The Fashion Show

TV review by
Kari Croop, Common Sense Media
The Fashion Show TV Poster Image
Retailored design show is Runway lite.

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Kids say

age 11+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Although conflict between contestants is unduly highlighted, the overall message stresses creativity, innovation, and excellence in design and construction. Talent is valued over personality.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Some contestants have over-inflated egos, but most are genuinely talented professionals who view their work as a vital expression of themselves.


Some heated verbal sparring between contestants -- and, occasionally, judges.


Although the goal is high fashion, some designs that come down the runway are revealing and could be considered "sexy."


Occasional use of words like "bitch," "damn," "sexy," and "sucks," plus slang terms like "hoochie" and "man berries." When words like "f--k" or "s--t" are used, they're bleeped.


Plenty of designer name-dropping, plus promotional presence from Harper's Bazaar magazine and TRESemmé hair products. There’s also some cross-promotion with other Bravo brands (including the Housewives franchise and The Rachel Zoe Project).

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Not much, though adult contestants might occasionally smoke cigarettes or drink alcohol in social situations.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that there’s some name-dropping here when it comes to haute couture, designer brands, expensive looks, and hair styling products (courtesy of the show's sponsor, TRESemmé). There's also frequent use of words like "bitch" and "ass" -- along with descriptive phrases like "man berries" (code for "testicles") -- but stronger words like "f--k" and "s--t" are bleeped. In addition, there’s some occasional social drinking and heated verbal sparring between contestants and judges.

User Reviews

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Kid, 11 years old November 28, 2010

Would not miss an episode

Extraordinary show!!! I wouldn't miss an episode! But there is some bad language, but most of it is beeped out.

What's the story?

In THE FASHION SHOW, 12 fashion designers of varying skill and experience levels compete for $125,000 in cash from TRESemmé hair products and an editorial feature in Harper's Bazaar magazine. At the start of the show, the designers are split into two competing fashion “houses,” going head to head in a series of group-oriented elimination challenges. But in the end, only a few designers will show a complete collection of their own … and only one of them will win. Established designer Isaac Mizrahi and supermodel Iman pull double duty as co-hosts and judges, with Laura Brown of Harper’s Bazaar rounding out the panel.

Is it any good?

You can't really judge The Fashion Show without comparing it to Project Runway. (After all, Bravo used to air Runway before the Weinstein Company moved the show to Lifetime, creating a messy legal battle that held Runway's sixth season hostage for a year.) And while the first season -- with original host Kelly Rowland and a convoluted voting process that, ironically, felt over-designed -- didn’t quite measure up to Runway’s appeal, the revamped Fashion Show more or less holds its own in a head-to-head comparison.

As a host, Iman has far more presence (not to mention runway cred) than Rowland, and she really helps the ground the show. And the decision to scrap the overly complicated format of the first season in favor of the almost Shakespearean “two houses” concept was not only creative, but critical. Bottom line? Runway might have done it first -- and better -- but die-hard fashionistas might also find a muse or two here.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the role that fashion plays in modern society and why so many people are obsessed with staying on top of the latest trends. Does a show like this one reinforce our culture of consumption?

  • Is fashion an art form, or is it merely a trade that keeps clothes on our backs? Why do some designers seem more concerned with making a statement with their designs than with creating something that's truly functional, wearable, and actually looks good on a variety of body types?

  • Does the amount of work and skill that goes into sewing an original outfit surprise you?

TV details

  • Premiere date: May 7, 2009
  • Cast: Iman, Isaac Mizrahi
  • Network: Bravo
  • Genre: Reality TV
  • TV rating: TV-PG
  • Available on: Streaming
  • Last updated: September 20, 2019

Our editors recommend

For kids who love fashion

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