Project Runway: Yea or Nay?

Wednesday, November 14th marks the premiere of Project Runway’s new season, so what better way to mark the new season of “Mission: Impossible” for fashionistas, than to discuss the relevance of the show.
Yes, the show is great entertainment, but does it have any relevance in the world of fashion? It seems that when the season ends, so does the careers of the contestants (and hosts?).  None of the winners or losers has made a splash in the fashion word. In fact, 90% of the audience at fashion week is full of alumni from Project Runway and America’s Top Model, milling around trying to look important while watching other people’s shows.  It’s also painful to watch Tim Gunn, who is like my gay boyfriend (well at least in my head), trying to makeover Long Island housewives on his Bravo TV show. He’s too good to be in a ‘What Not to Wear” rip off. 

Regardless, I have my DVR set for 10pm on Wednesdays. Anyone who can make a garment out of garbage in less than 24 hours, deserves to be watched.

Note: Heidi Klum is really THAT beautiful in person and she’s also pretty cool.

So, Project Runway: Yea or Nay?

photo: Celebrity

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  1. Stella says

    You are right about the hosts and contestants….except, Michael Kors, obviously, and Heidi Klum somewhat. But the show is great, not to mention addicting. Most entertainment today is not really relevent. It’s right after my beloved ANTM and Gossip Girl, but maybe i can afford 3 hours of TV seeing I don’t watch much else….

  2. says

    Yea for the show! Unfortunately for the designers it’s hard to break into the fashion industry with everyone around you knowing that you didn’t “pay dues” as they had to.  Maybe we’re not giving them enough time to shine?  I mean, it does take years for MOST designers to make a true name for themselves.  Just a thought.

  3. says

    While I agree that I’ve never heard of the winners making it big after the show, I watch it for entertainment. And also for the fashion advice. It’s entrainment.

  4. Amanda says

    Yay!  My husband and I both love this show so much!  I became addicted with the second season and have been watching ever since.  Maybe since the show is not on regular local channels, there isn’t as much of a following.  But in the second season, I think Nick should have won… I’d definitely buy his clothes.  And I would buy Daniel V.‘s clothes too.  I was glad Jeffrey won last season, but Laura’s line was also lovely.  I’ll be TiVoing it!

  5. Emily says

    I say YAY. For an aspiring fashion designer, it is wonderful to watch other designers create, especially in when time/resources/other factors are limited.

  6. ohiogirl says

    Definitely yay.

    For me, it’s amazing and inspiring to see what they can do with a piece of cloth and thread.  I can’t do that!

    Plus, it HAS helped peoples careers.  Perhaps not in the way they thought but still – Jay now lives in NY and is highly respected.  I wish he could get his collection fully going, but at least he in in his world now (and out of his small town).  Wendy Pepper is able to sew full time, at a much higher level of stature.  Chloe Dao is much more prosperous and (don’t know if this is good or bad) has a line on a shopping network.

    For many of the contestants who didn’t win “big” it still gave them exposure and connections, more so then they would have gotten on their own.

  7. Tenacious says

    I love Project Runway however I think that Bravo should revisit the winner’s prize.  The winner should be provided more assistance (expert, seasoned, knowledgeable business help) and perhaps more $$$ to help the winners launch a line. Moreover, I recall Jay from Season 1 stating he won and that was it! He didn’t know anything about the business side i.e. licensing, etc. which is essential to a successful line outside of great, creative, fashionable, on trend clothing and accessories. On another note, I totally agree with you regarding Tim Gunn’s show, it is painful to watch because he is too talented and knowledgeable to be showcased/presented in this manner. However, his “new” opportunities have allowed Tim to purchase a new apartment and for the first time in his life sleep in a bed other than a twin, because he has a large enough bedroom so I wish him nothing than the best. “Make it work” Tim!

  8. MoniMoni says

    I love this show, however, the only designer who really stands out is Kara Saun, who was in the first season.  She was already well known in LA, and her business has grown since being on the show.  However, she gets NO PRESS COVERAGE from mainstream media, which bothers me.

    Also, last I checked another season 1 contestant, Austin Scarlett worked for the bridal designer Amsale.  I saw him while watching actress Lisa Raye-Mcoy (now McKissick) plan her wedding with renowed flora designer/event planner Preston Bailey.  I was happy to see Austin in all his fabulousness.

    Jay McCarroll has I understand had problems having his line actually take off (I think the pressure is too much for him, where before he was happy doing his own thing without time pressures).  Everyone else has been a train wreck.  AND I STILL HATE WENDY PEPPER!!!

    I agree about Tim Gunn, he needs to get rid of that show and Veronica Webb.  Now he and Iman would be a better fit!

  9. juliette says

    Definitely a YAY!  Although the winners may not make it “big”, many of them have gone on to make an apparent living in the fashion industry, which is, in inself, a great accomplishment.  Nic V has a line of his own and has been on a number of Style Network shows, as has Chloe Dao, who has a line sold on one of the home shopping networks, which is in the bank money.

