Project Runway Season 7: Meet The Designers

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We had to wait almost a year and half for Project Runway 6, but thankfully we only had to wait a month and a half for season 7. Hoping to erase the memory of last season, Heidi, Tim, Nina and Michael are back, and back in NYC (huge applause). On paper, shifting the last season to Los Angeles seemed like a good idea to freshen up the series. But just like Leno-gate 2009-10, it yielded a big giant ball of suckiness.

Tonight, the new season begins, and LifetimeTV has promised us that both Nina and Tim are on the judging panel for the entire season. With so much panel shuffling, the eliminations were more unpredictable, therefore making the entire season seem disjointed. In the end, some talented designers got auf’d way sooner they should’ve been- Ra’mon and Epperson are the first to come to mind.

Before watching the first episode, I thought I’d give you a quick rundown on my initial impressions for this crop of designers. Will there be a next Christian Siriano or another Irinia Shabayeva? No disrespect to Irina, who clearly was the best from the final three, but there was no way she’d make it far in any other season.

On to my assessment…

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Mila Hermanovski

Age: 40, Hometown: Dallas, TX
Mila’s Online Portfolio on LifetimeTv.com

“Sometimes I have so many ideas that I have a hard time committing to one design”

There’s so many things I love about this designer. First I love that Christy Turlington (Goddess) and Coca Rocha (Go Canada), are her supermodel muses. Right off the bat, she has excellent taste. And just when I thought it couldn’t get better, she cites Cate Blanchett as her dream celebrity client. Unfortunately, that’s where the love ends. Her favorite fabric to work with is anything with stretch and by looking at her portfolio, she’s too big a fan of cut-outs in dresses. She may have great style icons, but not so much for herself. Look at her picture above, she looks a washed-up cougar geisha. Way, harsh Tai… way harsh.

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Jay Nicolas Sario

Age: 31, Hometown: The Philippines
Jay Nicolas’ Online Portfolio on LifetimeTv.com

“I have the advantage of being a both a stylist and a designer.”

Okay, I’m kinda feeling the yellow scarf and riding boots. Angelina Jolie is his celebrity muse, while Alexander McQueen is his favorite designer. Looks like Jay Nicolas has a penchant for the aesthetic, which make sense given his background. Prior to Project Runway, he was a visual merchandiser and a lead stylist for Gap Inc. kids’ division. Personally, I don’t he’s going to make it far based on his portfolio, correction, lack of portfolio. All there is are a few sketches with one dress. Sounds like an early boot for sure.

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Jesse LeNoir

Age: 25, Hometown: Painesville, Ohio
Jesse’s Online Portfolio on LifetimeTv.com

“I learned how to use a sewing machine while in college studying to be an actor”

Balenciaga and military uniforms are his design influences, which explains his outfit above. While reading his inspirations on Project Runway I first thought he was a lesbian because he listens to A Fine Frenzy and Regina Spektor while designing (I’m obviously kidding, of course). Then I figured he was a sister, because he loves Audrey Hepburn and Tom Ford. But then I read he loves designing for his fiancee… and she’s a woman, a pretty one at that. Who knew? But this is a show about designing and not sexuality so I digress. His previous work looks ready-made for Forever 21 / Heritage 1981. He has to figure a way to add sophistication to his existing aesthetic. Let’s face it, as much as we’d like to be forever 21, we can’t keep dressing that way.

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Emilio Sosa

Age: 43, Hometown: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Emilio’s Online Portfolio on LifetimeTv.com

“I challenged myself to live outside my comfort zone to be on this show”

Emilio’s a bit of an enigma for me. He doesn’t reveal a whole lot on the Project Runway site. The only thing I can surmise is that he loves old school glamor. Some of his sketches are a tad out there, but that can be due to the face he’s a costume designer. Based on my gut feeling which tells me he’s bland and boring, I predict he’ll be in the middle of pack unless he pulls something miraculous out of his ass.

