I grew up with an MTV that played music videos and little else, an E! before the Kardashians, a Nick at Nite that showed shows in black and white, and the Style Channel when it actually broadcasted live fashion shows. Oh, how the times have changed!
For those of you like me who miss the glory days of fashion television (and television in general), it’s finally time to get excited. It seems there is a resurgence of runway reality on the telly. 2012 is shaping up to be a good year for fashion fanatics as January saw the debut of It’s a Brad Brad World, 24 Hour Catwalk, and Project Runway All Stars.
If you loved Brad Goreski on The Rachel Zoe Project (he was the one who cried…and then cried some more) you’ll love him here. Of course there’s some drama (and crying of course), but the life of a stylist is, well, stressful. I’m pleasantly surprised by how much I am liking Brad’s spin off. It gives viewers a look into the world of an up and coming stylist and discusses a lot of men’s fashion — things RZ’s show doesn’t offer us. You can see what it’s like for Brad as he looks for an office space, hires an assistant, travels to New York, and hob knobs with celebrities. Ashton Kutcher is set to make an appearance on the show, Ariel Foxman has already had a cameo, and Brad shares his styling of Jessica Alba for the Met Ball. The fashionable Mr. Goreski does all this while balancing his 10 year relationship with TV writer Gary Janetti. Brad is so lovable because he is so relatable. You might assume that because he apprenticed with RZ he had it made, but this show proves that making it in fashion is tough work, and you come to really respect and admire Brad’s determination. He is a real person with real struggles; he works out of a garage (until he can find an office), is dedicated to staying in shape through exercise, and even cleans up after his dogs. It’s nice to see a fashion celebrity in a real light. And best of all, Brad is as funny as he is charming and stylish. Monday nights are not usually equated with fun, but for a good time and some feel good fashion, check out It’s a Brad Brad World Mondays at 10/9 PM Central on Bravo.
I had such high hopes for 24 Hour Catwalk. This show poses the almost impossible idea of pitting designers against each other in order to create a runway show in a span of only 24 hours. Since major runway productions take months to come to life, this show seems like it would be jam packed with action, drama, and nail biting anticipation. Unfortunately, the show doesn’t really have any of that. In fact, the best part of the show is seeing what Alexa Chung is wearing and listening to her talk. But despite my love for Alexa, this show is not nearly as interesting nor intense as Project Runway, which they are seemingly trying to knock off. The judges are not as entertaining or recognizable (with the exception of Cynthia Rowley) as Heidi and the gang. And the contestants are rather boring, especially since you don’t get to know them and see them in their living quarters as you do on Runway. You can tune into 24 Hour Catwalk on Lifetime Tuesday nights at 9, but if you’re like me, you’ll be tuning into What Not to Wear instead.
Speaking of Project Runway, I don’t remember the last time I looked forward to a television debut as much as I have looked forward to the premiere of Project Runway: All Stars. Lifetime made a genius move in choosing fan favorite designers to come together in a “greatest hits” collection of a competition. Cast members from every season are represented, and since everyone has been on the show before, there is an insane amount of talent in one workroom. The fashions these all stars are creating are unbelievable. And to make the competition more fierce, the challenges are even more impossible and the prizes are even better, including being a guest editor at Marie Claire and selling a line at Neiman Marcus. None of the contestants want the ultimate shame of being kicked off the show a second time, so the tension is high. I have to hand it to Lifetime too for choosing some really cool regulars; Isaac Mizrahi is energetic, Georgina Chapman is oh so glamorous (I love seeing what she’s wearing every week), and Joanna Coles brings great perspective to selling a design. Making the show all the more lovable is the fact that the audience already knows the designers. We knew our favorites before the show even began, making every win something to cheer about and every loss is genuinely heartbreaking. As if you needed another reason to watch, I have two words for you: Austin Scarlett. It just doesn’t get more entertaining than that. I am thoroughly enjoying every second of Project Runway All Stars and you can too. Tune in Thursday nights at 9 on Lifetime to see who makes the cut.
I can only hope the momentum and demand for fashion television keeps up. Now, if Fashion Hunters, The Rachel Zoe Project, and Project Accessory would return this year, my 2012 would be complete!