The Fashion Show, Season One, Premiere: I guess I'm buying it!
If you are like me, you've probably been saying to yourself, "You know, I love Bravo's reality competition shows like Top Chef and Shear Genius but I wish there were a similar show with fashion designers! I know; genius idea, right? Well, guess what? Our prayers have finally been answered and Bravo now brings us The Fashion Show staring Isaac Mizrahi!
Just like Top Chef, there will be a quickfire challenge. Also like Top Chef, the "mentor" will also be a judge, which explains why he will be providing absolutely no helpful advice to the contestants while they are working.
The biggest innovation will be the $125,000 prize:
Andy Cohen: "$100,000 is so last season."
Seriously, what can you buy with $100,000 these days? After you've bought a Saturn and a four-bedroom pool-home in San Bernardino, you would barely have enough left over to buy Isaac Mizrahi's entire line at Target. That extra $25,000 really makes a difference.
First, let's meet the hosts/judges:
Isaac Mizrahi: "I'm a famous fashion designer. Clap for me."
Kelly Rowland: "I've worn clothes before."
Fern Mallis: "I invented fashion shows."
Fantastic. Now let's meet the designtestants (that's my clever take on "cheftestants"). I'll be describing them by their most obvious and superficial attributes so we can tell them apart:
Kristin: She's the total nightmare with the red streak in her hair who thinks she's the normal one. Kristin runs her own company, which "takes a lot of hard work" because she's 23 (apparently, it would be easier if she were another age).
James-Paul: He's the one who wants to be the next Christian. His design aesthetic is totally postcolonialist. Don't ask. He worked for Vivian Westwood (subtext: "I worked for Vivian Fucking Westwood, bitches!").
Merlin: Merlin is self-taught because he wasn't accepted to gay superhero school.
Lidia: She's the one who looks like Salma Hayek. She designs clothes for avant-gardes.
Reco: He's the black bald guy with the amazingly long neck. He used stripping to work his way through school. Yes, a tale as old as time. OK, so he was actually designing clothes for strippers and not actually stripping but close enough.
Keith: He's the one with stupid rocker hair. He is an eveningwear designer.
Laura: She has black curly hair. Laura is an eco-friendly designer. You're welcome, earth.
Johnny R.: He's the one who looks like John Belushi dressed as a samurai. He dropped out of school so he could devote all his energy to reviving the harem-pant. Again, you're welcome, earth.
Jonny: He's the one who will have to go because we already have a Johnny. He designs men's suits but it doesn't matter.
Haven: She's blond. She is inspired by the 80s. I just hope it's the 1880s.
Markus: He wears glasses sometimes. He went to the best fashion design school on earth. Still not as good as the school on Uranus, though.
Angel: She's the Asian woman with short hair. She works with invisible ink or something.
Daniella: She thinks you are old.
Anna: She's the one with mousy brown hair.
Andrew Panty: He is called the panty-Christ, which is a clever play on his last name.
And on to the show:
Isaac Mizrahi and Kelly Rowland enter the design room. The designers apparently had no idea who the hosts would be and are obviously excited to meet a fashion icon like Kelly.
Isaac: "So, listen up. This show is about wearability and saleability. I don't want to see all the weird-ass shit you see on other shows. Got it?"
Harper's Bizarre Quickfire Challenge:
The quickfire challenge will be designing a little black dress out of a little black cotton T-shirt. It sounds like a fun challenge but apparently they can work with more than one shirt so it really is just about designing with black cotton jersey, which really isn't that exciting. I'd like to see them rework one large shirt into a little dress.
Laura Brown of Harper's judges the results. After making a bunch of pointlessly snide comments that only she finds amusing, she picks Merlin, Keith, and Johnny R. as the best. I thought Merlin's was very pretty.
Those three designers will be team leaders in the elimination challenge:
Isaac: "Come on, that's a great advantage, right?"
No, Isaac, anyone who has ever seen a reality competition show knows it is not a great advantage.
So, on to the elimination challenge:
Isaac: "Every season, when I start designing my line, I always think about what will be that one must-have piece."
Kelly: "Me, me, me. Can you ever talk about anything other than yourself, Isaac?"
The teams have to create a must-have piece that will be worn in five different looks. Genius challenge.
Team Hammer Pants is Johnny R., Reco, Markus, Haven, and Laura. Johnny decides that the must-have piece will be a grey satin harem pant. It's so crazy it just might work.
