On the Runway: Fashion TV, Theme and Variations

Cameron Silver.br /” /span class=Charley Gallay/Getty Images Cameron Silver.

As gray-haired fashion moguls know, success lies in finding a look and repeating it, with minor variations, for years. Don’t frighten the horses! Creators of reality television also favor this formula. At least eight new reality fashion shows and one scripted series are in development, following on the stilettoes of “Project Runway” and the Hollywood stylist Rachel Zoe.

As if to underscore the dearth of originality in the fashion world, Bravo has picked up shows tentatively titled, “It’s a Brad Brad World,” based on Ms. Zoe’s former assistant Brad Goreski; and “Mad Fashion” with Chris March, the costume designer who appeared on “Project Runway.” Given his fondness for cartoonish creations, and his ability to execute them, Mr. March could prove to be the Buddy Valastro of TV fashion. His series could be entertaining if he keeps the frosting thick and tasteless.

Annabel Tollman.Jason Kempin/Getty Images Annabel Tollman.

Also on Bravo’s lineup: a show with Annabel Tollman, the stylist and former Interview fashion editor, and another with the vintage fashion maven Cameron Silver of Decades in Hollywood and his business partner Christos Garkinos of Decadestwo. Mr. Silver’s project seems the most promising. For one thing, he has charm and influence, and he has been imaginative about turning Decades into a multilevel business without diminishing its insider appeal. And he knows his stuff. If he brings that knowledge to the show, along with a bit of surreal Hollywood glamor—that should be no problem, given his lifestyle and clients—he may have something new and different.

If fashion is a nail, Bravo is a hammer. Its other new shows include “The Wedding Planner” (ouch); “Jason of Beverly Hills,” about a jeweler named Jason Arasheben; and “Ready to Wear,” which will follow the dedicated workers at a consignment shop as they “search the closets of New York’s elite,” as the channel put it. That sounds pretty old-clothes-y to me. Bravo also has a scripted series in the works—“Face Down,” about a makeup artist. Meanwhile, on Planet Green, “Dresscue Me” will make its debut on April 19 at 10:30 p.m. Celebrity stylist Shareen Mitchell is expected to emphasize female empowerment through frocks.

Brad Goreski.Joe Corrigan/Getty Images Brad Goreski.

Personally, I’m waiting for the scripted series about a closeted fashion executive and his talented business partner who has a secret cocaine habit and a long list of powerful clients, including two first ladies (it’s an international company, naturally). As they fly down to St. Bart’s, the executive is about to be exposed by a blogger who during New Year’s witnessed an unflattering moment on a Russian billionaire’s yacht. That’s just the first episode.

With Google TV hot to make connections to fashion e-commerce (it is already working with Net-a-Porter), Ben Silverman’s prime-time reality series “Fashion Star,” on NBC next year, seems ahead of the curve. Elle Macpherson will play host on the competition show, which smartly will focus not on high fashion (or lame attempts) but rather on lingerie, swimsuits, jeans and surf clothes. And viewers will be able to buy the clothes, with NBC taking a cut of sales. As Mr. Silverman told Bill Carter of The Times, alluding to the Victoria’s Secret fashion show, “Women and men wearing undergarments always seem to do great.” Imagine the possibilities for other shows, especially with products especially created for them.

Apr 8th, 2011 | Posted in Fashion
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