Project Runway Season 7 Photo © Lifetime

Not since the last season of Sex and the City have I been rushing home to watch television the way that I have this year (maybe not so much rushing home as staying in on Saturday night to spend quality time with my DVR).  One of my favorite shows—Project Runway, has returned to it’s New York roots and I couldn’t be happier.

Only five episodes into Season 7 and I can already spot the fan favorites, foes, and of course the fierce.  So I headed to Dolores Park with the hope of finding fabulous fans that I could talk fashion with.

Teo Whickland, 27, said he tuned into the show when it was on its third season—when it was still on the Bravo TV network.  When the show began in December 2004 it was an instant hit, earning some of the highest ratings on the network.  But in 2008 producers decided to move the show to the Lifetime channel and in August 2009 Season 6 debut—on Lifetime.  Teo wasn’t pleased with the move.

Teo Whickland, 27

“I don’t think of Lifetime as a channel that I want to watch,” he said.  “And they don’t even have it in HD.”

Despite the changes he still tunes in.  He described the designers as half cool, the other half bitchy troublemakers.  Mila Hermanovski, the 40-year old designer from Dallas, Texas is his least favorite overall.  Though he likes her designs, he doesn’t like her personality.

Whickland is cheering for Bay Area designers Amy Sarabi (originally from Texas but made it to Runway via California College of the Arts and lives in Oakland), and San Francisco’s Jay Sario.

Jessica Foft, 30, and Megan Fuentes, 29 tune into Runway regularly.  Because she doesn’t own a television Foft said she heads to Megan’s to get her runway fix.  But so far they haven’t been totally impressed with the line-up this season.

Megan Fuentes, 29 and Jessica Foft, 30

“I don’t think anyone’s a standout so far,” said Fuentes, who  acknowledged that key looks, like Amy Sarabi’s burlap dress,  were impressive.  She said she also liked the dress that Jay Sario designed for the “Run for Cover” challenge but understood why it wouldn’t be a cover look for Marie Claire magazine.

Twenty-one year old Julia Martinez watched the past season but has yet to tune into the most recent.  She said after her disappointment with last season’s lack of talent she hasn’t felt the urge to watch.

“I just wasn’t into it, I don’t think the challenges were that great,” she said.

Julia Martinez, 21

But she thinks that it will get better.  I’m trying to convince her to tune in.  With characters like Anthony Williams it’s hard not to be entertained.  And while I agree that a good majority of the designers are extremely unlikeable, they make for good television.

Mission resident Joe Simon said it perfectly, “It’s entertaining to watch them go at each other; the clash of the personalities.”

But with an 8-month old son he and his partner barely have time to watch any television

With all the other fashion design shows out there (Launch My Line, The Fashion Show) Project Runway still reigns supreme with fashion fanatics across the country (think water cooler conversation at Elle).  And with its move back to New York from it’s quick stint in Los Angeles at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Season 6 (new network, new city?) its regaining the momentum that it began with six years ago.  Even if you were lucky enough to get an invite to Bryant Park and already know which designers make it to show their line in the tents at New York Fashion Week, the drama of the show (plus a pregnant Heidi Klum in a mini) is still a weekly treat.

For the rest of us I guess we just have to tune in to Lifetime on Thursdays at 10pm to see who’s still in, and who’s out. Auf Wiedersehen!

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