Let’s just cut to the chase, here: I love Project Runway. Like really really love it. The designers are everything I am not — creative, quirky, fashion-forward innovators sent to Earth to make the rest of us look in our closets and sigh heavily. And so far, Season 16 seems to be more than delivering; especially with its new cast of diverse and body-positive models, who range in size from 2 to 22.
The stakes this season are also pretty high: The winner will receive $100,000 to launch their very own line, plus the opportunity to collaborate with JCPenney on a limited edition collection. They’ll also get all kinds of amazing swag, like new Brother sewing and embroidery machines, an all-expense paid luxury trip to Japan, a new 2018 Lexus NX, and a fashion spread in Marie Claire magazine.
Sounds pretty fancy!
All the promos for this season kept saying to “expect the unexpected,” so naturally I was waiting on pins and needles for it to premiere last week. Now that I’m two episodes in, I can totally see what they meant.
Here’s everything that went through my mind last night, while watching Episode 2 and sipping on a glass (or two) of Pinot …
- Oh boy, here we go. One of the designers just said, “I might have to work with a plus-sized model.” We’re like 3 minutes in and I’m already trying not to LOSE IT.
- Hmmm I’m into this new challenge — “Recycle, re-use, re-style.” Not sure how they’re going to create high-end fashion out of literal garbage, though …
- Watching these designers freak out while pilfering through trash to get their materials is giving me life right now.
- Apparently garbage smells. (Who knew?)
- Sidenote: This garbage heap basically looks like the back of my car after one of my children has been in it.
Everyone’s wearing safety vests made out of recyclables … and they totally look like a more attractive version of The Village People.
- Watching their faces while picking up trash reminds me of the look my 5-year-old gives me while eating vegetables.
- OK they are all in teams and ready for action. Let’s DO this.
- One of the teams just named themselves “Ballin’ on a Budget.” I die.
- Oof, Shawn is not a happy camper that she has to dress a “curvy woman.” (I would love to give you a piece of my mind, SHAWN.)
- … OK, Shawn is legit freaking out now.
- I think she needs a moment.
- Guys, Shawn is hyperventilating.
- SOMEBODY GET SHAWN A COCKTAIL, STAT!
- Ayana is a Muslim woman who believes she can make modest clothes trendy. She is now my favorite designer and I need to commission her to make a collection for my teenaged daughter.
- Yikes, these designers are not happy about working with garbage.
- Lots of deer-in-the-headlights happening from every team.
- OMG it’s garbage, people — not poison.
- No one can seem to settle on a design. This is stressing me out.
- Please, just pick a design for the love of God, and stay with it.
- Shawn, I’m looking at you.
- YAY, Tim Gunn finally makes an appearance! I have an unhealthy obsession with that man.
- I LOVE YOU, TIM!!!
- Don’t worry, everybody, Tim will save the day.
- See? He’s already bringing a sense of calm to this tense situation.
- Oh wait … nevermind.
- Shawn is still stuck on her “curvy lady” issue and even Tim can’t make it right.
- Did I mention I have a secret crush on Tim?
- Uh-oh …
- Tim is concerned about some of the designs.
- Now everyone’s concerned.
- Now I’m concerned.
- But hey, “Ballin’ on a Budget” seems to have hit their groove.
- Ooo! Here come the models for a fitting.
- One of the models just said, “looks interesting.”
- Only a few more hours to go until they have to present their lines! Now it’s time to panic.
- There’s a flurry of painting and cutting and sewing happening, people.
- Timeout, Sentell needs a hot minute to call his husband.
- OK, they are so freaking cute.
- Aww, he’s crying because he misses his husband so much.
- Dammit, someone grab me a tissue, that phone call was everything.
- Hang on … I need another glass of wine.
- Shawn is making me anxious.
- Shawn is making herself anxious.
- I need Shawn to stop pacing back and forth.
- OMG SHAWN YOU ARE GOING TO RUN OUT OF TIME.
- Why is there not more swearing on this show?
- I swear more by breakfast than these people swear in a stressful, life-changing, career-making moment. I know it’s all made for TV, but still …
- I wonder if there’s a special room they go in to swear?
- A swoom.
- See what I did there?
- OK, IT’S HAPPENING! Time for judgment day.
- Serious question: How does Heidi Klum get more gorgeous with age?
- Uh oh. Deyonte’s dress looks like he tried to duct tape his model to a pole.
- Michael’s dress looks like an angry piñata.
- Seriously though, I can’t believe how talented these designers are. I couldn’t finish a duffle bag in my 8th-grade home ec class and I had six weeks to work on it. How can they create actual outfits out of garbage in less than a day?
- OK, time’s up! Judges have to pick a winner. Drum roll please …
- Yay, Team “Ballin’ on a Budget” pulls out the win!
- Now they have to pick the losing team … Ugh, I hate this part.
- Zac Posen: “It looks like a leprechaun went dumpster diving.” Ouch. Exit stage left.
- Team Tsunami is the loser … eek, Shawn’s on that team.
- OMG if she says “I’ve never made an outfit for a curvy woman” ONE MORE TIME I am going to jump through my TV screen. She’s a normal sized woman!!! Gahhhhhhhh.
- OK, THANK you. One of the judges finally stepped in and said, “She’s not curvy. You really need to change your perspective.” Hallelujah. This is what most women look like!
- I love Tim Gunn’s facial expressions more than life.
- Oh no, they eliminated Sentell! That sucks. Why does there have to be an elimination round?
- Go hug your hot husband, Sentell. I love you.
- Now it’s time to pick the winning designer from team Ballin’ …
- WOOHOOO Ayana for the win. Yeah!!! She’s so happy.
- She just said she feels “like a badass.” I love that.
Well, that’s a wrap folks. This episode really was the best kind of trash TV. Who knew how many different kinds of garbage could be transformed into clothing. Not this girl. But you can bet I’ll be tuning in next week to see what the judges think up next.
You can catch more episodes of Project Runway every Thursday at 9/8 central on Lifetime.