The Project Runway 3, Week 1

By Manolo the Shoeblogger

Manolo says, ayyyyyyy! The newest season of the Project Runway, it has begun!

With it comes the return of the smartest man on the television, the magnificent Tim Gunn! Celebrate!

And with him comes the beautiful Heidi, and the crabby Nina, and the Michael Kors, looking as puffy and day-glo and as bitchy as ever! Celebrate again!

As has become traditional, the first night of the new season, it is filled with too many characters and too much confusion to be fully comprehensble in the single sitting, and so the Manolo he will have to again watch this episode before he can fully sort out the various personalities, however, here are the first impressions of the Manolo.

The Front Runners

Keith: The Keith he has it all, the very strong design sensibility, the difficult and arrogant personality, and he looks like the Jude Law. Look for him to be there near the finish.

Laura. The Manolo loves the Laura and her impeccable, refined taste in the clothes, although he has his doubts about her hair color, which may best be described as heirloom tomato red. She would be the Manolo’s favorite to win, except he is worried that her style, it may be considered too derivitive and restrained for the judges. In the fact, he thought her design should have been the winner on the first show.

Robert: The Manolo’s favorite to win. He has the mostly calm, wry personality and the super fantastic Barbie experience.

Second Tier
Angela: There is intelligence behind the artsy-craftsy-woodsy-folksy work of this Ohio organic girl. The Manolo also reminds you that the outsiders of strong individual vision do well in the Project Runway. She is the dark horse of the Manolo.

. The Manolo loves the Kayne, if only because he is so perfectly comfortable in being the huge flaming cliche, although the Manolo suspects he is actually quite savvy, and will be quite good at adapting to the game.

Michael: One of the Manolo’s early favorites, if only because the Manolo thought his dress was quite good, and the use of the coffee filters was clever. He is another outsider with the strong, eccentric personal vision. And if only the Michael Knight could use his secret weapon, the K.I.T.T., he would be the sure winner.

Uli: Mmmm, krauty and intelligent and possessed of the experience the Manolo believes will help her to do well.

Plot Devices

Malan: Or as the Manolo likes to think of him, Lord Valdemort Lite. His strong artistic vision and possibly malevolent personality will allow him to compete until near the end.

Jeffrey: It is not often that one sees aggressive neck tatoos on the person who is not locked into the maximum security prision. The Jeffrey he will be around for many weeks, because of the personality. As for his style, it would be perfect if you are treking alone into the irradiated, post-apocalyptic wastes of the Forbidden Zone.

Cannon Fodder

Vincent: Is the Manolo the only person who sees the Vincent and thinks he looking is the “kooky” character being played the late and great Dick Shawn? Gone by the third week.

Bradley: Duuuuuude, the Manolo expects Bradley to later give us the semi-coherent lecture on the virtues of hemp.

Bonnie: Pleasant, sweet, gone soon.

Katherine: Quirky, but in the usual and predictable ways that such peoples are quirky.

Alison: The best of the cannon fodder, which should allow her to make it about half of the way through the season.

Gone Already

Stacey: Possibly the competent marketing expert, but not the designer of the clothes.

The Manolo loves the Project Runway! As do the Manolo’s friends at the Blogging the Project Runway, the indespensible blog for the fans of this wonderful show.


46 Responses to “The Project Runway 3, Week 1”

  1. Gina Says:

    I don’t know that Lauran really has a chance to win, but ultimately, she is the prime example of how to avoid “the slippery slope of sweatpants”. Seriously, I’ll take heirloom tomato red hair over 175lbs of woman in 32oz of faux-Juicywear anyday.

  2. Eric3000 Says:

    Manolo, has Laura’s impeccable taste in her personal wardrobe changed your mind about designers not being able to dress themselves? Do you think she is the exception that proves the rule?

  3. Gemdiva Says:

    I think Michael Knight shows real promise and not just because of his super fantastic name. I think he designs as though he actually likes women. However, it’s early in the game and I could ultimately be proven wrong.

  4. Kate Says:

    Manolo, who do you think Tim Gunn will tell to leave the show? My bet is Jeffrey, sabotage, in the sewing room.

