Project Runway is back for it’s seventeenth season and while the format is mostly the same, the absence of familiar faces brings about big changes in the design competition show that (mostly) bring a freshness to the long running series.
So what’s different? Former host Heidi Klum and mentor favorite Tim Gunn, two names synonymous with Project Runway, have jumped ship to start their own show on Amazon Prime Video. Hosting duties have now been passed over to model Karlie Kloss while mentorship is now with former Project Runway contestant Christian Siriano (who also takes a judges chair) who has built a rather reputable name within the industry since his stint on the show.
Two new judges are also joining the fold, journalist and Teen Vogue editor Elaine Welteroth along with fashion designer Brandon Maxwell. Thankfully, Nina Garcia has stuck around to keep a familiar face on the show though it feels like she keeps looking around hoping Heidi and Tim will pop out and surprise them all.
The work room has also been given a makeover with the familiar white room now replaced with a more industrial NYC loft feel.
Aside from that, Project Runway moves quickly into its rhythm, contestants jumping quickly into their first challenge, a trip to Mood, a tearful breakdown and designers shining while others fail to micro manage their time well enough to put a garment down the runway. The models, like more recent seasons, are of all shapes, colors and sizes and includes the shows first ever trans model Mimi who has a touching moment with her designer Kovid.
The new workroom and new faces help freshen up Project Runway but the first episode really does suffer from any lack of chemistry between the the judges. That spark between Heidi and Tim just isn’t there with Karlie and Christian, but then again, this is something that could develop over time.
Arena are fast tracking episodes from the USA with express screenings on Fridays at 1:35pm and then again at 8:30pm. Episode one (which has already aired) is available on repeats with episode two hitting our screens this coming Friday, March 22nd.