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Ping Wu

Age: ??, Hometown: Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China
Ping’s Online Portfolio on LifetimeTv.com

“When I could no longer be original shall be the time I give up as a designer.”

On the complete opposite spectrum of Emilio, Ping comes off with and eccentric vibe and tonnes of personality. First off, PING, PING, PING. I could literally say that for hours and not be bored. Secondly, she loves conceptual designers like Issey Miyake and Yohji Yamamoto, and Bjork and Victoria Beckham as style icons. Given the fact she’s withheld her age and has pottery included in her portfolio, Ping sounds kooky to the nth degree. God, I hope she’s half decent because she’d be fun TV to watch. Last season lacked greatly in engaging personalities. Let’s hope casting did a better job this time around.

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Maya Luz

Age: 22, Hometown: Sante Fe, New Mexico
Maya’s Online Portfolio on LifetimeTv.com

“I was the high school girl who made her own clothes.”

She’s young, hip, and has a great sense for fashion. Citing Vivienne Westwood, Lanvin as her influences, along with season 5 winner, Leanne Marshall as her favorite PR designer, earns her bonus points in my books. In addition, she chose ultra-hip upcoming supermodel, Karlie Kloss as her model muse. I love a girl who knows her fashion shizz. Browsing through her portfolio, she has good construction skills but I worry she sometimes goes overboard with ruffles and other design elements. She’ll have to tone that down and edit during the challenges if she wants to succeed. Much like her PR inspiration Leanne, who almost got auf’d for putting too many bells and whistles for the NYC by night challenge.

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Jonathan Peters

Age: 29, Hometown: Woonsocket, Rhode Island
Jonathan’s Online Portfolio on LifetimeTv.com

“I wanted to be a designer since age 10 and have never changed my mind”

OMG, finally a designer who has more than one outfit in their portfolio. For that alone, I’m loving this guy already. To boot, when asked what his profession is, he responds with “Technically, unemployed, but I prefer “independent freelance womenswear designer”. Fun personality and great choices of inspiration which include Galliano, The Black Eyed Peas, model Karen Elson and Coco Chanel. At first glance, he seems more gravitated towards avant garde as opposed to commercial designing which in the PR world is golden (as long as it’s wearable). I have a good feeling about this guy. Look for him to last long in the competition.

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Amy Sarabi

Age: 26, Hometown: Plano, Texas
Amy’s Online Portfolio on LifetimeTv.com

“I was making garments at my aunt’s tailor shop since I was seven.”

Her hometown says it all, Plano (pronounced plain-o). Her favorite colors are black and nude tones and loves working with linen. No one likes working with linen. I was ready to write her off, but then I saw her sketches- they’re absolutely stunning. She also likes Lady Gaga, so she can’t be all that bad. You’re a big ol’ contradiction for me, Amy. I’m watching you though, so you BET-TAH work.

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Ben Chmura

Age: 30, Hometown: South Meriden, Connecticut
Ben’s Online Portfolio on LifetimeTv.com

“I take on many projects at once, thinking that I can do it all.”

Love the gold kicks. Hate the red sleeveless top. I’m going to have a love/hate relationship with this guy this season, aren’t I? I didn’t need to read his bio to know he loves red, black and metallics. He seems to like short and sassy dresses, which isn’t a bad thing. To ensure love from the judges, he needs to diversify and just can’t be a one-trick pony. I’m kinda feeling this guy, base soley on the shoes of course.

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Anna Lynett

Age: 23, Hometown: Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin
Anna’s Online Portfolio on LifetimeTv.com

“I’m still learning the rules to the business. I have to learn them before I can break them.”

Her designs seem like something you’d find on Lauren Conrad’s fashion line. For all you non-fashionistas, that’s not a good thing. Though I appreciate she choose Kara Saun as her favorite PR designer, her design aesthetic is a little to plain hipster for me. It’ be perfect if she was the costumer designer for “500 Days of Summer” but not for this competition. Plus, two young women have won the past two seasons. There’s no way they’re giving this to another young female designer who’s this safe.

