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Recap: Project Runway 11×01, “There is No ‘I’ in Team”

Woo hoo, another season has arrived! Thus begins Project Runway Season 11. Let’s give a cheer, a loud huzzah and maybe a squeal. Sit back with me and watch the drama, the fashion, the cutting, and attitudes unfold. For as we all know, this is Project Runway. There will be fashion to dream over, and there will be drama. This season is going to be full of twists and drama for sure.

The Twist:

Heidi and Tim set the stage with their Season 11 twist: Every challenge will be a team challenge. Insert shock and dismay. Tim explains that in the real world you have to work in teams, uh duh. But how will this work in Project Runway world?

The sixteen contestants were split into two teams.

The Keeping It Real Team: Amanda, Richard, Joseph, Kate, Daniel, Layana, Patricia, Stanley
The Keeping It Real Team (Top to bottom, left to right) Amanda, Richard, Joseph, Kate, Daniel, Layana, Patricia, Stanley
Dream Team: James, Benjamin, Michelle, Samantha, Matthew, Emily, Tu, Cindy
Dream Team: (Top to bottom, left to right) James, Benjamin, Michelle, Samantha, Matthew, Emily, Tu, Cindy

The designers were presented with the first challenge, which was a traditional first challenge: “We want to know who you are as a designer.” Make something to show who you are, with input from your team. Um, how is that going to work?? One member of the winning team will be the winner of the challenge and one member of the losing team will be out. The designers must gain inspiration from New York City. Team One: Keeping it Real, coined from Richard saying, “Let’s keep it real,” observes New York from a boat on the Hudson River. Team Two: Dream Team, coined from Michelle saying, “Teamwork makes the dream work,” observes New York from the roof of the Atlas. Each team was given $1200, $150 per person. Keeping it Real decided to spend and then dole out anything left over. Dream Team elects to stick to the $150 per person.

Daniel with his jaw dropped
A boat? That is the most exciting thing ever!

Tim is Tim but with a twist. He moderates, participates, and facilitates. The critiques are a whole group event. Yikes, I so cannot handle critiques. I much prefer them on my own so that I can cry. The Dream Team handled the critiques with calm and quietly gave input. Totally amazing; I wonder how long it will last. The Keeping It Real Team was a bit louder when sharing points. Keeping It Real worked well together and supported their team. Even the Dream Team noticed how they worked together and worried: would their independent process come back to bite them in the butt?

The Results:

Keeping It Real won the challenge. Daniel, Patricia, and Richard had the highest scores. The judges loved that Patricia worked the fabric, and raved about Daniel’s sculpture and Richard’s jersey dress. Daniel won. Out of the top three, I chose Daniel.

Patricia’s dress is made with hand-painted fabrics cut into panels over a blue dress.

Patricia's dress: overlapping white fabric panels painted gray along the bottom and right edges
Patricia’s dress

Richard’s dress represented all the concrete and stone buildings he saw when he arrived in New York.

Richard's Dress: A knee-length long-sleeved black dress with a gray panel running down the center
Richard’s dress

Daniel’s outfit was a constructed, sculpted dream. He wants to bring couture to the masses. (But that would defeat the couture process, right?)

Daniel's Outfit: A long form-fitting black dress with squared-off shoulders, a deep V-neck, and a ruffle at the hips
Daniel’s outfit

Dream Team lost. James, Cindy, and Emily had the lowest scores. The team put together a lot of great pieces like Benjamin’s amazing flowing piece. Benjamin would have been my choice for winner, but because of the team he didn’t enter the consideration.

Benjamin's dress: a short sheath dress with squares of different gray fabrics and a longer panel at the back
Benjamin’s constructed flowing wonder

Since the team had to sink or swim, the several poorly put together pieces pulled the entire group down. The judges described James’ top as a disaster.

James' Dress: A white tank top and a skirt with black and tan fabric joined on a diagonal
James’ dress

The judges couldn’t see how Cindy’s dress was inspired by New York.

Cindy's Dress: An oversized leopard print with a red and white checkered waistband
Cindy’s dress

Emily was declared a hot shredded mess and determined to be out. If she had just gotten past the first challenge, she could have done great things. Like her team said, her sketches were amazing, but she didn’t put it together. The only reason she had clothes on her model was that Cindy sewed a skirt together. Even the top under the suede jacket was tied, not sewn. Heidi pointed out that her eight-year-old could do as well. Maybe, being she is Heidi’s daughter. But my eight-year-old has never touched my sewing machine.

Emily's shredded mess: A black miniskirt and a shredded black top with a gray capelet
Emily’s shredded mess


By Trulybst

Pursuing life to its fullest. A woman, a mom, wife, and struggling teacher who knows the importance of treating myself right.

4 replies on “Recap: Project Runway 11×01, “There is No ‘I’ in Team””

I honestly thought they would keep Emily around longer, just to see what other terrible things would fall out of her thoughtless mouth.

Do you think they make sure to tape every contestant saying definitively that they’re going to win, so they can swap it in when someone goes down in flames like this?

Yeah she wasn’t the most tactful in the beginning and I figured they’d keep her around for more obnoxious blithering. I’m glad that Cindy didn’t go home – she’s from my hometown! Though her dress was awful… thank goodness Emily dropped it big time.

I really liked the winning look but I didn’t care for either of the other two top two looks.

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