Innovations keep long-running TV franchise viewable

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One of the most popular TV shows about fashion design for a decade now has been “Project Runway.” The design tilt gives gifted newcomers a chance to prove their worth nationally and internationally, with impressive, career-launching results.

The popular competition has had some Filipino or Fil-Am contestants, who have benefited from the exposure they got on the show.

Of late, however, the tilt has been trying to keep its appeal fresh by coming up with a number of innovations - like a “saving vote” for resident fashion mentor Tim Gunn.

He now has the privilege of going against the jurors’ decision to eliminate a contestant. He’s allowed to do it only once per season, but it’s a powerful privilege that has built up his image and clout.

Indeed, he’s been even more prominently featured on other shows, like “Under the Gunn” and the “Junior” version of “Project Runway,” which has tween or teen contestants.

We’ve watched the “Junior” show as well, and generally find it “inspiring” - but rather limited in the creativity of its juvenile designers’ output.

Perhaps it’s due to the fact that some youths’ creative gifts are not fully developed, so they tend to copy the designs of older and more famous fashion icons.

The solution could be for the junior designers to be more closely mentored by more established artists, not just by their parents, as is more generally the case.

Back to new developments on the “Project Runway” “mother” show: Season 13 turned out to be unusual in the number of its contestants who are great lookers in their own right.

Are they former models who have now opted to also make it in the related field of fashion design?

Whatever their individual back stories, the season’s lookers included Korina Emmerich, Amanda Valentine, Char Glover, Emily Payne and Sandhya Garg.

Their presence in the show should encourage other models to consider going into fashion design.

It would be a boon because, in the course of their years-long modeling careers, they’ve been “imbibing” the best designers’ creative inspiration and passion in the clothes they’ve been wearing on and off the ramp.

The next step now is for them to figure out their own personal fashion preferences, “philosophy” and specialization, so they won’t end up as imitative and derivative clones.

This built-in limitation has plagued many contestants’ work and output in past editions of the competition, hence their early ejection from the show. Inquirer.net

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