5 reasons to watch Project Runway's new rival

After 14 years as a producer, judge and host on Project Runway, supermodel Heidi Klum has launched Making The Cut, a rival fashion-competition show on Amazon Prime Video.

And she has poached Project Runway fan favourite Tim Gunn to be her co-creator and co-host.

Here are five reasons to watch it.

 

1. FAN FAVOURITES FROM PROJECT RUNWAY

Klum executive-produced and hosted Project Runway (2004 to present) for 16 seasons from 2004 to 2017.

Both she and Gunn – who acted as a design mentor – were beloved by fans and contestants for their kind but tough-love approach to critiquing the designs.

The two shared the 2013 Emmy for Outstanding Host of a Reality or Reality-Competition Programme.

2. A MORE GLOBAL OUTLOOK

Unlike the American-centric Project Runway, the 12 contestants on the new show will be a diverse group of designers from around the world, says Klum, 46.

“Some of the designers we have are very established, others are not, and we have young and old.”

As the group competes for a chance to become the next big global fashion brand, the show will travel much more than Project Runway, with episodes filmed in New York, Paris and Tokyo and fashion shows staged in each.

The judges include supermodel Naomi Campbell and reality star Nicole Richie.

3. VIEWERS CAN BUY THE DESIGNS

With Project Runway, there was no easy way for fans of the show to track down and buy the clothes made by contestants.

With Making The Cut, “finally, our audience can shop”, says Klum.

“It was important for me to go with a company such as Amazon in order to have that component because that was never possible before – you saw something, you wanted it, but you couldn’t have it.

“Here, you have a winning look every week and people can buy it around the world,” says the German model.

For each fashion show, designers will each craft a “really wearable” look that will be sold on Amazon’s Making The Cut store for about US$100 (S$142) or less.

And the fact that the show will air in more than 200 territories will be a big boost to the designers’ profile.

“It’s like a real future for the winner,” says Klum.

4. MORE SOPHISTICATION

Asked how the new show is different, Gunn – who taught at the Parsons School of Design in New York for 25 years – says: “As a teacher, I would say Project Runway is the undergraduate programme and Making The Cut is the graduate and PhD programme.

“In Project Runway, we talk about how a sleeve is set into a bodice. You don’t hear a conversation like that on Making The Cut.

“It’s more about how this mini-collection you’ve designed for this assignment will fit into your larger view of your brand.

“It really is about finding the next global brand,” adds the 66-year-old, the former chief executive of fashion brand Liz Claiborne, which is now Kate Spade & Company. “And we do.”

5. BIGGER BUDGET, LESS SEWING.

Project Runway “never had the biggest budget”, Klum says, and it was creatively constrained as a result.

“You cannot have the (same) creative freedom when it’s (sponsored by) this water company and now you have to make something out of these water bottles and lids.

“I loved the ‘unconventional materials’ challenges, but when you have a bigger budget – thank you, Amazon – you get to go to Paris and Tokyo and show these designers different things. That injects so much creativity into them and you see it in the clothes.”

Designers will each have a seamstress to help sew the designs – something many struggle to do themselves on Project Runway.

This was done to reflect the real workings of the fashion industry, where designers must communicate with seamstresses.

Klum confirms this. “I’ve designed many collections for different companies and I can’t sew at all.

“It’s a matter of taste, vision and putting the right team together – that’s what this is about. We didn’t want it to be a sewing competition.”

• Making The Cut is available on Amazon Prime Video.

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