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When will people learn you can’t take a model, a designer and a prize package and replicate the magic of Project Runway? Many have tried and few have succeed. The new series Styled to Rock, produced by Rihanna, gives the show a punky makeover. Project Runway: All Stars has some major upgrades from last season. But is there room for more than one Project Runway?
Styled to Rock is the umpteenth attempt at using the same format of Runway. Rather than focusing on the design, this series focuses on styling and costuming for musicians. Unfortunately, supermodel host Erin Wasson has the charm of a frozen waffle.
People take for granted that Heidi Klum was an actress and a television host before she produced Project Runway. Tim Gunn has become a celebrity due to his loving nature, distinct voice and stellar vocabulary. Their Emmy is proof that they are a major part of the show’s success. You can't just pull people off the shelf and expect the same magic to happen.
Project Runway: All Stars may have the exact same premise as the original but at least it innovates. It gives designers we have come to love a chance at redemption. Judges Isaac Mizrahi and Georgina Chapman also speak more authoritatively and diplomatically about fashion. Casting has improved this season with charmless model Angela Lindvall and severe mentor Joanna Coles replaced by opinionated Alyssa Milano and effervescent Zanna Roberts Rossi.
These are not the only attempts to clone Runway. Here are some others:
The Fashion Show
When Bravo lost Runway to Lifetime they tried to keep viewers with The Fashion Show. Mizrahi served as designer judge and Kelly Rowland served as host. The show received a slight upgrade in season two when supermodel Iman took over as host.
Launch My Line
Bravo tried again with this series. Dean and Dan Caten, of DSquared, hosted this series that featured “professionals” paired with designers. Seemingly random people in fields ranging from event planning to architecture had to create their own fashion line.
Not to be outdone by the shamelessness of Bravo, Lifetime tried to create a spin-off of Runway hosted by Molly Sims. Designer Kenneth Cole served as judge in this inversion of Runway. Designers create accessories ranging from jewelry to headpieces and style them with provided clothing.
This show tried to bring Runway to network television. Jessica Simpson, Nicole Ritchie and designer John Varvatos judged designers and offered them a chance to sell their line at Express and H&M. The show had too much product placement and was a little late to the game in Runway rehashing.
As you know in fashion, one day you're in. And the next day, you're out. Say "Auf wiedersehen!" to Heidi Klum because the supermodel-turned-America’s Got Talent judge has been replaced. Get ready Project Runway fans because you're about to be charmed by Alyssa Milano's hosting skills.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Milano has signed on as the newest host of Lifetime’s fashion forward competition Project Runway All Stars. The Who’s The Boss star will join returning judges Georgina Chapman and Isaac Mizrahi for the Season 3.
Previous judges of the all-star seasons include Angela Lindvall (season one) and Carolyn Murphy (season two). The cast of the newest all star season has not been announced just yet, but production is slated to begin in New York later this month. The uber-popular reality competition will debut on Lifetime this fall.
Milano’s newest TV series Mistresses premieres tonight at 10 PM on ABC.
Follow Leanne on Twitter @LeanneAguilera| Follow Hollywood.com on Twitter @hollywood_com
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The Today show continues its quest to morph into the world’s silliest women’s magazine (with occasional serious news breaks). Behold the below clip from Tuesday’s show in which style expert Jacqui Stafford gifts us with brand new, extra-cutesified, ways to identify what we hate about our bodies.
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Yes, it’s true, ladies: Life is so much better when you can identify with a perfume bottle instead of a pear (that old, outdated way to say you had ample booty). And then you can add an Isaac Mizrahi scarf to your perfume bottle to hide the fact that you’re a perfume bottle! Oh, the opportunities for consumption are endless, really. Witness the other objects we are now encouraged to use as euphemisms for our perceived bodily flaws — heart-shaped pendants (really?), cocktail rings (now I’m imagining a woman with a big hole in her middle, but okay), and lipsticks (gosh, I do like lipstick). See? Girly things. Oh, how we girls love shopping and perfume. We understand them so much better than that difficult-to-grasp fruit analogy. What’s an apple again?
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Here’s why this is great news. Because it underlines the total idiocy of this exercise even more than that antiquated fruit system did. Fruit made it seem healthy. It’s not. It’s a perfume bottle wrapped in a scarf — one way of indulging our body hatred, wrapped in another. Here are some other ideas: Eat in a way that makes you feel healthy, exercise in a way that makes you feel good, and dress in a way that looks great to you.
There. Solved. Now we can talk about real topics again.
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Hollywood.com correspondent Jennifer Keishin Armstrong is the author of two forthcoming books, Sexy Feminism (due out in March) and Mary and Lou and Rhoda and Ted, a history of The Mary Tyler Moore Show (due out in May). For more information visit JenniferKArmstrong.com.
Follow Jennifer on Twitter @jmkarmstrong
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As is the case with most "all star" seasons of reality television, the latest installment of Project Runway All Stars has a few qualified candidates and a bunch of folks who were simply more than available. And, like the various "all star" treatments out there, Project Runway's second outing falls trap to the notion that trying to mix and match old seasons doesn't necessarily make for an attractive new one.
