Project Runway
Road To The Runway

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Jeff Long: A | Grade It Now!
Road To The Runway
In a hurry? Read the recaplet for a nutshell description!

It's the second season, people! I am psyched. Following the recap, I will include a little party recap, as I was able to worm my way into the Project Runway premiere party. Very cool.

We begin with a brief rundown of the previous season, ending with Jay's runway victory. This is followed by a little Jay update. Jay Update #1: he has done something to his face. Maybe it's a different eyebrow shaping, a tightening moisturizer -- who knows. Something is different, though. He's shinier and just looks different. Botox? Jay doesn't seem the type. Well, then we see him and Tim Gunn on the street, and Jay's look has transformed. It looks like it has been filtered a little bit through some sort of L.A./NY hipster machine. His hair is dramatically bouffanted, with tiny braids in the back. And he's wearing a small fringed skirt over his pants. It resembles some of his designs. Maybe he just feels freer now experimenting with his own personal style. I somehow felt he seemed more original before, though. Oh, never mind, that's what he was wearing for the Elle fashion shoot. I understand getting funked up for your big magazine layout. We see the shoot taking place. There's Julia! Jay tells us that he is releasing men's and women's lines of clothing for Fall 2006. Now, everyone will get his or her own over-the-pants skirt! Jay ends his interview by announcing that "[he] ordered a big ole' plate of this morning, and, boy, [does he] feel fucking good!"

We see all of the contestants during the opening credits. The equivalent of Jay's "Everybody's going to get pretty bitchy" comment would be a guy saying, "Heck yeah, I'm gonna win this."

We begin with the talent search. This year, it starts in New York and Jay is one of the judges. The first person we see is this woman carrying a child-sized mannequin dressed in extremely elaborate period clothing. The period of Wild West whores. Seriously, who would want their child dressed like that? The woman explains that she specializes in children's costumes, but she believes that she will have a knack for couture. Next, we see a woman in a short orange skirt, greenish jacket, and satin turquoise blouse; with white go-go boots. And a white cap to match. And the white cap covers magenta hair. In other words, train wreck. We see a train wreck. Jay tells her that she looks like a tap dancer and he starts clapping and improv-ing a soft-shoe ditty. And she tap-dances. It's humiliating, and Jay should really know better. Tim Gunn is on the panel with him. Jay also tells this guy who looks like he just walked off the stage of a production of Genet's The Balcony (half-drag/half-Pope) to dance. And the guy dances. Then, Jay tells him to sing. The guy replies that he won't sing because it would kill everyone in the room. Maybe Jay wishes someone had provoked him to sing and dance when he interviewed. It seems more like, now he has some power, so he's going to run all of these poor hopefuls through the ringer. Not nice.

Next this girl meekly enters and Tim asks if he can see her book. She hands over this largish metal portfolio-looking box, and Jay fakes like it weighs a lot. She tells us that she is a student at the Rhode Island School of Design. As well, she says that her designs are influenced by science, math, and technology. You don't see that shit very often at the club. The judges seem impressed. Then, she shows a piece that includes a wearable computer. It's a hoodie with a camera in the hood. The camera is connected to a heart rate monitor and it takes a photo whenever your heart rate increases -- to record what excited you. The judges get a kick out of this, including Christina Neault, from 7th on Sixth. Tim tells the girl, Diana, that they are "entranced" by her and are making her a semifinalist. She says "thank you" in a high-pitched voice, and Jay mocks her with his "your welcome." What is his fucking problem? I'm hoping that, in person, his behavior seemed more disarming than asshole-y. In an interview, Diana Eng, twenty-two, tells us that she is from Jacksonville, Florida. We see some sketches of her designs and I can definitely see the technology influence, however, the three designs that we see are fairly diverse. Diana is looking good. She tells us that she was a nerd in high school and now she's a nerd/fashion-designer hybrid. She's really cute.

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Project Runway




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