Project Runway season premiere recap: Sustain-a-BULL

Timothy Westbrook steals the premiere with his questionable "sustainability" philosophies. Plus: a new twist that means more Tim Gunn
Ep. 01 | Aired Jul 18, 2013

AN INCONVENIENT SPOOF Is Timothy for real?

Lifetime

Once they wiped the blood and dirt from their bodies, the designers took their parachutes to the work room, and we got a bit more of their backstories. Bradon used to be a dancer, but he quit, as he put it, "Because I'm old." Alexandria, who's turning out to be one of the most obnoxious contestants so far, is the daughter of stage parents and believes she's the best thing ever to happen to the world since the advent of cronuts. Jeremy has two adorable children and the strongest accent I've ever heard. Miranda and Timothy know each other from the notorious Milwaukee fashion community and look like they could be brother and sister (they both have this skeletal, Tim Burton-esque bone structure and coloring); Timothy was super-excited to see Miranda, but Miranda threw an impressive amount of shade back at him. "We don't click -- I think he has an ego," she said.

Tim Gunn entered the room to announce that this year's accessory wall would be sponsored by Belk -- really, Belk??!! -- and explained a convoluted twist involving GoBank that no one could possibly be excited about. Apparently each designer will be budgeting his/her own money for the entire season using their GoBank accounts. Seriously, how will this add to our enjoyment of the show? Are we at home supposed to create spreadsheets to track whether Kahindo or Bradon's been better about rationing money? It feels very Oregon Trail, only you're spending dollars on tulle and sequins instead of oxen and bullets. Product placement gone terribly wrong.

Friction began to brew early in the work room. Sandro gave Alexandria a mini-lecture about the value of humility, which was like Amanda Bynes giving Chris Brown a lesson on sensible tweeting. Justin uttered what I'm sure will be the wisest words of the whole season: "If they get on my nerves, all I have to do is turn this off," he said, gesturing to his hearing aid.

Now on to Timothy's madness. "I identify as a sustainability-focused fiber artist," he proclaimed. I'd typically find his misguided views/practices annoying, but really, I find him extremely entertaining. He doesn't believe in electricity or aerosol products and prefers using dead stock and anything over 20 years old, yet he had no qualms about releasing toxic fumes in the air by taking a torch to the synthetic fibers of his parachute. I loved the look on the makeup people's faces when he barred the use of makeup or hair product, but it couldn't match the look on his model Nastasia's face, which fell in horror.

Then Timothy put on his choreographer hat and had Nastasia rehearse an elegant version of popping and locking to perform on the runway. Here are some samples of Timothy's directions to his model: "Hey, can you channel the Virgin Mary with that kind of demure sadness?" "I want you to think of awkwardly sniffing your armpit." He also demonstrated some ridiculous move he wanted her to do, which involved bursting forward into a breaststroke in the air. I tried doing it just now, and I gave myself whiplash. Tim Gunn walked in on the scene and asked, "What are you doing???" Nastasia had the line of the night with: "Do you think I should just walk normally?" Timothy's answer: "No."

Before the runway, the people who looked as though they were in the most trouble were Sandro, because his look was bottomless and hideous, and Miranda, because she broke a cardinal rule of Project Runway and brazenly ignored the challenge rules.

NEXT: Miranda gets an F...

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