For the longest time I was a major fan of Project Runway. I love a good formula competition show and although I am personally not a fashionista, it’s fun pretending for a moment I would be able to afford any of the designers clothes and that I could judge them. I stopped watching when I went off to college and no longer had regular TV (when Netflix took over dorm rooms) and since then it’s changed networks and hosts.
In a very savvy move, Netflix copied the Project Runway format for its own platform and aired Next in Fashion this January. It was perfect timing as it dropped before Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn, major figures on Project Runway, could air their show on Amazon, and at a time when Project Runway no longer has as strong of a fan base. Amazon recently released the first few episodes of Klum and Gunn’s new show Making the Cut and here are my initial thoughts on the two shows.
Next In Fashion
- Netflix tapped Tan France, of their Queer Eye show, and Alexa Chung, as their hosts. I was really pumped at first because I love both of them, but I learned quickly that having a great personality does not equal a good host. Plus I really missed Tim Gunn’s critiques. He knows how to truly advise contestants on their decision making. France and Chung are more there to be fun filter, but a lot of times I wanted someone to give the designers an intervention.
- I really loved the guest judges they brought in. It introduced me to stylists and designers I had never heard of, plus they truly had good critiques on more the business side of fashion, on if designs actually work commercially and could be used to dress celebs. Plus I liked that they often rotated new ones in each week. They also make up for France and Chung’s lack of fashion advice.
- I immediately fell in love with the contestants who truly make this show, as they should. Netflix did a fabulous job in picking the designers. They all had such different design talents, personalities, and backgrounds. My favorite changed multiple times an episode and I really didn’t know who was going to win at the end as so many of them deserved it. I actually teared up at the end of the episode and was so sad when the season was over.
- The prize for this show is a collection with NET-A-PORTER which I think is a smart move. It’s the perfect balance of being high end, I definitely can’t afford it, but so many people know about and shop at NET-A-PORTER. The winner’s pieces are accessible enough that if I could afford it I would definitely be purchasing and wearing them myself.
- It was all released as one season and I immediately binged through it over two weekends. Returning to the formulaic fashion show I used to love so much was very comforting.
Making the Cut
- Tim Gunn is back! He cannot be matched when it comes to fashion critique and it was great watching him in his element again. I have watched the four episodes they have released so far, and I don’t think Heidi Klum brings as much to the show as I remember on Project Runway.
- They use the same judges each week and they were so smart to bring Ms. Naomi Campbell on board. Along with Tim Gunn, she carries a lot of the show by being smart about fashion and of course quick witted with iconic one liners and facial expressions. I also love Nicole Richie and think she’s brave every time she openly disagrees with Campbell.
- So far the contestants are not as strong in my opinion as they are on Next in Fashion. They are all well rounded designers with their own brands, but maybe the challenges are lacking. The directions are a little broad versus forcing the contestants to work under rules, such as only use denim for this fashion show, to truly show off their talents. I also have a harder time comparing directly between contestants.
- The prize for this show is a collection on Amazon, which I get because it’s their streaming service but I don’t think it fits very well. Each week a piece from the winner that is deemed “accessible” is sold on Amazon. I have not been inspired yet to actually purchase any of the winning items, but for writing this post I looked them up. Almost all of the items are sold out so it is smart for Amazon, but personally I don’t usually buy my clothes off of Amazon and I wonder if it will dilute the designer’s brands.
- Amazon is releasing the show weekly similar to Project Runway’s traditional format, which is smart to keep weekly engagement. Even with one episode a week though I find myself zoning out a little and I think this due to lack of connection with the contestants. It may get better over time but I think Making the Cut hasn’t quite found it’s footing.