Posts filed under 'The Fashion Show'

The Fashion Show: Kelly Rowland is ridiculous and other observations

NUP_134220_1960The Fashion Show has finally met its halfway point — fulfilling its destiny as a watchable, but lesser version of Project Runway. On the surface, there’s not much to differentiate it from the real thing — the set-up is the same, the contestants are of a similar flamboyantly competitive ilk, — but the magic, surely, isn’t there.

For the record, here’s how they stack up.

What The Fashion Show does right:

  • Fern Mallis – As a judge, Fern is a worthy successor to Michael Kors and Nina Garcia. What I like about her is that she gives really intelligent criticism, but mostly eschews the catty Kors-isms. She’s not interested in being cute, she’s just interested in good design. Also, her name is Fern.
  • Not paying any mind to the models or what they think.
  • Usually interesting, usually brief Quickfire-esque competitions to start off the episode.

On the fence:

  • Isaac Mizrahi – I have a tolerate/hate relationship with Isaac Mizrahi. While I respect his feedback and fashion expertise, his self-involvement is pretty clear from the get-go. Also, he really does seem to relish dishing out criticism. And, a la Tom effing Colicchio from Top Chef, he does that thing where he acts morally offended when
  • Uselessly carting out Laura from Harper’s Bazaar so that they can say “Harper’s Bazaar” a few hundred times every episode.

What it does wrong:

  • While I don’t expect them to necessarily have Tim Gunn himself, I think having a good-natured mentor does a lot for the show. The fact that Isaac and Kelly, the people who are going to be judging in the end, get to go around and critique the outfits when the designers are pretty much at the point of no return seems useless.
  • Kelly Rowland

A word about Kelly Rowland.

I was rooting for Kelly to succeed on the show from the very beginning. I guess there’s something about my love of the underdog that made me want to be surprised at how much insight she would have. After all, what does the B-list Beyonce have to say about fashion?

Turns out, nothing.

Kelly basically follows Isaac around, offers obvious opinions and, during judging, recites the ridiculous comments made by the audience during the fashion show. The only time she has ever really made an intelligent comment was on last week’s episode and the comment was clearly dubbed in in post-production. I think I turned the corner on Kelly in the episode where Angel got kicked off for design a bad “b-girl” outfit (which, as I found out, just means hip hop style). After weeks of just sitting around and taking up space, Kelly called the outfit insulting and got into a major huff for Angel’s obvious inexperience with this particular style.

Basically, Kelly has no room for getting mad at anybody’s perceived ignorance. When her own existence on the show is barely justified (they half-assed it during the first episode by saying she likes to go to fashion shows in her spare time), it certainly takes some balls to call someone out on not knowing what they’re talking about. So, after that episode, I gave up on rooting for her to succeed and have begun actively wishing she’d just shut up and let Isaac and Fern talk.

Now that I’ve got that out of my system…

If you haven’t been into The Fashion Show, now might be a good time to jump in if you’re so inclined. All of the remaining contestants could conceivably win (hairspray queen Haven got kicked off last Thursday, the last contestant who clearly had no shot of winning).

Here’s a round-up of who’s left:

  • Merlin – Known for dressing like a gay superhero and having to be subtitled most of the time due to his thick Honduran accent, Merlin likes loud colors and dressing people like futuristic drag queens. He has moments of Draconian villainy, but has been surprisingly quiet most of the time.
  • Reco – Reco is, by far, the most irritating contestant — dramatic, cocky and constantly picking fights with the other contestants. Frustratingly, he has the sewing and design chops to back up his cockiness and is one of the favorites to win the season.
  • Daniella – At the bafflingly young age of 22, Daniella tends to win every competition. She’s no Christian Siriano in terms of antics, but if she were slightly more mature she’d be kicking even more ass.
  • Anna – Anna is clearly the most mature and likable contestant. She likes her pleats.
  • James-Paul – James-Paul is a bit more avant guard than the rest. He’s also probably the most lovable contestant, with his squeaky voice and dork chic glasses.
  • Johnny R. – Johnny R. (the R. is necessary to distinguish him from the hot-ish Johnny that was eliminated in the first episode) tends to give off the impression that he doesn’t care about the competition. He also stole Amy Winehouse’s hairdo.

