Watching an Ep of Project Runway, the challenge is avant-garde, a concept that art is radically socially reformed, pushing the status quo boundaries and modernism. But the judges ‘avant’ gotta clue what the criteria is, so they say things like “your work was provoking, but it fell flat” “I want the shoulders to be bigger” without really offering an understanding themselves of what exactly they are looking for; apart from big shoulders because that’s the only feature they can aesthetically identify as avant-garde.
There is a rookie draper designer, who gets the best critique for his 2 hours of ‘labour’ only pining and draping fabric around a mannequin, all four judges two being music celebrities for ratings, a third judge a model and then a magazine editor, none whom have ever sat in front of a machine or seen a pattern before to understand the construction process; assure the rookie draper he is skill AF and proceed to send home designers that actually turn out qualified work.
Beside from the 2008 winner with the highest post show profile; Christian Siriano with the hatchet haircut and ‘snap’ attitude the show really doesn’t have any bragging rights to any other dazzling designer ‘Ugly Betty TV appearance’ success stories; despite its mission to discover breakout fashion designers amongst a thicket of home sewers, boutique owners, and back room assistants.
And well fuck it we are here now, Tim Gunn’s taste in fashion is like English breakfast tea. Bland next to coffee. His dated ideals and continuing opinions on how women shouldn’t wear plunging neck lines make me cringe. Who are you? An actor, a professor, a tv personality. Where are you drawing your fashion knowledge from?
From its beginnings in 2004, myself and twenty other freshie cert grads working towards our degrees together in the design field desperately understood the contestants of the show working tirelessly on our own art in similarly competitive environments with ‘stick up your ass’ tutors who drink student blood for breakfast, and scrutinise ones decision to use a particular button. However, the show became a fast let down for anyone that actually understands the relationship between a fashion designer and a yard of fabric. The relationship between an inspiration theme board, and a measuring tape.
If the show must go on, please can we at least see credientals in the judging seats, giving real fashion design critiques. I can not do another season please.