Yep, I love it, I admit it…it is one of my guilty pleasures. You know those tv programmes which you should not admit to loving in public but yet you look forward to watching? Yes, I love Homeland but programmes like Project Runway are so easy to watch and it is about clothes!
Ok, I understand that it is all totally edited for dramatic purposes but there is some educational value. For those uninitiated into the world of fashion and the art of making clothes, it is in fact an insight into what goes into making the clothes we wear. Since watching the programme, I have become so much more aware of finishings, choosing the right material for the right design, proportions, how print patterns should match up and all those other details that I never used to really think about. Also, anything that promotes new designers is good for me. Look at success stories like Christian Siriano who dresses Christina Hendricks on a regular basis for the red carpet or Irina Shabayeva who dressed Selena Gomez for the red carpet.
Irina Shabayeva and Selena Gomez wearing her dress
The “Fierce” Christian Siriano
Considered to be a bit of a joke at the beginning by established designers, you now see people like Diane Von Furstenburg, Rachel Roy, Tory Burch, Jenny Packham, Derek Lam, Elie Tahari and even cameo appearances from Karl Lagerfeld and Valentino. Don’t get me wrong, it is not supposed to be a serious show and I love the drama and the great one liners that can pop up from both contestants and hosts. One of my favourite quotes from the show comes from Tim Gunn (mentor for contestants in the main series of Project Runway):
“It’s an homage to a menstrual cycle…”
(Tim Gunn’s critique on contestant Ven’s work in Season 10 Episode 9)
However, my current favourite parts come from the current season of Project Runway All Stars (Season 2). Previous seasons’ contestants (who never won) come back and compete to gain redemption. This version of the series has Isaac Mizrahi and Georgina Chapman as judges and Carolyn Murphy as host/judge with Joanna Coles (Marie Claire US Chief Editor) as mentor. This current season’s contestants have been some of my favourites from past seasons. I have loved Ivy coming back (Season 8’s villain) and admitting she was horrid on her season and has come back to show she is actually a nicer person (which I believe she succeeded). Also the true friendship between Ivy and Casanova (don’t you just love the name?), well they actually work together in real life but even in a competition they still help each other.
Of course it is a competition and a tv show so it is not a complete love fest. There are catty comments and one of my favourites comes from my current personal favourite Anthony Ryan regarding doing a fashion “face-off” with Ivy:
“I’m not in pest control but I wouldn’t mind exterminating Ivy…”
(Anthony Ryan on Project Runway All Stars Season 2 Episode 8)
The most recent episode was one of my favourites as it was about making things for retail. So there is an insight into the actual business of fashion. Ready to wear is the bread and butter of most designers, fashion houses because it is a larger market. The designer who was showcased in this episode was the amazing designer Elie Tahari. First of all, his flagship store and studio on 5th Avenue is beautiful. From the sewing room to the offices, there is light and beautiful white walls. His story is also amazing as he went to the US with only 30USD in his pocket, slept in Central Park and did odd jobs before he became a successful designer. He also comes across as incredibly humble and modest. This episode’s winning design was produced and sold by Elie Tahari and all proceeds went to the project to save the Garment District (a worthy cause). This episode also produced a rare moment in fashion when you see a fashion editor being moved to almost tears by someone’s words (Joanna Coles upon hearing Elie Tahari’s advice to Anthony Ryan). It was definitely not Devil Wears Prada.
Also on a side note, I am loving some of the models in the current series: one is an Oriental model (they usually do not last for more than two episodes in previous seasons) and the previous winner of America’s Next Top Model (Emilio’s Amazonian-like model).
Anyway, there you have it, my confession to my Project Runway addiction. I stand up and hold my hands up and admit to my addiction. I cannot wait to find out who will be the final three or will they do another “We cannot decide so all four of you are going to do a show…”? As this is more than likely my last posting for 2012, I wish everyone a Happy New Year. I hope that 2013 will be full of good things for everyone. To end on an uplifting note, I wish to use my quote of the day for today from Elie Tahari (I am totally having an Elie Tahari love fest) which is a phrase we should all live by and base what we do in our lives:
“All from Love. Not Fear…”
*Please note that all photographs are not mine and most belong to the Project Runway webpage on Lifetime TV’s website.