You Can Fall In Love On Project Runway — If You're Straight

Illustration for article titled You Can Fall In Love On Project Runway — If You're Straight

True/Slant's Allison Kilkenny is accusing Project Runway of homophobia, at least when it comes to editing relationships.


The producers have played up the flirtation between Carol Hannah and Logan in season 6, but theirs is not the first Proj Run romance.

In season five, Kilkenny writes, "there was an epic courtship between two of the show's male designers, Daniel Feld and Wesley Nault, but the relationship was completely whitewashed from the show." This, despite the fact that "all of the elements for great television were there: love, angst, drama, and a romantic ending."

It was love at first sight: "I knew the minute I saw him on the rooftop," says Nault. The couple would hold hands as they sat beside each other during the runway shows, though Nault was eliminated after the second challenge. Feld was "devastated," and claims: "I didn't get a chance to say goodbye. But Kenley, another contestant, came to me and said, ‘Wesley says: Make it to the end for me.'" Kilkenny points out: "You couldn't write this kind of ratings gold."

Tim Gunn has defended the omission of these details as the producers being "discreet." But this is a show that airs footage of people applying mascara in the bathroom mirror, crying on the phone to loved ones, etc. Kilkenny adds that the producers were not discreet in season four when HIV-positive designer Jack Mackenroth had to leave the show after developing a contagious staph infection.

Of course Project Runway embraces gay people. But Kilkenny argues: "If the producers had thought [Nault and Feld's] courtship had value, you can be damn sure it would have been in the final product… By selectively editing which relationships they include in the show, the producers are participating in homophobia."

Here's another idea: Maybe Nault and Feld's romance didn't air because it was too normal, too positive? Season five focused a lot on love-to-hate Kenley, "leathuh" loving Stella and Mr.-I-speak-about-myself-in-the-third-person, Suede. Could it be that with so many colorful characters, a gay love affair just couldn't compete?


In any case: Daniel Feld and Wesley Nault are business partners, with a collection called WesFeld, and recently traded commitment rings. So perhaps having a relationship away from the prying lens of a camera was a good thing?

Project Runway's Surprising Homophobic Editing [True/Slant]



While I disagree that the Danial/Wesley romance was an example of homophobic editing, I have to agree with Kilkenny's larger point. Over the course of 6 season, PR has often show clips of the female designers talking about the hot straight guys, but I have yet to see one instance of a gay designer talking about how cute another man on the show is. And given Season 2? I guarantee it's happened. Now where did I leave Andre...