Is Fashion Reality TV Out of Style? Cathy Horyn Thinks So.

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I’ve always felt fashion and reality television were like an oxymoron. The fashion industry can be very elusive and elite (see: Tom Ford) so exposing your private and most minute happenings isn’t a good fit. New York Times writer, and my personal hero Cathy Horyn agrees.

In her latest blog post for On The Runway, she tears apart the world of fashion reality TV stich by stitch. She first digs her claws into Bravo saying:

“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.”

Umm, I am the only living for both these characters and counting down the days until their shows debut?

I am also forever grateful to reality TV for putting designers like Christian Siriano and Mychael Knight and models like Eva Marcille and Yaya Dacosta on the fashion industry’s radar. But Horyn’s article made me realize, I don’t watch the shows anymore!

Project Runway lost me when they moved to Lifetime and that odd model show came on after. And America’s Next Top Model hasn’t been on my radar since college—and I’m approaching my 5-year reunion.

To be honest, reality TV lost its appeal when I realized a “win” doesn’t mean success for the models/designers in our industry. It surely helps them get exposure but not notoriety or acclaim. And if the promise of lasting success for most contestants is still far behind their reach after the “victory,” the show almost becomes pointless. Oh and the casting is so lazy predictable.

While I just want to squeeze Isaac Mizrahi’s cheeks and I adore Iman’s attitude and accent, The Fashion Show can’t get me to sit still through a whole episode.

The only show that I’m fully addicted to is The Rachel Zoe Project and yes, unlike Horyn, I’m so excited for Brad Goreski’s show I could cartwheel down 5th Ave in my Jimmy Choos! And finally, Chris March will grace my TV screen again.

I guess I’ve ditched the “competition” bore and want to see more crazed caffeine-filled, hormone-driven breakdowns…you know, reality.

Cathy Horyn is through with it all. In fact, her suggestion is scripted fashion shows (a la Ugly Betty). Here’s a scenario she created for one:

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.

Epic, huh? I think The New York Times offices, which I almost died when I walked inside, could be just as amazing to watch. Seriously. I’d live to eavesdrop on a three-way call where designers either beg Horyn or attack her for a negative review of their shows. That’s what reality TV is missing, no?

What do you think? Are you into Fashion Reality TV or over it? Did it ever make sense? Discuss.



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