Friday, August 7, 2015

Project Runway Season 14 Cast Overview & Predictions!

Hey, y'all! So, every time a new season of Project Runway rolls around, I declare once again that I'll be blogging (or attempting to blog) the new season, but after a few episodes, I give up. But not this season! Because I'm not even starting. Seriously, I'm not going to be doing weekly recaps!

However, what I AM going to be doing is running through the cast, talking about my first impressions. I'll also be giving these predictions:
-how well each person will do in the competition (out early [first 3/4 boots], middle of the pack, long-term [top 6ish])
-the 3 4 people that I think will make it to the finale (because let't be honest, it's not 3 anymore at this point)
-my dream top 4 (because this is probably different from who I think will make top 4)
-the person I want to win
-my way-too-early official winner pick (AKA the person I think stands the best chance of winning)

*Also, as a side note, this will probably be going up after episode 1 is aired, but I'm writing all of this before watching the episode and without looking up spoilers to see who was eliminated first* I say this because I've both been scarily correct (All Stars Season 1- pegged the first like 5 eliminations either on the nose or like 1 off), and incredibly incorrect (Season 12- pegged Miranda as the winner... yeah you probably don't even know who that is because she was eliminated like FOURTH).

Edit (right after first episode): As I said, sometimes I'm really right, and sometimes, I'm really wrong. I thought about editing my choices to make myself seem less dumb, but I just decided to leave it because it's honestly how I felt about things going into the season. So enjoy laughing at my FAIL, at least for this first episode...

Amanda Perna

So, I actually didn't recognize her until she started talking about being cast on season 9. I remember being slightly annoyed by her. Everything about her seemed too happysunshinerainbows. I do think that she shows some very obvious and considerable improvement. I thought that her clothes seemed really cool and interesting... for the most part. However, one thing that seems to have stayed consistent is that she seems to be a little too trendy. Last time she was on, her clothes seemed pretty trendy, and I kinda felt that again this time. Pretty much everyone showed one or two elements that other designers showed (high/low seemed to be the biggest commonality), but it seemed like Amanda had the most overlap. (I hope this makes sense...) That being said, I do like her clothes a lot more than last time and she seems to have grown a lot.

Prediction: Middle of the pack.
I could definitely see her being a late middle boot (as in top 7ish), but I'm not sure I could see her going much further, and I don't think I really see her winning it. 

Ashley Nell Tipton

I really like Ashley! She seems super nice and lots of fun. Aesthetic-wise, however, I have worries. I just kinda feel like it's been done before. I mean, obviously, a lot of stuff is reminiscent of other stuff, but I just feel like the clothes we've seen from her so far don't feel fresh, new, or unique. Not to say that I don't like the clothing she showed, I just feel like I've seen it before. And I do worry that because she designs for plus-sized women all the time, she might have trouble designing for the "model" size. Because I feel that designing for a different shape than you're used to designing for is difficult, but she seems extremely confident in her ability to switch over. We'll just have to see.

Prediction: Middle of the pack. 
I could see her as an early boot, but she strikes me as someone who's going to be middle or early-middle.

Blake Patterson

Half of me likes him, and half of me hates him. I think he's adorable when he keeps his mouth shut, but I think he can definitely become really obnoxious really quickly. I also don't see him lasting extremely well if he keeps up this bubble thing. If he keeps up the bubble stuff, I can see Nina haaaaating him. He also mentioned that his aesthetic is really over the top, and that usually doesn't go over well with the judges. The only person who's really lasted long like that is Joshua McKinley, and he still got constant comments telling him to tone it down. I think Alison Edmond pegged it in the interview. He seems to have two different things going on, and I think that his success on the show is completely dependent upon which of those he ends up going after. 

Prediction: Middle of the pack.
This is a very hesitant middle of the pack. I don't think he's going to make it incredibly far, and could definitely see him being out early. However, I think that if he heads in the right direction, he's good enough to make it through the first few eliminations. 

Candice Cuoco

I'm not sure which vibes I'm getting more from her: Elena (PR 10, All Stars 4) or Maya (PR 7). She also reminds me of Mila (PR 7, All Stars 1) and Helen (PR 12, All Stars 4). All of them are strong women with bold POVs who have done very well in this competition. It also means that I have about a 50/50 chance of liking her, depending upon which one of these women she ends up being most similar to. Right now, I like her and I think that she has a very strong aesthetic and will do really well.
Prediction: Long-term.

