Saturday, August 6, 2016

Project Runway Seasons Ranked- Worst to Best!

Hey, y'all! So, for the past few months, I've been consistently posting my Project Runway Designer Rankings, which you can check out here. And since I've just wrapped that series up, I decided that the best way to bookend that series is to rank the seasons from least favorite to favorite. I have a ton of other Project Runway rankings that I'd like to do, but this one is the major one that I've been wanting to do for a while. This is also really interesting for me, because despite having loose rankings in my mind, I never sat down and actually ranked them until I was preparing for this post.

Just to explain how I ranked these, it's definitely a mix of personal feelings and objective aspects such as the quality of designers and the level of competition in each season. I'm not going to claim that my personal likes and dislikes don't play a part-- they absolutely do, and this is in no way a completely objective ranking. My personal enjoyment of a season and the number of designers that I connected with certainly plays a part in the ranking. But I also feel like I definitely took the objective aspects into account and will certainly argue that the general placement of each season in the list is on par with the objective aspects as well. 

Given that I've already openly discussed everyone's placings in their seasons, there will definitely be moments where I mention/discuss the winner of each season. So, if you'd prefer not to know who won, you might want to skip out on this. That being said, let's just go ahead and jump into this list!

14) Season 6

If you're a hardcore Project Runway fan, this is probably completely unsurprising. For the uninitiated, this was the first season after the move from Bravo to Lifetime and the only season to take place in LA rather than NYC. Not much really worked about this season, and it almost feels like a spin-off rather than a normal season. This was just a really weak cast, not just in personality, but in skill and aesthetic. Almost none of the characters are memorable. The top 3/4 designers are pretty much the only strong designers in the season-- and they're blatantly obvious from very early on. 

On top of this, we had one designer who was such a disaster that he was eliminated despite his team winning the challenge. And, even worse, we had that really weird Johnny controversy that I still don't fully understand. Perhaps this season could be redeemed even a tiny bit by a likable winner, but instead our winner was the contestant nicknamed "Meana Irina" (who unfortunately was probably the strongest designer). Across the board, this was just an incredibly weak season-- few memorable people, few strong designers, few memorable moments, and an unlikable winner. 

13) Season 5

I'll admit that Season 5 being this low could be due to the recency bias-- it's been years since I've watched this season-- but I didn't really like it the first time around either. To me, this season just wasn't that interesting. Many of the people on this season weren't memorable, and most that were memorable were rather unlikable. Like with season 6, I think that we had a strong final 3/4, but that the rest of the designers were pretty mediocre at best. We do get some fun moments with Tim trying to holla at your boy, but did anything else that was vaguely interesting happen this season?

I know that most people have this one ranked quite a bit higher, but I just simply don't like this season that much. I think I'm going to do a re-watch to confirm that I really do want to have it this low, but I really don't think it's necessary. I just really don't like it that much compared to all of the other awesome seasons. It's not quite as low as season 6 because I feel like Season 5 had more strong and more likable designers... but not by a lot. Hence it sitting here.

12) Season 11

Admittedly, as a Project Runway superfan, it's a bit sacrilege to put this anywhere except last or second-to-last. Again, for the uninitiated, season 11 is the blatant outlier because it's Project Runway: Teams. In season 11, the contestants were divided into teams for the majority of the season. They began as 2 large teams, and got shuffled around multiple times before eventually working individually in the endgame. The format just works so completely differently from any other season, and like with season 6, it almost feels like a spin-off show. It's incredibly frustrating to watch people being forced together for multiple weeks in a row. There were also some people this season who seemed to be so outside of what PR usually casts and seemed to be set up for failure from the start. 

Anyway, after that whole spiel, you're probably wondering how this ended up falling higher in my rankings than the other two. Honestly, it's simply more likable designers. Sure, I don't think that there are a ton of super strong designers on this season. I'd say that there are 4ish standouts. However, I really enjoyed a few of the designers. I love Michelle. I love her, I love her aesthetic, and she's definitely my favorite this season. I also really enjoyed Benjamin and Amanda and thought that there were a few more likable people. And despite it being such a different format, the recency of it is a definite advantage. It's definitely a bit more enjoyable to watch the snappier editing and more current aesthetics than to watch seasons 5 or 6 (IMO) so it edged those out just a bit. 

11) Season 14

While I have a definite ranking here, this list has some pretty definite tiers, and this one closes out the bottom tier, which consists of the 4 seasons that are my least favorites/ the ones I think are the worst. We've now reached the highly-contested, most recent season of Project Runway. Tim Gunn has declared this his least favorite season, and I can totally understand. There were definitely people who weren't working up to their full potential and that's just very disappointing. I wasn't very impressed with this season as a whole, TBH. And it's also really hard to know what all to say about it because it is such a recent addition, and therefore it is a little less solidified in my mind. 

I had super high hopes for Swapnil pre-season, and he definitely was rather successful throughout the show but it was disappointing that he wasn't working that hard. Especially after seeing that finale collection. He could've easily won with that finale collection and it's a downright shame that it was just a decoy. It was phenomenal and beautiful. That being said, one bright shining light in this season was Ashley Nell Tipton, the first winner with a strong leaning toward plus-sized designing, which I really appreciated. There were several aesthetics that I really liked this season, but overall I didn't find many of the characters that compelling. And sure, I've only watched it once, but I honestly have trouble coming up with any extremely memorable moments, which is never a good thing. 

