There are a countless amount of reality television shows on the air currently, but only one brings you into the fun, yet stressful world of fashion design. That show is Bravo’s Project Runway. Two of the shows stars, host and judge Heidi Klum and mentor Tim Gunn recently talked to The Quad to dish the dirt on past happenings and what’s to come on the upcoming fourth season. According to both Gunn and Klum, if you have never watched Project Runway before, season four is a great time to start. Gunn told The Quad that, for each season, the skill level of the designers gets stronger and season four is the strongest group yet. Project Runway is a competition reality show that consists of challenges after which the weakest designer is eliminated .
An example of one of these challenges is one of Klum’s favorites called “clothes off your back” where designers had to redesign the clothes they were wearing into a whole new outfit . Another example is the very first challenge where designers were sent to a grocery store with a limited amount of money and asked to make an outfit out of what ever food items they chose that was in their budget.
Project Runway isn’t just about designing a great outfit. Contestants must have the “wow factor” as well. According to Klum the “wow factor ” isn’t just one thing.
“For me the wow effect is when they come around the corner and then we see what they have done. Everyone had the same challenge so now it’s for us to see who of these, you know, designers that are still left or in the beginning 15 of them, who was the most inventive, the most creative, the most technical best, you know, who really has a vision, who stands out, you know, and kind of compare them with everyone else on that runway,” Klum said
Viewers of previous seasons may be wondering what previous winners are up to. Season two winner Cloe Dao is an example that the winners have come out to be successful: “Dao has expanded her business in Houston. And I even heard from her recently that she was talking to Neiman Marcus about the possibility of a line. She’s been on QVC three times and it sold out. She’s really doing well,” Gunn said.
The hosts and mentors of the show are just as important as the designer contestants. Though being on reality TV was not the original focus of Gunn and Klum’s careers, Gunn was a teacher of fashion design at Parsons School of design in New York City and is currently creative director of clothing company Liz Claiborne and hosts Tim Gunn’s Guide To Style on TLC. Klum is an international supermodel most famous for her work with Victoria’s Secret, with whom she recently launched a makeup line. She also has another hosting gig with the show Germany’s Next Top Model.
They seem to love doing the show. When asked what was the appeal of doing a reality show Gunn said, “Since I’ve spent most of my professional career in the classroom […], it’s a way of working with mature designers who already have industry experience. And I work with them in a capacity that’s enhanced from the capacity in which I work with my students.”
“It was about making it real and giving people a chance, showing some talent because we thought that a lot of the shows out there are […] about eating worms. No one really shows some true talent like something that actually then can go into a job, you know, that really people admire and people can dream about when they sit at home and they watch these people make clothes sometimes out of $20, you know, or out of garbage or out of groceries,” Klum said.
You can catch the new season of Project Runway on Wednesday, Nov. 14 at 10 p.m. on BRAVO.
Sam Greenberg is a first-year student majoring in English with a minor in journalism. She can be reached at SG655862@wcupa.edu.