Now that Bravo has lost "Project Runway," they have seen fit to create, as they say in the fashion business, a knock-off. "The Fashion Show." Oh yes, the trim is different, perhaps the skirt is shorter and the material is definitely cheaper. But the echoes are there, and not to the show's advantage.
It is not meant to be "Project Runway"--there is no Tim Gunn mentoring the designers, the fashions are displayed at the end before a live audience--but of course the spirit of its predecessor hovers over the program. Fifteen designers compete to become the Final Four, with an elimination each week.
By far the best part of the show, IMO, was the runway show. The set is well-designed, and the excitement of a live audience makes it feel almost like we are watching a real fashion show. However, the lack of time spent in the workroom was a problem. Your faithful correspondent watches "Project Runway" to see the designers design, create and execute the challenges, but there was so much hugger-mugger on this show that the workroom barely had a cameo appearance.
It seems that the producers are trying to up the annoyance quotient with the designers, making it easier to root for them to be eliminated: Merlin, winner of the first week's challenge, a squeaky gentleman from Honduras, managed to wear the most irritating headgear since Madonna's appearance at the Metropolitan Museum Costume Gala.
And if he's 38, I'm five feet tall.
Johnny R., who has a topknot and is prone to other annoying things on his head; and Kristin, who has simply settled for annoying hair.
Most of the other designers have yet to display much personality.
Isaac, Kelly, and Fern, oh my!
The two hosts are designer/unable to escape from media personality Isaac Mizrahi and singer Kelly Rowland. Where her fashion credibility lies escapes your faithful correspondent, but she hasn't had a hit single in some time and she's very photogenic. (I think that's about it, so far, unless she has an evil twin side that hasn't come out yet.) Isaac, who I have adored ever since he declared "fat is the new black" two years ago, is amazingly cruel in his comments to the young designers, and almost none of the show outside of the workroom seemed spontaneous. Honestly, I don't know why they bothered to show Isaac and Kelly interacting; it felt as stiff as high school theater. Fern Mallis, at least, is the senior vice president at IMG, which produces Fashion Week.
The challenge was to produce a "must-have" item and design a collection around it, the designers working in teams. But honestly, baggy purple satin harem pants as a "must-have" item?The other choices were a black bolero jacket, and an extremely tight camel-colored wool tube skirt/dress/sprained ankle bandage.
One hoped that Kristin would get the boot both for that hideous Alice in Wonderland on acid dress and then one wouldn't have to look at her hair again. (She concealed the tube skirt under all of that fuss.)
But, instead, Jonny (without an R)was let go because of his "slutty," amazingly tight dress. He went in the opposite direction and showcased the skirt! When an emaciated model can't fit into something, you know that the designer has an experience problem.
To sum up, the show isn't good, it isn't bad, it's watchable, and like every other competition show on Bravo. At least it's something to watch now that "House" has had its season finale.
Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog