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Project Runway: Life Imitating Art, or Vice-Versa

Once upon a time, every tale began with "once upon a time" -- and every story had a moral.  That neatly scripted world is a bit more difficult to reproduce in the era of "reality" television, despite the transformative editing.   (Thanks to my Georgetown student Rowan Morris for exploring this genre.)  Still, audiences seem to yearn for a happy ending, or at least one that sees justice done -- the best man (or woman) wins, the bad guy loses, and all is right with the world.

Today, on the eve of a new season of Project Runway (if you missed the contestant selection special last night, click here for the preview video that PR's nice PR folks sent me), here's a video clip from last season.  In it, both the oracular Tim Gunn and the talented and pragmatic Emmett McCarthy warn Marla Duran that sending a knockoff down the runway isn't a winning strategy. 


Alas, despite no fewer than 9 separate scenes mentioning Marla's appropriation of a Chloe dress already owned and worn by her celebrity "client," she survives the round.  Apparently, at least in the eyes of judge Michael Kors, it's a greater sin to land your client on the worst-dressed list than it is to send her out in a copy.  (Of course, this may have something to do with the Michael Kors sandals on sale at DSW in New York a few days ago; they were strikingly similar to the ubiquitous Jack Rogers Navajo sandals, but with higher heels.) 

Still, all's well that ends well, and PR Season 2 winner Chloe Dao is a true original, with a compelling success story to boot.  And she's not the only worthy candidate who's enjoying post-Runway life. 

If you happen to be in New York TODAY, don't forget to join Chloe, Kara Janx, Nick Verreos, and Tim Gunn at Emmett's Nolita boutique for a summer sale and fall preview (details here).  Why just watch the designers when you can actually wear them?


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