  5. desertwind Says:

    In the defense of the Bradley (whose cape thingie the deserwind was strangely attracted to) we must remember that he grew up in Lake Havasu, Arizona. A fish out of water, he must have been! That place is truly the back-of-beyond.

  6. Gorgeous Things Says:

    “Lord Valdemort Lite” – Perfect description! I thought immediately of the narrator in the super-fantastic ABBA song “One Night in Bangkok” – er Taiwan when I saw him. Jeffrey looks like the secret love child of Mad Max and the Unabomber. And I thought Vincent ws diong a spot on imitation of Jerry Lewis in “The Nutty Professor”

    Loved Robert’s comment about Isaac Mizrahi. Loved Laura, ezpecially her determination to avoid the slippery slope into sweats and minivans! And of course, Who could help but love the impeccable Tmi Gunn?

  7. MissV Says:

    Methinks the Laura, with her Louis Vuitton luggage and fabulous loft apartment in New York, failed to admit the real secret to avoiding the sweatpants and minivan: marry a rich guy. It is rather more difficult to for a mother of five to be super-fantastic when she lives in Dubuque, Iowa, makes $6.75/hr as a cashier at the HyVee, and does all her clothes-shopping at WalMart.

  8. Eric3000 Says:

    Being poor doesn’t mean you have to wear sweatpants. We can look to France to see that any shopgirl can look superfantastic; the secret is to only own one dress.

  9. ronikins Says:

    I think that Malan is the Steven Apsrinio (topchef) of PRIII, right down to the wearing of the suit, and gel of the hair. I agree with you, Manolo, Laura’s coat should have won the first challenge…it was beyond gorgeous, and truly innovative. I seriously thought Tim was going to tell Stacey to pack it in, because of her inability to use the sewing machines. Eke! Perhaps this is the best season yet.

  10. Eric3000 Says:

    Oh, also, Laura supposedly makes all her own clothes so spending tens of thousands of dollars on designer garments is not her secret. I’m not saying this is an option for the average woman, I’m just saying money may not be her secret to looking good. And also, how sexist to assume she can’t afford that loft on an architect’s salary! I’m just kidding!

  11. Amy Says:

    I found Laura’s bragging about being a super-fantastic dresser and designer while raising 5 kids to be annoying. No one’s that perfect. She’s not telling us something. Like about the team of nannies she employs to manage those 5 children in that loft.

  12. Laura K Says:

    I like Laura the best. I have five kids too, but I’m afraid I have traveled halfway down that slippery slope as I do drive a minivan… sigh…. She is truly superfantastic.

  13. angelhair Says:

    No doubt Laura’s financial situation plays a part in allowing her to avoid the tacky slippery slope but so what? There are many, many wealthy people with terrible taste and no sense of style whatsoever. I expect that her training as an architect has played the biggest part in the development of her personal style. I greatly admire the training architects get – it’s a unique synthesis of analytical skills and artistry. I know many architects, most of them men and all of them heterosexual, and they are to a person the most beautifully, elegantly and creatively dressed people I know. So yes, Laura’s my favorite, but I also loved the designs of Michael, Kayne, and Robert. And I’m almost embarrassed to say this since he’s so creepy and pretentious, but I thought the outfit designed by Malan was really quite beautiful – it looked like couture.

  14. Eric3000 Says:

    Laura K, we’ll let you slide on the minivan since you look great!

  15. Miss Janey Says:

    Miss Janey loved the challenge of using items in the contestants’ apartments. However, the whole “I used my comforter” thing got old. Overall, many of the designs were good. Laura’s coat with its faux fur collar and the chandelier pieces attached was a stunner.

  16. MissV Says:

    You’ll note I didn’t say it was *impossible* to look super-fantastic on a shoestring budget. I said it was more difficult. And when all the other mothers are wearing sweats and driving Grand Caravans, it seems a bit pointless to expend the extra effort to be so super fantastic. Not to mention, standing on the sidelines at your five sons’ soccer practice in a persistent drizzle in mid-November is not exactly the place for a pair of 5″ stillettos and a fur stole.

