Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Fashion Show: Really the “Ultimate Collection?”

Being an avid Project Runway fan, it was hard not to go into viewing the first episode of the second season of Bravo’s replacement show about fashion, The Fashion Show: Ultimate Collection, with an objective eye. Since I did not see the first season, I used that as motivation to view this first episode through virgin eyes.

The overall idea of the show I find to be truly innovative, taking 12 designers and separating them into TWO fashion houses. They are given the task to create looks that convey their own personal voices as designers while at the same time having their designs WORK COHESIVELY as a complete fashion line for their fashion houses.

My expectations for the show were raised with the opening credits. I really enjoyed the new use of special effects and graphics that strayed away from the typical ones that Bravo tends to use for their reality shows. However, my expectations were then lowered back to a neutral level with the introduction of Stefan Campbell, the show’s “fashion show coordinator.” I found his presence to be a bit cheesy and in a way unnecessary. It made it seem like there were too many people in the position of “host,” and the show could easily do without him. But who knows, maybe his role will become more pertinent in future episodes.

I found it to be very clever how they delivered the first task to the designers, choosing their models and order of show randomly by having them choose a sewing kit as they arrived. I felt that this started out the show with and energy of intensity, much like the innovation first challenges on Project Runway. I was however left disappointed when this first use of the designers looks on the models just sort of stopped there, and really made it seem like the whole fashion show intro was just that, a “show” to introduce Iman as the host. I really wish that more was done with the designers first looks, maybe having them use their garments as the material for the first outfit with the challenge of making them work cohesively with their fellow designers in their house. Now that would be “making it work.” But sadly this is not Project Runway, and the show is definitely not trying to be.

I immediately fell in love with the Blue team that worked marvelously from the beginning, quickly deciding on the name of “The House of Nami” (Iman’s name spelled backwards,) and their decision on the theme of their lines. I love how the use of mood boards is incorporated into the challenges because it really shows the process of product development from beginning to end. The house of Iman truly worked as a team, which showed in their spectacular collection that was clean, chic, cohesive and innovative. I whole-heartedly agree with them winning the first challenge.

On the other hand, the Green Team who named them selves the House of Emerald Syx had a work ethic and collection that was as disappointing as their name. From the get go, a villain emerged in the form of Calvin Tran, an arrogant, self-important designer from New York City. From the very beginning I grew a strong dislike for his disrespectful and annoying demeanor. I really felt he had a negative affect on his other team members, and it really showed in the House of Emerald Syx’s sloppy, tacky and unfinished collection. Definitely agree with the judges, they were the losing house in my book.

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Though I agreed with the winning and losing houses, I completely disagreed with the winning and losing looks. The judges chose Cesar Galindo’s look as the winner. I felt that this was a huge mistake and not a very good take on the judges taste level. It was a VERY simple one-shoulder dress that has been seen over and over again. There was nothing new or innovative in the silhouette, in fact the one thing that made it stand out was the detail on the shoulder, and it did not stand out for a good reason. The construction on the shoulder detail looked poor and unfinished and as if it were a bow that had unraveled and was continuing to do so. His look also was the only one that strayed away from the all white palette and used a print, which I feel made his the least cohesive of all the looks of the House of Nami.

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If I were the judges, I would have picked Eduardo de las Casas as the true winner. His cocktail dress was breathtaking. Everything from the construction to the silhouette to the fit was just impeccable. It had a draping that gave it a very voluminous and innovative structured look to it. It was the perfect length, had the right amount of detail to it without looking overworked, and he did this all using WHITE. His look could have easily become boring without colors to help distinguish him from the other designers, but his design didn’t need that. If I were I buyer I could definitely see that look selling out in stores, and being able to be manufactured in different colors that would add to its HUGE success. Eduardo is already showing his genius as a designer straight out of the gate. He is definitely on my list to root for.

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As for the losing designer, I also disagree with the judges. Though all the designs for the House of Emerald Syx were equally bad, I did not feel that Francine Simmons’ look was the worst and qualified her to go home. In fact, I feel that her look was actually one of the better designs in the mess that came down that runway. If I had to choose the losing design and send someone home it would be Calvin. This would not only be based off of his foul attitude, but also the fact that his design was just horrible. He kept making mistakes (and of course blaming them on other people) and then covered up those mistakes with tacky details, contradicting his professional persona the he so tiredly tried to force onto the other designers.

Overall I would probably rate this episode as a B-. There things I liked, things I didn’t, and things that I could live without. I’m still skeptical whether or not I will be hooked to this show, but I will definitely give it a couple more episodes to try.

Look that Won

Look that SHOULD HAVE Won.

Look that Lost
Look that SHOULD HAVE Lost

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