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October 1, 2014

fashion design

Project Runway's new life or the beginning of the end?

by Annie Wu, posted Aug 12th 2009 10:03AM
tim and heidiIn preparation for its big August 20th season premiere on Lifetime (and, evidently, to interrupt me when I'm trying to watch a few episodes of Frasier and Will & Grace), Project Runway has been running endless ads, loud and proud. I'm sorry, did I say "loud and proud"? I meant "weirdly sentimental and full of slow-mo."

The commercials featuring individual designers from the upcoming season were almost touching enough to confuse me. I mean, I'm used to the super-catty "I didn't come here to make friends, I came here to be the snarky queen bee" sort of ads. Are these just to reel in the average Lifetime viewer, or is this an early indication of Project Runway's slightly new voice?

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Project Runway: What's Your Sign?

by Annie Wu, posted Sep 11th 2008 8:38AM
Christian and Heidi(S05E09) My last review began oh-so bluntly with "I am so full of anger", which was a pretty good summation of the grumpiness that would follow. This episode triggered some very familiar feelings and, while some of you thought I was being a little too hard on the designers, especially Kenley, I can't see how anyone could wonder why after this episode. Don't get me wrong, I'm still a Project Runway fan. If I only half-cared for it, the drop in quality of this show would not affect me quite as badly. But when a show I love so much and have constantly praised and confidently recommended takes such a sharp drop within one year, it's disappointing, to say the least.

As horrible as it sounds, I'm actually looking forward to the Lifetime move now, despite my earlier worries, because at least PR will be on a network that wants them around. The same can not be said for Bravo, which is currently treating PR like it's the ex that still has to live in the apartment because they're legally obligated to finish paying half this year's rent.

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Project Runway: Double 0 Fashion

by Annie Wu, posted Sep 4th 2008 7:55AM
Project Runway(S05E08) I am so full of anger. And for that, I feel like I must apologize before jumping into my review, which will inevitably ooze frustration. This fury that has been building inside me throughout this season is about to set me alight. To put it bluntly, there is no one that I like in this pool of designers. There isn't even anyone that annoys me less than everybody else. However, I have been hanging on, because I love fashion and I love art and I kind of, sort of like seeing people getting chewed out on the runway. This episode nearly killed me, though, because nearly everyone was so blind to what was going on. Just about all of the designers are either too caught up on snarking behind each other's backs, complaining about nothing, or desperately trying to be a "character", and they've lost sight of their actual work.

Make me happy to be a Project Runway viewer again, designers! Save me from this loathing!

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Project Runway: Fashion that Drives You

by Annie Wu, posted Aug 28th 2008 8:22AM
Project Runway(S05E07) Wow, this season's designers are an emotional little bunch, aren't they? There's a lot of whining, a lot of complaining, a lot of talking behind each others' backs. These kids make me feel like I'm in high school all over again, except everyone is somehow even more poorly dressed and misinformed about aesthetics. The designers also seem increasingly insecure about their own work and this challenge did their fragile states no favors. Charged with the mission to grab materials from cars and make something wearable, you'd probably get a little grumpy too.

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Project Runway: Good Queen Fun

by Annie Wu, posted Aug 21st 2008 9:43AM
Project Runway(S05E06) Sadly enough, I think this was the first time I've had fun watching the fifth season. That's right: it took drag queens to get me excited about Project Runway again. Actually, I think Bravo should dump all of those ridiculously uninteresting faux-PR shows like Shear Genius and Top Design and make a spin-off all about designing stuff for drag queens and kings. It could be set in Baltimore's Hampden and be hosted by John Waters and/or RuPaul. That would be infinitely better than watching Jaclyn Smith make weak attempts at passing constructive criticism to beauty school drop-outs playing with safety scissors. Ahem. I'm sorry. Can you tell I'm not that fond of Shear Genius?

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Project Runway: Welcome to the Jungle

by Annie Wu, posted Aug 14th 2008 8:23AM
Brooke Shields(S05E05) In this episode, Brooke Shields stopped by to have the designers make something for her character to wear in the new season of Lipstick Jungle. Two things surprised me. A) Lipstick Jungle hasn't been canceled yet and B) Brooke Shields still looks fantastic. Maybe it's because I wasn't watching in HD, but still.

For the first time this season, the designers were broken into teams for the challenge. Last season, it seemed like the majority of the season consisted of team challenges, so I was surprised that it took five episodes before they got around to it for this group. I guess I was surprised by a lot of things in this episode.

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Project Runway: Rings of Glory

by Annie Wu, posted Aug 7th 2008 8:42AM
Project Runway(S05E04) Ladies and gentlemen, I think we have witnessed the beginnings of a new low in Project Runway. I don't recall ever seeing a group of designers so completely miss the mark in a challenge. Most of the outfits weren't atrocious as straight-up garments, but in the context of the challenge, all of them were terrible in one way or another.

I think my horror is fully justified, as this is the first challenge in which a freakin' skort was in the top three. A skort. The very thought of a skort makes me want to set a Limited Too alight, so imagine the severe trauma that ensued after I ever-so briefly entertained the idea of America's top athletes representing the country in front of the rest of the world... wearing freakin' skorts. I have a mess to clean up.

