For many audiences, unscripted t.v. has become the norm for at-home viewing.
Be it a reality programme, which follows the lives of “celebrity” families,
or competitive shows, which pit contestants against each other
based on talent or brawn, and sometimes it seems a combination of both-
unscripted television shows have become standard.
Whatever the format, one feature seems key for
garnering high ratings: the verbal battles.
It appears that arguing between participants
is an essential for viewing pleasure.
Ratings seem to indicate as much,
especially given that shows with a healthy
dose of squabbling reign supreme.
Fair enough. Who doesn’t like a bit of ‘drama’?
There are several unscripted shows,
which are based on a fashion industry theme.
A few that have been popular are:
– The Next Top Model programmes (U.S. and International series)
The original U.S. show, now in its 21st season,
was the brainchild of ex-model Tyra Banks.
The aim of the programme is to discover a future modelling talent.
Model hopefuls are judged/eliminated each week on the results of
photo shoots. The winner receives a modelling contract.
Oh, and the models all live together,
a perfect breeding ground for many
off runway ‘battles of the beautiful.’
(image from hulu.com):
America’s Nest Top Model
current season- Cycle 21
– Styled to Rock (U.K. and U.S. series)
The U.K. series featured young design talents battling
each week for the prize of creating a look for a prominent
music industry performer. R & B/ pop songstress Rihanna
was involved with the U.K. programme as executive producer
and British fashion designer Henry Holland was one of the judges
With critiques which were sometimes harsh,
dreams were crushed and made along the way to dressing a rock star.
Although the U.K. series was short-lived, viewers did gain insight into
the unique design/clothing requirements of a stage performer.
(image from company.co.uk):
Judges from Styled to Rock
– Project Runway programmes (U.S. and International series)
The orignal U.S. series, is hosted by model Heidi Klum
and is in its 13th year on air.
Fashion educator and consultant, Tim Gunn serves as mentor
to a group of 16 designers who are given, seemingly impossible,
design challenges. Time management, design talent and sewing skills
are key elements to securing the prize: to show at New York Fashion Week
and receive a monetary award to launch a label.
(image from pop-break.com):
current season, Cycle 13
The Project Runway series have been so successful, that its producers
have created a new ‘baby’ to join the Project Runway show family.
Project Runway Threads, which premiered in the U.S. on 23 October 2014
features not adult contestants,
but tweenies (pre-teens) and teen fashion designers.
The participants are aged between 8 and 16.
Might this be taking things too far?
Are participants this young capable of coping with the
stress of the challenges,
severity of critiques and
the key element on which unscripted t.v. thrives:
Project Runway Threads:
casting call advertisement
The judging panel on Project Runway Threads includes fashion designer
Christian Siriano (himself a Project Runway winner- Season 4),
Seventeen Magazine’s Fashion Director Gina Kelly,
Accessories Editor Jasmine Snow, and YouTube style expert Ingrid Nilsen
Vanessa Simmons, herself a reality t.v. alumna (Run’s House) hosts the show.
(image from entertainment weekly):
Judging panel of Project Runway Threads
host, Vanessa Simmons (r)
Each week, three new contestant will present two outfits:
one completed at home and the other a set challenge
to be completed on air. Each contestant brings a supportive adult along
to offer encouragement and ideas.
Cue the stage mums and dads!
I suppose most of the verbal take downs will probably be between the parents.
(image from zap2it.com):
Contestants and their parents at judging
The prize: $25,000 USD and a scholarship to the Fashion Institute of Design &
Merchandising (FIDM) in Los Angeles, California (USA).
Yet watching tweenie/teen fashion design-makers at work may be
of some measure of viewing interest.
(image from tvweekly.com):
(image from realityrewind.com):
(image from threadsmagazine.com):
Though as the season progresses, can all the adults involved
be trusted to remain ever mindful of
the delicate ages and impressionable minds of the contestants?
We’ll have to wait and see.
(image from radioasiauae.com):
Starting Thursday, October 30
Project Runway: Threads
moves to its regular time slot of 10 pm ET/PT on Lifetime TV