David Giampiccolo

I'm very torn here. I just... don't get it. There's one every season where I just don't understand their aesthetic. I think David seems like a super nice guy and I think I'll like him as a person on the show, but I just really don't understand what's appealing about oversized quilted coats. At all. Obviously, I don't mean this as rude or derogatory, because everyone likes different things, but this is the one that I just don't get. Also, almost everything we saw from him was outerwear, and I feel like most of the outerwear designers that we've seen on the show just don't do extremely well because they typically don't have time to get to the outerwear. 

Prediction: Out early.
I could also see him getting a bit further as well, and this makes me sad because I really like him as a person, but I'm not sure the judges are going to get his aesthetic either, and the outerwear thing doesn't have me extremely optimistic about his chances. 

Duncan Chambers-Watson

Duncan was the one person who stood out to me throughout the show personality-wise. Regardless of whether or not he ends up doing well in the competition, I know he's going to be one of my favorite personalities on the show (if not my definite favorite). I loved the jacket that he showed. Like, possibly my favorite item of clothing shown all episode. Overall, I just really liked his aestetic as well as him as a person. Two thumbs up.

Prediction: Long-term.
I wouldn't be surprised if he doesn't do as well as I think he will, mostly because I'm really biased. However, regardless of how I felt about his personality, I really like his aesthetic and think he has the talent to do well. 

Edmond Newton

Personality-wise, I really like Edmond. He seems like a really down-to-earth, chill guy. However, I liked very few of the clothing he showed. Maybe he has other, more cohesive stuff to show, but I just didn't think he had a very clear POV and I'm not exactly sure what his aesthetic is. On top of this, I also know that whenever someone tries over and over and over, it's typically for a reason and they don't do extremely well on the show (with the exception of my all time favorite PR contestant EVER, Seth Aaron Henderson, who tried out starting in season 3 and wasn't cast until season 7. Which he, of course, eventually won. Also, All-Stars 3.) Anyway, I digress. I'm not sure where to put Edmond. On the one hand, he doesn't seem to have a strong POV, but everyone also said that about Michael Costello, who has become one of the most commercially successful PR alums ever.

Prediction: Middle of the pack. 
I'm not sure I'd be surprised of his placement regardless of whether he goes early or makes it all the way to the end. He seems really tenacious, which could take him far. But, I'm also extremely unsure of his POV, which is usually seen as a weakness on PR. So I'm going to put him in the middle and just see what happens.

Gabrielle Arruda

Ugh. I think my negative opinion of her as a person is clouding my judgement of her designs. I just got a very "spoiled rich girl" vibe from her, but perhaps without the rudeness/cattiness (but I mean, who knows, maybe we WILL see that!). Anyway, apparently she graduated first in her class at Parson's, but I'm just not sure she has a clear POV. 

Prediction: Middle of the pack
I don't have too high of hopes for her, but I think she can last a few weeks.

Hanmiao Yang

I'm surprising myself by really liking Hanmiao. I think it's because usually the people who are these oddballs with really quirky personalities also have these really quirky/odd aesthetics that I just don't understand. But Hanmiao's strength (in my opinion) is that instead of channeling that quirkiness into crazy color schemes and odd shapes, she seems to channel it into really modern, interesting designs and patterns. And if there's one aesthetic that I appreciate above all others, it's androgyny. 

Prediction: Long-term. 
I might be biased, but I see a lot of potential in her, and can see her doing really well. 

Jake Wall

I don't feel extremely confident about his chances. Originally, I thought he might do well, but I think that might just be because he was so confident in his abilities. He seems like he's stuck in a bit of a polka-dot rut, also. He seems to rely heavily on his team, and a lot of the clothes he designs are things that take longer than a PR day to make. However, I also see him as someone who could float by in the middle for a while without getting much screen-time and then would suddenly re-appear because they ran out of obviously sub-par people to eliminate. 

Prediction: Out early.
I'm not 100% confident about this. However, I definitely don't think he's making it past the halfway point of the competition. Those dual-fabric jackets he showed were really cool, but I don't think he can make anything that outstanding within the confines of the competition.

Joseph Charles Poli

I think Joseph is going to get on my nerves. Maybe not as bad as some of the other people on the show, but unless he's just really funny or something, I'm probably not going to be a big fan of him. However, his clothes do seem to be really sophisticated and his construction seems on point. Even though he does seem to be a bit full of himself, it doesn't necessarily seem undeserved (if that makes sense). I'm not sure he's going to win, necessarily, but I can definitely see him sticking around for a long time.

Prediction: Long-term.
I'm not totally sure of position. I could see him making it to the finale, but I also wouldn't be surprised if he only made it to top 6.

