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November 15, 2007
'Project Runway' off and running


Well, I made it to 10 p.m. last night for the debut of "Project Runway Season 4" and, as usual, I wasn't disappointed. Though I didn't see much difference between the 15 designer's old digs (the Atlas) and their new living arrangements at the New Gotham.

It still looks like a dorm to me.

Anyway, personalities abound with both the guys and the girls producing quirky, egotistical, manic behavior. Yeah!!!

From the get go, however, it was Elisa Jimenez, maker of marionettes and a "I'll-do-yoga-in-the-corner" kind of gal, that tells me she will easily becoming either a punching bag for the more self-centered designers - or she'll just return to Jupiter.

The show's first challenge, "Sew Me What You Got," had the 15 contestants racing across Bryant Park in New York toward three tents filled with $50,000 worth of fabric. Host Heidi Klum told them they were to create a frock that demonstrates their personal creativity.

Now, based on my conversation with Heidi and mentor Tim Gunn, I was expecting great things because they called the Season 4 bunch the most talented ever. And, interestingly, they got to work with fabric - expensive, beautiful fabric - not garbage or plastic lawn chairs.

Needless to say, I expected more. There were some winners, including episode winner Rami Kashou, who is truly an experienced designer. (He's worked with Jessica Alba.)

Dress.jpgBut, it was clear from the get go that Simone LeBlanc (shown above), 32, was not connecting with her fabric. Even Tim thought she was headed for a runway crash and burn.

But it was kooky Elisa's turqoise gown with the train wreck train that I thought would have her packing her yoga mat and granola bars and heading home.

However, when a judge utters the words "dull and poorly constructed" - in Simone's case - I knew it would be her one day in, one day out. Judge Michael Kors described the mismatched mess (shown right) as "dressing in the dark." Yikes!

I liked winner Rami's gray silk georgette gown, but agreed with Michael (Kors) that the budding flower was a little too mother-of-the-bride.

And, because TV ratings are so, so important, Bravo announced today that the fourth season premiere of "Project Runway" was the highest rated premiere in the network's history in the 18 to 49 demographic and among total viewers. More than 2.8 million fashion fanatics tuned in.

That said, I'll keep you posted as the show progresses. If you have your own "Project Runway" comments, post them below!

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