Looking fabulous!

Looking fabulous!
Looking fabulous!
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With this week’s launch of the latest fashion competition featuring the hosts of the original show, here’s a look at all 3 of the major options.


The grande dame of fashion competitions is PROJECT RUNWAY (Bravo). The first 16 seasons featured model Heidi Klum and iconic mentor Tim Gunn, but they were replaced in 2018 with less interesting model Karlie Kloss and more snarky, fun Christian Siriano as mentor (and 4th season winner). Stalwart judge Nina Garcia and the basic format remains. I’ve watched every show of every season and the most interesting part is the creative process and the judging. I can do without the interpersonal issues and personal dramas, but that’s a staple of reality TV.


The first attempt at unseating the original is NEXT IN FASHION (Netflix), which has been streaming since January. Unlike PR, which can pull designers from relative obscurity, this one targets designers with some cred in the biz. Hosts are Queer Eye’s Tan Fran and model (and more) Alexa Chung. This series pulls more of the focus on them and their attempted cute moments, instead of the political interactions of the contestants. The basics are the same, but they work in teams…at least for the 3 episodes I watched before finding it a pale competitor. Also, all episodes are available, making streaming possible but lacking any week-to-week suspense.


Ramping up the stakes is MAKING THE CUT (Amazon) which re-pairs Klum and Gunn with a dozen already established designers from around the world. There are several bigger stakes:

– The show travels to several international capitals

– The designers do NOT sew their own work (it’s a design competition), but send them off to pro seamstresses

– The final prize is a million dollars.


Naomi Campbell is among the judges and one of the most entertaining new features is hearing the judges comment on the garments as they come down the runway. They also tease the designers with a different approach to judging/announcing the winner/loser (or losers…they claim more than one could go home any week). I also noticed that Tim’s “Make it Work” was never spoken. I imagine that and several other familiar phrases made popular by the original, were not the intellectual property of this show.


Taking advantage of the Amazon connection, each week’s winning design is sold on the shopping behemoth’s site (link here). They seem to be priced around $50 each (one was already sold out) and are made primarily of polyester (which keeps the price down). Of local note, RVA designer Martha Gottwald’s is one of the contestants. (RTD article about her) In an attempt to maintain interest the show is being released weekly (like the original).


So who’s the winner? Def not Netflix: trying too hard and not especially original (plus, I’m not fan of the Queer Eye guys). Adding Siriano to Runway show makes it more cool (and youthful), but with the power of Amazon behind it, Making the Cut is worth watching…just because it’s so money!

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