The Fashion Show’s on Bravo tonight.

3 comments July 2nd, 2009

Fashion Show: Pickins are slim, I’ll take what I can get


"What? This old thing?"

It’s like wanting an Oreo and getting Hydrox.

The Fashion Show landed on Thursday and, despite the fact that it isn’t Project Runway, it still pretty much looked, sounded and felt the same way. And, although I have no basis for saying this, I’m sure it tasted the same too.

The show filled a need — that specific place on Maslow’s hierachy reserved for competitive reality shows about fashion. It’s all good fun and will certainly provide consistent entertainment for its duration. Is Project Runway going to turn out to be the superior product? Most likely. The Tim Gunn factor, the fact that the judges only show up at the end of the show, and the less self-conscious vibe all bode in PR’s favor.

Isaac Mizrahi didn’t necessarily annoy me in the way I expected — he never really bullshat any of the contestants with false praise. Instead, he seemed to relish the opportunity to tell the designers that their garments sucked ass. He even added a little acid to his own personal “auf wiedersen” — which is something along the lines of “We just don’t buy your outfit.”

Kelly Rowland, while she didn’t embarass herself, also didn’t have a lot to say (her comments tended to be a bit obvious). Ms. Rowland, star 2003’s Freddy Vs. Jason, tried to justify her presence by saying she goes to fashion shows all the time — which wasn’t really a convincing argument, but I think most viewers have already accepted her as something we’ll have to deal with. She did, however, briefly redeem herself with a sassy aside (that I pray wasn’t written for her) where she said she’d need “butter and a miracle” to fit into one of the tiny dresses one contestant made.

The contestants on The Fashion Show seem to be pulled from the same pools as Project Runways — they all have a heightened sense of self-confidence and bloated sense of the importance of fashion. The most flamboyant contestant is Merlin, a Honduran gay who shows up wearing a red cape and feather-festooned fez. He could be one of the most recent entries into the line of reality contestant that hopes to gain a cult of personality through his over-the-top antics. I’m pretty sure he’ll enjoy a fleeting burst of fame, but reality show fame is generally a one-way ticket to personal appearances at Six Flags.

Other contestants include the young, overconfident blonde Kristin; the young, overconfident brunette Daniella; two guys named Johnny (one of whom was the first person eliminated); and the nervous, yet endearing James-Paul.

May 11th, 2009

Fashion Show, Fashion Show, Fashion Show (at lunch)

Tonight marks the premiere of The Fashion Show — Bravo’s Screw-You-Lifetime-We’ll-Just-Make-The-Same-Show-With-Isaac-Mizrahi response to the loss of Project Runway.

Clearly, since it’s been twelve years since the last season of Project Runway (remember? LeAnn? Crazy Kenley?), this will basically be catnip for all of us who feel deprived from the couture as competition genre. Unless you’re super-hardcore and acquired Project Runway Canada or Australia. But I’ll definitely be watching, since I’m sure it’ll be made with the same high production values and basic structure. Sounds pretty hard to screw up — but we’ll see what happens.

I have to admit — I’m already prepared to be annoyed by Isaac Mizrahi. From my experience watching his various talk shows and seeing him in every corner of television, I’m a little put-off by his enthusiasm for absolutely everything. With his talk show guests, he’s always so effusive that it makes it all the more obvious he’s just a fantastic bullshitter. It’s a sort of fakery that is a little milder and less catty than Jonathan Adler on Top Design.  But, then again, his job is to serve as a critic on this show — so hopefully there’ll be none of that schmooziness.

Also, Kelly Rowlands (formerly of Destiny’s Child) is on board as a host and judge, although I’m not sure what qualifies her — other than being hot and friends with Beyonce.

Here’s a clip of some contestants trying to make MC Hammer pants and then some dude poising himself to become this season’s villain. Unless he gets cut in the first episode, which seems entirely possible.

The show is on Bravo at 10 p.m.

3 comments May 7th, 2009


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