22 May 2009

143. The Fashion Show Reviewed

Maybe review is an overstatement. People who love to sew and make clothes will watch this show no matter what. After seeing two episodes, I would say the show (1) has a very business bent, which is fine for me, (2) encourages the designers to work together more, which is probably more like real life, and (3) I like a lot of what the designers make.

My primary critique is that it seems to lack any recognizable depth or other relatable human element. Isaac Mizrahi made the "genius fashion designer" more accessible as the subject of the 90's documentary Unzipped, was incredibly sweet and likable with his own talk show a few years back (was that on the Style channel or E!?), and showed the everyday woman how strong his connection was to her with his made-for-Target line of women's clothing. I don't understand why so little of that charm and magic makes it to The Fashion Show as a whole.

It should be said that I will keep watching anyway. :)

So, back to the magic of Isaac -- I stumbled across this video of Isaac creating a couture dress out of USA Today newspapers and want to share in case you haven't seen it:


  1. I completely agree. I HATE the part when they read the meanest comments from the audience. Isn't it enough that they are being dissected by the judges? It seems gratuitous. I came for Mizrahi, too, and the catty/mean aspects make it much less fun for me.

  2. thank you! that video actually made me like him a little more. I've never been a huge fan of I.Miz, and I don't think there is any charisma coming through on the fashion show, like you said. And just like with Project Runway, it's too soon for me to like any of the contestants... but I'll keep watching.

  3. I'm hoping that it will smooth out and they will find their stride. It's definitely not as good as Project Runway, but way better than nothing.

  4. You know, I just realized that I completely forgot to watch it on Thursday! I think the 2-hour Ugly Betty finale threw me off. (I know... guilty pleasure show.) Guess I'll have to catch up on the website or something.... it's not clicking nearly as well as PR did for me so far, but still gives me something to watch while I wait for it to come back!

  5. Oh! I also wanted to say thanks for the heads-up on the comments link. I'm trying to fix it-- I just haven't been able to find it yet! (It's white-on-blue on my screen, and I haven't had a chance to sit down and go through the html to find where the color might be off.)

  6. Haha... not quite a "before" pic. Since I've only done that one "page" so far, that before pic is actually the current state of the rest of my jewelry stash!

  7. I was going to do a review also!
    But I'll just be content with your lovely words.
    I have to say that I really did not like it at all. It was too catty (as you mentioned), felt mean-spirited at times with the judges comments (that first quick-challenge when the judge lady sounded like she was going to say something nice about their black cocktail dresses and then she just slayed them. Mean.)
    And Isaac's whole persona is just too much for me.
    Overall, it was just a cheap ripoff of PR. obviously, the moment they got the greenlight that PR was officially on Lifetime, they started shooting this. The Set feels cheaper, the camera/film quality is cheaper/grainy. I just didn't like it! In fact, I felt kinda dirty after watching it. haah.
    So, I cancelled my season pass.
    I hope project Runway really does air this summer!!!

  8. Thanks for sharing. I actually liked the newspaper dress without the flower. lol

  9. I've been meaning to review The fashion show too, but the blah feelings that I get from it has made it hard to find the motivation to review it - I neither love or hate it. I think you put the finger on it when you say that what it lacks is recognizable depth or other relatable human element, I don't long for a new episode the way I do with PR. And I agree about your observation about Isaac, he doesn't come through the way I had expected him to. Maybe he would need to take on more of a mentor role?

  10. I love the show. It's not PR, but it's at least something. I agree about Issac's tremendous creativity, but I think this is a show about the kids and not Issac which is funny but it really is what Issac is about - he's about his connection with the ordinary person out there.

    My big beef is that the show, while it promotes creativity, only promotes it in one direction - it doesn't promote one of the integral parts of design and that is the execution of the design. Art is NOTHING if it is left in the head or executed poorly....imagine a painter who had this great idea for a painting, but didn't know a thing about mixing oil & acrylic or mixing blue w/yellow to get the colors the artist wants. No one would dream of that. But it's OK to teach clothing design without teaching the execution - sewing! Issac agrees. Who knows, maybe this is something that the creators of the show left out on purpose thinking sewing was negative, and Issac is trying to get it back in through the back door. There could be all sorts of things going on here.

    Anyway, I think the subject can bring sewing and sewists to the forefront more, and hopefully can be as connected with empowerment and an art style as design is.

    Love your review

  11. I was wondering about this show, being a huge fan of project runway. (I'm now watching past seasons of Project Runway Canada on Youtube...) Thanks for the review!


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