  10. Hola says

    Nina, Tim, Michael and Heidi all benefitted from the boost of the show but their careers were going well without the show.

    The PR people aren’t looked down on because they took a shortcut.  They’re looked down on because they came on a reality TV show to take a shortcut.  A lot of the designers today are taking shortcuts by being married to somebody or hanging with the hot new stars.  What qualifies Tinsley Mortimer or Nicky Hilton to call themselves designers, yet they have lines in Japan?  You can’t tell me the Zac Posens or the Marchesa Girls didn’t have a shortcut to fame based on who they were married to or who they knew.

  11. k.c. says

    It’s all relative. For a designer, success is not necessarily defined as being a household name, or having a discount line at Target. Many of the PR designers came into the show with their own boutiques/lines, and continue their independent work after the show is over.  Others have gone on to work in well-known design houses. Each artist pursues their own path and defines success on their own terms. I don’t think it’s fair or accurate to say that their careers end when the show does.

  12. Morgan says


    For me, the show’s appeal comes with the showcase of the contestants’ creativity.  The constructive process is seriously amazing – the things they can do in a few hours are really impressive and inspiring!

    I never expected to see any of the contestants/winners become “household names.”  Fashion, in and of itself, is an industry everyone knows about for a few big designers (Versace, Armani, Gucci, Chanel, etc.) that have been on top and highly publicized for decades.  If you were to ask around on any non-Metropolitan street, I bet no one would know who Alexander McQueen was, and his success is monumental.  It’s all a matter of perspective.  I think the important thing is that you get to see the creative process of each designer and watch them in action (something you don’t get a glimpse at while watching a runway show for the big’uns).

    Tim Gunn’s show is entertaining enough, but I get that annoying “What Not To Wear” feeling from it too… he dresses everyone in the same classic few outfits, which is great from his perspective and very Tim Gunn, but not necessarily personal or flexible for each woman.

  13. says

    Apparently Zac Posen’s parents are rich. regardless, he’s still talented.

    I think most of the PR folks are talented, but I’ve seen several of the actual pieces in person and to be honest, some definitely didn’t look as good as they did on TV.

    I find it interesting that few have been able to turn it into something. An industry friend suggests it’s because a majority of them want to do their own lines, rather than pay their dues working for a larger brand.

    That being said.. I will be there… I love Tim and Heidi.. I also love Michael Kors

  14. Tiffany says

    I love Project Runway. The drama of it all. Also I might be wrong but I think Jeffrey from last season has a line of shoes. They are funky. SO YAY YAY YAY YAY!

  15. says

    It’s a yah for a different reason. With Style network transition to weddings and cleaning houses, and CNN cancelling CNN Style; this show is the only show that can feed my runway jones. Eventhough I long for the days when Style showed predominately fashion shows and runway related shows, and CNN style was showing the best in runway and high fashion styles, Project Runway is like the hit I need to get me through until I am featuring my designs on the runway.

  16. says

    Yea and a woohoo!! You are correct TBF. We’ve yet to see a visibly successful fashion career emerge as a result of being on Project Runway. But I do believe some of the former contestants have carved out opportunities for themselves. I know we tend to equate relevance with name recognition, status, and money. And that makes sense because if you win a televised competition, the expectations are set way high. Maybe we should look at these shows from another perspective. Maybe these contestants gain something invaluable from their PR experience that may or not translate into fashion industry success.

    Project Runway is like the grown up version of Top Model. LOL I’ll definitely be watching on Wednesday. Don’t even think about ringing my phone at 10 pm. :o)

  17. Stella says

    Yep, Jeffrey Sebelia has a full collection called Cosa Nostra…I don’t think he’s put anything out since 2006, but apparently his collection is sold in a good amount of places, you can even shop a bit online. Very overpriced, but it looks alright.

  18. Monica says

    Yay!!I love Project Runway. I watched the second season first, liked it so much that I went back and saw season one,let me tell you how disappointed I was to see Jay win instead of Kara Saun. She was awesome! I also really liked Nick from season two and Daniel V.  I didn’t much care for Jeffrey.
    Oh and I also feel bad for Tim Gunn having to work with that woman, ex model(Veronica Webb?) She just looks nice but that’s it. Get him someone else STAT!

  19. cathy says

    I haven’t watched the show and probably won’t buy it on DVD either.  I’m tired of “fashion” TV shows personally.  Tim Gunn is ANNOYING.

  20. says

    Well, this season on the second episode, they did put one of the designs (a two-piece outfit by Victorya) in Steve and Barry’s Stores as part of Sarah Jessica Parker’s line, Bitten, so I’ll probably be picking up the dress ($19.98) and the vest ($14.98) soon!

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