TV: New season of ‘Project Runway’ pits teams against one another

(Creative Commons photo by Flickr user beastandbean)

(Creative Commons photo by Flickr user beastandbean)

Posted by Sam Bouchat on Friday, Feb. 22 at 1:08 pm.

The fashion designing reality show “Project Runway” decided to change up its 11th season. Instead of each designer working in a cutthroat personal bubble to claw their way to the top, host Heidi Klum and designing adviser Tim Gunn announced to the 16 contestants on the season’s premiere on Jan. 24 they were participating in the first ever “Project Runway: Teams Edition.” In previous seasons, contestants worked on their own, focusing on their individual designs. Now designers are forced to depend on their fellow contestants and work to make designs that are cohesive within a collection.

The designers were broken up into two teams of eight to work together to create a miniature clothing line judged by Klum, returning judge Nina Garcia and, taking the place of past judge Michael Kors for this season, fashion designer Zac Posen.

These two teams, Dream Team and Team Keeping It Real, learned quickly the strongest and weakest designers on their respective teams. Judges now determine a winning team and a losing team — the individual winning designer must come from the winning team, and the designer sent home must come from the losing team. This means that a designer can present the weakest garment and not get sent home if the rest of his or her team did well enough to give that team the win. In addition, the most skilled designer won’t see victory if he or she is constantly on the losing team.

Dream Team did not live up to its name the first three episodes — the group lost three designers after three consecutive losses. The fourth episode saw Gunn switch up a few team members in order to even out the skewed numbers, and this change-up gave Dream Team its first win.

Episode five aired last night — the first since the premiere where both teams started with equal numbers: six each. I won’t spoil the episode, but “Project Runway” fans will enjoy the continued drama brought about with team dynamics.