Extra Special

Gift guide

Extra Special

Project Runway: The Complete First Season

Miramax, $39.99

Just as one generation had the Kennedy assassination forever seared in its memory, another may never forget exactly where it was when the chilling, Teutonically inflected words first fell upon its ears: "You ah either een or you ah out." Seismic cultural impact aside, it's possible you suspect there's no need to revisit the corn dress, the AWOL models, the apparent contractual obligations requiring the use of Kara Saun's full name at all times, or the long demise of one Wendy Pepper, 39, who appeared to be guilty primarily of getting old-people cooties on everyone.

But that is where you would be wrong. No doubt fans spent half the season thinking they were watching another America's Next Top Model, which exists mainly so we can laugh at lazy eyes and watch Tyra Banks build a long-overdue bridge between the worlds of S&M and sketch comedy. A repeat Runway viewing reveals, to the contrary, the ways in which it might (maybe) actually have something to do with the industry it purports to be about. Extras underline the point; "WEAR Are They Now" (yes, really) features Jay's Elle shoot, the reality of which smacks up rather harshly against his vision of it, but also shows him making careful, wise-seeming decisions about what might be a real design career. Follow-up bits explore options available to designers unsuited to or unqualified for the pages of Vogue, capturing Kara Saun's private, celeb-studded L.A. show and Wendy's apparent success in marketing to a Southern, gown-oriented clientele. Proving, one supposes, that you can be sort of in and sort of out at the same time. Sorry, Heidi.

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