Things got REAL, real quick in the debut episode of Project Runway South Africa on DStv’s Mzansi Magic last night.

The show’s host Lerato Kganyago and mentor Gert-Johan Coetzee wasted no time in knocking the contestants off their highly polished heels with a jaw-dropping challenge at one of our country’s most powerfully evocative National Heritage sites: Constitution Hill.

The theme? Freedom.

The contestants were asked to create outfits that expressed them as designers, using two lengths of contrasting fabrics.

In a frenzied swirl of fabric, cutting, pinning, sewing, steaming, ironing and frayed nerves, the first runway day dawned too quickly for some – and not soon enough for others.

But Thokozani “TK” Mbatha was the one who ultimately buckled under the pressure with an outfit that, according to resident judge Noni Gasa, belonged ‘in a circus’.

TK’s outfit didn’t dazzle anyone. Resident judge Rahim Rawjee said, ‘It looked like Big Bird was sheared and then turned into a poodle.’  And so, Thokozani was the first contestant to get the cut on Project Runway SA.

Kentse Masilo, however, dazzled everyone with her design. She was applauded by guest judge Elle Magazine Editor-In-Chief Kelly Fung who said, “I know exactly who you are as a designer from this first look.”

But is Kentse’s win in episode 1 damaging her chances in episode 2?

As the game intensifies, the ‘Electric Jungle’ theme for episode 2 leaves many of the designers perplexed. There’s also the thrilling (and daunting) chance for the designers to choose and buy their own fabrics for the first time. But … their budget is tight. And their deadline is even tighter.

Negotiation skills are put to the test, new friendships are formed, and the designers fight to stay on top.

But some designs just don’t measure up. Who will be out next?

Tune in to Mzansi Magic, DStv Channel 161 at 21h30 every Tuesday.

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