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THE COMPETITION

Reality show options while 'Project Runway' is away

Waiting for Season 6, viewers can try out 'America's Next Top Model,' 'Top Chef' and 'Stylista'

February 01, 2009|Claire Zulkey

It's still uncertain when and on which network "Project Runway" will return, which is bad news for viewers who are itching to get their "Runway" fix. Never fear! Even though the majority of fashion-related programming airs during the sultry days of summer, you can still tune in to other shows to grab the essence of what makes "Runway" great.

If you love 'Project Runway' for . . .

Fashion (and cattiness)

Watch: "Stylista" (Aired on the CW in 2008, Season 1 available for rental)

Though the show can't decide if it wants to be "His Girl Friday" or "The Devil Wears Prada," "Stylista" does offer a fix for those who hunger for a behind-the-scenes look at the fashion world, as wannabe Elle staffers compete to stage photo shoots, create editorial spreads and tear each other to pieces.

Bonus: The Elle closet!!!!

The models

Watch: "America's Next Top Model" (currently in reruns on Bravo and Oxygen, with a new season returning to the CW Feb. 25)

Technically, "PR" is a competition for models as well as designers (the model who works with the winning designer is featured in the celebratory magazine spread). No show is more model-icious than "ANTM," practically a dinosaur of reality TV shows. Plus, both "PR" and "ANTM" are hosted by models (Heidi "auf Wiedersehen!" Klum and Tyra "Fierce!" Banks).

Bonus: There are more than twice as many cycles of "Top Model" as there are of "Project Runway," so that should keep you busy for a while.

Out-of-control contestants

Watch: "Blush: The Search for the Next Great Makeup Artist" (episodes online at mylifetime.com/on-tv/shows/blush/video)

If you could not care less about the designs on "Project Runway" but live for the meltdowns and catfights, tune in to "Blush" and watch Maxi strap on his disco-ball helmet and do his thing.

Bonus: Um . . .

The creativity

Watch: "Top Chef" (Wednesdays on Bravo, also in reruns)

Even people who loathe reality TV programs tend to be pulled in by the spectacle on "PR" of artists being given a challenge and creating something out of nothing. Fashion and food may not go together, but the essence of creating under pressure is present in "Top Chef."

Bonus: Though you probably can't fit into the sample sizes created by "Project Runway" designers, you can always eat the meals cooked up by "Top Chef" contestants!

Tim Gunn

Watch: "Tim Gunn's Guide to Style" (sadly on hiatus for now, but clips are available at BravoTV.com)

What's not to love about "PR" mentor Gunn? He's kindly, debonair and stylish, and dispenses tough love and 50-cent words with aplomb.

Bonus: If you love the "PR" episodes in which Tim visits the designers' homes, then you'll love this show.

--

clairezulkey@hotmail.com

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