Project Runway: Season 8
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on July 23, 2011
"Project Runway" is a perennial guilty pleasure. Cat fights among fashion designers, Tim Gunn's mentoring, Heidi Klum's Teutonic accent, there's fun for everyone. "Project Runway" is very much at home in New York City, especially when the three finalists show their lines at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at Lincoln Center. The 8th season is a standout with its flamboyant characters. The drama at the Parsons School of Design is as much a highlight as the challenges&the looks.

The 8th season had fascinating challenges-using materials from a party goods store, a Marie Claire (1-year auto-renewal) challenge, using avant garde hats from Philip Treacy (who designed Princess Beatrice's hat for LIFE The Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton: Expanded, Commemorative Edition (Life (Life Books))), making a 6 piece collection, using First Lady Jackie Kennedy as inspiration, and L'Oreal make-up. During the 8th season, Alexander McQueen (Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty (Metropolitan Museum of Art)) killed himself, and Heidi Klum commemorates him.

The 8th season had its array of characters- from Carlos Casanova, the middle-aged designer Peach, the Laotian Andy South, the granola/hippie-ish Gretchen Jones from the Pacific Northwest, and the inimitable Mondo Guerra. Mondo Guerra was a standout with his designs;he even managed to make his HIV+ status into a clothing pattern. Heidi Klum wore one of his dresses to the premiere of Black Swan. Mondo Guerra's journey in the world of fashion is particularly personal.

"Project Runway: Season 8" has a line of standout celebrity judges- Jessica Simpson, Selma Blair, January Jones of Mad Men: Season One. Make it work! The designers do indeed make it work.
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27 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on January 26, 2011
I've been a great fan of Project Runway, seen every episode several times, bought every season on dvd & watched them several times. I've recomended the show to anyone who'd listen. There have been good & not so good seasons, good & not so good judging, but season eight was worse than the worst that preceeded it. The judging was totally inexplicable & inexcusable. People were kept on the show who never should have been on the show at all. The final winner was a jaw dropping shock, one of those "what were the thinking?" moments. I was so put off by season 8 that I have no intension of buying it on dvd. More, I was so disgusted I may never watch upcoming seasons. Tim Gunn was the only one to come off well & the only reason I may relent & watch future shows.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on March 19, 2011
I was not really satisfied with the way that the judging went for this particular season--but it was so fun to watch! I would have preferred for Mondo to win. Although many of his designs were a bit over the top for my taste, he was who I considered to be the most talented. My wife thought that Mondo's decision to include that white dress with the huge black polka dots in his final collection lost him him the support of Michael Kors, who had been critical of that design in the preliminary round. But I liked that dress, so I felt that Mondo should have won. As for the winner, Gretchen, I just did not like her designs. It seemed like Heidi, though often critical of Gretchen, was always kind of pushing her along and supporting her come what may. I think that Michael Kors really hit the nail on the head when he characterized Gretchen's designs as having a "Lady of the Valley" look. These sort of loose beige/earthen-toned things were just not what I would consider elegant, sexy, or fun! I also felt that April, the blond-haired younger woman, was not given enough credit. I loved her wild black edgy designs. Andy clearly deserved to be in the final three--I particularly loved his bathing suit in one of the challenges. In the end I felt that the final three should have been Mondo, Andy, and April.

Casanova, one of the real characters in the competition, was fun to watch. I particularly remember his weird dress that looked like it was about to slip off the hips of the model--and earned a few amusing comments from Michael Kors--who likened it to something appropriate for a belly dancer or stripper. Michael Costello was interesting as well. The poor guy was really maligned in one of the earlier challenges--and accused of being unable to sew. To his credit, Mondo worked very earnestly with Michael in a team challenge which did much to rehabilitate Michael's image. Michael was wonderful at draping--but I agreed with the judges that he did not belong as one of the final three. I think that Michael achieved some kind of record low in his reaction to not making the final three. His nearly hysterical sobbing was embarrassing to watch!
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23 of 31 people found the following review helpful
There is a formula to reality tv contests, which comes down to one likely to win the ratings race in television and thus bring in more money from advertisers. While ostensibly this reality show is a clothing competition, the real purpose of the show is NOT to find the next great great fashion designer but rather TO GET THE HIGHEST POSSIBLE RATINGS AS A TV SHOW. If you read the end credits carefully, you will even discover that the show reserves a great deal of power so that decisions are very much in the hands of those who create tv shows. The people you see onscreen by no means hold the power in the entire disqualifying process. Indeed, the most remarkable thing which happens this season is that there is a spinoff show which follows it which features two talented designers (who did not win) who were fabulous characters in their season of this show. The spinoff show was much better than this show this season because they are fabulous characters plus very daring designers. (Too daring for Kors and Garcia, as per usual.)

The above pathos wringing problem was never more evident that this season. Every drop of drama which could be wrung from these "characters" was done so. I could almost imagine the person behind the camera crying, "Cut! Let's try hitting that wall with a little more oomph, Michael, to show how really upset you are." Or "Hmmmm, let's bring back our most bitter and envious contestant as a "helper" and let her vent her spleen against one of the contestants still there." Ergo the "character" Ivy the minute she hits the sewing machine accusing a contestant still in the running of cheating.

Then there is the problem of judges who seem like they have been judging too long. Judging is a very different process from creating and time after time there was evidence that Michael Kors and Nina Garcia have devolved (instead of evolved) into caricatures from the fashion industry. They both clearly relish being stars and you can clearly see how much they love being "tv stars". They have become absolutely convinced that their judgment of fashion's being in or out is equivalent to holy writ. Additionally, they have done everything possible to make themselves more glamorous for the tv cameras (and failed). Ironically, the guest judges and Heidi Klum are much more open to creativity. The guest judges have become the voices of reason on this show. They are often clearly baffled by what is coming out of the mouths of Garcia and Kors. (This is saying something when one realizes that these are mostly celebrities who are on the covers of magazines--supposedly people who are "out there" in LaLa Land.) Worst of all are that Garcia and Kors are among the most humorless people on the planet.