That's not to say there weren't legitimate Project Runway all stars to be excited to see again during the Season 2 premiere last night. What happened to Andrae? Funny you ask, because he was there! Along with fellow runner-up talents like Uli, Anthony Ryan, and Laura Kathleen. (My money is on Uli taking this whole thing. Much like how Mondo nabbed the Season 1 All Star victory to make up for the loss during his season, Uli will likely do the same here.) There's the contestants there for sheer entertainment value like Casanova (who already provided some Soup-worthy quips), Gay Ryan Reynolds AKA Josh, and the villain everybody love to hate to hate to hate, Wendy Pepper. Then there's Suede and Kayne and Peach. (Names have not been changed.)
The problem with both incarnations of Lifetime's Project Runway, both the regular season and now the new All Stars, is that even though you can dress it up the same as the original Bravo show, the fabric of the series has fallen apart at the seams since the network swap. (Come on, who doesn't like a series of fashion puns?! Oh, right, everyone.) Project Runway started to lose its edge when the talent pool not only dwindled substantially as the seasons went on and the challenges were anything but challenging. Case in point: last night's challenge.
After host Carolyn Murphy (who is lovely enough, but is no Heidi Klum as far as hosts go) told the contestants they'd be paired off into dreaded teams, the designers assembled to take on their first "challenge": creating a line with the theme of "attitude". Isn't all high fashion about attitude? How would this be considered a challenge to a fashion designer? Making clothes out of plants and scrap metal and random items at a grocery store, that is a challenge.
Nevertheless, they were split into two teams with Team 1 consisting of Kayne, Uli, Casanova, Ivy, Althea, and picked-last-for-kickball Wendy, and Team 2 had Josh, Peach, Laura, Emilio, Andrae, and Suede. The teams were given the chance to pick a word for the attitude challenge and Team 1 went with "confident" and Team 2 picked "bold". You know since bold and daring are things designers rarely strive for, this was going to be a real stretch.
Given $250 per person and the looming threat that the person with the worst design on the losing team, they all got to work. As well they should have considering how much is at stake this season. Project Runway may be painfully boring, but they sure do keep it interesting for the stars. This year the winner gets to be the Contributing Editor of Marie Claire for a year without all the fun of having to go to J-School, an all-expense paid trip around the world to the various Fashion Weeks, studio space, and $150,000.
If you're a long-running — and at this point, suffering — you know the drill from here on. The designers visit Mood, they eyeball and tear apart each others' progress in the work room, someone makes a blanket statement ("I'm not here to be safe, I'm here to win", "You're only as good as your weakest link"), their models come in, they get ready for the runway show, they put on the runway show, the judges judge, a winner is declared, and a loser is sent packing. Of course, there are a few key differences with regular Project Runway and All Stars in that, like the host, there's an entirely different set of judges (Michael Kors and your totally bats**t analogies for outfits, where art thou?) and instead of the heartwarming Tim Gunn, there's Tilda Swinton doppleganger Joanna Coles.
The judges — composed of Murphy, Coles, Georgina Chapman, and Isaac Mizrahi (who made my favorite declaration ever last night when he pondered "I wonder about shorts anymore!"), along with guest judge, the aforementioned Mondo — watched on as Team Bold showed a series of not terribly bold black-and-blue outfits and Team Confident had a slightly more confident black-and-lace collection. And, despite having Kayne and his super hero gone awry outfit, Team Confident emerged the winner. Team member Anthony Ryan became Season 2's first champ thanks to a chic number with a sexy surprise lace detail in the back (hey, the guy's still got it), while athletic wear enthusiast Peach was understandably the first to get the boot because of her unflattering, long-sleeved disaster of a dress.
All in all, it was a pretty dull episode of Project Runway All Stars. Does the season have potential? Perhaps. Based on the trailer, it seems like Ivy is hell-bent on giving Wendy a run for her money as insufferable TV villain and Katie Holmes makes an appearance as a guest judge. But since these episodes can feel a little tedious and the show itself can hardly muster up the same inspiration that it used to, here's some fun games you can play at home should you choose to watch the rest of this season, such as:
Who Said It: Casanova or Gloria from Modern Family?
Is That Suede Or A Juggalo?
Kayne or Kanye?
That last one doesn't really make sense, but you know, make it work.
What did you think of the Season 2 premiere of Project Runway All Stars? Were you underwhelmed by the lineup and the challenge or just thrilled that you didn't have to go a full two weeks without an episode of Project Runway? Who do you think looks poised to take this season? Share in the comments section below.
[Photo credit: Lifetime]
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Actress Katie Holmes showed her marriage to Tom Cruise is well and truly over on Monday (02Jul12) by stepping out for the first time since their split without her wedding ring.
