“Project Runway” came back to Bravo on Thursday night for its 17th season. Gone was host Heidi Klum and mentor Tim Gunn. In their place were model Karlie Kloss and Season 4 winner Christian Siriano. The new workroom is bright, airy and more spacious. The Brother sewing machines were new. And the eager mass of 16 contestants is probably among the most diverse cast of competitors ever. The models come in an array of sizes. And, for the first time ever, there is even an Asian transgender model named MiMi Tao, who was declared “a real goddess” by her delighted designer, Kovid Kapoor.
As for the judges, Nina Garcia, Elle’s editor-in-chief, is the only old-timer to return. Joining her is Elaine Welteroth, the former editor-in-chief of Teen Vogue, and designer Brandon Maxwell, who did Lady Gaga‘s sleeveless black gown for the recent Oscars and has dressed the likes of Oprah Winfrey and Michelle Obama.
Sounds pretty impressive, huh? That is what I thought — until they started to actually start the judging. I had no objection to their choice of a bottom two, Cavanagh Baker and Frankie Lewis, especially because they both seemed to struggle with the proportions of their full-figured models. They also required sewing help –Lewis recruited fellow designers to pitch in while Cavanagh actually asked her model to hand sew something on her dress. Both also didn’t have enough fabric to do everything they wanted. Cavanagh failed to buy enough tweed for a jacket and Frankie’s blue body suit did no favors for her model’s shapely form. The flimsy piece actually started falling apart when she touched it.
You would think that the designer who managed to make something that wasn’t a hot mess would have stayed. Nope. Instead, Frankie — who was portrayed as a sweetheart with a bad luck story — was given a break. Cavanagh, who dissed the single beds in the living quarters and thought $250 was far too little money for fabric at Mood, was given the heave ho.
What did you think? Should they have saved Frankie? Did Cavanagh get a raw deal? Take our poll and let us know.