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Ryan on the Runway: PR 17, ep 1

Project Runway season 17, back on the network that launched the franchise, Bravo! Bravo, indeed. Lost Karlie Kloss caught my ear when she said, “Our mentor for this season is Christian Siriano.” And next season, will it be someone else? They started with a runway show that consisted of a look from the past by each designer. A fine way to start the season. Some looks were stronger than others, clearly. I hoped that we’d find out that was the actual challenge: that the judges would choose a winner and loser purely from what they had saw. But no. The real challenge: the four judges presented a photo about a moment when they became who they are. The designers were assigned a judge and they had to do a look inspired by the photo and the story. Let’s review who the four judges are, shall we? The divine and irreplaceable Nina Garcia. Supermodel (and host) Karlie Kloss. Fashion designer Brandon Maxwell. And Elaine Wentworth, editor-in-chief of Teen Vogue. I loved the lighting in the workroom, it’s so much more flattering than on previous PRs. And the penthouse apartment also seems more highbrow than we’re used to. Many of the designers seem quite stupid. We’ll see how that pans out. Karlie and Christian visited the designers on the second day and announced that each challenge would be voted on by viewers of the show and the fan favorite look and the winner of the challenge would be manufactured by 19th Amendment and sold on the Bravo website. Another new thing for this season: the designers have to take photos of their looks and put them on Instagram. I was pleased/groaning to see that thirty minutes into the show, that had covered many elements on the Project Runway Checklist: 1. Display of false bravado. 2. Tears shed over death of a family member. 3. Meltdown, anxiety attack. 4. Mention of camel toe. My favorite moment in the episode was when Cavanagh Miss Blonde Upper Crust 2019 cast aspersions on the other designers for helping out poor, flailing Frankie. She said that in this business, you have to do it yourself, no one else can help you. And yet, five minutes before, she had asked her model to hand-sew part of her garment! ON THE TOP Venny: really, too much going on, and the feathers weren’t a good idea, but they liked that he had so many ideas, and they liked the tailoring. Renee: Brandon said it had a “quiet strength.” Yes, one of the strongest looks of the day. She’s currently my favorite person on the show. Marvelous design, and she has a strong whiff of Laura Bennett, with her “don’t suffer fools gladly” hauteur and her nine freaking children. Tessa: I have to quote what Nina said. “This looks does not look like a $250 look. This looks expensive. This looks luxe. The cut of that pant is superb. The fact that the tunic has a pocket - - makes me crazy.” ON THE BOTTOM Cavanagh: too basic, can’t see the amount of money she spent or the amount of time she had. Not an epic fail, but very far from good enough. Lela: if it’s going to be so simple, it has to be perfectly executed. Which it wasn’t. Frankie: she had a big teary explanation for why her garment was so awful, how the measurements didn’t match the actual model. Her fate was sealed when the picked a bit of the garment to demonstrate something and it fell apart in her hand. Zoinks. Tessa was the winner. I didn’t know who would be sent home - - they’re both good TV! Cavanagh was sent home. Frankie needs to pull herself together. Does she think she’s gonna get an Emmy? 

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