Project Runway Recap: Season Eight Kicks Off in New York

Episode Title
And Sew It Begins

Ninety minutes, Lifetime? Ninety minutes!?! To take a show that’s about 60 percent filler, and then tack on another 30 minutes of filler — well, that’s just cruel. Think of the recappers, we say! Welcome back to Project Runway, now with more montages of designers and sewing machines, and strange, though not unwelcome, backstage commentary from Tim and Heidi. They’ve jazzed up the show a bit this season, adding more of the stuff that you don’t really care about (interviews with the designers, judges’ commentary), yet not any additional time to, you know, look at the clothes. And yet, it seems like there’s a good, drama-happy crowd this season, and so we won’t complain about the additional running time. Because we have nothing better to do on a Thursday night than watch a movie-length version of Project Runway. (Please leave your thoughts about the longer running time in the comments. Yay or nay?)

The first episode of any PR season is sort of tough. We can’t remember anyone’s name and there are so many dresses on the runway that they all blend together. This year’s notable contestants include: Peach from Lake Forest, a 50-year-old who designs for “ladies who lunch." Ivy, who people say resembles Vera Wang, and somewhat ominously declares, “I think Project Runway is the Ivy show!” Famous last words, sweetheart. McKell, from Utah, who has dreads and a baby, in that order. Jason, who decides it’s a good idea to wear a bowler hat, so that he can “throw the competition off.” (The last time we were intimidated by someone wearing a bowler hat, it was 1928 and we were being chased by Al Capone.) Mondo, who describes himself as “misunderstood,” but we think we understand him perfectly. April likes morgues, Gretchen is a hippie, and Casanova is kind of frightening. No one else made any sort of impression, but there are many 90-minute episodes in our future, and so we have a feeling everyone will get his or her moment to shine.

Heidi and Tim arrive at Lincoln Center (“the new home of Fashion Week!”) to inform the designers that they’re actually still in the process of auditioning, and one person will be sent home today without moving into the luxurious Atlas apartment buildings. Sad. They’re asked to take one item out of their suitcases to use in the challenge, and then — the twist! — they're told to pass it to the contestant to their right. They then have five hours to create a garment, which is apparently the shortest challenge in Project Runway history. On to the runway slideshow, to see how everyone did!