10) Season 12

To be quite honest, season 12 is nearly tied with the season just above it. They're at the bottom of this middle-bottom tier of seasons, and I found myself constantly flip-flopping them. The only reason that I chose the other one above this one is that I have some favorites in that season that I like more than people in this season. There were definitely some pretty big moments this season. The Tim Gunn Save being used for the first time was a very touching moment. The Sandro freakout was another one. And then on top of that, just everything about Ken and his drama, especially that fight with Alex Knox. Also, my personal favorite is all of the silliness surrounding Timothy and his oddball designs and his obsession with unicorns. 

Despite this being rather low in my rankings, there's still quite a bit to like about this season. There are a lot of strong designers. There are handful of likable people. If you want drama, there's definitely drama. I think the reason that this falls so low is simply because everything is just not quite as good as other seasons. There are several likable people, but definitely less than in stronger seasons. There's drama, but it's not always fun to watch because of how mean-spirited it could be. There are strong designers, but for every strong designer, there are 2 fairly weak designers. It's just a very watered down version of what Project Runway has the potential to be, and what it has been in the past. 

9) Season 13

Three words describe why, despite being tied with season 12, this one won out. Sean. Kini. Amanda. The end. I think that quality-wise, season 12 might be a better season. If I had to re-watch one of them now, I'd probably watch season 12. BUT. Sean, Kini, and Amanda completely ran the table this season and I loved all 3 of them. They were all so very strong and I loved a lot of the designs that they created throughout the season. And the rainway challenge was outstanding. Of course, given that it's Project Runway, there's drama. Korina creates a lot of drama, especially with Char. But the craziest drama was the drama with Sandhya, the designer from all the way out in left field that no one understood and everyone attacked. 

When talking about season 12, I mentioned that it was basically watered down version of what the show has been in its heyday. And, in general, I think that this might even be more watered down. The designers who transcended that are the reason that it's found itself higher than 12. As stated, I'd be willing to say that objectively, season 12 is better. But Sean, Kini, and Amanda were just so awesome to watch. Even Korina was rather strong. The rest were almost completely forgettable. I liked Alex, Char was alright, Sandhya at least brought some entertainment, and Fade was quirky. If that's the best I have to say about a season's cast, it doesn't bode super well for that season. Fortunately for y'all, this is the completion of the bottom-middle tier of the list. These bottom 6 seasons are leagues below the other 8, in my opinion, so let's not talk about them anymore and let's get into the solid seasons. 

8) Season 1

The season that started it all! I found it really hard to figure out where to place season 1, because it's so incredibly different from the other seasons. While the other seasons' focus was almost solely on the design competition, in season 1 we got several segments in the apartments during the designers' extremely brief downtime. We also got to see a lot more of the drama with the models- Olga hating everything, models not wanting their hair changed, and of course, all of Morgan's crazy drama. The runway was also rather different, because it takes up a sizable percentage of today's episodes, but a minute percentage of season 1's episodes. In fact, half the time, it was difficult to tell who was in the top and who was in the bottom. 

That being said, there are so many standout moments of season 1 that help it stand the test of time. First off, we have the complete insanity that is Wendy Pepper. She was that "I'm here to win, not make friends," person in the most cut-throat, mean-spirited way possible, and it added so much entertainment. And then, there was Vanessa who was just off-the-wall bonkers. But we also had the ever-wonderful Austin Scarlett, who has become a fan-favorite. I could continue explaining why almost every designer on the show made it interesting, but instead I'll just say that the casting on this season was really great. There were so many stand-out characters, and they really made the show. The big dock on this season, for me, is the fashion. Obviously, it's been 12 years since season 1, so a lot of the fashion looks really outdated. That's to be expected. But even then, the designs this season don't stand up to some later seasons, and some of the challenges weren't exactly ones that suited themselves to fashion. For example, the postal worker challenge is questionable at best. Even the best design- which was admittedly good for a postal worker's outfit- wasn't incredibly fashionable. That being said, despite the fashion being dated at this point, the entertainment factor is definitely there.  

7) Season 4

Yes, I'm prepared for the torches and pitchforks for season 4 barely making my top half. You would've been even more upset with me if you'd seen where it was when I originally made this list (aka behind S12). But, since it had been a long time since I'd watched it, I went back and did a re-watch and it moved up my rankings. One of the reasons that it moved up is because of the general vibe to the season. The way that the show is shot, the editing, etc, everything feels like the first few seasons, which for me is extremely nostalgic and very endearing. And it reminds me that I enjoy the way that the first few seasons are put together. And honestly, from #8 (S1) on this list, these are seasons that I genuinely enjoy- the ones that I gravitate toward and want to re-watch. And upon that re-watch, I realized that season 4 definitely belonged among those... but not quite at the top. I debated moving it one spot higher, but I'll explain why I didn't when we get there.

Since this is a fan favorite season, I feel the need to explain why it's not higher on my list, so that's what I'll do. Each season, I tend to find one or two people who are my people. Not only do I enjoy their personality, but I like their aesthetic. And this season... there wasn't really anyone that fit my type of person. Sure, there were personalities that I liked, and sure, there were aesthetics that I enjoyed, but despite several extremely strong designers, none of them came together into the total package. There was one little thing about each of them that I didn't quite love (Christian could be a bit obnoxious, Rami was likable but a little one note, Jillian was sweet but I didn't dig her aesthetic that much, etc.). And quite honestly, I don't agree with the people that hold this season up as a beacon of spectacular fashion. Sure, this is one of the stronger seasons fashion-wise, but I definitely wouldn't argue for it being the strongest. 

