The much-anticipated Season 6 of Project Runway premiered last week amidst a lot of hooplah generated by the oft-maligned Lifetime channel. I’ve oft-maligned it so much myself that I’d eliminated it from my channel guide and had to do a bit of panicked, last-minute research to even find the dang channel. I don’t know about you, but I wondered, could they even do this right on the Lifetime channel?
Well, it turns out nothing has changed, not one iota. So, phew.
I must say you can positively OD on all of the extra content Lifetime is providing us. They are milking this franchise for all it’s worth. First, there’s the 2-hour Project Runway All-Stars, where we got to see contestants from years past create collections and compete for a $100,000 prize…then there’s the new Models of the Runway, where I presume we’ll get the models’ POV of the entire contest (haven’t seen it yet). Plus a ton of extra videos you can watch online (home tours, closet tours and fashion tips from every designer and model, runway critiques from Tim Gunn, and a ton of other stuff).
However, be forewarned. You will be subjected to an entire 30-second commercial for each minute of video you watch on the Lifetime site.
I slogged through sixteen *expletive* toothpaste commercials to scope out the home tours of all the contestants. Not much worth looking at, to be honest. I don’t necessarily intend to critique anybody because they’re not interior designers and aren’t necessarily putting themselves out there on that particular level, but I will say there were a few surprises.
For instance, this week’s winner, Christopher Straub, lives with his partner in a house he decorated in “old-world, European style.” While it’s not my personal taste at all, what shocks me about this is that Christopher’s house looks like retirees live in it, not a guy who’s still twenty-something. I’m always saddened when I see young people decorate their homes in what appears to be their parents’ style, just because that’s what’s familiar. I try to encourage my younger clients to embrace a more youthful style. You have plenty of time in your old age to surround yourself with old-lady accoutrements. Don’t F up your early years by rushing that process!
Johnny Sakalis cried a lot about his meth addiction on the first episode, so to be honest, I wasn’t expecting much out of his place. Didn’t exactly think we’d see him in some kind of crack den or anything, but from the moment I saw the contemporary knocker on his front door, it seemed obvious the dude has come a long way already. (So stop cryin’, Johnny.) He had a nice-looking bed and had mounted a diptych on his living room ceiling–a far cry from the washed out college-dweller type apartments that many of the other youngsters had. (Carol Hannah Whitfield, Malvin Vein, Irina Shabayeva, Althea Harper all fell into this category.)
Louise Black‘s personal style is written all over her face. And head. Obsessed with gothic-ish vintage paraphernalia, she has the requisite black bob, the bazillion antique dollheads stuck on everything in sight, and calls her style “decaying and decadent.” Her place is definitely more correlative with her personal look than some of the other designers.
Logan Neitzel has the most impressive combination of home/work environments. His Seattle loft is filled with stylish, masculine leather furniture juxtaposed with an elaborate crystal chandelier. Like that combo. His studio is very elaborate and seems organized with an ecclectic style. Out of all of the contestants, I’m actually more curious about his designs than anyone else. He displayed a quiet edge with his red carpet look and now that I’ve seen his loft, I think he’s one of the few who is exuding a specific point of view throughout all facets of his world.
It’s the models’ homes that are filled with more pizzazz and personality, but I couldn’t bring myself to sit through the commercials to view more than four of them.
Note to the Lifetime Channel: If you are trying to lure people into spending quality time on your web site, it generally helps not to shove advertising down their throats. Most other networks’ sites feature 10-second ads, or one ad per two videos. It seems like a colossal waste of time and money to produce all this content if no one will stick around on your site long enough to watch it.