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Janeane Marie Cecanti

Age: 28, Hometown: Willows, California
Janeane Marie’s Online Portfolio on LifetimeTv.com

“I am always pushing myself. I think I have a strong aesthetic sense.”

Ewww, she’s only seen Project Runway season 5. If I ever made it to a reality show, I’d make sure I watched all previous seasons. It’s like going to a job interview without reading up on the company. ILLPREPARED to the MAX. For that alone I should’ve written her off, but I made the mistake of checking out her designs. This is why this post didn’t come out last week when it was scheduled, I fell asleep. Yup, her clothes are that boring. NEXT.

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Jesus Estrada

Age: 21, Hometown: Mazatlan, Mexico
Jesus’ Online Portfolio on LifetimeTv.com

“If you’re a 6 feet tall model with long hair, and can work the runway, I’ll love you.”

Based on the quote above and his love for anything dark, edgy and grandiose, I sense… DRAMA QUEEN. After perusing through his creations, I got a heavy Austin Scarlett vibe from him. And that, ladies and gentlemen was a sister who had crying drama queen written all over his period piece designs. Expect more of the same from this one, instead of a young ingenue like Christian Siriano.

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Christiane King

Age: 30, Hometown: Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire
Christiane’s Online Portfolio on LifetimeTv.com

“My designs are universal that the whole world can understand and appreciate.”

Just like her African counterpart, Korto, Christiane loves deep vibrant colors. Just take a gander through her portfolio, she’s telling the truth. I love color as much as the next guy, but it’s too much of a color explosion. If she isn’t careful in toning down the color combinations, it could spell her demise. Her last name might be King, but she’ll end up more like a jester if doesn’t watch it.

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Pamela Ptak

Age: 47, Hometown: Pittsfield, Massachusetts
Pamela’s Online Portfolio on LifetimeTv.com

“I’m an AWESOME team player, but have ruthlessly high standards.”

Her favorite designer is GOD. Nuff said. Just kidding. Love the quote above. You know she’s going to be the biggest beyotch during the first team challenge if she makes it that far. I get absolutely nothing when looking through her stuff. Like Nina Gracia has said, silence is the worst feedback. Either be really bad or really good and not *insert silence*.

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Seth Aaron Henderson

Age: 38, Hometown: San Diego, California
Seth Aaron’s Online Portfolio on LifetimeTv.com

“My ability to execute with innovation and speed are my strengths.”

I didn’t realize Jeffrey Sebelia (Season Three winner) was allowed to come back? Seriously, doesn’t he look like a more worn-down, hard living, older version of Sebelia? Twiggy is his model muse- no surprise. Marilyn Manson is his celebrity dream client- again no surprise. The Cure and 80s new wave is his musical inspirations- once again, no surprise. But what is a surprise are his outfits. They’re fun, structure, interesting and a little sexy. This guy is a complete contradiction, which makes watching him more interesting. I can’t wait to see his work on the show.

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Anthony L. Williams

Age: 2289, Hometown: Birmingham, Alabama
Anthony’s Online Portfolio on LifetimeTv.com

“As a young child, I learned early on how to create beauty within my environment.”

If there was someone who could give Jesus a run for his money for “Season 7 Drama Queen”, it would be Anthony L. Williams. He loves infamous diva-supermodel Linda Evangelista, silk taffeta, an that heinous dress Miley Cyrus wore at last year’s Oscars. He also loves using glittery fabrics and over accessorizes them with broaches, clips and anything shiny. If you’ve seen him in the promos, he’s the one running and flailing around- maybe he found out a year supply of KFC was part of the grand prize.

There you have it folks, this season’s designers. On a whole, they seem like an interesting bunch. Let’s hope the producers are able to make us forget about last season’s faux pas.

  • Jeneane is SUCH a cryer i love it 😀
    And the ONLY reason they kept Anthony was for the draaaammmaaaa she brings.

  • When does it start… and why are there no hot men?