Unimpressed with the premiere episode of The Fashion Show, we stopped watching. But a few readers emailed us about last night's episode, in which the designers had to create outfits for "real women," and failed. So we checked it out.
If you're interested, you can watch the episode — titled "Shape Shifters," here. This is the lowdown:
Upon learning that the challenge would involve "real" women and not models — and then seeing the tall blonde he had to make a dress for, designer James-Paul said: "I am going to die. It's like asking Jesus Christ to like, work with Satan."
Here they are; James-Paul is on the right, "Satan" is on the left in blue. Does she look like a normal person with a normal body to you? Maybe even a great body? Yeah. Me too. But James-Paul was was right about one thing: He doesn't know how to design for real people. This is what he came up with:
Over on Tom & Lorenzo (formerly Project Rungay), the guys wrote:
Now, normally we dread when shows like this do a so-called "real world" challenge because our comments section tends to explode with outrage from, well, "real" women. We don't blame them for that, but we recognize how much and how well certain buttons are being pushed in certain segments of the audience.
Having said that...
THESE WOMEN ALL HAD PERFECTLY FINE BODIES, YOU ASSHOLES.
They continue: "Honestly (and we realize some of you may disagree), if they were actually dealing with obese clients we could at least understand some of their dismay (because that does require an entirely separate skillset), but we're talking about average women with, frankly, above average bodies."
And the way the designers talked about these poor women! Merlin had a woman named Amber, who was gorgeous (she's the one on the far right with the long dark hair, in the lead photo above), but he started out with, "Tell me: What is the thing that bothers you most about your body." Not, hey what kind of dress do you want? What's your style? Merlin went on to say, "It's the hardest challenge. Because… all these girls, they have problems with their bodies." It seems to me that the only "problem" could be if they were DYING OF CONSUMPTION. If their bodies work, there are no problems.
But the designers bitched and whined about having to add padding to their dress forms — due to one woman having a 43-inch ass; and another having 45 inch hips.
Daniella, who just got out of school, cried. She said she'd never felt more uninspired, because her woman was "big all over." Here's what that looked like:
Keep in mind that the camera adds ten pounds.
Isaac Mizrahi, to his credit, said to Daniella, "When you work in the real world, she's the average size. I find it slightly size-ist of you."
Some how the black man — Reco — who says he often designs for his sister, a size 12 and aunt, a size 16 — didn't win, even though his design was pretty cute:
This is the crap that won:
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Guess what? Daniella, the one who shed tears, is the one who made it. Anyway, as one reader wrote in her email, the way the designers behaved when faced with women who were not size zero models "was revolting and highlighted exactly what is wrong with the fashion industry." Another reader noted that the "real" women actually "had better than average bodies," but of course, the Bravo camera still felt the need to pan over their "flaws."
Looks like we made the right choice in abandoning this show early on.