Project Runway: The Straight Guy Perspective (Season 14, Episode 1 Recap)

by Andrew Osborne

On your marks…get set…GO!!!

Yes, last night was the season 14 premiere of Project Runway, so before the big emotional Daily Show finale (and instead of the G.O.P. debate), your favorite straight guy fashion fan tuned in to check out and Tweet-cap the new batch of stitchers & bitchers during the pre-show selection rounds. Herewith, my findings:

Candice Cuoco…stop ruining Goth!

Kelly Dempsey…this year’s kooky, tacky neo-’80s chick. But, then again, I always root for the kooky tacky neo-’80s chick. (And, wait…she’s also from BOSTON? That means I’m totally rooting for her (and also that she’ll totally be out by week six).

Ashley Tipton. She’s precious! No, not Precious…I mean, she’s a precious, purple-haired, plus-sized angel. Team Ashley! (And, as my wife pointed out, it’s pretty funny that Ashley said the plus sized market keeps growing. Y’know, ’cause…ah, never mind.)

Joseph somebody…missed his last name, but he’s also plus-sized (though not so much with the INTERIOR design skills, says my wife as we tour his tacky Vegas abode).

Jake Wall…yet another contestant bragging about how he’s a pain in the ass to get along with. But he loves his dog, so…ok.

Blake Patterson is apparently inspired by jellyfish. In fashion as well as physique.

just used on fleek in a promo. Which means on fleek is apparently no longer a thing.

Okay, we’re back! And our next Fashion Week hopeful is…

Amanda Perna, a frightening Brundlefly amalgam of Marnie and Shoshanna from Girls. (She also JUST missed the cut in a previous season, but sheeeeeee’s baaaaack!)

Not to be outdone, Edmond Newton reveals he’s applied for every season of Project Runway since the show first premiered. Edmond Newton will not be denied. But after all that, Edmond Newton only has three skimpy things on his rack? Also, Edmond Newton seems to be from the Matrix. Go Edmond Newton!

First impression of Merline: she’s from Haiti and now she lives in Savannah, and so far she seems way too cool to make snarky comments about. (But, as reality TV has taught us, first impressions can be very, very deceiving.)

Next up…Swapnil! Swapnil’s aesthetic is Madonna-ish. Nuff said…except the Indian with the unnervingly mesmerizing eyes is yet another contestant who didn’t quite make the cut in past seasons. What’s with all the previously cut contestants this year? Have we finally run out of aspiring designers?

Moving on: the adorable Chinese contestant who looks like Honey in Doonesbury calls herself Pistachio, so I’m sticking with that (especially after she informs us it means “happy nut”).

And Duncan the New Zealand ginger seems to be the token straight guy this season.

Then there’s David from Belgium, who dresses like a magician and whose hobbies seem to include embarrassing people by making them wear his hideous clothes.

But wait! There’s more: Lindsey Creel, a cute, hot Austin designer in hipster glasses and pretty much the only person thus far who says she doesn’t like being bitchy. (Spoiler alert: she’s lying.)

There’s also Gabriella from Brooklyn, but the only impression she made on me is that she’s got a goofy tattooed boyfriend.

And finally, there’s Laurie, who inexplicably gets Looney Tunes fast-forward editing AND cartoon sound effects in her introductory clips. Guess she must be WACKY! (But, no…actually she seems like a very nice person and I love her, so lay off, Runway editors!)

After the introductions, the gang makes their way to Madison Square Garden, where Tim Gunn and Heidi Klum challenge them to grab swathes of fabric draped all over the seats of the auditorium for a look that’s meant to introduce their individual aesthetics to the judges.

The contestants all bolt for the bolts of fabric…except Ashley, who slowly collects all the scraps left behind by the others because, like the Geto Boys, real gangsta-ass designers can’t run fast.

Back in the workroom, Duncan explains that he’s either a maximalist minimalist — or possibly a minimalist maximalist — then puts together a hideous pink gown for a 1988 Oscars broadcast which Tim inexplicably seems to like.

But that’s pretty much the ONLY thing a weirdly grumpy Tim seems to like, as Edmond’s look instantly puts him in a mood. (Though, at this point, Edmond’s clearly in trouble, since his customer’s apparently an elementary school girl in a highway safety pageant.)

Less excusable is the way Tim rips into Merline for pronouncing “muslin” like “Muslim”. The humming Haitian takes it in stride, however, saying, “Tim’s mean, but that’s why they call him Tim Gunn” (though my wife notes that, in fact, they call him Tim Gunn ‘cuz that’s what Mama Gunn named him.)

And then Merline says other things. And sings other things. So many things. Merline simply can’t stop talking to the other contestants…or, if they’re not around, her sewing machine. I think Merline’s a Section 8 (and may have a blanket party in her future).

But then (after a trip to the Product Placement salon and thoughtful consideration of the Just Fab accessory wall…egad), it’s time for the RUNWAY!

Blake: Palm Springs matron.

Amanda: Feh. Middle.

Laurie: Hootchie mama gyno exam wear.

Pistachio: Fast food uniform for SpongeBob Squarepants.

Swapnil: Not bad, kinda Target. Good styling, though.

Duncan: So drapey! So Pepto Bismol!

Edmond: Way less horrible than his workroom preview, but…mullet, ugh.

Merline: Very Star Trek ambassador (in a good way).

Lindsey: Bad bodice.

David made a high fashion Slanket.

Joseph: “Cute, kinda bland” says my wife.

Boston Kelly: Another horrible bodice.

Jake made a pretty shiny dress for trust fund kids.

Gabrielle’s is not good.

Goth Cuoco made a decent look. (And, honestly, I’m thinking maybe I don’t hate her after all.)

But Ashley’s look is clearly the stand-out, and the judges have love for it, too, as she becomes the week one winner!

Meanwhile, Nina says Duncan’s gown looks like a salmon toga and he explains he’s only ever done men’s wear before (which is basically like being a Survivor contestant who can’t make fire or swim or an Amazing Race contestant who can’t drive a stick shift)…

…and so, it’s Auf Wiedersehen to the charming ginger and his even more charming New Zealand accent, and I’ll see you next week for more fashion!

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5 Responses to “Project Runway: The Straight Guy Perspective (Season 14, Episode 1 Recap)”


  1. 1 Candice September 29, 2015 at 8:09 pm

    Hi guys, how does one contact you?

    Sincerely,
    Candice C.

  2. 3 Ccuoco January 5, 2016 at 6:36 am

    The photos you have used you have no legal right to use. Please remove them or we will be forced to take action.

  3. 5 screengrabx January 12, 2016 at 8:51 am

    Pic from your site is down!


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