So the Fashion Show, Bravo's response to losing Project Runway, has returned for season two. Kelly Rowland has been replaced by Iman, which was a wise decision. She's a host/judge supermodel, much like Heidi, but better. Oh, so much better!
Overall, what PR has ultimately chose was accessibility and grudging concession to what 'women in the streets' actually wear -- which, in the producing and judging minds, are drab, unimaginative clothes in the mold of Heidi's New Balance line and trickling down boho esthetics, with a dash of Alexander Wang and other 'edgy' but deeply conventional designers. Klum represents this reluctant, nose-holding accessibility very well -- just like many a diffusion line.
The Fashion Show, on the other hand, has Iman and Isaac Mizrahi (ironically, the king of diffusion lines), who seem to be pushing for a much more high fashion, theatrical sensibility. And in my opinion, if one was to make a TV show about fashion, this is the way to go. I know that there's bad blood between Tim Gunn and Isaac Mizrahi -- and please don't make me choose! Gunn is like a long-lost uncle; Mizrahi is hugely entertaining and says terrible things to people. Oh, and another judge is Laura Brown of Elle Magazine.
Now to the show itself. First, all challenges are team challenges - there're two fashion houses, so that creates some interesting dynamics: even though there are individual winners/losers, the emphasis is on creating a cohesive collection and cooperation. I'm curious to see how that will play out.
Then there was the challenge itself: to use Iman as the muse. Cultural hilarity referencing tribal patterns and contrasting Iman's Somalian past with her now being a part of the "modern world" -- all of it by the House of Nami (Iman backward, get it?). The end result was surprisingly good, with mostly white collection with interesting and varied shapes.
The other team (House of Emerald Syx), on the other hand, had Calvin. Calvin was appalled by the idea of having to work with people, and let his displeasure be known. They chose to work with bright colors! They lost because of lack of cohesion. Calvin made a pretty decent saffron yellow draped number, which was deemed 'cheap' and landed him in the bottom two. He stayed however. The girl who made the abominable parasite ruffle dress went home, but not before her and Calvin traded words. (I suspect that they will keep Calvin as long as possible -- he's a one man resentment engine.)
The guest judge was Rachel Roy, who was also a guest judge on Project Runway. Future guest judges will include Rachel Zoe, Johnny Weir, and Dita von Teese -- people who should've been guest judges on PR, but weren't. I was actually dreaming about PR being completely revamped, with the judging panel composed of Simon Doonan, Lynne Yaeger, and Tilda Swinton, with Apfel, Horyn and von Teese guest-judging. Thank you, Fashion Show, for partially fulfilling my dream! Let's hope the rest of the season lives up to the expectations.