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Project Runway Season 6’s Move To Los Angeles Has Hurt The Show

Updated on May 8, 2011

Before I start to get all the nasty-gram emails, let me say that for those who read my blog they know that having been the “Ultimate Fan Blogger” for season 3 of Project Runway with my blogs appearing on, I’m a huge fan of the show. So when they finally worked through all the legal issues and moved the show to Lifetime (Television for women and gays – the “and gays” part is just implied in the title of the network) of course I was going to tune my Tivo to record every episode. But now that I’ve been watching for a few weeks I have to say that Project Runway Season 6’s move to Los Angeles has hurt the show – Don’t Get Me Started!

You would have thought that the producers of Runway could have learned taking a show about fashion and sending it to Los Angeles was a bad idea from when Tyra Banks tried it with America’s Next Top Model but perhaps they thought they could overcome what Tyra’s show could not. Well, I’m here to tell them that they’re wrong. Now I’m no snob, I like Los Angeles but it can’t compare to being the fashion capital of the US against the likes of the city that never sleeps, New York. It just can’t. That’s not an opinion, those are the facts kids so when Runway announced the LA move I was a bit dubious of the idea and yet at the same time did my best to keep an open mind but as I watch the episodes I see that they need to move season 7 (if there is one) back to its natural habitat of New York.

Oddly enough, the first thing I noticed about the show’s LA makeover was that Tim Gunn’s hair went from Lagerfeld white to a blond with darker blond low-lights. That’s right, Tim Gunn went Hollywood and as with most things, it just seems to not suit him at all – nor does the tan he’s sporting. I don’t know, it just seems that in fashion you can normally only trust the pale people who only get light from their sewing machines. The too tan folk in fashion always seem a bit suspicious and not “real” designers. But Tim’s makeover isn’t the only thing that seems to have changed a bit. Sure they have a Mood fabric store in LA like they do in New York but the laid back California approach seems to not appeal to the real heavy hitters of fashion when it comes to the guest judges.

And speaking of the judges, where is Michael Kors? Two or three weeks he has not been present which one can only assume is due to the fact that he needs to be at his studio which is in New York and not LA (another argument for the show being produced in New York). Meanwhile, last week was a real shocker. In the past Michael Kors and Nina Garcia were never gone at the same time. But on this past week’s episode there were three judges with Heidi and I couldn’t tell you who any of them were. There was the poor man who had his fake blond extensions in a hairstyle that was way too young for his age with a face that looks as if it’s one of the faces you pick out at a plastic surgeon’s office at Beverly Hills. Have you ever noticed that men who have a lot of plastic surgery seem to always end up looking alike? It’s as if there are four stock faces you can get when you have plastic surgery and you just choose one of the looks from the wall. At any rate, this male designer’s comments were about as generic as his face and the rest of his look. The other two women judges were non-descript as well. And so the whole thing left me feeling that if Nina and Michael can’t even be interested to be there then why should we all be interested in watching? I trust what Nina Garcia and Michael Kors have to say (most of the time) but don’t give me three people I’ve never heard of and ask me to be interested in their thoughts on fashion. If they’re going to do this then they should at least show some of the work that these designers have done or take a few moments to properly introduce the audience (and the contestants who seemed as perplexed as I) as to who these people are and how they have the credentials to be a judge on the show.

More than anything, anyone who has ever been in New York and then LA realizes that the whole pace of the two towns is very different. Perhaps one isn’t better than the other but the point is that with this type of show, I’d prefer they be in the fast paced heart of fashion (NYC) instead of one of the languid arms (LA). I want to take those paddles they use to restart someone’s heart to somehow restart the beat of the show and this includes the designers, judges and hosts. In the past we’ve had the outlandish of personality as well as design in the designers but this season seems to be all about the middle of the pack, no front runners in design or personality. And the personalities that used to be in the form of the judges and hosts are lacking too. No Michael or Nina, Heidi seems as though she’s phoning her performance in and Tim Gunn even admitted last week (a little sheepishly) that he’s become a cliché of himself, “I have to say the line. You need to go clean up your work station.” Sounding as if he was embarrassed that his comments have been reduced to mere catch phrases similar to a, “What you talkin’ about Willis?”

So while I’ve tried to reserve my judgment on the show, I’m afraid the time has come to speak. Now that the legal woes have been handled, let’s get through this season the best we can and then let’s pack everything up in a steamer trunk and take the show back home where it belongs, New York, shall we? If they don’t get back on track soon I’m afraid they’ll lose their audience to shows like Isaac Mizrahi’s The Fashion Show on Bravo which has a real designer hosting the show as well as coaching the contestants and focusing on sale-ability of designs. And let’s face it, at the end of the day would you rather put a show about fashion in the hands of gays like Mizrahi and Andy Cohen (the highest profile gay, gay, gayer than gay television executive running Bravo) or Heidi Klum and a network filled with Valerie Bertinelli movies from the 1990’s? Project Runway Season 6’s move to Los Angeles has hurt the show – Don’t Get Me Started!

Read My Season 3 Project Runway Blogs Here…


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