And yes, there are a lot of things to like about season 4. You have Elisa's kookiness, Victorya steamrolling team challenges, that amazing avant-garde dress from the Chrises, etc. But for me, this was just a solid season of the show. Definitively a strong season, but not one that I completely fell in love with. The only reason it's this low is because I personally really enjoy the seasons that fell ahead of it on this list. My top 5 is an impenetrable wall of awesomeness, so this would only get 1 spot higher at most. 

6) Season 9

As mentioned in my explanation of season 4, this one slightly edged that one out. I went back and forth between these two, trying to figure out which one I liked more. And what's funny is that argument-wise, this season is the exact opposite of season 4. Season 4's biggest pros are its strong fashion and the fact that it has the vibe of an older season, and its big con (for me) is that I didn't latch on to anyone. With season 9, it definitely doesn't have the advantage of the production of an older season, and has moments where the designing is weaker. But, there are several people among this cast that I do think are strong designers and that I did latch onto. Anthony Ryan is one of my absolute favorite people to be on the show, Viktor isn't far behind, and Josh M brings insane drama. But, while season 4's finale was super strong... season 9's wasn't. Arguably the strongest and most-liked designer of the season, Anthony Ryan, got the auf wiedersehen at #7 in what was (IMO) a very controversial decision. And while the remaining designers were strong for their season, I'm not sure how well many of them would do if placed in a stronger season. 

Anya is also a somewhat polarizing winner. Some people champion her for learning to sew rather quickly and being able to fight her way through the competition to her eventual win. However, other people argue that her skills weren't as strong as they should've been and that her finale collection was a bit one-note. And I kinda agree with both sides. I think it's amazing that Anya was able to do what she did with as little sewing experience as she had, but I feel like she was constantly praised relative to her skill-set rather than objectively on the same level as the other designers. I feel like some of her success can be attributed to less-complicated designs that were executed in an interesting way. And her finale collection winning, IMO, is due to an overall weaker finale. I'll still argue that Viktor's was the best, but drop any of the collections in any other finale, and I don't think any of them would take the prize. That being said, this season is really entertaining to watch, and there were certainly moments of very strong design. The unconventional challenge gave us some really great designs from Anthony Ryan & Olivier. Viktor and Anthony Ryan were rather strong throughout as well. Plus, we got the drama surrounding a designer quitting, and all of the drama that Josh M created on his own. Overall, this is probably a more controversial opinion on my part, but I'm OK with that. 

5) Season 8

As aforementioned, this top 5 is super solid in my mind. I absolutely love season 8. This is one of the most controversial seasons of the show, but that's what makes it so amazing for me. I do have to say that I absolutely despise the finale decision. Tim Gunn has called out the judging on this season, both throughout the season and in the finale. This finale decision is the most highly-contested finale decision in the history of the show, and it was so controversial that Project Runway All-Stars was practically created for Mondo to come back and get the last laugh on Gretchen by winning a lot more money than she got. But aside from that sour spot, there were so many great things about this season. The most prominent is the drama. There was a mean girls clique (really just Gretchen and Ivy) and they spent the entire time they were there just badmouthing everyone. While it was super mean-spirited, it made the show extremely interesting to watch.

The target of most of their rudeness was the poor lil' baby, Michael Costello. They constantly complained about his construction skills and berated him for not being a good designer. It hit a low point when Ivy returned as an assistant and proceeded to accuse Michael of cheating. And part of what made the drama enjoyable is that the underdog got the upper hand in the end. When paired up with Mondo, they didn't get along because Mondo was very wary of Michael with all the drama, but by the end of the challenge, they were besties and it was adorable. Even better, Michael made it significantly farther than Ivy. And, despite just missing out on the finale, Michael has gone on to become one of the most successful designers post-show, regularly designing for major celebrities like Beyonce.

But, of course, there was more than just drama. The fashion this season was really great. Sure, most of the strongest designs came from our eventual top 2, Mondo and Gretchen, but there were some really outstanding looks. There were also several likable people outside of the mean girls. Valerie was a great designer and really likable, as was Andy (now Ari). Peach might not have been the strongest designer, but she was a lovable underdog. Mondo's emotional moment on the runway in the design-a-fabric challenge is still a standout among all of the seasons. There's just a lot to love about this season, and even though there was some mean-spirited stuff going on, the resulting drama makes the show even more entertaining. I think this season is the total package-- great designs, rootable characters, and some really great drama.

4) Season 7

I'm not sure how much of an unpopular opinion this is, but if loving season 7 is wrong, I don't want to be right. I was super torn between this one and the one that got 3rd place, and I even originally had this one in 3rd place. This was the season that I started watching Project Runway. This used to be my favorite season, and it's fallen just a little bit. I think season 7 is criminally underrated. Sure, there are a lot of weaker designers, but the top half of the pack are super strong. There are so many standout designs-- hello, Seth Aaron's mommy & me look & Jay's trashbag couture. There are a ton of really likable designers. Even Janine, someone that I didn't gravitate toward, was an incredibly sympathetic character. And we also had people like Ping who were just totally out of left field oddballs that created drama. On top of all of those, I can't say enough about the top 3 and how much I love them. They were strong designers on top of being really likable. 