    Oh, and I wasn’t making a sexist assumption. If you check the fabulous uber-mom’s profile, you’ll see that she works part-time as a consultant for her husband’s firm. *ahem* Make of that what you will.

    That said, I appreciate her elegant design aesthetic (her coat was indeed super-fantastic) and I look forward to seeing what else she has up her (impeccably crisp white) sleeve.

  17. jenny Says:

    Yipes! Did you all see the picture of Stacey on “Go Fug Yourself”? Looks like she bought a big ol’ grab-bag of trims from JoAnn and just started wrapping them around herself. I’m thinkin’ she was an easy out…

  18. jenny Says:

    Oops–my bad. I guess it was Guadalupe who looked like rick-rack-and-ruffles entropy.

  19. Lipstick Mystic Says:

    Happiness, it is the timing of the years for Manolo’s recapping of the Runway!

    I am knowing the bliss. Sigh.

    Although me, I cannot hope to be having the eloquence of the Manolo, I am still ze Runway addict. So I am decided to post the weekly Runway recaps of my own.

    Be forewarned – my recaps contain the sassiness and the unapologetic dishing of the dirt.

    Would love for the Manolo to be making the visit!

  20. deb Says:

    Stacy’s design wasn’t terrible, but I had the feeling she wouldn’t last long. Being able to use the machines is crucial to being able to compete. There’s no time for hand sewing everything. Since the judges are on eye level with the lower part of the garment, hemming is critical. I’m so happy to have Project Runway back for Manolo’s comments. I agree with his character assessments so far. Personally, I liked the coat and the dress with the orange trim better than the winning dress. I also liked Michael’s coffee filter dress. As for Laura’s bragging about her kids, she seemed pretty calm when they were shown running amok, so maybe she’s just one of those supermoms that can handle anything.

  21. MD Says:

    I love Tim Gunn but his advice to the eventual winner was way off… and he (Keith?) seems like the type to hold a grudge.

  22. jj Says:

    Ahhh… the return of the almighty Tim Gunn… swoon.

    The jj loves the Laura as well. Although I suspect she will continue to design beautiful things for women of her age bracket and thus come under heavy criticism for being insufficiently youthful. Which is unfortunate as I think her style is eminantly marketable.

    And I’m glad that I’m not the only one who LOVED Michael’s coffee filter dress. Why was that not one of the top contenders? It was fresh and lovely!

  23. KateCoe Says:

    Over to TWOP, people seem to be sharpening knives for Laura. I think she’s fabulous, and I’m surprised and delighted that PR cast her. I don’t care if she’s got tons o’ bucks–she’s cool and funny and she could sew like a sonofabitch. In his blog, tim thougth the coffee filter dress should have been a top 3, but I’m guessing that it was so close to the cupcake cup dress that the other judges weren’t as impressed.
    And now that I know Nina championed Chloe, I’m fast-forwarding through her comments.

  24. Lady Prisspott Says:

    Stacy would have gone soon anyway but Vincent’s dress was a sack with a string! Looked like something Betty Rubble wore and the hat was a clear sign of insanity.

    Please all you Laura fans, explain to her Ladyship why wearing LOW LOW cut dresses revealing ones complete lack of breast tissue and blotchy, pasty white skin would be considered elegant and classy?

    Malan makes my blood curdle when he laughs. We decided to play the drinking game from Blogging Project Runway and quickly added a new rule to drink when Malan laughs…mainly this was to dull the sensation of your skin crawling, yeeech.

  25. kate.d. Says:

    ok, ashley wears bubble skirts. on a show about high fashion, doesn’t anyone else find this disturbing?

  26. Poison Ivy Says:

    I won’t learn their names for a couple weeks, however,

    Basket Case is a plot device.
    Pretentious is a plot device.
    Five Kids, No Breast Feeding could be a one hit wonder. That rug jacket was fab. Will there be any innovation or growth? I’m doubtful.
    Detroit Tat’s got something going on, but can it be refined and tamed? Never. Ergo, another plot device.
    Sweet and Low – the quiet, pretty blonde? No production value is forecast there.

    Loving Barbie Guy and Prom Queen – my faves to win.

