Project Runway Recap: Austin Wins, Dallas Squeaks By in Episode 1

    Season 11 of Project Runway premiered last evening, Thursday, January 24th. With a Dallas designer among the reality competition’s new crop of hopefuls – James Martinez of Barron and J. – we’ll be keeping tabs on each episode.   Leading with the bad news, our local rep fell flat in the opener of this all-team-challenge season.     Mall, Pedestrian, and Grab-and-Go were all phrases used to describe his look (pictured above) by the judges, notably including Runway alum guest judge Christian Siriano for this premier. We concede that James’ minimal, color-blocked garment in white, black, and beige was perhaps fitting of those terms. Not to mention, accessorizing it with a quilted, Chanel-like bag was such a Dallas cliché.   The design in question was, in fact, James’ second choice to send down the runway. The first look was thrown out by fellow members of his team.     On a more positive note, fairing not just better but best, Daniel Esquivel of Austin (pictured above) took top honors last night. Click here to check out Daniel’s emotional post-win interview and scope the top team design.   As for eliminations, although our hometown favorite took a stumble, James luckily squeaked by to round two next week. Sadly, Emily Pollard of Falls Church, Virginia was cast out.   Here’s hoping that next time James won’t be so quick to compromise, and that he’ll stay true to his own talents. We’ll be back next Friday with a recap of Episode 2.   Reporting contributed by Sean Charles.    (All images via    

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