Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Fashion and Reality (TV, That Is): By Lezah

There have long been fashion-related shows on TV - 'Fashion Files', with host Tim Blanks, is one very good long-running show that springs to mind. However, it was the introduction of 'America's Next Top Model' a few seasons ago that burst the whole fashion/reality TV- thing wide open. Tyra Bank's dream child spawned shows about swim suit model competitions, male model competitions, and fashion designer competitions.

In fact, this Monday night was the two hour finale of 'Project Runway', a show where each week, a group of designers are presented with different design challenges. Last week the judges picked the finalists: 29 year old vintage store owner Jay and experienced LA-based designer Kara Saun were a given, and then for the third finalist the judges made the surprising decision to keep the unpopular Wendy Pepper rather than the flamboyant Austin. Separately, the three then created their own collections for a runway show held during New York Fashion Week.

In the end, Jay ended up being the winner with his haute couture collection. With lots of emphasis on textures and with a variety of colour palettes used, Jay bested Kara Saun's aviator/technology collection which was very heavy on the fur and leather and leaned too heavily toward a Gucci-inspired look. As well, two of Kara Saun's dresses made walking very difficult for the models, a clear case of form before function. Unfortunately, Wendy Pepper's beautifully tailored collection was seen as little more than bass couture and was never considered to be in the running by the judges. Personally, I preferred a number of her pieces (especially the red dress) over anything Kara Saun presented.

Another show I've been following recently is Supermodels, a Canadian-based show chronicling the Canadian segment of the Supermodel competitions sponsored by Ford Models of New York. The Ford Supermodel Competition is long established and has produced models/actresses/celebrities like Monikka Schnarre.

Last week's episode saw five girls cut from the remaining ten. This next week, five advance toward their final goal: a contract with Ford Models and a contract with an internationally known cosmetics giant. On at 6 am Sundays on channel 11(locally). Why am I up at that time? Don't ask...

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