The Best Designs From the New 'Project Runway' Premiere Episode
By Amy Lee
Project Runway made its return to Bravo on Thursday night with a supersized 90-minute episode that got us really excited for the rest of the season.
With supermodel Karlie Kloss taking on the role of host from Heidi Klum, joining newcomers designer Brandon Maxwell and journalist Elaine Welteroth on the panel with veteran judge ELLE editor-in-chief Nina Garcia, and designer Christian Siriano replacing Tim Gunn as mentor, the revamped series immediately gave us "bigger, better" vibes.
Although Project Runway All Stars is still airing on Lifetime, this reboot and return to its OG network gave us nostalgia (especially seeing Siriano back in the studio after winning the fourth season in 2008).
Now, let's talk fashion. The first episode of every season is interesting to watch as we're introduced to the new contestants. Along with witnessing the many personalities (tears have already been shed, people), we're met with the very varied spectrum of design styles. For their first-ever challenge, they were to interpret throwback photos from each judge that illustrate the moment they knew fashion was their calling.
Peek our favorite looks from the episode ahead.
Etienne was inspired by Maxwell's image, which depicted his mom modeling a skirt suit in his hometown in Texas. The designer embraced the state's "go big or go home" mentality by incorporating many statement trends including an asymmetric jacket and feather-adorned skirt. We admit the outfit is not for the faint of heart (or daily wearing), but we love his commitment to creativity and a lewk for his first design.
Hill's piece was the closest to channeling Maxwell's photo. She designed a gray long-sleeve dress with handkerchief maxi skirt, accompanied by a scarf that could be worn in three different ways -- multiple reveals that had Maxwell exclaiming! The construction of the elegant and very wearable number had the judges (and us) excited for more.
The winner of the challenge, Clark sent down a black silky ensemble of a wide-leg trouser and top adorned with long, fluid grosgrain straps embellished with shell buttons. The subtly sexy, chic design interpreted Garcia's nautical-themed photo (from the first editorial shoot she stepped into) for the modern woman. You can actually shop the winning look here, which will be sustainably made on-demand via Nineteenth Amendment.
Welteroth also chose an editorial image, one from the first cover shoot she worked on at Ebony magazine. The photo is of Serena Williams in a stunning swimsuit that celebrated her curves and confidence. Kapoor created a gorgeous goddess two-tone gown that played to femininity and strength, which Project Runway's first transgender model strutted in impeccably.