The Fashion Show Aims to Fill Runway's Shiny Shoes

Unless you've been sequestered at a religious retreat/padded cell/otherwise media-free zone for the past month, you'll know that The Fashion Show, Bravo's knockoff of Lifetime-bound Project Runway, is debuting next week. And like a replacement child born after the tragic loss of its sibling, Bravo's new baby will struggle to escape comparisons to its beloved predecessor, especially since it's been molded so faithfully in the other's image.

The Fashion Show, which stars Isaac Mizrahi, Kelly Rowland, and Fern Mallis (with guest judges like Tinsley Mortimer), is, like Runway, a competition between 15 wannabe designers, one of whom will be cruelly eliminated each week. It's already triumphed in one area, however: Mid-range haircare line Tresemmé, which had featured prominently in Runway since season two, has opted to stick with Bravo and put its considerable sponsorship dollars into The Fashion Show.

"Project Runway," says Alberto-Culver marketing VP David Kroll, "[was] a great property and we had a fantastic relationship," but for the Tresemmé brand, "it was starting to lose a little bit of impact, get a little bit stale."

Meow! This bitchitude reminds us of what this competition between competitions is really going to come down to: When judging the ridiculous outfits constructed with blood, sweat, tears, and TV camera-induced adrenaline, who will deliver the most cuttingly devastating assessments, Isaac or Michael Kors? Well, a promo clip of The Fashion Show has Isaac saying to one poor contestant: "I cannot tell you how offensive your fabric sense is."

Better start sharpening those claws, Michael!

Hair Spray's Sponsorship Stays in Place (on Bravo) [NYT]