There wasn't too much drama this season, which is pretty unusual for a season that winds up this high on my rankings. But the personalities on this season are really what got the season up this far. If you've seen my designer rankings, you'll know that Seth Aaron Henderson is my favorite Project Runway. He's such a strong, immaculate designer. There's a reason that he was the first person to win 2 Project Runway seasons. On top of that, Emilio Sosa was also one of the strongest designers to be on the show. He completely killed the competition... ignoring the washer bikini. And Mila was really strong too! A bit one-note, but still very strong. And you can't forget Anthony, one of the most endearingly hilarious designers to be on the show. Plus, the heartbreak of Maya quitting when she was killing it left and right. There's just so much to love on this season, and I definitely did love it. 

3) Season 10

I. LOVE. SEASON 10. For me, the top 4 are the like... holy grail seasons. I've mentioned that season 8 is kinda a total package for me, but season 10 is a definitive total. package. I would argue that season 10's finale episode is one of the strongest in the history of the show. Even then, there were also a handful of designers who could easily have taken one of those slots in the finale as well. I would definitely argue that this season progressed as it should have. The weak designers were out early, and the strongest designers made it to the end. And drama? Oh, the drama. Designers quitting? Check! Designer that causes total chaos all season? Check! Designer shamelessly berating their model? Check! Nearly identical designers who bicker constantly? Check!

And the fashion this season? Amazing. As alluded to earlier, there were some extremely strong designers this season. I'd argue that any of the top 8 designers could've made it to the finale with little to no argument from me. The only argument would've been that Ven was super rude- and that's nothing to do with his design ability. In the end, I do definitely think that the strongest designers made it to the finale, but put some of the other designers in another season and they'd be a finale shoo-in. I mean, the eventual winner of this season, Dmitry, also handily won his season of All-Stars. Seven of those top 8 designers ended up on All-Stars, and most of them did really well on All-Stars as well. I think it also helps this season that I really loved a lot of the designers' aesthetics- once again, especially the top 4. 

And on top of all of that, there are so many likable people! Christopher Palu gave us some of the best confessionals we've ever seen- a beautiful combination of sarcasm, wit, sass, and humor. Dmitry, our Belarusian ballroom dancer, was also a great personality, giving us great lines like "Ven is one-way monkey" and bringing humor to pretty much every scenario. Fabio was this lovable odd-ball- weird but quirky in the best way possible. Even Gunnar, the constant antagonist to Chris, was fun to watch in the Christian Siriano archetype. And Elena was off-the-wall bonkers, screaming at people and running around like a maniac. And I haven't even mentioned Melissa and Sonjia, who didn't have the hugest personalities, but were both inherently likable. Like I said, this season is just the epitome of the total package for me. The drama is there- and it's enjoyable drama! The personalities are big, bold, and lovable. And the designing is some of the strongest we've seen in the history of the show. 

2) Season 2

If anyone has any qualms with my rankings on this post, it's probably not with season 2's placement, unless you think it should be at #1 (and trust me, I seriously considered it). The first 4 seasons are typically the most-loved seasons, and many people consider season 2 to be their favorite. And there are tons and tons of reasons to love season 2. Once again, total package. This season has some of the most memorable, note-worthy designers to appear on the show, both design-wise and personality-wise. Although the fashion is dated at this point, the fashion was extremely strong for its time. And there are also so. many. memorable moments. Dramatic moments like Andrae's meltdown on the runway, Santino's fight with Nina, and Zulema's infamous walk-off. Endearing moments like the designers attempting to ice skate and Project Runway: The Musical. And, of course, the infamous... "What happened to Andrae?" Santino's impression of Tim Gunn will live in infamy forever, in or out of Red Lobster.

The designers this season were incredibly memorable. Santino Rice is a standout designer from the show, with a bigger personality than any past or future designers combined. Daniel Vosovic was this lovable 20-something fresh out of design school who walked in and mostly demolished everyone else. Chloe didn't have the biggest personality, but she was inherently likable and very strong. Nick was the obvious pro with a great personality. Andrae was... Andrae. Zulema was... Shetangi. And Daniel Franco followed his bliss. The cast was amazing, and led to some awesome designs. Unfortunately, the favorite to win got robbed (IMO) in the finale, but that's a small smudge on one of the craziest, most memorable and well-loved seasons of Project Runway.

1) Season 3

And finally, coming in at first place is season 3. This is definitely high up on most people's favorites list, but I'm not sure if this would be many people's number one season. But, I absolutely love it. There are so many big personalities this season- Vincent's kookiness, Kayne's hyperactivity, Keith's cockiness, Mychael's likableness, Angela's... Angelaness, Jeffrey's aggressiveness, etc. etc. There were just so many characters, and a ton of great designs as well! And even the personalities that weren't as big were really likable. We got some big drama, some great fashion, and a really strong final four. 

