In the Spirit of Models of the Runway, 4 More Superfluous Runway Spin-offs


One day before the Lifetime network's giant premiere block of Project Runway, The Project Runway All-Star Challenge, and the spin-off series Models of the Runway, our focus shifts towards the enigmatic last entry in that list. While Lifetime will inevitably treat Project Runway with the kind of nervous care administered to Tim Gunn's pearl follicles or steam-ironing Michael Kors's face, we question the attention given to (and the validity of) a show chronicling the least interesting facet of the Runway rigmarole. After all, season two vet Zulema Griffin can only emerge in a comical burglar mask and force the ladies into a hostage-situation walk-off once.

Not only are the models of Project Runway eliminated in accordance to the designers' sartorial issues, which puts a damper on the notion of a model meritocracy, but they don't even choose the designers they work with (save special "Models, treat us to your English skills" episodes). Also, is this show even a passable idea for hour-long exploration? Are the well-cheekboned specimens even allowed out for walkies? Other missed narratives, ones that could flesh out the Lifetime lineup to a proper Wagnerian length, spring to mind.

1. Who Wants to Hire a Nina Garcia?

The lights dim over a dove-gray cubicle at the Marie Claire offices, as Runway judge Nina Garcia is one question away from proving she actually works for the company. Editor-in-Chief Joanna Coles hits her with the zinger: "What exactly does an "Editor-at-Large" at Marie Claire do?" Wary that she used her last lifeline to call Anne Slowey a worthless wretch with hair like a vicuña, Nina stares down her inquisitor and defiantly mumbles something about once attending a Hunter College "inspiration" panel with Fern Mallis.

2. A Thimble of Hope at Mood Fabrics

After harried contestants rummage through bolts at the show's high-end fabric shop, another question of taste emerges: Should no-nonsense cashier Karen keep the baby? Catalina Sandino Moreno stars as a charmeuse-savvy clerk who wants to make it work.

3. Assembling the Bluefly Accessory Wall with Jeff Lewis

The obsessive-compulsive, disappointingly level-headed house-flipper transfers his talent for interior design to the shelves of the Parsons workroom. When a frosty Eastern-European contestant reaches for a spangled belt and ruins the just-so panoply, Lewis shouts for taping to stop and for the entire room to be evacuated, fumigated, and dusted for spirits. The contestant defiantly mumbles something about how Jeff looks like Leona Helmsley.

4. America's Next Top Nameless Child of Laura Bennett

Oops. It seems Bravo has beaten Lifetime to this inevitably fierce, fashionably traumatizing affair.



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