Television Secret Santa – Project Runway, Season 14

Over the holidays we decided to treat ourselves to some quality shows by doing another round of TV Secret Santas. This time, instead of picking shows for each other, we all wrote down the names of various shows (which we had either seen and wanted others to watch or hadn’t seen at all) and did a random blind pick out of a Santa hat (or in our case a Ziploc bag). This week Katie discusses her pick, Project Runway, Season 14. 

1.) What show did you pick? Season 14 of Project Runway. 16 contestants compete to be the next great American designer. This season originally aired in August 2015 on Lifetime.


The unconventional materials challenge – create a design from Hallmark cards (winning design by Edmund pictured in the middle)

2.) What did you know about the show before you started watching? I’ve watched most of the other seasons of Project Runway, so I knew the format of the show (hour and half (!) long reality show), what the type of contestants that are typically cast (smarter and more well-spoken than other reality shows), and what type of designs the judges prefer (Heidi likes things she would wear, Zach likes things that are well sewn, Nina likes things that would photograph well, and the guest judges like… well… to say the phrase “fashion-forward.”)

I remembered that the first episode is typically a slog (every first episode of every reality show is), as is the second last episode (nothing happens. the designers are just getting ready for the final runway show.)

I also knew that you can typically guess the who will be in the finale pretty early on, because they will get the most screen time. Hello Ashley!!


Pieces from Ashley’s winning collection

3.) What is the show actually about? I think the show is supposed to be about selecting the “best” designer, but it is really about watching cool people be creative under high stress situations. The ultimate winner is the designer who is the most creative, while still landing somewhere within the boundaries of the judges taste.


Finale looks from Candice. The judges described her style as “witchy-bitchy.” 

4.) What did you think about the show after the first episode? There weren’t too many outstanding designs in the first episode but I thought the contestants casted this season were a lot funnier than in past seasons.

5.) How did that change after the last episode? Well, Project Runway does not benefit from being binge-watched, like I watched this season. I noticed a lot of repetition, especially in the interview portions. How many times do we need to see Ashley crying because “she doesn’t think she can do it”? By the 5th time I saw Ashley crying, it was pretty obvious she was going to win. While I think that the extended judging sequence is entertaining and illuminating, the running length of each episode is wayyyyy too long.

 6.) Who would you recommend this show to? People who like reality shows. People who like to watch creative people. People with PVRs, so they can fast forward the bloated portions of the show, especially the footage of the contestants in their hotel rooms. Is there anything more boring that people talking about “how stressed they are” and “how much work they need to do tomorrow”?

7.) Describe this show in one word. Stressed.

8.) Any final shoutouts? Shoutout to Kelly from the deli. She was my favourite contestant this season, but ultimately I agree that Ashley had the best, most cohesive collection.


Kelly is a jumpsuit master

Lastly, shoutout to Tim Gunn who is consistently a calming presence on the show. Apparently he hated season 14.

Shows not picked out of the Santa Ziploc:
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Show Me a Hero, Casual, Jessica Jones, Master of None, Deutschland 83, Project Greenlight Season 4, Jane the Virgin, Difficult People, Narcos, You’re the Worst, Togetherness, Please Like Me, UnREAL. 

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