Project Runway alum Fern Mallis defends Bravo's The Fashion Show

Ariston Anderson

We grew to know and love Fern Mallis, the mastermind behind New York Fashion Week, after she regularly guest starred on Project Runway, advising the top finalists toward their very first (and usually last) fashion week show.

But after Project Runway was caught in programming limbo, as the Weinsteins tried to move their hot reality property over to Lifetime, Bravo decided to step up to the plate and create their own show, The Fashion Show.

The casts are very similar. Fashion designer Isaac Mizrahi hosts, while Fern Mallis plays a judge, replacing Tim Gunn and PR regular Michael Kors. And Kelly Rowland was tapped to play Heidi Klum, minus the German catchphrases.

We caught up with Mallis at the W New York Upfronts gifting suite, where the new TV star was enjoying some of the perks that come along with the job, like picking up freebies like bags by Radley London, Desert Essence coconut body wash, a dress from Yansi Fugel, and recycled speakers from Fashionation.