Amazon Prime Video recently released new episodes of Making the Cut, a reality show featuring 12 designers who compete with their business and design skills to win a grand prize of one million dollars. It is hosted by Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn, who also starred on Bravo’s Project Runway, which is now hosted by Karlie Kloss.
Although under a different name, Making the Cut has striking similarities to Project Runway. For one, it is a fashion design competition where judges eliminate one or more contestants each episode if their designs were lacking. They both have unique challenges every episode, have mentoring sessions for each designer, makeup consultations, runway and critique afterward, and the list goes on.
Making the Cut, however, tries to set itself apart by focusing more on the designer’s ability to build a brand, not just designing fashion. This does change some aspects of the series in that seamstresses, not the designers, do the bulk of the sewing, and runway critiques involve more conversation on business and brand strategy for designers. Nonetheless, it is hard for anyone who has watched Project Runway to not overlook the glaring similarities.
The first episodes themselves were entertaining, but not entirely captivating. There is less emphasis on the designing process, and a lot of personal tidbits on Klum, Gunn, and designers are awkwardly littered throughout the episodes. Even on the runway, the music can almost swallow attention on the clothes in addition to the odd camera angles.
I must admit, the personal aspect of the series adds a sense of optimism and delight in the current times of quarantine and uncertainty. It is a refreshing sip of relaxation amidst tension and seriousness, but it would be more effective if it blended in more with periods of designing instead of popping up and distracting from it.
The critiques and design mentoring were my favorite parts of each episode, mainly because it focused on the idea of brand building and designing, which is supposed to be the point of the show. The designers (or most) also possess great skill, more than is typically seen on Project Runway, and it is a highlight seeing what they come up with.
In the end, Making the Cut would be fantastic if it would shift its focus back on the clothing and branding, but it is a great filler for any fashion enthusiast longing for the next Project Runway season.