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Project Runway: Bright Lights/Big City

by Annie Wu, posted Jul 31st 2008 9:02AM
Project Runway(S05E03) Question: What were the judges smoking in this episode? More specifically, were they smoking one of the hideous creations from this challenge?

This challenge was pretty straightforward, as the designers were dropped off at different locations in a rainy New York City and told to pull inspiration from their surroundings. NYC streets at night are rough and sleek and bright and dark, all at the same time. But looking at this episode's outfits, you'd never know. In fact, you'd probably be too scared to step foot in the Big Apple ever again, for fear of being mauled by psychedelic, leggy, cha-cha-ing monsters.

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Project Runway: Grass is Always Greener

by Annie Wu, posted Jul 25th 2008 1:17PM
Project Runway(S05E02) First of all, I thought last week lacked a fancy new intro because the episode was packed the rafters with new season goodness. However, since we got nothing again, I suppose this was just another instance of Bravo not caring enough to give the show the love it deserved.

Secondly, I have decided that I don't have a favorite this season, just some people that annoy me less than others. Everyone is so self-conscious this time around. I pray that Blayne leaves the show soon, just so this "-licious" craze he is attempting to jump-start will die a quick death. Plus, I'm tired of adjusting my display to make sense of his tan.

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Project Runway: Let's Start from the Beginning (season premiere)

by Annie Wu, posted Jul 17th 2008 12:31AM
Scarlett and Gunn(S05E01) Despite Bravo's ridiculously shoddy half-attempts to advertise the new season and my sour disappointment in the last group designers, I tuned in for a fifth go at Project Runway. Fingers crossed that I don't hate the world when this is all over.

Before we jump into the episode itself, I must rant. Yes, "must". As we all know, Runway is moving from Bravo to Lifetime after this season. I don't believe this is a smart move for the show, and it looks like Bravo is pretty annoyed about it too. Instead of overloading the media with promotional material weeks and weeks in advance to get hype in the system like they usually do, they didn't release designer bios and photos until days before the premiere. Plus, they've posted a full episode guide online, revealing all the guest judges. The season is barely off the ground and Bravo is insanely bitter that Runway isn't its baby anymore.

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Project Runway starts July 16

by Annie Wu, posted Jun 12th 2008 8:02AM
Project RunwayUnless that little ad I saw during Top Chef was a total lie, Project Runway's fifth season will be starting Wednesday, July 16 at 9:00 (new time). I definitely was not expecting the new round to start this early. It feels like the painful fourth season ended only three months ago because, umm, it did. It worries me when competition shows seem a little too eager to pick the next hottest thing. Let the old hottest thing bask in the limelight for a little while! I really hope PR doesn't turn into a non-stop barrage of half-talent the way that American Idol has, popping out new seasons like they're Danielle Steel novels and not allowing the talent pool to grow.

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Is Project Runway going downhill?

by Annie Wu, posted May 7th 2008 5:23PM
Tim and HeidiEver since Season Three, I have been feeling a bit nervous about Project Runway. I didn't feel as strongly about the talent and I found myself becoming increasingly frustrated with the decisions and challenges in each episode. Of course, like any other lover of arty TV and sucker for punishment, I kept watching and even made it all the way through the travesty known as Season Four.

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Project Runway jumps from Bravo to Lifetime

by Annie Wu, posted Apr 7th 2008 7:09PM
Heidi and TimHey, boys. I know it took, like, two whole seasons before you became comfortable enough with your masculinity to admit enjoying Project Runway and start watching the show with your lady-friends. It's really great that you were open-minded enough to spend a night every week with Bravo, NBC's flamboyant cousin. Anyway, about that... Project Runway is leaving Bravo for Lifetime. Secret Runway fans need come out now, because "Oh! I thought tonight was Top Chef! I guess I'll just watch this anyway..." isn't going to cut it anymore, because the only other options on Lifetime are Meredith Baxter TV movies and Your Mama Don't Dance.

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Tim Gunn dishes at the Baltimore Book Festival

by Annie Wu, posted Oct 1st 2007 3:05PM
Tim GunnTim Gunn of Project Runway fame attended the Baltimore Book Festival on Sunday to promote his new book and Bravo show, Tim Gunn's Guide to Style. I was lucky enough to get pretty good seat before the rest of the crazed crowd consumed the tiny tent. Again, this was a book festival, but it would have been silly to think that the discussion wouldn't stray into television territory. Gunn briefly spoke about his new show and the history of its creation (Bravo wanted to do a show with him but had no ideas, Gunn came out with the book, Bravo found out and turned the book into a show about bettering women, not "make-overs"). Then, naturally, the topic of Project Runway came up and took over the rest of the Q&A. Gunn shared some sweet information on past seasons and the upcoming fourth cycle, premiering November 14th.

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Never lend your wardrobe to TLC's design prodigies

by Annie Wu, posted Jun 24th 2007 2:01PM
TLCWhile waiting for What Not To Wear on Friday night, I caught the premiere of TLC's I've Got Nothing to Wear. It's the show in which three up-and-coming designers take various items from a -- let's just say it -- victim's wardrobe and cut and mix and match and sew everything into new garments. The concept sounded fantastic, especially to the artsy-fartsy types like me who love the DIY approach to fashion and enjoy cutting up old raincoats into evening wear or something.

So what's the problem?

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