Project Runway

Common Sense Media says

Check this one out before sharing with fashion-crazed teens.

Age(i)

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Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The show is a contest, and there's some unsportsmanlike behavior -- which the cameras tend to linger on. But you can also take away positive messages about working hard and being creative.

Positive role models

While the contestants certainly aren't uniformly well behaved or nice to each other, they all try very hard to win and demonstrate resourcefulness and creativity as they do so.

Violence
Not applicable
Sex

Models are seen being fitted in outfits that can be very skimpy (including lingerie).

Language

Occasional profanity such as "hell" or references to sex.

Consumerism

Sponsors' products are mentioned frequently. Sponsors have included TRESemme, Garnier, Bluefly.com, Piper Lime, Macy's, and Elle and Marie Claire magazines.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Designers are seen drinking and smoking cigarettes.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this popular reality contest includes scenes in which models are fitted into skimpy clothes. Designers drink and smoke and use mild profanity like "hell." The contestants are all motivated and creative, but they can also be two-faced and gossipy about their fellow competitors. Instead of focusing on the creative process, the show tends to highlight prima donna personalities and unprofessional behavior.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

In PROJECT RUNWAY, more than a dozen designers -- ranging from instructors at fashion schools to small-time designers with their own businesses to very young recent grads -- compete in weekly design challenges. The finalists then create their own lines to present at New York's Fashion Week. The winner gets money, a magazine fashion spread, and other prizes. Hostess/executive producer Heidi Klum meets with the designers when their challenges are announced and on the runway when their pieces are judged by famous designers, magazine fashion editors, and other celebrity guests. Tim Gunn, head of the Parsons School for Design, is the liaison to the designers and guides them through their challenges.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Watching the designers create their pieces in incredibly short amounts of time with small budgets -- and usually in the midst of hysteria a-- is awe-inspiring. Unfortunately, Project Runway doesn't really linger on the design process (sketching, selecting fabric and materials, cutting, pinning, measuring, sewing, detailing). Instead, the cameras tend to focus on the drama between the contestants' over-achieving, arrogant personalities as the designers scramble to finish their challenges (and cut each other down). Then viewers watch as the competitors' unique designs are displayed on the super-thin bodies of aspiring models. Is this what we want teens to be thinking is real?

It's easy to get sucked into this admittedly addictive show. For kids serious about design, it offers a peek into the nasty side of the fashion industry -- what's behind the glitz and glitter and bling. But beware: This show is a very slippery slope and hard to turn off once you start.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the unglamorous side of the fashion world. How much education, hard work, and risk does it take to become a designer?

  • Does being a worthy competitor mean foregoing any gestures of cooperation?

TV details

Cast:Heidi Klum, Tim Gunn
Network:Bravo
Genre:Reality TV
TV rating:TV-14
Available on:DVD, Streaming

This review of Project Runway was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 13 years old Written byalexie July 19, 2009
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

:D

It's a GREAT show. I love Project Runway. I've gotten most of my friends to watch it with me so we can discuss what we watched the next day. My only concern is the language, as the designers on the show are pretty much drama queens/kings. But honestly, I wouldn't let that stop anyone from watching this movie. It is great.

What other families should know
Too much swearing
Great role models
Kid, 11 years old Written byreveiwer123987 April 9, 2010
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

Best for preteens & up

I always watch this and think that it's awesome.

Kid, 12 years old Written byAlyCuppyCakes October 7, 2009
AGE
11
QUALITY
 

I /lovee/ Project Runway, it reallyy is a great show. there's a littlee bit of languagee, but it's mildd. i would ratee this on for 11 and upppp x]

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