A Designer’s Take On Fashion Reality Television

I took some time out to catch up on some fashion reality television.  I am a huge fan of these shows because as a designer, you can get some really cool and interesting ideas that you can put your spin on and make your own.  As an up and coming designer, you also have to know who is out there doing what, because when you’re out there in the industry these are the people that you are competing to design with on a global level.  A lot of these designers go into business for themselves, just based on the exposure on these shows.  I also get to see all of the things that I shouldn’t do.  I get slightly emotional with these shows because fashion is my life and I see a lot of myself in all of these designers in one form or another.

In the beginning, I felt that these shows provided me with the opportunity of looking behind the curtain and seeing how the wizards do their magic.  I would get to see how the other designers do their process, going from challenge to sketch, from sketch to fabric, from fabric to machine, from machine to model, from model to runway all the while showcasing their strengths, ambitions, weakness, and emotions.  “Project Runway”, the daddy of all of these shows set the tone for the others to follow (Project Catwalk-UK, Project Runway-Australia, Project Runway-Philipines, Project Runway-Canada, Project Runway All Stars-US (with the previous contestants of the past Project Runway shows), Launch My Line, 24 Hour Catwalk, Styled To Rock-UK and US, and the most beneficial show to all designers, because the objective is more real than ever, Fashion Star)  These shows are a great opportunity to get your work seen by the people in the industry and the world at large.  These shows provide the opportunities that ANY beginning designer would kill for (costume credits, celebrity clients, chances to show at Fashion Week, having a piece mass produced for a store, mentoring by large store chains). These things create a business for the designer.

What I don’t like about some of these shows is that you get to see the worst side of the creative field.  Big personalities are a great thing.  Egos however, are not.  Ego will get you into trouble in the worst way.  When ego is at play, it will make you disrespectful, disruptive, difficult to work with (especially because in the industry YOU WILL ALWAYS WORK WITH A TEAM), and unbearable. In any business, no matter how good you are, acting that way can get you fired and replaced.  It makes for good television, but bad for business. No one wants to work for or deal with people like that.

I’ve been asked why I haven’t tried out for these shows.  I have tried out in the early days, but I wasn’t picked. I understood why I wasn’t picked, because at that time I wasn’t really ready.  I would love to try out for them again, because I’m more ready than ever, but I also don’t want to compromise my integrity for a little bit of camera time.  As long as I stick to my M.O. of thinking logically on my feet, keep my temper in check, create some awesome pieces, and maintain respect for my fellow designers, even when they are being slightly disrespectful.  Although ego, conceit, arrogance and deception are the things that make good television, they are not the traits of a good person or a good designer.  I am a great designer and a great person.

Stay fashionable and sexy!!!!!

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