I’m not much of one for watching television, but I’m always a sucker for anything that is related to fashion. Project Runway is still on my list, at least until I get so frustrated by the obvious manipulations in production. I’m still hoping that a US version of Great British Sewing Bee will appear here.
Last year designer Betsey Johnson and her daughter Lulu did eight episodes of a show called XOX Betsey Johnson. I did not get the channel it was on so I did not see it. According to the interviews I’ve read with the two Johnsons, the show was unscripted and they were just “living their lives.” Somehow I don’t completely buy it, especially since the show included an “inspiration” trip to Tokyo, mother-daughter mammograms, and a retrospective fashion show complete with performance by Cyndi Lauper.
Betsey was recently on another reality show of a sort, Dancing with the Stars. Did you recognize her in the very poor photo of my television screen, above?
Recently, two new fashion “reality programs” have hit the airways. First up is The Fashion Fund, with is actually a showing of the proceedings behind choosing the winner of the CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America)/Vogue Fashion Fund. It might be interesting except for one thing: the winner was announced before the program started. Why would anyone care about watching a competition where the winner is already known? It’s a mystery to me.
The other show is House of DVF, in which eight young women compete for a job as Diane von Furstenberg’s style ambassador, whatever that is. It seems so contrived, with fake situations and anything for an excuse for Diane to walk up and down the stairway to her office. The contestants are not likable, and they seem to be entirely clueless about what actually happens in a fashion house.
On the episode I watched the contestants were instructed to make style inspiration boards with the theme of the Côte d’Azur. There seemed to be no instructions on what an inspiration board actually is, and several of the contestants did not even know where the Côte d’Azur is located. I’m betting none of them gets the job.
What I really hate about this nonsense is that there is a real opportunity lost here. Much in the way The September Issue film showed the inner workings of Vogue magazine, House of DVF should be about how a fashion house operates. The September Issue worked because the producers saw the actual story in the day to day workings in which interesting people interact when putting together the most important issue of the fashion year. Scenarios were not created nor were the events manipulated. How much more interesting House of DVF would be if we were treated to how the business actually functions instead of a fabricated for TV mess.