Amazon Prime's fashion competition show, Making the Cut, premiered on Amazon at the end of March, and the full season is available to stream on the platform now. Come to hear the thoughts of the all-star judging panel, which includes Heidi Klum, Naomi Campbell, Nicole Richie, Joseph Altuzarra, Carine Roitfeld, and Chiara Ferragni. But stay to see the 12 fashion designers compete for a chance to take their brands global, in challenges that range from designing three-look mini collections to creating a digital marketing campaign from scratch. The setting: New York, Paris, and Tokyo.
Armchair travel is a necessity these days, so if you can't visit the world's biggest fashion capitals yourself, turn to Making the Cut for epic moments that help scratch that wanderlust itch. Here are some of our favorites (spoilers ahead):
Working in a Parisian atelier
Can it get more glam than designing clothes in an atelier in Paris? Upon arriving in the city of lights for their first challenge, the twelve designers are thrilled when they see their new atelier—there are high ceilings, exposed brick, individual sewing and work stations for each designer, not to mention a gorgeous chandelier. "No more cutting fabric on the floor," designer Megan Smith jokes.
Fashion show in front of the Eiffel Tower
In the first challenge, the designers create two looks (one accessible and one runway) for an outdoor fashion show. The locale? The Eiffel Tower at night. With the tower sparkling in the background, bright lights illuminating the catwalk, and palpable energy from the designers backstage, it's hard to imagine a more iconic runway.
Haute Couture fashion show at Musée Des Arts Décoratifs
The designers have two days to prepare for a haute couture fashion show at the historic Musée Des Arts Décoratifs—part of the Louvre Palace. "We want you to show off," Klum tells them, and the contestants rise to the occasion. Their high fashion looks—including an enormous puffy silver dress and a one-shoulder white dress with a black feather neck piece—are displayed in the elegant museum as a live pianist tinkles the ivories nearby. After the show, the models stand on various podiums for the judges to get a closer look—all beneath gorgeous arched ceilings with enormous skylights.
Runway along the Seine River
For a collaborative competition, Klum and Gunn pair off the remaining designers and challenge them to create three looks that combine their respective aesthetics. The duos explore Paris for inspiration and then show off their pieces in a fashion show along the Seine. The results are surprising and gorgeous. Take Smith and Jonny Cota's black-and-white outfits, each of which is a marriage of their feminine and edgy aesthetics—think: a v-neck striped dress with a black leather jacket on top.
Streetwear on the escalators at Tokyu Plaza
When the group arrives in Tokyo, their first challenge is to create two streetwear looks. They head to the fashionable neighborhood of Harajuku for creative inspiration, and the following day, showcase their streetwear on the escalators at Tokyu Plaza Omestusando. The models pose on the street below the escalators, too, so the judges can see their graphic prints and edgy designs up close.
Rinat Brodach designs the winning look: a reversible coat made of lightweight green and black nylon on one side and a medium-weight blue and white plaid on the other—complete with dolman sleeves and a matching belt. The look is paired with fishnet stockings and black combat boots to bring the streetwear aesthetic home.
Customizable digital backdrop in Tokyo
The second fashion show in Tokyo is what Gunn bills "an immersive digital fashion showcase." What that means: Each designer chooses from a series of themes (first come, first served) which are projected onto the staircase at the Amazon Fashion studio in the city. The show opens from darkness with digital flames blazing as Cota's "opposing forces" looks hit the stairs—the mixed-pattern coat with tall leather boots looks particularly strong with the fire behind it. It's drama to the max.
Pop-up shops in NYC
After spending about a month in their respective hometowns, the final three designers return to New York to show off their collections at a pop-up which is open to the public. It's an opportunity for the designers to bring their brands to life for the judges, and also see what pieces in their collections will actually sell.
The results range from a few vogue dancers to an underground, edgy set-up involving black ropes hanging from the ceiling. "It ropes you in," Campbell says.
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