Project Runway 4, Episode One

By Manolo the Shoeblogger

Manolo says, Ayyyyyy! The Project Runway has returned!!

Mira! All of our old friends are back: the handsome and oh so smarty, Tim Gunn, charmingly goofy and teutonic Heidi, the wonderfully bitchy Michael Kors, and our favorite “frenemy”, fashion editor Nina Garcia.

Also present was special guest judge, Monique Lhuillier, who is beautiful, and has this marvelous sheen, as if she had been freshly rubbed with olive oil in preparation for broiling.

As for the contestants, the Manolo has just barely begun to sort them out: there’s the crazy ethnic girl, the weepy Hispanic guy, the bitchy young queen, the “oh-no-she-di-int” fierce black girl, the nice girl who no one notices, the intense Asian girl, the old chick, and every possible version of gay man in the canon of fabulosity. Oh, yes, and Fred Flintstone, too.

One thing the Manolo could not help but notice was the surprising number of ugly tattoos. The Manolo might, just barely, sort of, understand the impulse to get the tattoo (if you have been in the merchant marine or prison) but he cannot comprehend why people who are supposed to be obsessed with beauty would choose such ridiculously ugly images.

Yes, we know, Tattooed Person, you are the outrageous rebel who must express your rebellious nature through the medium of permanent self-mutilation…you and 45 million other Americans.

But whatever. Aspiring fashion designers are not often noted for their common sense.

And so with the introductions cut mercifully short, it was off to the races, literally, as the designers began the first challenge by running across Bryant Park like the Charge of the Light-in-the-Loafers Brigade, headed for tents containing mounds of colorful fabric from which to construct the garment that “best expresses their designerosity”, or some such.

And, the few hours later, it was goodbye sweet and gentle Simone, you had the banging eyebrows, but your dress sucked. Although, the Manolo must note, not as badly as the thing produced by Elisa, who is apparently the extra character left over from Being John Malkovich. Giant Marionettes?

At the end, it was also, hello Rami, who was the winner, and deservedly so, for he produced the most beautiful dress, using the simple fabric worked and draped into the classically fresh form. It bodes well for his future.

Of the all the contestants, the Manolo was most annoyed by the bitchy Christian, not so much by the personality, but with his asymmetrical, Chris-“Leave-Britney-Alone”-Crocker hair-do. Does no one realize that these sorts of haircuts make the head look lop-sided, as if you were trying to hide the unsightly head tumor. Perhaps he has lost his right ear in the fabric trimming accident.

As for his dress, it did not deserve the excessive praise it received. The top was straight out of Ladie’s Home Companion, circa 1896.

The Manolo must now go and watch the reruns of this episode and see if he can sort out the various contestants, and their corresponding desgins. Perhaps tomorrow he shall offer more the substantive critique of their work.

Here below, stolen from the Manolo’s friends at Blogging the Project Runway, are all of the designs from last night.

Project Runway Season Four, Episode One


20 Responses to “Project Runway 4, Episode One”

  1. Melissa Says:

    Hooray for the return of Project Runway!

    I totally agree about Christian’s boring outfit. Yes, the construction was beautiful and the back of the jacket looked nice from the runway, but the colors were so ucky (tan and … tan) and anyone who’s read the “Little House on the Prarie” books has seen that look before. I was surprised Kevin’s dress didn’t make it to the top three, I thought it was much more interesting and fun than either Christian’s outfit or the black dress with the flower.

  2. Kai Jones Says:

    I really liked Claire’s dress…until she added the crazy train. It’s beautifully cut, a perfect fabric choice for the style, and a great color. I love that style of pattern making. But oh how she needs to learn to edit!

  3. Laura K Says:

    Hi Manolo! I think our readers liked Chris’s dress the best and he was “Safe in the Middle of the Pack.”

    There is one thing consistent about Project Runway and that is the judging. It rarely reflects viewer opinions.

  4. Sam Says:

    I loved Jacks dress and it does not hurt that he is HOT…HOT…HOT. He better not leave.

  5. Homo Ono Says:

    I think Christian’s hair is less Chris Crocker and more flock-of-seagulls-in-high-humidity.

  6. JayKay Says:

    We also noticed the abundance of ink! I like tattoos and all, but even that was a little much for me!

  7. coachwife6 Says:

    I thought they were going to rip into Christian’s dress, but instead they praised it. I was surprised. Your recaps are always the best.

  8. alex Says:


  9. Texas in Africa Says:

    Manolo, I am sending you a bill for the damage caused to my laptop when I spewed diet coke all over the keyboard after reading your comment about the impulse to get a tattoo. This is fabulous as always – so glad PR and your reviews are back!

  10. toad Says:

    Oh lordy,
    He or She got the tatto to be a rebel, to stand out, to make a statement, to show their courage in the face of pressure to conform.

    Then they whine and whimper when people critisize their tatto, employers make them cover it up, or people won’t hire them.

  11. Phyllis Says:

    Yabba-Dabba-Do !

    Manolo you is my idol

  12. Doodles Says:

    When I saw the top of Christian’s outfit, I thought it was a rig for special ed harlequins.

  13. Cassie Says:

    If I were the judge (when Nine gets tired of poor construction, call me, Bravo!), Jack or Chris would have won. Both dresses were elegant and lovely, more than I can say for SOME people’s (Christian, I’m looking at YOU). And Elisa (is that her name? Miss I-must-stain-this-lovely-chiffon-with-grass-because-I-am-a-nut-oh-and-now-I’ll-make-the-train-too-bulky-and-hideous-and-massive-to-see-specific-fabrics) would be gone. I managed to form an instant dislike of her (couldn’t tell, could you? lol), which sadly means she’ll probably get to the final three, since she’ll be this season’s Wendy, Santino, or Jeffrey.

    I disagree on the winning design, however. The color of the fabric is the color of the water in my carpet shampooer after I’ve done the living room for the first time in 3 months. The silhouette was NOT original – that sort of flowy mismash has been done over and over. *sigh* If only I were the judge. Someday. Someday.

  14. Laura V Says:

    Mm. I don’t understand ugly tattoos, but I do understand beautiful ones.

    Of course, beautiful ones are much more expensive and time-consuming, which might be why so many people with tattoos have ugly ones.

  15. Sarah Says:

    The second dress from the left on the top looks like a fish mid-gutting. I loathe it.

  16. Rachel of Cyberia Says:

    Back in the late 80s-early 90s, Bruce Dickenson (of Iron Maiden!) released a song “I Don’t Want to be a Tattooed Millionaire”. Prescient!

  17. Ninjarina Says:

    I sat there thinking, “ok, how many of these people are Burning Man nuts?” I am interested in them but we all know who’s going to stay for the *ahem* psycho factor.

    TBH, underwhelmed. The level of construction continues to go up and the creativity correspondingly goes down. Aren’t we tired of the “greek goddess” thing already?

    Also, Heidi needs to lay off the self-tanner. The orange tan and her shimmery highlighting eye shadow makes her look like an overgrown, albeit well dressed, oompa loompa.

  18. milky Says:

    ok..i can’t take it…i think Christian is a Zac Posen/Prouenza wannabe…but has potential…Rami..lovely but I have seen that grey goddess thing this season, and every past season in the last 3 years…

  19. johnny marzan Says:

    is the manolo boycotting the project runway? where’s ep 2 reviews?

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