It's time to sharpen the needles and thread the bobbins because Project Runway has some serious design game. The series debuted in 2004 and quickly found an audience among fashionistas and reality show junkies alike with a blend of interesting challenges and quirky competitors. The show has been hosted since the beginning by supermodel Heidi Klum
and the original judges, Michael Kors
and Nina Garcia
, are also still on board. The most popular member of the cast is mentor Tim Gunn
, always dapper and well spoken; he gives the show heart and inspires some of the best laughs.
The basic premise of the Project Runway has remained the same throughout the series, aspiring clothing designers are given a challenge and one is eliminated each week until three remain for a final runway show during Fashion Week. The challenges range from the straightforward like transforming a wedding dress from a failed marriage into something completely different for the owner, to the zany such as designing clothing made from car parts. Each challenge culminated in a weekly runway show, easily the highlight of every episode, followed by some tough Q&A from the judges after which a winner was declared and the loser sent home with Heidi's trademark “Auf Wiedersehen” (good bye in German).
Project Runway made fashion and design accessible to everyone and launched the careers of many young designers. Embraced by established designers and celebrities, this show is fashion forward and taught the viewers to make it work.