Swine flu is nothing compared to the virus which is Fashion reality TV. These shows are sprouting up everywhere on every major cable network for every demographic. You can't schuss the flat screen without running over one on any given night. From Project Runway to the Fashion Show to Launch my line to America's Top Supermodel and on and on. I think I've made myself clear as to my thoughts on PR and the Fashion Show. Launch My Line is another beast altogether. This show is one of the most poorly conceived step children of the litter.Total posers with no experience in the business or craft of fashion design decide that they want it, therefore, they can have it...even succeed at it. Each loser is paired with an industry "Expert" and all square off against each other to win a 50k prize and a chance to sell their line on an overstock/sample sale Internet site called Rue La La. The hosts are the twin brothers behind the Dsquared2 label. From the beginning it was a recipe for disaster, but has ended up the lowest entertainment I've seen. This show makes Tyra look like a P.H.D..
The hapless contestants don't know or do anything but force their"experts" to do all the design and construction. There are cat fights, people storming out, buckets of tears and ego tantrums that set a new standard for the shabbiest casting to date. There was a line uttered by a contestant whose job to date was being photographed at shows in utterly outlandish costumes, make-up and attitude. His day job had been as a Sales Director for a designer. When the group was given the task of going out to Venice Beach to pick up on trends to incorporate into the challenge of the week, he actually said, " I don't pick up on trends, I set them!" That was when I stepped away from the TV, grabbed the remote and took a long walk around the block.
These shows have created and perpetuated this idea that anyone can be a designer and anything , no matter how lame will capture an audience as long as the word Fashion is tacked to it. I have a problem with this. That isn't to say that there isn't an entertainment quotient to be found in some or all of these shows, but they aren't REAL and it isn't fashion. You may disagree with me and even say to each other, "what make him so sure?" It's just a feeling I have after spending 22 years in the business as a designer that this is not the reality I experienced.
Now Vera wants in. The troubling aspect to all of this "pants down around your ankles" on weekly TV is just that at a certain point we've seen it all, already. Vera's story is even more familiar than most designers. Will we follow her from her Park Ave. pile to the studio(by limo) after listening in on her instructing the chef and maid as to what she NEEDS. Perhaps, we get to see a fitting with an Olympic figure skater or a bridezilla. Maybe we'll sit in on a very high level meeting with the top brass from Kohl's. Either way, it probably doesn't make for any better TV than Puffy's lame show or Dawg, the Bounty Hunter. Until Fashion reality shows start taking on the actual mechanics and day to day grind of creating clothes in the REAL world, everything will be a sad exercise of the banal.
On the Street….Lafayette St., New York
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