Seems like just last week that we were watching all-stars triumphing in a climactic, truly memorable finale. Strike the climactic. They're running a new season immediately. Tim and Heidi greet us in video clips. They tell us that every challenge will be a team challenge. There will only be one winner, but all designers have to work as a team so this is truly applicable experience that they will be gaining. Tim says that the teamwork element makes this his favorite season of Project Runway yet. Then, we start meeting people.
First up, Layana is walking into Parsons. She's 28 and originally from Brazil, though she now lives in New York. She tells us that she was up the night before thinking anxiously thinking about what garments she would have to make. She walks into the runway area and is joined shortly by Richard Hallmarq (brilliant name). He is 39 and hails from Sacramento, which he jokes is the "other fashion capital." He says that he has always liked to push the envelope. And his menswear is drag wear, so yeah... he's a women's wear designer. Layana tells him that she likes his leopard print pants. They are pretty special. Kate Pankoke, 23, and from Chicago excitedly enters next. She says that she likes to work alone, but works in bridal wear so she has to get along with others. Cool chick Michelle Lesniak Franklin interrupts to meet everyone. She interviews that she is "thirty-fourdorable" or "thirty-fadorable." In any event, she's 34. She has tattoos. She seems fairly cool. She tells the other designers that the runway is bigger than she had imagined. She tells us that "geek chic" is her thing. Wait a second. Where is she from? Portland. Hmm. Sometimes there is a dissonance between appearance and references. She looks a lot cooler than her product. She says that her woman is stylish and could recite the Periodic Table. So she would look cool, but you would not want to talk to her. Ever.
Here are some leopard print loafers staring at us. Who's wearing them? His name is Daniel Esquivel and he is 48 and from Austin, the other Portland. This is his first time in New York and the mannequins are like, "Does he have like a little tiny handlebar mustache?" Why yes ladies... he does. Daniel has the neatest accent. It's everywhere. He tells us that he dropped out of school in the 9th grade because of bullying. That's really sad. He has no formal fashion training. He is self-taught. When he enters the runway, Richard tells him that his mustache is "everything." Bully free zone! Hopefully. So far, at least. Daniel interviews that his design aesthetic is simple, elegant and glamorous. Patricia enters next, but we don't hear from her. James Martinez from Dallas stumbles in next, literally. First, he knocks his hat off of his own head then trips over a bunch of stools. It's kind of brilliant. Also, I think I love him for that. But then he acts like he's peeing on the runway, as a way of marking his territory. I don't like that as much. I guess this is our straight guy for the season. Emily Pollard, 24 and from Falls Church, Virginia, enters next. There's something slightly affected about her air. She interviews that she is used to not sleeping. She thinks that gives her an edge.