Ranginui does Whanganui proud on Project Runway
04 October 2018
He may not have won the first challenge but Project Runway contestant Kerry Ranginui did his home city proud on the show's first episode.
While some of the other contestants fretted and fussed their way through the first challenge, the Whanganui contestant kept his cool and produced a very passable cocktail dress and jacket.
"Is that a pickup line?" he asked fellow contestant Massey Williams when he said he needed "a woman with a 36-inch bust" to try on his design.
Ranginui 33, has been living in Auckland for a decade and working as a pattern maker for Karen Walker for 8 years so he had a definite advantage over contestants like Massey, an alternative education tutor from Christchurch who has only made menswear.
The cocktail dress challenge was won by 23-year-old Aucklander Benjamin Alexander who seems to be gunning for Ranginui.
Being a pattern maker does not necessarily make you a good designer he rather bitchily told the camera.
Nicole Schmidt's pink frock with leather bodice impressed the judges least and Ranginui had warned that it was "a bit skanky."
I was sad to see the tarot card reading mum from Hawkes Bay disappear so early.
She seemed nice and I did not think her outfit was any worse than Alexander's winning, white number with weird ruffles on the sleeves.
The judges - Fashion Quarterly editor Sally-Ann Mullin, World director and designer Benny Castles and a guest judge whose name and designation I did not catch know more about these things than I do and they all loved the "silhouette" of the garment.
The local version of Project Runway seems to be following the format of the American parent show very closely.
It seemed rather clunky as Kiwi versions of American shows always do at the start but there is the potential for the personalities of the contestants to carry it.
No-one could match American Project Runway mentor Tim Gunn for soporific voice and sleek style but fashion design lecturer Andreas Mikellis did a very fair job on the first episode and model host Georgia Fowler smiles at the contestants a lot more than Heidi Klum ever did.
I'll keep watching and not just to see how our Whanganui boy gets on.
By Liz Wylie
Wanganui Chronicle 4/10/18