REVIEW: Project Runway – Season 16 Premiere w/ Plus Size Models

The new season has begun and Tim Gunn got his wish: plus size models for the designers to work with. Each challenge they’ll get a new model to work with, some will be smaller than others. A few designers (mostly the females) are excited about this development while others, including one who has only ever designed for men, are less than thrilled.

When the models are first brought out, Heidi announces that fashion is for all sizes, and that “one size does not fit all”. This statement is not news to everyone outside the fashion world, but her presentation of the “surprise” felt like a ratings gimmick rather than a genuine show policy decision.

Later in the episode, as the designers are working on their challenge, a conversation is started when ChaCha says his model is fat – I must note that he was not paired with a plus size model. A montage of the designers using different terms, from plus to curvy to bootylicious, tries to further explain to the audience what will be happening throughout the season.

We get it! There are models ranging from size 2 – size 22.

Another designer finally points out the important fact that “a plus size model [should not be] seen as a problem size model”. And the premiere was allowed to move forward.

What do YOU think: Is this multi-sized model decision part of the show’s attempt at fixing the fashion industry or just a way to raise ratings after 16 seasons?

Let me know on Twitter, @yaeltygiel

— Yael Tygiel