Tuesday, May 12, 2009

It's not Project Runway.

Don't be looking for Tim, Heidi, Nina, or Michael. There are two challenges every episode, including a mini-challenge that the designers have only 1 hour to complete. The runway show is performed in front of a crowd of "fashion industry insiders." There's no independent mentor; co-hosts Isaac Mizrahi and Kelly Rowland are both judges AND mentors.

It's not Project Runway.

But you know what? I like it.

The Fashion Show debuted last Thursday at 10pm on Bravo. Since losing Project Runway to Lifetime, I guess Bravo decided to just make the same show, but with some well-placed tweaks.

Isaac Mizrahi was delightfully bitchy (telling the designers how embarrassed and disappointed he was with the first runway show) and Kelly Rowland was kind of useless but looked great. The third regular judge Fern Mallis (the woman who runs New York Fashion Week) knew her stuff and the guest judge was an actual designer.

The challenges were interesting and really showed off what the designers were capable of. The mini-challenge was to create a little black dress from just a black t-shirt (they had only one hour) and the main challenge was to organize into teams, come up with one "must have" piece and incorporate it into five different looks to form a collection. So it was a team challenge, but each designer was in charge of one of the looks. They expressed themselves individually, but needed to design for a team collection as well.

I like that the runway show is performed in front of an actual crowd, but I'm not sure how I feel about having the crowd vote on the winner. Things could get....interesting. The judges are (so far) only responsible for picking the person who gets the boot.

As for the designers....most of them are difficult to distinguish at this point. Of course, Merlin stands out (watch the show, you'll know why--picture a gay latino fairy-magician), and I was really impressed with the initial design of Reco. Other than that, I'm going to shy away from making any predictions...you never know with these kind of competitions!

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