runway: PRAS season 7, eps 1 & 2


Thanks to my dear friend Frank for telling me that PRAS was on! I was totally out of the loop on this one. The PR brand has been scattered to the three corners of the globe: Lifetime is currently airing Project Runway All Stars Bravo is ramping up for Project Runway season 17 (I’ve seen commercials) Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn are moving to Amazon with a new show Needless to say, I’ll be watching all three. I was relieved to see that PRAS is only an hour long. Thank you! The contestants are a mixture of winners of previous PR and/or PRAS seasons on the American show: Anthony Ryan, winner PRAS 2 Anya, winner season 9 Michelle, winner season 11 Dmitry, winner season 10 and PRAS season 4 Irina, winner season 6 Seth Aaron, winner season 7 and PRAS season 3 And winners of PR in other countries: Christina from Australia Sunny from Canada Django from Netherlands Cynthia from Brazil Jasper from UK Biddell from Canada The prizes are pretty spectacular: JC Penney will produce a limited edition version of the winning look every week, and Southwest Airlines will give $5000 to each week’s winner. The first challenge: create high fashion look inspired by your country of origin. The challenge was announced in Battery Park, overlooking the Statue of Liberty, and they were brought to the workroom in a shameless plug for Lyft. Anthony Ryan’s grandmother died three days before the show started. Of course I feel bad for him, but it seems a little cheap to turn on the water works at minute 7 in the first episode. Cynthia appeared to have repurposed an old lace tablecloth for her dress. In her talk-to-the-camera moment, she said, “I see my garment on the model for the the first time and it looks…amazing.” That wasn’t the word I was expecting! Michelle described the dress as “thoughtful” and “virginal.” Oh really. Irina made a polarizing red dress made of individual red petals or feathers. She felt it captured the strength and spirit of women from her home country of Georgia, but Michelle said this: “Apparently Irina’s from Georgia, but I feel like she’s from a Chick-fil-A.” Guest judge Debra Messing made her entrance on the runway, something I don’t believe I’ve seen before. ON THE TOP Biddell: judges liked it but had plenty of criticism. Dmitry: crazy for the cutouts and the craft of the garment. Irina: “incredible runway appeal.” Isaac thought the cashmere looked flat (I didn’t know it was cashmere, I thought it was felt). IN THE MIDDLE I agree with the top, but i would have put Jasper, Django, or Michelle in the bottom instead of Anya. ON THE BOTTOM Anya: pretty dress, but not enough. Cynthia: thought the ruffles were badly placed. Anthony Ryan: a lot going on, not harmonious. He cried on the runway and, when asked, mentioned the death of his grandma. He had better not bring this up again! Dmitry was the winner. I thought Irina would have had it, but Isaac didn’t like it at all (the judges all agreed on Dmitry). They gave Cynthia a pass and couldn’t decide between Anthony Ryan or Anya as the loser. Clearly, if you use the “which would you rather wear” litmus test, Anya’s is the stronger garment. But I think they were put off by Anthony Ryan’s personal situation so they didn’t eliminate either of them. The first episode and they’re already crapping out! And they ended the episode by bringing out two additional designers: Juli from Australia Sean, winner season 13 What the heck? Why weren’t they there in the beginning? Were their flights canceled? Why this surprise?

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EPISODE TWO The episode started with Georgina coming out on the runway and introducing Magic Box, which supports education for the poorest young people in India. The challenge: design a dress for a graduation party. The winning design would be sold on ebay with the profits going to Magic Box. Dmitry, as winner of the last challenge, was given a mortar board full of tassels in pair of colors. He had first choice and passed out tassels to the other designers. Not everyone was wild for the colors they got. The workroom visit from Anne Fulenwider was delightful. She met Juli, the new girl, and said, “It’s feeling a little tacky. And could really tank.” Thank you for your truth! Irina’s dress generated the most discussion. Michelle called it “quinceñera meets prostitute.” Sean said it was “straight out of some hooker fairy tale.” Anthony Ryan flinched when he saw it and, “Girl, what is that. Boobs out, coochie up. Like Slutty Barbie.” I love Scott Patric, the makeup guru. He’s hunkalicious! The guest judges are Sofia Carson (pop star, actor?) and Keira Chaplin (model, activist, granddaughter). ON THE TOP Seth Aaron: the judges all loved it, except Georgina, who thought there was too much going on. Anthony Ryan: they loved the spirit of the outfit and Isaac gave him a top score for doing better than anyone else with the color aspect of the challenge.
Sean: the judges loved the handcrafted aspect, but Isaac thought it was a little motherly. IN THE MIDDLE

I liked Biddell’s dress a lot. I always love a dress with pockets. ON THE BOTTOM Sunny: the judges loved the dress, but didn’t think it fulfilled the challenge. His colors were yellow and blue and he made a yellow dress with a blue brooch on the back shoulder. Georgina described it as a “finger up,” and demonstrated the meaning of that expression with a gesture. Christina: Georgina thought it was matronly and cheap looking. Irina: Georgina was concerned that she could see the model’s crotch. We heard the words “quinceñera” and “slutty princess.” Anthony Ryan was the winner. What a way to redeem himself. Sunny was sent home. He said the sweetest thing: “There’s a lot of great designers here, and I don’t feel terrible losing to them.”

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