If you tuned into the return of Project Runway to their original home on Bravo, you were probably in good company with the rest of us who were greatly missing Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn’s presence on the show. The production did a LOT to try to overcompensate for the lack of the “auf wiedersehen” and “Make it work!” that we love. It was apparent that this NEW Project Runway is geared to a fresh audience.
Yes, there are the loyal fans that have been hooked since Season 1, but it seems that the judges are also from a younger generation as designer Brandon Maxwell and Teen Vogue editor-in-chief Elaine Welteroth join series veteran Nina Garcia. Model Karlie Kloss has stepped in as the new face of the runway as she hosts next to designer Christian Siriano, who won Project Runway season 4. It’s a brand new runway—even the workroom is no longer located inside Parsons (a tie that I assume the show had because of Tim Gunn), instead it is in a very chic, industrial warehouse that adds to the urban hipster appeal.
It’s only episode one after the show’s return, so only time (and ratings) will tell if fans will remain to committed or if they’ll cross over to a show that Klum and Gunn have reportedly signed on to do with Amazon Studios.
Gunn said in a statement last year:
I am grateful to Project Runway for putting me on a path I never, in my wildest dreams, thought my career would take me! I'm excited for [our fans] to see what's next, as I partner with Amazon and Heidi Klum on our next great 'fashion' adventure.
The new Project Runway on Bravo has the traditional set of eclectic and campy designers vying to become the hottest new designer and for a chance to show at New York Fashion Week.
Another way the show is changing things up a big is by introducing the first ever transgender model to be dressed by the designers. It only took 17 seasons!
During the premiere on March 14th fans met Mimi, a model who was paired with designer Kovid Kapoor. She introduced herself as the ‘first transgender model” on Project Runway, which made Kapoor ecstatic calling her a ‘goddess’.
On the show, Mimi said:
I want to change the industry. I want to inspire all the transgender young generation who have a dream.
Mimi inspired Kapoor to share his own story of oppression since he and his boyfriend had to flee their home in the Himalayan highlands of India because homosexuality was illegal until last year.
In 2014 Tim Gunn made some controversial remarks in the Huffington Post about allowing transgender models on the show:
I'm conflicted. On one hand, I don't want to say that because you were a man and now you're a woman, you can't be in a women's fashion show. But I feel it's a dicey issue. The fact of the matter is, when you are transgender -- if you go, say, male to female -- you're not having your pelvis broken and having it expanded surgically. You still have the anatomical bone structure of a man.
I guess now that Gunn is out, it was Project Runway’s time to feature a trans model.
Are you watching this season? What do you think of the new judges/hosts? Who are you rooting for?
Watch Project Runway Thursday nights on Bravo.
h/t: Huffington Post, Variety