Earning a more fruitful reaction and reputation over the similarly themed Netflix offering Next In Fashion (which only lasted one season), Amazon’s Making The Cut took the winning Project Runway duo of Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn and altered their mentor mentality to look for a fashion brand rather than just a designer.
There’s no signature catch-phrases and that Amazon linkage means the prize money is more substantial (how’s a million dollars sound?), resulting in a neatly packaged (10 episodes in total) competition that was surprisingly void of bitchy retorts (at least from the competitors), keeping the focus solely on the designs and the personal brands at stake.
As the old saying goes that “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”, this second season very much adheres to the same rules as its predecessor – though its production throughout the pandemic means that though the rules stay the same, the setting has had to adapt. Instead of travelling the world over (the first season varied locales from New York to Paris), here it’s a singular Los Angeles base, though the creativity behind each week’s challenge means the displayed fashion shows are at least dressed up enough to feel like far removed districts.
The competitors are a mixed bunch, mostly serving winning personalities (bar one contestant who practically acts like a sullen child in front of the no-nonsense Gunn), and aside from a select few who have “frontrunner” hovering closely above them, there’s a refreshing lack of predictability as to who will and won’t progress; nothing worse than a reality show that already has a set narrative for the contestant it is seemingly pushing over the others.
Furthering Making The Cut‘s agreeable aesthetic, the judging assist from fashion model-activist Winnie Harlow and Jeremy Scott, the creative director of fashion house Moschino, take over from last season’s Naomi Campbell and Nicole Richie. Whilst both Richie and Campbell provided constructive criticism – it almost seemed like a deliberate ploy on the show’s end to paint the notoriously “stern” Campbell in a gratifying light – Harlow and Scott appear a little more personable; even when serving critiques, it never comes off as overly mean.
Audiences who aren’t fans of fashion are unlikely to find any enjoyment here, mind you – this is one show that doesn’t create drama for the sake of it – as Making The Cut very much proves itself to be a show that celebrates the industry and notes the hard work involved, even if it all feels a little too neatly wrapped up at times. It’s understandable that there’s a certain commercial product placement sheen to it all – that Amazon store gets a good plugging – and not all the fashion is going to be the accessible, wearable designs the everyday person can attain, but there’s some beautiful, wild creations on show that prove delightful to the right, appreciative audience.
THREE AND A HALF STARS (OUT OF FIVE)
Making The Cut Season 2 will premiere its first two episodes on Friday, July 16th, 2021. Two episodes will be released each subsequent week, culminating in the finale on August 6th, 2021.