Project Runway, the now-seminal reality program where budding fashion designers knit and sew their way to the top, has had its fare share of obstacles (legal bouts, most precisely) in the past two years. In its sixth season, and now on a new network, Runway still qualifies as required viewing, despite the faux couture and complete, unbearable messes—I mean, dresses—the contestants continually send down the runway. The constant supply of hit-or-miss design efforts as contestants try to construct wearable, innovative fashion under a deadline is the quintessential trademark of the show, and the unmistakable reason why television audiences keep coming back for more. One of the clear alterations of Runway‘s current incarnation is the giant leap to the West Coast, setting up shop in Los Angeles and leaving behind fashion-forward Manhattan. Noticeably taking advantage of its new digs, the show has combed through its Rolodex of fashion-savvy celebs, enlisting headline-grabber Lindsay Lohan as the season’s first guest judge. The contestants, as usual, are a mixed bag of skillfully honed talents and the truly uninspired, with producers having favored personality and character over what contestants can offer up on the runway. Ultimately, it does make for good television when head-scratchers like a metallic soccer ball outfit from the future and a translucent caftan are strutted before judges Heidi Klum, Nina Garcia, and Michael Kors. Still, Runway remains the most delicious of junk foods, and with the added pleasure of occasionally baring witness to unique, well-crafted garments, this must-see program might even be considered educational. Even if the show hit its creative peak with contestants Christian Siriano and Jillian Lewis during season four, there is delight to be had in the sheer processes of design. Runway is all pleasure and no guilt.
- Lifetime, Thursdays, 10 p.m.
- Althea Harper, Carol Hannah Whitfield, Christopher Straub, Gordana Gelhausen, Irina Shabayeva, Johnny Sakalis, Logan Neitzel, Louise Black, Mitchell Hall, Nicolas Putvinski, Qristyl Frazier, Ra'mon Lawrence Coleman, Rodney Epperson, Shirin Askari
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