Once again, there are also so many great moments this season. This was the first time that a designer was disqualified- Keith was found with design books and left the set, so he was eliminated from the competition. We also got that great drama surrounding Jeffrey and his interactions with Angela's mom and all of the crazy drama surrounding Jeffrey and Angela in general. Even more, we got all the controversy with the claims that Jeffrey cheated in the finale. But despite the drama, we also had some super strong designers. Poor Mychael Knight was a front runner the entire season, only to deliver his disco safari finale collection and get axed at fourth. But despite that flub, the final 4 of season 3 are one of the strongest group of finale designers. Sure, Mychael's collection wasn't great, but in terms of his design ability, he was elite. Even the pseudo-villains this season are only pseudo-villains, as many of them still end up being likable/enjoyable at the end of the day. I just absolutely love this season. I've watched it so many times and each and every time I absolutely love it. The reunion episode this season is one of my absolute favorite episodes of the show. Everything about it is so entertaining and there's a reason that it's one of the most beloved seasons of the show. 

So, that's my list of the Project Runway seasons, ranked from worst to best! Let me know down in the comments which season of Project Runway is your favorite, and what you think of my ranking of these seasons! 

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Saturday, July 30, 2016

My Top 12 Favorite Project Runway Designers [Ranking Designers #18]

Hey, y'all! So I'm back with the LAST post in my series ranking all of the Project Runway designers! As I said in the previous posts, this is an 18 post series on my blog, with each post consisting of the next 12 designers. 

Here's my disclaimer once again: Any and all comments are my opinions on them based on the way they presented themselves on the show (and of course, the way the show was edited) and in no way is a reflection of how they are in real life. The way a contestant presents themself on a show, combined with the editing of the show, is not necessarily the way they are outside of the show, and because I don't know these people personally, I can only go based off of the way they were portrayed on the show. 

Also, I feel like this is a little obvious, but I'll go ahead and say it anyway. If you don't want to be spoiled for what happens in the show or what order people go home, don't read any further. Because I will mention what place the person got. And I'll be talking about All-Stars placings too, if applicable, so just bear that in mind before continuing to read on. So let's just jump right into my top 12 favorite designers to ever be on Project Runway

12. Fabio Costa
Season 10- Runner-Up
All-Stars Season 4- 5th Place

If you told me back in 2013 while season 10 was airing that Fabio would be this high on my designer rankings, I would've been shocked. I definitely didn't dislike Fabio, but he definitely was somewhere around the middle of the pack for me. I thought his personal style was kinda weird and I didn't quite get his aesthetic. But then I re-watched the season and watched him on All-Stars and he became more and more endearing to me. He has this adorably sweet personality, and I've grown to really love and appreciate his personal style and aesthetic. He's a very strong designer, which he's shown many times throughout the two seasons he's been on the show. At this point, pretty much everyone is a total package in my mind, but he's just really strong across the board for me. I really, really like him. 

11. Kayne Gillaspie
Season 3- 5th Place
All-Stars Season 2- 9th Place

Are there Project Runway fans out there who don't love Kayne? He's such a big personality but just so insanely lovable. He's hilarious, very likable, and really strong in construction. His aesthetic can sometimes be a bit too Liberace for my taste, but he does have a very strong aesthetic and I think he's a pretty strong designer. Overall, I just really love watching him on the show because he's always so incredibly entertaining. 

10. Michael Costello
Season 8- 4th Place
All-Stars Season 1- 3rd Place

Poor Michael Costello. He was just a human punching bag in season 8, and I felt really bad for him. Coincidentally, I was already Team Michael long before any of the controversy started. I enjoyed his initial designs and confessionals, and he quickly became one of my favorite designers that season. And then all of the designers began to attack him and I got extremely upset. Ivy was just so mean to him all season and it went way over the top. Fortunately, he's gotten the last laugh because he now constantly designs for celebrities and is arguably the most successful PR alum after Christian Siriano. Overall, Michael was a strong designer. Maybe he didn't have the best construction skills, but he did extremely well throughout the season and has proven time and time again that he's a strong designer. On top of that, he's a really fun personality to watch. He's super funny and generally likable as well. Side note: I also really love the beautiful story arc with Michael and Mondo getting paired up. Mondo was so upset to be paired with Michael and by the end of the episode they were on their way to being the best friends that they are today. 

9. Mychael Knight
Season 3- 4th Place
All-Stars Season 3- 8th Place

Mychael was another person who was just inherently likable. In fact, he won fan favorite in his season! Mychael was just so incredibly strong in his season, and was also just a super nice guy. He was funny, he gave good confessionals, he was a strong designer, and on top of all of that, he was the guy that everyone wants to be friends with. Total package. He had some major, standout designs and proved throughout the entire season that he was a force to be reckoned with. And then, the finale came around, and he delivered... disco safari?! I think it's safe to say that everyone was really disappointed in how he performed in the finale, because he was seemingly both the fan favorite and the strongest designer and he completely bombed. Either way, he's one of the most likable and strongest designers.

8. Anthony Ryan Auld
Season 9- 7th Place
All-Stars Season 2- Winner

TBH, this final section of the list got moved around a lot while writing this post, and originally, Anthony Ryan was all the way up at #3. As I began looking at the ranking, I realized that his placement that high was based on a kinda dated opinion, so I moved stuff around and remedied that and he ended up here. In fact, I believe that the person who's now in 3rd place was in this slot. My point here is that these top few are insanely movable. Anyway, on to the point here. Anthony Ryan. I love Anthony Ryan. To me, he was super likable. He came off as really nice, and he began the season as the "always a bridesmaid" person-- aka one of the most rootable people. He had a great story-- surviving cancer, being colorblind -- and he was also a really strong designer. I was impressed with him almost the entire way. I think that he was unfairly eliminated- I remember actually liking his design the episode he was eliminated. And then of course he gets onto All-Stars 2 and won the whole thing. I just found him completely likable, loved his aesthetic, and thought that he was really strong. 

