Project Runway and the Models of the Runway

Finally, after the long wait, Project Runway has returned to us!

I love the first episode of the series only in so far as, like Heidi Klum says, it’s always interesting to see what the designers are wearing. Their personal styles say so much about who they are and it’s always fun to get the first peak. It’s also fun to see the crazy designers who get eliminated early on because of their own bizareness.

At the same time it’s always hard to watch the beginning of the show. With sixteen designers competing, it’s near impossible to really follow everyone. Add the models into the mix and there’s 32 people (not to mention Tim Gunn, Heidi Klum, Nina Garcia, Michael Kors, and whoever the guest judge of the moment–in this case Lindsay Lohan) for us to keep track of. It’s tough. The most outlandish designers get the majority of the attention and camera time and we don’t get to know the more talented designers until later (though at times the outlandish and the talented combine to give us a lot of entertainment).

The season opener features a none-too-exciting challenge of a red carpet dress. At this point they have gone through so many challenges that I’m not surprised they can’t always come up with something creative. Although I suppose the first episode can’t be all that crazy, too much weird material to buy. And yet, despite this completely average challenge, some of the contestants manage to produce the most bizarre things.

Bringing with the new season is another show, the Models of the Runway. Now, part of why this is interesting is that we are constantly told that the models are competing as well, fighting to gain a photo spread in a magazine if they are paired with the winning designer. But we see so little of them on the show (except for Morgan, remember that crazy model?) that it doesn’t really feel like much of a competition at all and they seem pretty inconsequential. So the solution: create a show revolving around them.

Let’s be honest, the show is pretty silly. Again, sixteen people are hard to follow and the models compete only in so far as they want other people to pick them. They don’t really do anything to gain favor or be dismissed other than walk in whatever they are put in. Of course if they whine and complain they may not get chosen again (though Morgan was apparently so skilled they overlooked her wildness for a while). But otherwise, they are just pretty passive and no amount of awards for being paired with the winning designer of the episode can make the show worth watching.

So, a hit and a miss for Lifetime. I can’t wait to see what other challenges they come up with. Something about using materials found in Toys R Us or design a stylish outfit for someone who has clothing restriction due to religion?

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