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The Fashion Show

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Diane Mizota: Attention, "Project Runway" Fans! Now that the legal snafu has been ironed out and "Project Runway" is returning this summer, Bravo has premiered "The Fashion Show," a "Project Runway" knockoff, just because they can. Basically, it's Diet Project Runway. Not quite as satisfying as the original, but it'll do in a pinch.

the fashion show on bravo

I love being reminded that sometimes it's nice to dress like I have places to go besides Target and Mommy and Me, so the fashion is always a draw. You've also got the requisite cast of crazy characters, including Merlin the queen in a pimp/magician costume, James-Paul, the fashion nerd with geisha shoes and a Rubik's Cube theory, and a dude known as "The Panty Christ."

There are some subtle changes, too. The final fashion show is in front of an audience of fashion insiders who vote on the winning look, and the winner's clothes will be sold on Also, much of the judging is done without knowing which designer designed which outfit.

Co-host Kelly Rowland seems out of place, though. Her fashion credibility consists of claiming to have "sat front row at many fashion shows all around the world." Big whoop. She's only there to get Beyonce to guest-judge later in the season. Also, fashion legend and host Isaac Mizrahi is likable enough, but he lacks the paternal soul of Tim Gunn.

"The Fashion Show" is cut from the same cloth as Project Runway, but feels a little designer impostor -- it passes for the original as long as you don't look too closely at the details. And as every woman knows, knockoffs will only get you by until you can get your hands on the real thing.

4 comments so far | Post a comment now
OW  May 13, 2009, 12:14 PM

We found it too derivative to be able to enjoy on its own without thinking, “wow, they’re really ripping PR off, hard.” And I absolutely agree that Rowland is an ill-fit with the show. Not only is it not obvious what her fashion creds are, she lacks gravitas as an authority figure.

I’ll be curious what the ratings say.

sharon May 13, 2009, 12:47 PM

I felt cheap watching it. And it seems they picked the designers more for their outrageous personalities than their fashion sense. I can’t wait for the real deal to return, even if that means I have to watch Lifetime.

Kimberly May 13, 2009, 3:20 PM

I agree. It may be less filling but we are noticing the different taste. But like you said, it’ll do in a pinch

Jo May 13, 2009, 3:28 PM

Hmmm………I need to check this one out……I need a pinch of Project Runway…….

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