7. Dmitry Sholokhov
Season 10- Winner
All-Stars Season 4- Winner

Oh, Dmitry. Dmitry is just this perfect mix of strong designer, enjoyable personality, and beautiful TV gold. I remember at the beginning of the season, I was incredibly impressed with his designs, and kept getting annoyed that he wasn't getting into the top, so for me he started out as a bit of a dark horse. And then he kept gaining momentum and gaining momentum, culminating in a much-deserved win among one of the strongest finale shows on Project Runway. But on top of that, he was so much fun to watch. He isn't a native English speaker, and that caused some great moments like the one depicted in the gif above. On top of that, he had constant confrontations with Elena, which brought a ton of enjoyment. And just in general, he had this funny and likable personality that made him fun to watch and root for. And clearly, he's a super strong designer, because he's one of only 3 people to have won Project Runway TWICE.

6. Santino Rice
Season 2- 3rd Place

We've now gotten to my top tier untouchables. The god-tier level people, some might say. And Santino is an absolute legend of Project Runway. What can you even say about this man? Obviously, he's a super polarizing personality. A love-to-hate him guy. But TBH, I just love him. He has so many iconic moments. There's the "Lighten up" singing, the fight with Nina on the runway, the "I want your soul" moment, and of course: "What happened to Andrae?" Seriously, y'all, I'm willing to throwdown and argue that "What happened to Andrae" is one of the best moments in reality TV history. Everything about it is beautiful and iconic and I still die laughing every time I watch it. It's just so, so beautiful. Also, he gave the best confessionals. Sure, they were sometimes rather mean, but they were so entertaining. And of course, there's also the fact that he was a strong designer. He had some spectacular highs and spectacular lows, but in general, he was a very strong designer and obviously made it to the finale for a reason. I just absolutely love watching him on Project Runway. He's sheer chaos and I love every second of it. 

5. Daniel Vosovic
Season 2- Runner-Up

We didn't get a fan favorite in season 2, but I guarantee that Daniel Vosovic would've won it. I've talked so much about the total package on this post, and that's definitely the case for Daniel. He was the strongest designer on his season. Period. End of discussion. Chloe is great, I love her, but Daniel dominated this season-- and did it as a 20 something right out of design school. And on top of being a really strong designer, he was super, super likable. He was nice, he was friendly, he was funny, and he even had a couple genuine, heartfelt moments. I loved Daniel so much and think that he's one of the most robbed people who's been on the show (right behind the person who placed just above him on this ranking). I just loved everything about him and I'm still incredibly sad that he ended up losing. 

4. Mondo Guerra
Season 8- Runner-Up (Honorary Winner)
All-Stars Season 1- Winner

Mondo. Freaking. Guerra. He was runner-up in the most highly contested finale decision ever on Project Runway. Tim Gunn himself has denounced Gretchen as the winner and has called out the judges for their bad decisions the entire season, especially on not choosing Mondo as the winner. Project Runway All-Stars was literally created so that Mondo could come back and demolish everyone and he did. He just has such a beautiful story arc, beginning as such a dark horse who no one understands. He's completely underestimated, despite being incredibly strong. And, like I mentioned earlier, I love the story with him and Michael becoming besties. 

And on top of everything, Mondo was in the top for 9/13 challenges, with 4 of those being wins (and he was only in the bottom for 1/13). To say that he shouldn't have won season 8 is pure blasphemy. And then, on the runway of the design-your-own fabric challenge, he has the most touching moment ever on the show where he reveals his HIV status and how it is incorporated into his design and everyone is in tears. He's such a strong designer and such a lovable and rootable personality and it's an absolute SHAME that he didn't win season 8. Thank goodness for All-Stars.

3. Christopher Palu
Season 10- 4th Place
All-Stars Season 3- 4th Place

Like I said earlier, I re-arranged this list and to be honest, I really wasn't expecting Christopher to wind up this high. But as I was moving him around, I kept moving him higher and higher until I found him here. I love Christopher Palu SO. MUCH. His confessionals are un-matched & he's given us so many great gifs. Christopher is just such a total package. He was a strong designer on both seasons that he was on, and in season 10 he made it to the finale in one of the strongest seasons we've seen. I really enjoyed his aesthetic, and I just really, really, really love Chris. He's also simultaneously lovable & sweet while being sarcastic, witty, biting, and downright hilarious. He's great TV. He's an extremely likable person. He's a great designer. He has a really cool aesthetic. He's the total package. I love Christopher Palu so much. I can watch him all day. Seriously, if you can make it through the video below and not completely fall in love with Christopher, I don't know what to tell you.

2. Jeffrey Sebelia
Season 3- Winner
All-Stars Season 3- 7th Place

Ok, guys. I might get some flack for this, but I don't care. These top 2 have been my top 2 for a very, very long time. Like basically since I started watching the show. I love both of them so much and not one will ever sway me to change my mind. And I. Love. Jeffrey. Yes, he's controversial. Yes, he was a bit mean-spirited. And yes, I loved watching all of it unfold. First of all, obviously I have aesthetics that I like more than others. And punk is my weak spot, so you can probably understand why I love him. I'm not going to try to defend the way he treated Angela's mom. She was being a little difficult and should've been more honest with him, but he had no right to lash out at her and should've at least apologized. That being said, I loved him throughout the rest of the show. Aside from this moment, he really wasn't that mean. Sure, he was a bit of a jerk to Angela, but Angela got on my nerves quite a bit and I was alright with someone being a bit mean to him. 

