Project Runway Recap: Recalibrate This, Tim!

Welcome back to the puckery jungle! Sixteen designers, three judges, one last bolt of our patience, and even a few Tim Gunn catchphrases to write with glitter pen on our hope chest. It's Project Runway, townspeople! Clamor! The seventh season kicked off last night, exhibited a range of new talents, and did the hard work of telling the prettiest cast member to go home. Right now Irina is giggling somewhere and telling a room full of people who are just trying to finish their grocery shopping, "That was so the opposite of my season!" Anyway: I'm Louis Virtel, your Project Runway curator, and we have a lot of work/non-work to do. Bring your questionable taste level, and let's go.

Our adventures begin with trotted-out confessionals from our 16 new contestants, some of whom even dress their age. Case-in-not-point: Look, there's Seth Aaron, who looks like Keith Richards in the face, Lou Reed in the eyes, and someone they'd both make fun of in the clothes. Nice teensy denim jacket, Dad! Next, there's Janeane. She's "dorking out a little bit" about being in New York for the first time. She's also crying the minute we see her, for the first of a few occasions this episode, because something is up with this girl and it's not that cute. She's followed by Ping, an Italian-trained designer originally from China whose zeal matches her table-tennis namesake. Ping! Her asymmetrical, offbeat designs also seem best defined by onomatopoeia. I choose BOOSH!


Anthony is a "black, gay, ghetto" designer from Georgia who is obsessed with pageants but doesn't "care for Miss America." Because Miss Teen Fancy-Free Savannah is where the real couturiers flock, see, or something. Let's schedule a time to slap him. Jonathan, another designer, hand-paints many of his designs, and Tim Gunn should get around to calling them "Holly Hobby" in the next half hour. Emilio is a costumer. Cutie Jesus is the group's resident saucy Latin waif. And new fave contestant Pamela's crazy eyes can range anywhere from "glassy" to "pinball" to "I'm THINKING." You'll remember that her favorite designer is God, which is a shame, because Michael Kors banned Him from ever guest-judging in his original contract.

Christiane is a pleasant L.A. designer originally from the Ivory Coast. Jesse is a straight dude who sincerely plays Captain Jack Sparrow at Disneyworld, and since leaving that position he's been working on his disinterested Logan Neitzel face. Update: He is already a black belt in Logan Neitzel face. Ben, Jay, Anna, Maya, Amy, and Mila are six other contestants. That I know. But based on their bland-ass opening remarks and average faces, I am not sure they should qualify as proper nouns. They could become real children as the episodes progress, but don't hold your Carol-Hannah-tolerating breath.

Now that their dubious introductions are complete, Heidi sends the designers a note to meet her on the roof of the Atlas apartment complex. She's going to kill them. Luckily, Tim Gunn is also present to restrain the pregnant frau, and Project Runway's annual champagne mixer begins. This part of the show isn't fun anymore. Heidi makes the same joke about drinking grape juice because she's pregnant with another eight kids, and several designers strain terribly to describe their design aesthetic. Their thesaurus may have been written by not-so-noted lexicographer Victoria Beckham.

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