I have been a fan of Project Runway since the middle of the first season. I kept avoiding it, despite the rave reviews from a deskmate.
Ah, reality shows. I could care less, I thought.
But things of changed. I admit to being a fan of the Real Housewives shows and, I also admit, that I have no excuse for this lapse in judgment.
Except….I can’t help myself.
But Project Runway was my first reality show, and remains a guilty pleasure.
For me, Project Runway isn’t so much about the clothes, although that runway show is a great bonus. Instead, I love to see the creative process, watching people see a piece of work from start to finish. I love to see how fashion designers think and how they have to “make it work,” as Tim Gunn says.
And then there is that glimpse into a world we don’t know. How many of us knew about draping or how often those sewing machines mess up or how much muslin is used? I have watched Project Runway during the good seasons and the bad. Those include the priceless episode when designer Michael Knight defended a fellow castmate who was being ridiculed by another. Knight then uttered that show stopping phrase: “I wasn’t trying to play no Captain Save a Ho.”
Or the dreadful Gretchen-gate when an irritating and not so talented designer won over the multi-talented Mondo. Really? Over Mondo.
Project Runway just started its 11th season, airing at 9 p.m. EST Thursdays on Lifetime. The season already is fraught with drama, inflated egos, talent, and even pathos. And with all the backstabbing that sometimes goes on, the one ups manship that permeates the competition, I naturally thought about mysteries wrapped around the fashion world.
After all, these people work with pinking shears; and much can be done with that fabric from Mood.
Here’s a few for Project Runway fans, as well as for readers who could care less about why Michael Kors isn’t on this season. In compiling this list, I received much help from the readers on DorothyL, and I thank each of you who responded to my request both to me personally and on the site. (I won’t try to thank each person as I am sure to miss someone.)
I am not reviewing the following novels, but offering a compilation. And I am sure I have missed several, so please add to the list in our comments.
Ellen Byerrum’s Crime of Fashion mysteries feature Washington, D.C., style scribe Lacey Smithsonian, who writes about style snafus in her Crimes of Fashion columns and Fashion Bites. The series includes Veiled Revenge, Death on Heels and Hostile Makeover.
Elaine Viets’ Josie Marcus Mystery Shopper series has the single mother constantly looking at fashions, including handbags in Dying in Style; high heels in High Heels Are Murder; scarves in Accessory to Murder; and lingerie in An Uplifting Murder.
Gregg Herren’s Fashion Victim is about a reporter assigned to profile a fashion designer who ends up dead 15 minutes after the interview. One blurb calls it “Devil Wears Prada meets Agatha Christie.”
Hank Phillippi Ryan’s Air Time is all about counterfeit designer clothes and purses and the crime of pirating designs. The major plot line is intrigue in the fashion industry.
Rex Stout's wife, Pola, was a fabric designer and several of his stories involved the fashion world, including The Red Box (1937) and The Red Threads (1939).
Rosemary Stevens has shown the historical importance of fashion in her series about Beau Brummell, who was the arbiter of fashion in the Regency era of Great Britain. Her Murder A Go Go novels featured the fashions of the 1960s.
Sondra Luger’s newly published Drop Me Off In Harlem is a jazz age mystery set 1927 at a NYC fashion house were a model is murdered. The suspects are two models, one white, one black who team up to find the culprit.
Margery Allingham's The Fashion in Shrouds introduced Albert Campion's sister, a successful fashion designer.
Patricia Moyes's Murder à la Mode involves Henry Tibbett's niece, who is a model, the murder of a writer for a fashion magazine and the smuggling of the latest Paris designs.
Christine DeMaio-Rice’s Fashion Avenue series include Death of a Fashion Model and Dead Is the New Black.