And, of course, the designs. He, like Santino, had some ups and downs. But he had some really spectacular ups. And his finale collection was so. great. And especially after the cheating allegations and then getting his name cleared. I love his designs. I loved his journey on the show. I loved him as an endearing villain. In fact, he wasn't really even a villain IMO. Many of the people on the show really liked him. Either way, I digress. His aesthetic is one of my favorites to have ever been shown on the show and I like him on top of all of that. 

1. Seth Aaron Henderson
Season 7- Winner
All-Stars Season 3- Winner

And here we are at number one. My boy. Sure, season 7 isn't one of the most-loved season. But it's one of my most-loved seasons. It's the first season I watched while it was airing, and it just so happened to have a designer with a punk aesthetic, who I immediately gravitated toward and fell in love with. Seth Aaron was an instant favorite and has stayed up here ever since. I was in constant awe of Seth Aaron. His construction skills were outstanding-- everyone on the show commented on his construction all season, especially the speed with which he was able to impeccably construct everything. 

And seriously, he was such a strong designer, on a season with several really strong designers. There were so many challenges where I thought his design was the strongest and he ended up not winning for some insane reason. And then, his finale collection comes out and it's so good. Sure, there were a couple question marks, but everyone's got one in their collection. And I haven't even gotten to his personality. At least to me, he was incredibly likable. Sure, he's probably not the type of person that every person watching can get behind, just because he's a person with a bit of a niche aesthetic. But for me, he just came off as a lovable goof. He's a bit of an overgrown child and comes off as a little silly and not very serious. Combine that likability with his strong designing skill and (IMO) his incredible punk aesthetic, and you have what I believe is the ultimate total package. I love Seth Aaron. 

So, those are the top 12 designers in my Project Runway designer rankings! Who are your favorite and least favorite people to be on Project Runway? Let me know down in the comments!

Previous Post: Ranking Project Runway Designers #17 [13-24]
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Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Ranking Project Runway Designers #17 [13-24]

Hey, y'all! So I'm back with the next post in my series ranking all of the Project Runway designers! As I said in the last post, this is a new 18 post series on my blog, with each post consisting of the next 12 designers. 

Here's my disclaimer once again: Any and all comments are my opinions on them based on the way they presented themselves on the show (and of course, the way the show was edited) and in no way is a reflection of how they are in real life. The way a contestant presents themself on a show, combined with the editing of the show, is not necessarily the way they are outside of the show, and because I don't know these people personally, I can only go based off of the way they were portrayed on the show. 

Also, I feel like this is a little obvious, but I'll go ahead and say it anyway. If you don't want to be spoiled for what happens in the show or what order people go home, don't read any further. Because I will mention what place the person got. And I'll be talking about All-Stars placings too, if applicable, so just bear that in mind before continuing to read on. So let's just jump right into the next 12 on the list.

24. Maya Luz
Season 7- 7th Place (Quit)

I really enjoyed Maya. She had this really cool, edgy aesthetic and a likable personality. It obviously helps that I really enjoy edgy designers, but she was just a really strong competitor. It's a total bummer that she decided to leave the competition, because I feel like she could've completely changed the way that the competition continued, because I think it could've made it rather difficult to choose who would go to the finale. I definitely think we could've seen a Seth Aaron/Emilio/Maya finale. And that would've been great. Either way, she did extremely well and I'm very sad about the fact that she quit. 

23. Jonathan Peters
Season 7- 6th Place

Oh hey, look, another season 7 person! I just really enjoyed watching Jonathan. He was super creative-- maybe he wasn't the most consistent-- but super creative. He was funny and fun to watch, especially with his snarky interviews. Overall, I really enjoyed his aesthetic and thought that he was fun to watch. 

22. Jesse LeNoir
Season 7- 10th Place

Yes, he's attractive. Yes, I'm pulled in just a little by that. But I really enjoyed his personality as well. Once again, he wasn't exactly the strongest designer on the season. And a lot of people will probably give me a Tim Gunn over-the-glasses look and judge me for this, but here's the T. I unabashedly love season 7. It's not a popular opinion, and I'm aware of that. It was the first season I watched as it aired, and so I ended up falling in love with it. So obviously, everyone on this show will be much more prominent in my mind, whether high or low. And Jesse's a fave for me. I love the challenge where he was paired with Ping. I like that he's pretty snarky. I enjoy him. #sueme.

