If you’re nostalgic for the simpler days of the early aughts — the era of Juicy Couture sweat suits, flip phones, and the birth of widely popular reality competition shows like Project Runway — there’s good news. Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn, Project Runway’s hosts, are back in a new Amazon Prime fashion-competition reality show called Making the Cut.
When Project Runway debuted in 2004, its format struck a chord, becoming the standard for subsequent competition shows. In Amazon’s big-budget version, everything is more extravagant and high-stakes. The grand prize is $1 million (!). In the first challenge, the 12 contestants are jetted to Paris for a runway show in front of the Eiffel Tower, where they present two designs — one that’s “accessible” and one that’s more runway focused. Any number of the designers can be eliminated each week by the judges, who include industry icons like supermodel Naomi Campbell, television personality Nicole Richie, designer Joseph Altuzarra, and French fashion editor Carine Roitfeld.
The show stands out from its predecessor in a few ways. As Gunn points out, this is “not a sewing competition” — the designers are assigned seamstresses to assemble garments. But the biggest change is the emphasis on commerce — this is Amazon, after all. Every week after the episodes air, the winner’s look becomes available to purchase (although reviewers have noted that the sizing is limited).
Still, Making the Cut is familiar fun. It’s relaxing to watch the designs materialize in the glamorous locations, and to wonder about the fate of the contestants, whose aesthetics range from explosions of color and print to all-black minimalism. And honestly, why wouldn’t we want to watch Klum and Gunn discussing how “naughty” the word “titillating” sounds? Watch the show here.
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