Friday, September 9, 2011

Project Runway online on demand

Contestant Anya Ayoung Chee designs a garment for a stilt walker.

During the summer, while we were all hanging out at the pool and hitting the clubs at night, several wonderful shows got underway. One of my very favorites among my friends is Project Runway.

The show regularly airs on Thursdays at 9 pm on My Lifetime, (channel 40 on Brighthouse digital cable networks here in Orlando), then reruns throughout the week at:
  • 1 am Friday morning on LRW channel 157 and Lifetime channel 40;
  • 11:30 am Saturday morning on Lifetime channel 40;
  • 9 pm Monday night on LRW channel 157;
  • Midnight Tuesday on LRW channel 157;
  • and before the next "new" episode each Thursday at 8 pm on Lifetime channel 40.
Please check listings each week as these may change.

The show is set in NYC at Parsons School of Design and features the beautiful Heidi Klum as celebrity host and judge, introducing a group of designer contestants to a challenge at the beginning of each show, and touting her famous line, “When it comes to fashion, you’re either in, or you’re out.” Klum is also the executive producer of the show.

The designers then rush off to a large workroom to create their magic, taking adventurous trips outside the studio to gain inspiration from the world around them, buying glorious textiles from Mood, and meeting famous designers. They are aided by fashion expert Tim Gunn (currently the chief creative officer at Liz Claiborne) who gives wonderfully honest, yet kind criticisms of their work. Their list of clients over the years has ranged from the everyday housewife, to a poodle, to a famous celebrity. I’m never disappointed with a show, it’s always interesting, and I’m nearly always “wowed,” as Tim Gunn likes to say. When time is up, finished or not, models walk the designs up and down a runway in front of four judges: Nina Garcia, fashion director of Marie Claire magazine, Michael Kors, award winning designer, Heidi Klum, and a guest celebrity judge.

Although Project Runway is currently halfway through the season, through the magic of the internet, you can still see some of the episodes in full online here.

In fact, if I can’t find a show online or via “on demand” on cable, I usually won’t watch it. A lot of my friends have very erratic schedules between work, school, and busy social lives. We’re not likely to set aside an hour at night just to sit and watch a TV show when we could be out clubbing on Church St.

Online airings of shows do have commercials, but I must admit, they seem much hipper, more entertaining, and briefer (although super loud – be ready to pounce on the volume control). You must have a high speed internet connection. I also recommend investing in a great set of computer speakers or running the audio feed through a stereo.

Only the last five episodes are currently available in full, episodes 3 through 7, so if you want to see Episode 3, “Go Big or Go Home,” where the designers worked in pairs to create designs to be worn by models wearing stilts, watch it quick. My guess is it will be replaced each week (such a travesty) so that only the most recent five episodes are airing at any given time.

I am disappointed that I cannot see one of the funnier shows, Episode 2, the “My Pet Project” challenge where the designers were required to use materials from a pet supply store generally intended for Polly, Fluffy, or Fido. I saw the end, and it looked fabulous.

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