21. Andrae Gonzalo
Season 2- 6th Place
All-Stars Season 2- 10th Place

Who doesn't love Andrae? Where my last one was controversial, this one should be pretty well-accepted. Andrae is a fan-favorite character. He's so completely over the top, so insanely entertaining, and also a strong designer. We're talking about the man who cried on the runway during judging for a literal 10 minutes. Just monologuing and crying. It's TV gold. Plus, he just has tons of smaller moments that are such gems. His silly accents, his reactions (AKA walkoff reaction above), his over the top mannerisms, he's just one of the best characters the show has ever seen. And I've barely even touched on his design ability. He was a strong designer! Sure, at this point, a lot of the things that he made on the show are rather dated, but he made it to the top 6 for a reason. He was just the total package and he's one of the reasons why season 2 is one of the fan faves. Also, he was the inspiration for arguably the best moment in PR history. But you'll have to wait for the final post for that. ;)

20. Nick Verreos
Season 2- 5th Place

Another fan favorite! Nick was a super strong contender in season 2 and it's really unfortunate that he got eliminated when he did. He was a super likable person (still a fan fave, right? At least, he is in my mind!) both with the contestants and with the fans. He totally should've made it to the finale, and he had a really strong likelihood of winning. He wasn't quite the favorite to win (again, gotta wait 'til my last post for that one!) but he was right up there. He had some great moments and some great designs and I really enjoyed him. 

19. Viktor Luna
Season 9- 3rd Place
All-Stars Season 3- 5th Place

Viktor is definitely one of my total package people. I love him, I think he's super strong, and I love his aesthetic. His clothes are this easy edgy-casual aesthetic and they're just so cool. I also really loved him and his personality. He was a likable character, with a likable aesthetic. He wasn't my favorite in his season (next post! ;) ) but he was definitely second. And I was very upset when he didn't win, because I thought that his finale collection was fab. He was a super strong contender throughout the show, and like I said, a total package. 

18. Austin Scarlett
Season 1- 4th Place
All-Stars Season 1- Runner-Up

Once again, another fan favorite. Everyone loves Austin. He's silly and ridiculous but an absolute powerhouse designer. Simply a total package. He's made some of the most notable designs in the history of the show (hello, corn husk dress!) and he's also one of the strongest personalities to come through the show. The only reason he falls this low for me is that sometimes, he can be a little over the top. While I love a lot of the over the top designers, I also really love the more subdued, slightly more endearing personalities and he can sometimes just be a little too theatrical. Plus, despite him being a really strong designer, I'm not a huge fan of his aesthetic. Either way, I love Austin and he's definitely one of the most interesting personalities.

17. Gunnar Deatherage
Season 9- Semi-Finalist
Season 10- 8th Place
All-Stars Season 4- 9th Place

I love Gunnar. So much. I loved him in season 9 and I almost died from excitement when he returned in season 10. I loved the rivalry between him and Chris. He's so incredibly full of himself and it's hilarious to watch. Sure, he may not be one of the stronger designers to ever pass through the show, but I think that, despite his aesthetic not being my thing, he's a fairly strong designer. Overall, he's just so sassy and arrogant and it was so much fun to watch between him and Chris. 

16. Melissa Fleis
Season 10- 3rd Place
All-Stars Season 3- 9th Place

Melissa's aesthetic is possibly my favorite aesthetic that's ever been on the show. Seriously. Black is my favorite color. Her aesthetic is so edgy and really cool and I absolutely love it. All of the leather and epicness. Plus, she's super cool on top of that. She was a super strong designer on a strong season, with a great aesthetic, and a likable personality. I really don't know what else to say, I just really love her. 

15. Anthony Williams
Season 7- 5th Place
All-Stars Season 1- 9th Place

Anthony, Anthony, Anthony. I love him so much. He was a fairly strong designer, but let's be incredibly honest and talk about how his personality got him this high. He's one of the most entertaining people to watch from the show. He's hilarious, he gives great interviews, and is just pure entertainment every time he's on the screen. Sure, he's not a powerhouse designer, but he had some super strong moments. His dress was the one chosen for the cover of Marie Claire, and they had to create a dual win on the Jessica Alba challenge because his dress was so outstanding. He's just really awesome and I love Anthony.

14. Michelle Lesniak Franklin
Season 11- Winner
All-Stars Season 4- 4th Place

Michelle is awesome. She was the saving grace of the teams season. If you want to think about it in the most basic terms possible, she's the more entertaining version of Melissa. They have similar aesthetics & personal styles, but Michelle has this big personality on top of that. I think I might slightly prefer Melissa's aesthetic, but I really love Michelle's personality. Sometimes abrasive, but usually just slightly goofy/awkward and I love that about her. I find her personality just really endearing and as stated at the beginning of this whole spiel, she really saved season 11 for me. Everything else was a little meh, but she was wonderful.

13. Sean Kelly
Season 13- Winner

I feel like some people might think this is a little high. And I understand. Season 13 is an interesting one, and I go back and forth as to how I feel about it. But I really enjoyed Sean. He was super chill with a really great aesthetic, on top of the fact that he was just a really strong designer. And of course, I don't think any of us will forget the rain-way challenge. That was one of the most outstanding things I've ever seen. My jaw dropped as the dress changed colors as the water ran down it. It was beautiful. And I guess I'm also biased toward him because I love fringe. Either way, he was just a really strong designer, and there's a reason he won.

So, those are the next 12 designers in my Project Runway designer rankings! I'll be back soon with the designers who got places 1-12! Who are your favorite and least favorite people to be on Project Runway? Let me know down in the comments!

Previous Post: Ranking Project Runway Designers #16 [25-36]
Next Post: My Top 12 Favorite Project Runway Designers [Ranking Designers #18]
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Thanks for reading! If you like my posts, I'd really appreciate if you'd subscribe/follow so that I know you're enjoying what I'm posting! See y'all soon!