Thursday, November 11, 2010

fashion show ultimate collection: notes by a grouchy fan

This must be what it takes to bring me out of my long hiatus from blogging: a new reality television show about fashion. As much as I hate to admit it (here or elsewhere), I've become a semi-regular viewer of such shows as Project Runway and The Rachel Zoe Project. Under protest, kicking and screaming and grumbling and qualifying, to be sure... but I've begun to watch television shows centered around design.

Make no mistake, I absolutely do grumble about them. I know everybody must say this, but I really do tune in for the design, not the dramatics. Maybe I'm fooling myself, but my sense is it would make me content to relax with a glass of sauvignon blanc and watch designers in a workroom flinging bolts of fabric instead of insults, shopping for fabrics, drafting patterns, frustrated and struggling when things don't work and thrilled when they do, and have the producers do away with the bitch-edits, highly contrived interpersonal venom and vitriol, and general mayhem.

And now, this: The Fashion Show: Ultimate Collection, Bravo's newest attempt to fill the void left by their own Project Runway's defection to Lifetime. Apparently it isn't exactly new; I understand they did a season already (one that flew largely under the radar) with less than phenomenal results. Producers reportedly retooled it a bit, and the show's second season just aired a few days ago.

First, the good news about The Fashion Show's format. Viewers are promised fashion shows on runways without waiting all season because the mandate is to produce collections, along with all the usual runway show accoutrements, week after week. Plenty of runway designs slinking down the catwalk across the entire season, and isn't that the whole idea? Real clothes, not ones made out of seat belts or grocery bags.

Designers arrived to the show and were immediately split into two design houses. And before you could figure out who was who, straight, gay, nice, or naughty, or if they bothered to select any contestants over (gasp) forty, ka-bam! A runway show consisting of representative looks chosen by each designer.

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more notes in a bit!

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