Team Sausage Casing is Keith, Andrew, Jonny, and Anna. Team leader Keith wants to do a simple pencil skirt but team nightmare Kristin decides that the must-have piece should be a reversible doubled double-knit tube dress that will be so tight it can never be removed. I guess there is some logic to the idea that if you make a garment that women can't take off, they will be forced to wear it with everything else they own. But it's more of a must-continue-to-wear piece than a must-have piece.
Team Bolero is Merlin, Angel, James-Paul, Lidia, and Daniella. The first idea for a vest is fortunately shot down by team know-it-all Daniella. Then they discuss a collarless jacket, which immediately makes me cringe but then they narrow it down to a bolero jacket, which gets my approval. Team pain-in-the-ass Daniella then decides on the color and reminds everyone that they are old.
Daniella and Merlin fight over the length of the bolero jacket, the age-appropriateness of what Daniella is wearing, and the fact than Merlin claims to be male. Merlin makes a bitchy comment about male domination because he's crazy and says weird things sometimes and Daniella will bring this up later for absolutely no reason.
The morning of the fashion show, the designers all help Kristin get dressed and then they head down to the TRESemmé studios or something and get the models into hair and makeup:
Some Gay Hairstylist: "Hey, Katie, could you get me the TRESemmé Shine Spray?"
Katie: "What the fuck is that?"
Gay Hairstylist: "Jesus Christ, Katie, it's the product placement! Will you just pretend to get it for me? It's not like I'm actually going to use it."
On to the runway. Sorry, I mean on to the fashion show:
Reco: Simple tank and a beautiful jacket with a big dramatic collar over the harem pant. The color combination is really nice. This is about as good as a satin harem pant is going to look.
Laura: Layered knitwear over the harem pants. The gathering at the waist is not flattering but, overall, it's another pretty good look that distracts from the silly harem pant.
Johnny R.: The worst of the harem pant looks. The waist on the pant is awful and the top is ugly. I think his harem pant idea was interesting but this look is bad.
Haven: Almost as bad as Johnny's. Very similar looks.
Markus: Not quite as bad as the previous two but still pretty bad. The top is cheap looking and the pant is pulled up too high.
Kristin: Kind of sloppy and you can barely see the must-have skirt.
Jonny: Oh, sweet Jesus.
Keith: I guess it could be worse. Just not much to it.
Anna: Red jacket over the black tube. It's fine.
Andrew: Pretty white top over black tube skirt. It's nice but boring.
Daniella: Kind of boring outfit with the navy bolero over a red top and pants.
Merlin: The bolero is paired with a little navy dress/puffy shorts outfit with red trim. It's not exactly wearable but it's pretty cute. I like it.
Angel: She paired the bolero with a shiffon top and a pretty skirt. It's OK.
James-Paul: Beautiful black dress. I love the dress. I don't get the pairing with the navy bolero. It doesn't look bad with the bolero because they are both dark and blend together but it just seems random.
Lidia: She paired the bolero with a big, puffy pink top that gave the outfit really bad proportions. I hated it.
On to the judging:
Isaac: "You all embarrased me. I can never show my face in public again. Do you know how many important people were in that audience? How could you do this to me? After all I've given you! After the show, I felt the only way to remove eternal shame from the Mizrahi family was to commit hari kari. Fortunately, Fern Mallis is built like a linebacker and she took me down before I could harm myself. I hope you've all learned a valuable lesson from this."
Team Bolero wins!
Daniella: "It's not my fault!"
Isaac: "Daniella, your team won."
Daniella: "Yes, and I just want to make it clear that it's not my fault. Merlin is mean and he said something that hurt my feelings so I think he should take the blame."
Isaac: "YOUR TEAM WON!"
Merlin and James-Paul had the top two designs and James-Paul wins! Congratulations James Paul!
Kelly: "Some version of this design that barely resembles your original will be on sale at Bravo.com."
Kristin and Jonny are the bottom two. Based on which one is the biggest total nightmare, I think Kristin should be out. But based on their completed garments, it's pretty clear Jonny is at the bottom:
Isaac: "Jonny, you ruined the best part of a woman."
You mean her mind?
Isaac: "No, her breasts."
Oh, right. Jonny's out. Apparently, we're just not buying it.