Well, darlings, now comes the time when certain hard questions need to be asked. Okay, maybe just one question: Will you be watching Project Runway when it comes back to your TV tomorrow night? The last two seasons of the show have left a lot of fans pretty much over the franchise. Will those same disaffected former fans find it in them to watch the All-Star version of the show, airing tomorrow night at 9 ET on Lifetime? For us, it’s a no-brainer. It would probably take an act of god to completely separate us from the world of Project Runway, but even if we weren’t somewhat duty-bound to keep tabs on the show, we’d still be a little excited to see a lot of old favorites again. We heard through the grapevine that the designs are shockingly well done in comparison to the last 3 or 4 seasons. If that’s true, you can expect that we will have MUCH to say on that particular matter.
At any rate, this is just a reminder that you will have to make this decision come tomorrow night and to help you through that difficult process, we will be opening the T LOunge once again. Alcohol solves so much, don’t you find?
One of the things you must consider is that none of the regulars are involved this time around. No Michael, Heidi, Nina or Tim. We suspect it’s the lack of that last one that’s going to put a lot of people off, especially since Marie-Claire Editor in Chief Joanna Coles is stepping in to be the mentor to the designers. The Cut got a few of her thoughts on the matter:
How did your role as the All-Stars’ mentor come about?
Oh, well I’m sure several other people must have turned them down first because it came up rather at the last minute — I had about twenty minutes to decide. So I thought, “Why not? What fun.” It was only halfway through filming that I realized, “Oh, goodness, what am I doing? Tim Gunn is really the star of the [Project Runway] world. What on Earth would make me think that I could replace him?”
But we’re very different, and I think having a female perspective helps. I found myself asking the designers, “Why are you making an outfit that no one can wear underwear with?” Am I the only woman in America who wears underwear? I feel like my catchphrase in the workroom became, “Well, what if she wants to wear underwear?” And what was interesting to me in the workroom was that there was some frustration between the female and the male designers. Often the male designers were just like, “God, this is awesome. It’s fantastic. It’s beautiful,” whereas the female designers had a sense of “That is beautiful, but it’s unwearable.”
That seems to be a dialogue that hasn’t come up often in Tim’s crits with the designers.
Well, Tim’s and my role is slightly different, actually. The All-Star designers are more experienced now — Tim was treating them like undergraduates, I’m treating them as post-graduates. So I’m trying to push them harder, and I want them to create things that people can really wear because this is about, ultimately, being able to have a business that will work commercially.
Tim speaks regularly about how attached he gets to the designers during filming. Did you find the experience similar in that respect?
You do get very emotionally attached to them. Of course, some you like more than others. But by the end of it, you’ve spent lots of time with the finalists, and there were some I felt for. Some of them just got in their own way, and you just wanted to say, “What the hell are you doing?” And a couple of times I did. It’s amazing how people can want something really badly, and the only obstacle is themselves. And they just can’t see it. You’ll see that play out in the finale.