    And as always, I think NyahNyah, the Predator of Hell Magazine, needs a complete makeover from heels to horns.

  27. Miz Shoes Says:

    Miz Shoes recaps the Runway, in her own snarky and potty mouthed way. Links! Pictures! Snark!

    Am I the only person left who remembers pill box hats? I didn’t think that basket hat was as bad as everyone says. And yes, Manolo, he was totally channeling the late, great, Dick Shawn.

  28. Miz Shoes Says:

    Miz Shoes recaps the Runway, in her own snarky and potty mouthed way. Links! Pictures! Snark!

    Am I the only person left who remembers pill box hats? I didn’t think that basket hat was as bad as everyone says. And yes, Manolo, he was totally channeling the late, great, Dick Shawn.

  29. Miz Shoes Says:

    akk! sorry about the double post. I had an error message, I swear.

  30. beth Says:

    Dearest Manolo, as always, you were on spot with your assessment of the players.

    I will agree that Michael Knight’s coffee filter dress was spectacular. Alas, he will be livinig in hell with the rest of the contestants who trashed their apartment in search of suitable materials. I also absolutely adored Laura’s coat. I think she’s divine. And I love Robert as well.

    Vincent as Dick Shawn….thank you. It kept nagging at me who he reminded me of. That was it.

    I can’t wait to see what next week brings!

  31. twistygirl Says:

    As always, the Twistygirl delighted in the astute comments of the superfabulous Manolo almost as much as she did watching the 1st episode of PR3 itself!

    Twistygirl loves the Manic-Panic-haired Laura, the Barbie Doll Robert, and the hippity-hop Michael.

    Twistygirl also believes that Bradley used to be the lead singer for the Spin Doctors, if she is not mistaken.

    Vincent makes the Twistygirl want to reach for the Valium, not so much for herself, but to send to him to calm him down. Perhaps they should do another makeover challenge this season (early, before the Vincent is sent home to cry over his wasted 401-K) and somebody could make him the stylie-style straightjacket.

    The Keith, the Jeffrey, and the Malan all make the Twistygirl want to commit murder, although she will admit that the Keith does have talent.

  32. Moi ;) Says:

    Laura K, you do not have a team of nannies to deal with hyperactive children doing karate. Would we all to have such time to paint a self-portrait they could get chocolate milk on! So you should Not think you are not superfantastic because you have a minivan – your minivan beats her nannies any day! ;)

    xxoo Moi ;)

  33. Dray Says:

    Dick Shawn! I almost forgot about him. I think Vincent may come around once his confidence comes back…he mistakenly added that hat because he was feeling old and out of it and thought maybe the kooky hat would make him look hip. Wrong!

  34. Hephaestion Says:

    Oh, and I thought Malan was the Austin Powers of this season.

    I love Uli and Robert already.

    I don’t understand why people are calling Keith Michael “arrogant.” I thought he was quite modest and good-natured and humble about his victory.

  35. Thadeus Says:

    Woah I’ve never been to your blog. I’m shocked at how thoroughly annoying it is. Writing in third person. The sheer arrogance. I feel as though your picks for PR are quite off also. I’ll not be back.

  36. twistygirl Says:

    So the Twistygirl has had the opportunity to view PR3 episode 1 two more times and has some additional comments to add.

    Twistygirl has decided that she also likes the Pageant-Queen Kayne, his dress was quite stunnng, although since the Twistygirl is down with the crunk, she cannot help but wanting to refer to him as “Kanye.” Which she will undoubtedly do for the remainder of his stay.

    Twistygirl also has developed a fondness for Angela. Not for her design sensibility, but for her levelheaded, pleasant, and intelligent personality. What’s round at the ends and high in the middle? O-HI-O!!!

    Malan continues to creep out the Twistygirl with each viewing moment and Twistygirl has two theories on Malan. Either he is the child of a human parent who mated with one of the wax figurines at Madame Tussaude’s, or else Malan is a bit too heavy into tippling the embalming fluid. This is not somebody who is 100% human. He brings to mind the ’80s one-hit-wonder artist Taco who did “Puttin’ on the Ritz.” Very waxy.

    Early pick to win: the charming, effacing, and muy talented Robert.

