Barbara Nitke/Lifetime

Always respect the figure

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August 17, 2017 at 09:32 PM EDT

Happy sweet 16, Project Runway!

To mark the milestone achievement, the show is celebrating with fancy Pilot pens and models who are reflective of real life. And it’s about time (for the models—literally no one cares about pens this much, Project Runway).

Sixteen designers gather in a…garage?…where a luxury bus pulls in. Tim Gunn and Heidi Klum step off it and meet the new designers…

Claire and Shawn (27; Grand Ledge, Michigan) are not new to the reality TV game, or so the internet tells me. They have different design aesthetics but pull inspiration from one another. And each is totally fine if the other twin wins. Totally fine with it!

Deyonté (36; Lynwood, Washington) is missing the birth of his son to be on this season. Like the twins, he designs luxury sportswear (which really seems like an oxymoron?).

Margarita (30; San Juan, Puerto Rico) cries in her first confessional just thinking about what it means to be on the show. She has an aesthetic that’s like her name: fun and bright.

Samantha (36; Minneapolis) is excited about designing for plus-size models, and that’s about all we know now!

Kentaro (38; Los Angeles) got into fashion because he “kind of liked it” and was no longer able to play classical piano after developing tendinitis. He uses classical piano as an inspiration, as well as his Japanese culture. (Fun fact: Tim Gunn also studied classical piano.)

Amy (46; Los Angeles) is a fashion design teacher, so she doesn’t think this will be hard. And now I’m just waiting for the moment she regrets those words.

Batani (32; Inglewood, California) wants to design “styles that last forever.” But shouldn’t that be what every designer wants to do?

Kenya (37; Atlanta) says, “I’m going to make these dresses and I’m coming to murder you guys…in a nice way.” Despite that odd intro, she seems very kind and lovely.

Ayana (27; Salt Lake City) is Muslim and wants to show the world that you can be covered and still be fashion-forward.

Kudzanai (32; Atlanta) doesn’t even get to talk this episode, if my notes are to be believed. I think he designs menswear??

Aaron (23; Brooklyn) is this season’s youngest designer. Like Kudzanai, he’s also a menswear designer, and he’s all about androgynous looks that blend femininity and masculinity. And he doesn’t believe in rules in fashion because…#millennials.

Brandon (24; San Francisco) has only ever designed menswear. He’s excited for the challenge of Project Runway — which does not seem like best environment to suddenly learn an entirely new skill, but what do I know?

Sentell (33; New York) was a dancer for 12 years and then was told by an oracle that he should go to design school. So he did. And he also designs menswear.

ChaCha (24; Taipei, Taiwan) is a character. Apparently “ChaCha” is just a nickname, and he proudly tells the camera it means “annoying bird.” He designs cute, fun, happy clothes. Oh my.

Michael (25; Oakland, California) is a person who is apparently on this show.

After introductions, Tim and Heidi tell the models to come off the bus — the shock and surprise instantly registers on the designers’ faces. Some are thrilled and others are not. (Brandon’s face is the wide-eyed emoji come to life.)

The models range from size 2 to 22, and the designers will be matched with a different model each week. If you’ve watched even one episode of this show, you know that designers often struggle with challenges…even on size 2 models. Many of these designers haven’t made clothing for women outside of the “standard” size — or even for women at all!

So what I’m saying is, designers (**cough** Brandon **cough**), I understand this momentary freak-out, but complaining about this beyond week 1 is not going to be cool. Signed, your friendly Project Runway recapper. (Recap continued on page 2)

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Karlie Kloss and Christian Siriano guide undiscovered designers through the harrowing rites of fashion.
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