Last night was the premiere of Bravo's cheap, hastily assembled Project-Runway knock-off, The Fashion Show. If you watched it, right now you're probably still experiencing some ringing in the ears from the loud thudding noise that would occur any time Kelly Rowland gave a lifeless line-reading: "I've sat in the front row of many fashion shows, and I can't wait to sit front row at yours." THUD.
Rowland, however, fit right in with the show, which seemed about as cold and lifeless as the industrial loft where the designers sew, sew, sewed their way to a pretty mediocre fashion show. Still, it was only the first episode. Maybe some of the frost (and awkwardness) will melt away once the designers, and the hosts, and the audience figure out why this show exists—besides, of course, so that people can compare it to the vastly superior Project Runway. As it stands, the shows objectives (sell Tresemme, have "insiders" vote on a fashion show, give Isaac Mizrahi something to exhale disdainfully about, form a receptacle for all of Kelly Rowland's dead-eyed stares) are all kind of muddled and/or dull.
In last night's episode, the judges put a lot of emphasis on wearablity, and the buyer-friendliness of the designs, so much so that the show's kiss-off phrase is "We're not buying it." The show clearly wants to create salable items, more specifically, items that will sell on Bravotv.com. And judging by last night's winning design, they are very committed to making clothes that human being could and would wear:
The jacket's not so bad, because, let's face it, everyone has an inner matronly matador inside just screaming to get out. But the dress? It's like a fashion-forward version of a California Raisins Halloween costume.
Who wouldn't want to pay $200 for a polyester dress that makes them look like they're hiding a giant leg goiter? So flattering. And people will definitely compliment you—mostly because it looks like something you made by yourself, in the dark, using old cheap tablecloths, and they'll want to be supportive of your (evidently very new) hobby.
In other words: sorry, Bravo, we're just not buying it.