I was immediately hooked when I caught some re-runs of this show on Bravo, and decided to buy the DVDs...ALL OF THEM! As an artist and photographer, I was immediately captured by the premise of the creative challenges presented to the budding designers each week. Heidi Klum is the attractive hostess of the show, ably supported by Tim Gunn, the Director of the renowned Parsons New School of Design. 12 hopeful designers start off the competition, and are eliminated one at a time each week after they are evaluated by judges (including designer Michael Kors & Nina Garcia from Elle Magazine) on the runway for their fashion creations. Some of the creative challenges include using things purchased at a grocery store to create a dress, re-designing the uniform of a postal worker (after spending a day in the field wearing the uniform), and working with the models (who also get eliminated one at a time each week) to create the model's ideal wedding gown. Reality TV is usually about the drama and contrived situations; do they exist here? Sure, however, it is refreshing to see that the majority of the show is about design and critiquing the unique creations that the designers whip up...and I do mean whip, as each challenge is done with very little lead time. The last 3 "survivors" get to exhibit an entire line at New York's Fashion week (actress Parker Posey sits in as one of the judges), with the grand prize including a photo spread in Elle Magazine and $100k in funding to create their own design line of clothes.
Extras on the DVD include "Wear Are They Now" featurettes for the final 5 designers; deleted scenes (which are best watching AFTER you watch the episodes, as they show further behind-the-scenes antics of the 12 contestants); a design photo gallery for all 12 designers.
An excellent set for up-and-coming designers as well as models. This show is a class act that rarely gets bogged down in the emotional drama (although there are a few choice scenes!).