  37. deb Says:

    Too bad Thadeus will not be back to this site, so he won’t see this. Get over yourself! The Manolo, he is the mostest fabulous (and the wonderful Tim Gunn, he also enjoys the Manolo – so there!)
    It is not for us to question the Manolo’s choices, but to revel in the Manolo’s sly and clever commentary.
    I’m rooting for Hip-Hop Michael or Supermom Laura (although, I do agree that the silver, low cut dress was not flattering with the pale skin and lack of breasts).

    PS I remember pillbox hats, pillbox hats were a friend of mine and the basket, she is no pillbox hat!

  38. halstonette Says:

    I was less disturbed by Vincent’s crazy hat as I was by the suspicion that Vincent was receiving interplanetary transmissions from it.

    As for Laura: is there not some middle ground between sweats-in-a-minivan and a cocktail-dress-at-10 AM?? She sort of gave me the yips….but then I always suspect such perfect people to be secret psychopaths. “I never dress down”??? Yes you do, Laura, yes you do!! Stop putting on airs – I know you have a pair of bunny slippers and a mumu in the back of that closet!!

  39. VeddyVeddyBadAng Says:

    Am I the only one who thinks Keith looks like a thin Greg Kinnear? (and at certain angles, Jude Law, I agree). He’s like an upgrade of Emmett from last season – a menswear designer, but who appears to know how to make women’s clothing.

    I LOVE Malan! He has styled himself as a foppish aristocratic villain who would have appeared in an episode of Jeeves & Wooster. And that laugh – deliciously evil!

    Kayne’s rubber orange bathmat bodice was innovative and attractive. And Michael’s coffee filter dress was too cute! I’m glad Chloe went to bat to get him in – it’ll be interesting to see how he does.

  40. Lady Prisspott Says:

    Deb dearest, I assure you that Thadeus will be back. If one thinks a web site is such a waste of time one simply moves on. No dear, Thadeus has no friends for obvious reasons and is simply trying to gain some attention, any kind of attention for himself. He is checking back daily to see if anyone has responded.

    Hi Thad, you big looser.

  41. Eric3000 Says:


    I was teasing about the sexist comment and you are right: not only am I sure she married well but I also have to admit that she probably does not make her own shoes or her Louis Vuitton luggage.

  42. Kate Says:

    I disagree regarding Laura. I doubt that her designs are young enough. The circular mirrors AND leafy danglies? If you must put silver spangles on a 5th Avenue Granny Coat, please limit the shape to one. Without the leaves it would have been passable, but altogether – ugh! I watched the show with a group of very fashion-forward college students and recent graduates (of Stacey’s alma mater, no less – I assure you there was no collegiate solidarity defending her design) and not a single one of us liked Laura’s design. (Though we want her gone far far less than we’d like to see Vincent leave for poor design and Malan leave for sheer scare factor. Yikes!)

    Another season of Tim Gunn podcasts! Almost as good as the show itself! We’re making tee shirts.

  43. an Says:

    If they would have the guts to get rid of the freaks & chaff quick-like en masse… this season COULD be a very high level competion (stressful for participants but educational and entertaining for the viewer). Love to see Robert, Laura, Keith, Michael, Kayne, and maybe Uli and Alison duke it out all together for a few episodes and then start eliminating.
    Another idea for a Keith look-alike…David (ex-Mr. Meridith Baxter) Birney perhaps?
    And an idea for a project for next season (especially if Laura wins)…design some outfits for the 40 something minivan mom so she doesnt have to iron a fresh white shirt everyday.

  44. Christy Says:

    Damn, I am so mad about what happened to Keith! Can’t anyone leave this guy alone? I love Keith so much. What the hell was Kayne doing snooping around in Keith’s room anyway? Yeah people are saying he didn’t submit his own sketches, but look how much talent he has. Keith is unbelieveably Hot. I don’t know or care who he looks like. Keith is just too sexy. I think he should have won, with out a doubt. XOXO, I

  45. Christy Says:

    XOXO Muwha.

  46. Robin Says:

    Vincent reminds me of Alex Rocco as well – Moe Green in the Godfather films.

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