Vogue's 'Model.Live': "Don't Change, Just Improve."

The new Model.Live is sort of a wrap-up of the show season that has just passed — and upon watching it, I realized this entire series has contained no surprises. We've witnessed the ascent of Cato Van Ee, which was foretold in her Prada/Miu Miu exclusive of six months ago. We've seen Madeline Kragh, who works successfully in secondary markets like Australia, sputter in the upper echelons like thousands of others (put yours truly in that group, too). We've seen Austria Alcantara, who looks so young and acts so shy, passed over for work on that basis, plus the equally predictable basis of her skin color. So, what, then, is there left to say at the not-quite-end of it all? Cato seizes an opportunity to make fun of herself and a scout/manager talking head spouts some mystical gibberish in the clip above and recap after the jump.
The ready-to-wear fashion season takes four weeks. Model.Live was slated to air for eight. This episode is the tenth — and it closes with a reminder to tune in next week, which makes me wonder just how long the show about the shows plans to linger, and whether something that might have been a good idea in a short format has now overstayed its welcome. It's not really a question of finding the series' length disproportionate to its drama, since it's been clear from the start that wringing drama out of the fashion grind is not IMG's goal. (That might "embarrass" someone.) Failing understandably to find in the calendar blip of a single show season a ready-made narrative with any surprising arc, and choosing not to overlay a fake narrative (except to occasionally and half-heartedly rig the proceedings for sponsorship reasons), it's tough to engage with the material. Model.Live is animated mainly by a strong sense of what it's not: every shot seems to telegraph a sense of sober reflection and purpose that would be fine if it weren't wholly incongruous with the frothiness of fashion in general, and the draining whirligig activity of shows in particular. Merely not giving in to the temptations of overshare-y cast commentary and hokey Hills-style narrative manipulations isn't enough to justify a series if its content isn't fresh and interesting on its own. Model.Live has about it more than a whiff of genre hauteur, like a Pulitzer winner writing pulp, and that unwillingness to actually dirty the knuckles is crippling. Earlier: Vogue's 'Model.Live': "Everybody's So Sorry, And They Love Me, But Everybody Wants Cato." Vogue's Model.Live: "Maybe The Clients Call You, Maybe They Don't. It's Just Like A Guy." Vogue's Model.Live: Crap Instructions From A Casting Agent Vogue's Model.Live Sets New Online Series Record For Time Taken To Jump The Shark Vogue's Model.Live: The New York Fashion week Hustle Begins Vogue's Model.Live: Models Are Strange, When You're An Agent Vogue's Model.Live: Castings Can Really Be A Grind Vogue's Model.Live: Don't Get Famous, And Other Gems Of Parental Wisdom Points For Effort: Vogue Reality Series About Modeling Surprisingly Realistic, A Little Boring Related: Model.Live Episode 10 [Vogue.tv]


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Oh... I was glad it didn't go all "The Real Catwalk Wives of Fashion Week" on us.