Friday, September 07, 2018

Klum and Gunn Leaving Project Runway

I have to admit, I had a pretty clear idea of how I thought the future of Project Runway would proceed.

The show was a Harvey Weinstein production, which, of course, is rightfully toxic. So I assumed it would go on hold until it was sold to someone else, but then would return pretty much as normal. Alternatively, it was possible that they'd cancel the show outright and replace it with something functionally identical but under a new name and management.

But apparently we're getting a mix of the two: Project Runway is coming back (on Bravo) ... but Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn have jumped ship. They're joining a new fashion competition project on Amazon, which seems to me like a very good poach by Amazon.

It's hard to imagine Project Runway without Klum and Gunn (which is why it didn't occur to me that the show would continue without locking them down). Indeed, I'm not wholly convinced it can survive without them. With their departure, the only member of the original team still attached the show (as far as I know) is Nina Garcia -- and while I love me some Nina, I doubt she exerts enough gravitational pull on her own to keep in viewers. Ditto Zak Posen (who replaced Michael Kors some years ago).

And if they go to the bench squad from the various "All-Star" seasons, well, let's see. Joanna Coles was great as a mentor, but she hasn't been associated with the show for years (ever since the show switched its sponsorship from Marie Claire to Elle Magazine). Georgina Chapman is fine but probably won't be associated with the show going forward for obvious reasons. Alyssa Milano is ... competent. Zanna Roberts Rassi is execrable. Isaac Mizrahi is whatever word is somehow worse than execrable. None of them can compete with Planet's Best Human Tim Gunn and the wonderful, ageless, possibly-succubus Heidi Klum.

So this may well be, in effect if not in formalities, the end of Project Runway. And if so, you've given us a lot of fun, a lot of fashion, and a lot of look. Auf wiedersehen.

(For fun, here's an oral history of Project Runway's very first season)

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