A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
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.
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?