Heaven knows the sew-faux world of Project Runway has never been a land of Eden-like innocence. But just three weeks into its fourth season, Bravo’s big hit is fast approaching its snipping — er, tipping — point. Much like the grizzled alcoholics-in-the-making who compose the casting pool for MTV’s Real World, Runway contestants now walk into the Parsons sewing room already jaded, ready to pitch fits or gaze adoringly at mentor Tim Gunn.
Things have become too self-conscious in the House of Heidi. You know it when a wannabe scrawls Gunn’s mantra ”Make it work!” on a wall before the man himself has even had a chance to utter it. Or when the newbies start to remind you of the show’s veterans: Christian’s cubist haircut is the tonsorial equivalent of Santino’s hat fetish; working-class Ricky weeps for our sympathy — he is, truly, the poor man’s Malan.
Meanwhile, over on the judges’ side, Michael Kors can barely summon the will to flap his wrist and exhale a wan ”Hi, guuuuys” when he’s introduced each week. For sure we’ll keep watching, but maybe Tim should change his catchphrase to that of Ezra Pound: ”Make it new!”