Kelly Dempsey

Yikes. Mondo and Dmitry (the two PR alums who were in her casting interview) are two of my favorite contestants EVER on PR, but I just don't know what they were thinking. Kelly strikes me as being that contestant who will use fabric-like material in the unconventional challenge... if she even makes it there. Like, I just think she's going to be in way over her head here. I don't think the judges will get her aesthetic and I think that her clothes can turn tacky very easily. If I were to pick a "most likely to get kicked off first" contestant (which, I guess, is what I'm doing right now...) it would definitely, without a doubt, be Kelly. Also, on a personal level, I know she's going to annoy me. I can spot it from a mile away. She's going to get on my nerves.

Prediction: Out early. 
I just really can't see her lasting very long

Laurie Underwood

*Sigh.* I'm not a fan. Of anything. I feel like her designs, rather than being inspired by time periods in the past, look like they were dragged out of that time period or (even worse) look like costumes representing that time period. And she doesn't even seem to have nailed down a time period either. Like, some of her stuff looked really 40s, some looked like it could've stepped out of the 70s, and then there was like one lone dress that actually looked pretty current. And I'm not a huge fan of her personality either. She's one of those "too nice" people and people like that annoy me. Either way, aside from my personal dislike, I'm not sure the judges will like her designs if she keeps making stuff that looks so old.

Prediction: Out early. 
I'm sorry, I just can't see her doing well. 

Lindsey Creel

I'm going to just say it outright. I like Lindsey, and I think that she will do well. She has a very clear aesthetic that is very clean and minimal, and has shown to be very successful on the show. (Ex: Gretchen S8, Anya S9 and Sean 13, just to name a few, all had very well defined, clean aesthetics. And look where they are now.)

Prediction: Long-term.
Her POV is clear and she seems to really know what she's doing. 

Merline Labissiere

She didn't exactly make much of an impression on me. My impression of her clothes is that they look like they belong in a dystopian film because they're just so incredibly minimal, both in design and in color. I'm just not sure how well she's going to do. On one hand, I could see the judges thinking she's too minimal and sending her home early, but I could also see her designs not making huge waves and allowing her to slide through the first few eliminations without much trouble. 

Prediction: Middle of the pack. 
I see her as someone who's not going to get a lot of screen-time until a few episodes in, when the editing inevitably suggests that she's probably going home that episode. 

Swapnil Shinde

Y'all. Y'all. The second I saw his designs, I thought I heard angels singing. This was the first designer (halfway through the Road to the Runway episode) who really, truly, impressed me. I don't think that I saw a single design of his that I wasn't incredibly impressed with. However. His stuff is very intricate, and I'm worried about how well he will do within a short time-frame. I'm also getting shades of Christopher Palu (PR 10, All Stars 3) and Van (PR 10) in the sense that he does seem to use one specific design feature/pattern quite heavily (for Chris it was a V shape pattern, for Ven it was putting a rose into everything) and I worry that he could be someone that the judges are impressed with, but where they say "Hey, we've seen this a million times. Show us something different."

Prediction: Long-term.
I was really impressed, Y'all.


Prediction for the Finale!
(These are the ones I think will make the finale, not necessarily MY picks)

Swapnil


Lindsey


Candice


Joseph


I think these four stand a really great chance of making it to the finale because they have really strong aesthetics, and that has shown to be a huge advantage on PR. They all seem to have a very strong drive to win, and I think that this is the most probable finale.


My Finale Picks!
(AKA the designers that I subjectively think are the best)

Swapnil


Lindsey


Duncan


Hanmiao


Now obviously, I've only swapped out two people. And it's not that I don't think that Duncan and Hanmiao can make it to the finale. I absolutely think that they have strong aesthetics and will do really well. But, I also have a tendency of being somewhat blinded by my own like or dislike of people, so I worry that I see them as better than they actually are. Does that make sense? Anyway, I think that this is also a really viable option for the finale. In my opinion, this would be a really strong finale, and these are the four designers that I personally think are the best.


The Person I Want to Win!

Duncan

I just really think he's a cool dude and I really like his aesthetic. I'd be really happy if he were to pull out a win. 


My Official Winner Prediction!

Swapnil

I was just really, really impressed with his designs. Out of anyone, he seems to have the best chance of winning.


So, that's it for my Project Runway Season 14 cast overview and predictions! I can't wait to look back in a few weeks/months and see how horribly wrong I probably was on a lot of these... or, ya know, in like 5 minutes when I look up a spoiler to see who the first person to go home was. 

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