First up the “Ahead of the Curve” group:
Batani-Khalfani, 32, Inglewood, CA
Describes herself as edgy. Uses a lot of African prints and colors. I like her style. I see her ending up in middle of the pack.
Amy Bond, 46, Los Angeles, CA
She’s an associate professor. Gives me a Michelle vibe. She’s a draper, and I love a good draper. She calls her husband her spouse, which kinda generally annoys me….a little too PC for my tastes, but I like her so far. She’s going to kill formalwear challenges.
Ayana Ife, 27, Salt Lake City, UT
She designs Muslim street wear…or, as she calls it, “modest fashion for religious purposes”. Not to piss anyone off, but her fabrics are really cheap and I’m not sure how strong her construction skills are. Even Anthony Ryan commented that her hijab looks like she’s wearing panty hose on her head. Much like the winner a couple of years ago, Ashley, if the Judges decide they want to make a statement, she will win.
Margarita Alvarez, 30, San Juan, Puerto Rico
She’s Puerto Rican and I think I’m going to love her. The clothes she brought to casting are weird colors…she went on to say that she built this mini-colection on $20 in her bank account. She’s got the crop top thing going on, which I’m totally over, but I’m thinking her Latin influence will be interesting.
Next up the “Pattern for Persistance”
Samantha Rei, 36, Minneapolia, MN
Chubby, cute, mermaid hair (meh, I’m over mermaid hair). Brought a black and white collection based on emotions. Meh, I’m over emotions. Predict she will be the one who constantly sobs this season.
Deyonté Weather, 36, Lynnwood, WA
OK….I LOVE THIS GUY (Note: I wrote this before his personal interview). Grew up in Chicago, moved to Seattle at 17 to get out of the danger. This guy will go far. He also makes a point of being a straight guy in his personal interview so I may stalk him to make him my future ex-husband. Top 3.
Kenya Freeman, 37, Atlanta, GA
She is also chubby, but she’s got a shaved head. I like her asthestic more than that of Samantha. But then she gets to her love of peplums – guess what? I’m a bigger girl and I’m O-V-E-R peplums. She will easily be top 5 if she can keep up with the time limits….I don’t know what’s giving me this feeling that time may be an issue for her – maybe I’m picking up that she’s a perfectionist. I absolutely love the clothes she showed and her general attitude. I really like her.
Next group “It’s in the Genes”
Claire Buitendorp, 27, Grand Ledge, MI
Shawn Buitendorp, 27, Grand Ledge, MI
Twinsies! You can tell them apart because Shawn is bald, but they both have a bull nose ring. Shawn’s girls is bold and rock and roll. Not loving her collection. Claire has much of the same. Leather and sparkle….but kinda gaudy and ugly leather and sparkle. One ruins a leather motocycle jacket with “Seduce and Destroy” in sparkly blue on the back. Not a fan of either of them…hope they go soon. Wicked obnoxious. They will go far…and I will constantly bitch about them.
Next group “One Size Fits All” (This is a group of designers with a gender fluid design perspective. And, please, I mean zero offence if I use the wrong pronouns, if you have a masculine sounding name, I’m using male pronouns)
Aaron Myers, 23, Ridgewood, NY
He’s a menswear designer. Reminds me of Erin. He is wearing a dress himself that looks like the shit Erin made last season, so he can clearly sew and design for women at least as well as Erin could. He’s got some graphic T’s. I like him. He seems very sweet….but I predict he will be the one who give us killer talking heads. We will have to see how he handles time and womenswear.
Brandon Kee, 24, San Francisco, CA
Made his own textiles. I like the pieces he brought. Baggy, hip-hop/punk style. I think he will go very very far.
Michael Brambila, 25, Oakland, CA
Reminds me of Mondo. He designs “normal pieces with fettish undertones.” Very interesting collection. He used cock rings (sorry Mom!) in some of his items. Self described whore. I don’t hate his stuff, I don’t love it. It’s good, solid construction, just blah to me.
Sentell McDonald, 33, New York, NY
He is former professional dancer. Another menswear designer, but he did bring a dress. Looking at the dress, there are some construction issues. He’s had a tough life. Wasn’t accepted by blacks or whites growing up. He’s got a cute dog. Bradon also has concerns about construction issues so I’m not imagining it.
“From a Different HEME-isphere” (not entirely sure why they put that emphasis on it. Am I missing something? Feel free to explain to me if you know)
Kentaro Kameyama, 38, Los Angeles, CA
Originally from Japan. Inspired by classical music. Love his construction. I’m getting an Helmut Lang feel….and I HEART Helmut Lang. I think he’ll go far….Top 5.
Kudzanai Karidza, 32, Altanta, GA
Originally from my bucket list country of Zimbabwe. Androgynous designer with African flair, so lots of prints and color. Very funky, and I’m not sure how I feel about it. Looks like he uses lots of denim.
ChaCha, 24, Taipei, Taiwan
This makes me very annoyed as I was supposed to be in Taiwan for work right now and I absolutely love how wacky this guy is so now I’m back to being bummed about not being in Taiwan right now. But enough about me, he is LEGIT wearing a butter shirt that he made himself. It’s kinda like a band costume, but it’s got a big ole stick of buttah right over his heart (which is where that big ole stick of buttah will end up). He’s alsmost got a circus vibe, but he’s sweet and wacky, and I LOVE him. He’s got a coat with a Care Bear on it. He is going on my stalking list. He will be the first one gone.
So there are the 16 designers.
My top 5 Deyonte, Amy, Margarita, Brandon, and Kentaro. Not including Kenya in my list is killing me, there is a strong field this season, I reserve the right to call her in from the bench….she’s my Jimmy Garoppolo.
Did you watch?