Previously on Project Runway: Season 11, Episode 1

Wednesday, January 30, 2013
 aka. The Premiere

Previously on Project Runway, Season 11 kicked off with a surprise twist- this season will consist of nothing but team challenges (much to the dismay of the contestants). I've got a wait and see attitude towards this season. I'm sure that the team challenges will stir up a lot more drama this season, but I also worry that it'll be harder for each designer to stand out amongst the masses. I guess we'll see.

In this episode the designers were separated into two teams of 8 designers. Each team picked their own team name. The Dream Team was sent to the rooftop of the Atlas Apartments and was asked to take inspiration from the NYC skyline view from the top, and Team Keeping it Real was placed on a boat in order to take inspiration from NYC's view from afar. The teams were given a lump sum of money to use at Mood to use as they deemed fit.  And although the designers were on teams, they were able to create their own individual looks based on the theme and were encouraged to seek feedback from their team members. There would be a winning team and a loosing team and a winner would be selected from the winning team and a looser from the loosing team would be out.

A noticeable change this season was the lack of Michael Kors (I'm going to miss his commentary) and the addition of famed designer Zac Posen. Let's take a look at the designs:

Team Keeping it Real- Patricia, Richard, Daniel, Joseph Aaron, Stanley, Kate, Amanda and Layana
The Dream Team- James, Cindy, Emily, Tu, Benjamin, Michelle, Matthew, and Samantha,

Team Keeping it Real- was the winning team. This team seemed to collaborate with each other the best, offering more support and feedback to one another than the other team and their overall construction was superior.


Patricia is the odd one of the bunch. Patricia is of Native American descent and during the boat ride she let out a loud holler. When Patricia began to paint her leather fabric and cut it into squares, the rest of her team began to question her sanity. But her kookiness might also signal brilliance as the judges loved her inspired look and placed her in the top 3.
Richard created an effortless jersey dress that looked like it jumped out of Heidi Klum's lounge-wear collection. He managed to create an asymmetrical look that was figure flattering and could be worn by a variety of women and I'm surprised he wasn't awarded the win. He's definitely one to watch.
From looking at his personal style (a bit like Salvador Dali) it would be hard to believe that this design could come from Daniel. It's hard to believe that he was able to create this fabulous suit on the first challenge in just one day. The were pleased and Daniel was awarded with the win. He's definitely set the bar this season. 
The Others 

It's easy to see Stanley's inspiration in his design, but I feel like the fabric also cheapens the look. 
I enjoyed the details in Kate's dress and I'm glad the team talked her out of the sleeves.
Amanda's outfit was well made, but it was a little boring for the first challenge. I hope she steps up her game in the future.
Speaking of boring, Layana just created a boring, basic black dress. I would have liked to have seen some of her Latin flair.
Joseph Aaron's look was definitely the worst on the team. I appreciated his desire to think "outside of the box" but this just looked like a hodgepodge of fabric strips. I'm afraid that if his team would have lost, he would have gone home.
Joseph Aaron
The Dream Team- tended to work more independently and although Michelle attempted to establish herself as the leader of the team, she was unable to salvage the team from it's worst looks.


James created a basic pencil skirt and tank top. James' first mistake was going against his team during the critique and refusing to add more to his look. The judges described the look as "boring" and his tank at "tortured". Hopefully James can step-up-his-game next week instead of being all talk.

Cindy had originally intended to create a tunic top over cigarette pants. However, her team convinced her to eliminate the pants and turn her tunic into a gown to show off her fabric's print, but no one told her that her fabrics didn't go together! Hopefully this former funeral director can take a quick lesson in pattern mixing before the next challenge.
Emily was a big talker with no follow through. The team thought she had a great design on paper, but at the end of the first day, she had made nothing. On the second day, she asked some of her teammates to help her construct something for the runway, but her jacket looked like a mess and Emily was deservedly sent home.
The Others

I would wear Matthew's look tomorrow. It was a fun look, but not innovative. I can't wait to see what he does next.
Samantha's look was very cute and so is she! I loved the neckline. I think it could have made it into the top 3 if her team would have been on top. I can't wait to see what she does next.
Tu's look was defiantly inspired by his Thai roots. His top had an interesting construction. I wonder if his future looks will continue with Asian influences.
I love listening to Benjamin's accent (he's Australian living in London). At first I wasn't sure about the construction and design of his dress, and his teammates also appeared to be worried. But when it came down the runway, I liked it better than I thought. I hope he goes far in the competition.
Michelle tried to be the team leader in this challenge and she had the best look of the team. Michelle identifies herself as "geek chic" which had me sold from the beginning and makes me want to buy up her collection already. Hopefully she can hold up her team better next week.
What do you think about this seasons concept and designers? Do you have any favorite designers picked out? Did you agree with the judges decisions? Let me know in the comments below. And don't forget to watch Project Runway Season 11 on Lifetime this Thursday at 8pm CDT.

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