SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you have not yet watched the first two episodes of “Making The Cut.”
Heidi Klum is the kooky aunt, Tim Gunn is the security blanket, and Amazon Prime Video is footing the bill.
“Making The Cut” is the ex-“Project Runway” pair’s new fashion reality competition with a facelift, and the rules are different this time. Contestants are already established designers and hail from all over the globe, more than one person can go home at any time, overnight seamstresses handle all the sewing, each week the winning look is sold on Amazon. Oh, and Naomi Campbell is a judge.
In the first episode, the contestants gathered Stateside for a New York minute before getting whisked away to Paris for their first challenge. There, they were tasked with creating two looks: One runway and one accessible. Sell-ability is key.
We quickly learned that Martha Gottwald from Virginia can’t sew, which would never fly on a Klum and Gunn’s previous fashion competition show, but “Making The Cut” claims that real designers would never be bothered with sewing in the real world and thus has an army of anonymous seamstresses who work overnight on the behalf of the designers.
Sander Bos, one of the youngest contestants who describes his style as “balls to the wall,” is like a Belgian-Benito Skinner, and revealed that after fashion school, he worked at a burger joint to stay afloat.
Esther Perbandt, a punk perfectionist from Berlin who exclusively works with black fabrics, wasn’t impressed with the finished tech pack and decided to start from scratch with only a few hours left until runway. But, her last-minute look ended up winning.
Meanwhile Gottwald was having issues of her own, namely combining a full baby blue bunch skirt with a loud dress. She sought advice from Gunn who simply told her, “I would resist.” Devastating.
The premiere episode culminated in a runway show overseen by Gunn, Klum and judges Campbell, Carine Roitfeld, Joseph Altuzzara and Nicole Richie. Campbell’s contribution in the first episode was reason enough to continue tuning in: She’s searing, seething, and suffers no fools. The elimination session seemed fairly casual compared to those of other shows, with contestants possibly being booted immediately following their critique. Klum warned that multiple people could go home at any time, but in the premiere, only Jasmine Chong was eliminated, after she sent a shapeless and sheer dress down the runway.
The second episode was all about haute couture and a resulting runway show in the Musée des Arts Décoratifs. Come for Campbell reading everyone for filth about their interpretation of couture and stay for our problematic fave Gottwald’s dramatic arc. This is the reality television that we need.
Perbandt once again swept the competition but, surprise, Ji Won Choi’s cool streetwear creation is also being sold on Amazon. Choi’s first series of pieces were Billie Eilish meets South Korea, and judge Richie agreed as much. Choi’s tendency toward the contemporary will definitely help her.
Bos also took couture to the next level, creating a donut-style dress. It was not perfect, but the judges applauded his bravery for going there, and Bos needs to stay in the show for the sole purpose of his commentary. This episode’s gem was a meditation on seizing the day while he’s still young: “I don’t believe in waiting until I’m 30 and I’m all dusty and crusty and have a house and a boyfriend and a dog,” he said.
Gottwald’s “finished” look was literally just safety pinned together, showing no firm grasp of technique. During elimination, Campbell told her, “With couture, there’s a certain respect you have to have. I mean it goes back centuries and I feel like you disrespected the whole entire word and this assignment because we can all pin a wrap.”
Needless to say, Gottwald was sent home.
The focus of “Making The Cut” is art meets commerce and amid a global pandemic, it’s comforting to see real people achieving their dreams. Its feel-good fashion with a sprinkle of sass and, of course, the simmering tension between Campbell and Richie on the judging panel is only going to get better.
“Making The Cut” streams new episodes Fridays on Amazon.