Tim Gunn remains Tim Gunn. He has changed the least of all of the "pros" in the show. His advice in fashion to the designers appears to be more rooted in the concepts of fashion design as opposed to the propping up of himself as a tv star.

So was there some good fashion to watch? Yes there was but it clearly took a back seat to all of this manufactured drama.

Did the right person win? I'm not sure. Kors and Garcia shouted everyone else down and got their choice in the end, over Klum and guest Jessica Simpson. It is sure to be a rancorous decision because it came down to picking the good character versus the evil character. (I am referring to how two end contestants were portrayed on camera, not as to how they might be in real life.) In the end, I think it may have been fairer to have a tie this season.

One further matter: this show was elongated to 90 minutes to present more drama, not to present more fashion and the making of fashion. I don't like all of this pathos so this became an excruciating length for me. If this were truly a show about creativity in fashion design, the show could have been cut in half timewise.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
"Project Runway" Season 8
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Note: mild spoilers below
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This season features one of the least talented - or least exciting - design pools to date, with really only one designer whose work was on a creative par with the best contestants of seasons past. And yet, even without much "wow factor," the show was entertaining and engaging to the very last minute - the formula still works. The final choice was a naked, shameful travesty -- we were screaming, throwing things at the TV, but comforting ourselves by muttering that the loser (who was robbed!) will make millions as a celebrity designer, without any doubt.

Some changes and trends this season: the three main judges (Klum, Kors and Garcia) were much, much cattier than in previous seasons (although Heidi softened up a bit by the end) and week after week Heidi appeared in some of the worst clothes she's been in to date. In the parlance of the show, her own personal "taste level" seems pretty suspect these days. A couple of the designer melodramas were quite striking, particularly the "reveal" on contestant Michael Costello, which was one of the most genuinely painful moments I've seen in reality TV. All in all, this was a good, entertaining season - we enjoyed it. (Joe Sixpack, Slipcue.com film reviews)
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on November 15, 2010
I really enjoyed Season 8 of Project Runway. I did not agree with the final outcome, but enjoyed watching the entire season. I had some favorite designers and found the character development well done. Season 8 is one of my favorite seasons so far. I look forward to to re-watch the season and seeing the Special Features.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on June 23, 2011
While visiting my daughter in New Jersey I came across Project Runway which I absolutely loved. I am from Canada and, I believe we don't have that particular show in our area. So, I ordered all eight seasons from Amazon.com As long as they keep producing the series, I will continue to order them. I love Tim and Heidi together and, I respect the decision the panel makes each week of the competition . I pick my favorite and, look forward to Fashion Week. What can I say, I am a loyal Canadian fan who loves, loves, this unique series. Looking forward to Season Nine.....
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on May 24, 2011
Project Runway has been my favorite show since the first season. I've bought all the DVDs, and I've watched them all more times than I'd like to admit. Season 8 was one of the best. They have all the usual struggles
and tensions between the designers. A lot of people were disappointed with the final winner. Not me. I picked the winner from the beginning. The final three had very different styles. And different personalities. The judges had a very hard time choosing the winner from between the top two. I'm anxiously waiting for the next season.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on August 16, 2011
I am a PR fan and have all the seasons on DVD. This last season was good in challenges despite that Lifetime now owns the rights to put it on.
Lifetime have decided for money grabbing reasons to make the show less fashion, and more commercial. I fear they will within two seasons, lose many, if not most of their loyal fans. I do not need to have informercials within the show about the products they are using. It is cheap and tacky. ( Slutty slutty slutty! ) They are proud to say it is now 90 minutes per show and yet I doubt we actually get half that, and what we do is loaded with HP and other product pushing. There are more than enough commercial breaks - too many, in fact. We do not need more of them in the weekly challenge. They make staying with it a challenge itself.
And why is Lifetime spoiling it with a "on next weeks show .." for goodness sake, we are going to watch it, don't take away that last little guess. Next they will be announcing the winner and loser BEFORE the show starts.
They have taken one of the best basic ideas of a show and turned it cheap. I for one enjoyed getting to know the models as we did when Bravo had it. We even had the "Models of the Runway" and would see their selection. For me an average person, it was fascinating to see further and deeper into the fashion industry by getting to know these ladies who walk the walk but don't talk any talk - until we had PR! That voice has been silenced by Lifetime. Do they not see see how they are destroying such a great concept?
I suspect a 'holier-than-thou' mindset has taken hold as it is Lifetime. Sad.
On the discs? They were sold to me new. They were used. The box had been opened and the dics had fingerprints on them.
Love the show - but overall, low score.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 11, 2012
Why are these people so nasty and cruel to one another? Watching them talk about people behind their backs, be rude to them in person, have ego driven diva meltdowns it all makes me SICK. Remember the lesson the director of Fashion Week taught us in Season 2? Designers should treat people with RESPECT and that over the top behavior does not belong in fashion (at which point Daniel V. makes a big point to stare Santino down). The way a few of the designers disrespects Heidi in the workroom was unforgivable! Who are these people and why arent they on meds? Get some therapy and work on yourself and try and behave like an actual human being. If I had behaved this way in public I would be mortified, die of embarrassment, etc. They're so nasty to one another that by the time we get to the runway show I'm too upset to care about the clothes.
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