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'Project Runway' takes the spotlight at Getty Center

November 3, 2009 | 12:43 pm


To borrow a catchphrase from model Heidi Klum, the Getty Center is officially "in" this week.

On Thursday, "Project Runway" on Lifetime will present an episode of the reality show that was taped at the Brentwood museum; that same night, the Getty will host a free screening to celebrate. But it's been a long, difficult road between shooting and broadcast.

In fall 2008, the makers of "Project Runway" came to the Getty Center to tape the episode, in which contestants had to create new fashion designs inspired by the museum's architecture and artwork.

Since that taping, "Project Runway" made its big switch from Bravo to Lifetime -- a move that involved a high-profile lawsuit from NBC, the owner of Bravo, which tried to halt the defection. Months of legal wrangling ensued. In the end, as fashionistas know by now, the lawsuit did not prevent the show from jumping ship.

Now that the legal ruckus has died down, "Project Runway" (which is produced by the Weinstein Co.) has settled more or less comfortably into its current season. And that also means that we'll finally get to see the Getty Center episode. (It also features an appearance by L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, and host  Klum is joined by fellow model Cindy Crawford on the judging panel.)

The Getty Center is hosting a free screening on Thursday starting at 7 p.m., three hours before the West Coast showing on Lifetime. The event is free to those who sign up as fans of the museum on its Facebook page.

A spokeswoman for the museum said that the screening is intended to help boost the Getty's local fan base on Facebook. She said that earlier this week the museum had about 12,000 fans; now, it has about 14,000 fans, thanks in part to the "Project Runway" event.

The screening will take place in the museum's Harold M. Williams Auditorium, which seats about 400 people. The museum said it can accommodate overflow in another auditorium that seats about 160.

After the screening, the museum will hold a panel discussion featuring three speakers from the world of art and fashion, including a former curator from the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles; an editor from Marie Claire magazine; and an L.A.-based fashion designer.

-- David Ng

Photo: Heidi Klum. Credit: Mike Yarish / Lifetime Networks

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