The Batman Begins star filed papers to end the couple's five-year marriage on Thursday (28Jun12), citing "irreconcilable differences" and requesting sole legal custody and "primary residential custody" of the couple's daughter Suri, six.
Holmes kept a low profile over the weekend (30Jun12-01Jul12), but on Monday she was back in the spotlight when she turned up at Parsons New School of Design in New York City to shoot a guest spot on U.S. TV show Project Runway: All Stars.
The actress was photographed without her wedding ring as she attended the taping, but show judge Isaac Mizrahi insists Holmes put her personal issues aside during filming.
He tells People.com, "She did great."
Holmes' public appearance came a day before Cruise's 50th birthday on Tuesday (03Jul12) - the Top Gun star is spending his big day in Iceland, where he's shooting new film Oblivion.
NBC's Fashion Star reality competition hit the glitzy TV runway on March 13, but is the series going to be hot for Spring?
When Project Runway lost its familiar faces and replaced them with the fully capable, yet unexciting crew - judges Isaac Mizrahi and Georgina Chapman, mentor and Marie Claire editor Joanna Coles and host and model Angela Lindvall - many viewers realized the dream was over. The series still packs some of its initial punch, but it's lost its bravado and its heart all at once. That void leaves room for some other lucky, fashion forward show to take its place. Unfortunately for NBC's latest hat in the reality competition ring, that void is still wide open. Fashion Star is flashy and exciting, but its cheap approach and surplus of moving parts keep it from making the cut.
That realization is not to say that the idea of Fashion Star wasn't worth exploring. Runway spends a great deal of time talking about "wearability" of new designs, yet recent episodes find contestants whipping up costumes for Nicki Minaj and the Broadway equivalent of a Cruella DeVil-Regina George hybrid.
Fashion Star takes the wearability concept to heart, making it the focus and driving factor of the show. Designers preview their fashions on the runway while Top 40 music bumps under the plexi-glass floor. Once mentors Jessica Simpson, Nicole Richie and John Varvatos give the newbies their two cents, the designs go to the highest bidder. Buyers from H&M, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Macy's sit in their throne-like sky boxes and throw numbers at the designs they like - those without offers face elimination.
This process, while intriguing in its offer to take the lid off of the ever-booming fashion industry, serves to cheapen and degrade the art as a whole. Instead of contestants aiming to wow the judges and mentors with their creativity, they're trying to find something that will fit comfortably on the shelves of some of the most ubiquitous clothing store chains out there.
Fashion Star loses the personal element of the designs on Project Runway and then takes it a step further: all the winning designs are made available in mass quantities at the stores whose buyers won the bidding process. This seems to be working out for Saks Fifth Avenue and H&M, whose websites have already sold of their chosen designs - even one mini-skirt that's retailing for a whopping $350. The retail element is an interesting one, but the effect is that the designs are boiled down to mass-appeal simplicity and frankly, it's just not a joy to watch.
But we're not alone. Fashion experts took to Twitter to express their disappointment, too. Marie Claire site director Abby Gardner called the show "a HOT mess" and Us Weekly's executive editor, Lara Cohen replied, "i would say that fashion star is the forever 21 version of project runway, but that's not fair to f21."
But it wasn't just the run of the mill "fashions" that were under attack. The format of the show itself was on trial. Host Elle MacPherson took to the stage in the first few minutes with models clad in her line of intimate apparel and Phantom of The Opera masks, practically screaming "Hey, TV viewers, this is sexy, so please don't turn it off! (Also, please go buy Elle's underwear.)" The stage looked like was pulled from a Bratz Doll commercial, but considering the unimaginative and shiny elements of many of the designs, it's fairly fitting. Still, Vulture's The Fug Girls weren't going to let that go. They tweeted during the show, "#FashionStar clearly spent more on music & Nicole Richie's headbands than it did on anything else. -H" Yes, NBC. They're calling your new baby "cheap."
With all the grievances against the new reality competition, it's a wonder folks like Simpson, Richie and especially Varvatos would throw their lot in with it. But if the already hopping design sales are any indication, America clearly knows something we don't.
The fashion icon wed Arnold Germer during a simple ceremony at New York's City Hall last November (30Nov11).
Mizrahi flashed his wedding band during an appearance on U.S. TV programme The Wendy Williams Show on Friday (05Jan12) and confessed he and his boyfriend had eloped.
He explained, "We've been together for six years, but we met 10 years ago. We didn't think we wanted to get married until they said we could in New York, and then it was like, 'We're getting married!'
"We were at a dinner party (when we told everyone) and people have ideas: 'You have to have a series of parties, Vera Wang has to be called...' We were terrified and decided to just elope at City Hall.
"I didn't really expect it to be a ceremony - I thought it was just a bunch of paperwork. Then (the justice of the peace) said, 'Meet us at the chapel... Please come forward. Do you, Arnold Germer, take...' and I started sobbing. It was one of those moments (where) I wasn't expecting that kind of emotional impact. I think when it's right, you know it."
In June (11), New York became the sixth U.S. state to allow gay unions.