While I’m not a die-hard fan of any particular fashion TV show, I think there’s a lot you can learn from the various shows about fashion as well as those that feature fashion prominently in their story lines. While you may not agree with or like everything you see on them, fashion shows – like cooking shows – help broaden your understanding of the art, which in turn, helps you dress better.
Here’s a rundown of some of the most popular fashion TV shows (check your local listings for time and channel):
Project Runway is a reality show that pits aspiring fashion designers against other in a series of design challenges. The winner gets $100,000 to launch his first line, and builds name recognition and a following throughout the competition. Design contestants have had to do some crazy things over the years, like make apparel from grocery store items (remember Austin Scarlett’s beautiful corn husk dress?), design Wrestlemania costumes, work with couture prom gown clients, create cocktail apparel for their mothers, and more. Throw in a little back-stabbing, snarky comments, and down-to-the-deadline high drama, and it’s really easy to get addicted.
What you can learn: design terms, clothing elements, styling tips, and how to work on a budget.
What Not To Wear
In this recurring pauper-to-princess tale, badly-dressed clients are nominated for makeovers by friends and family. The hosts track down the client in a public place, embarrass the heck out of her, and promise to finance a clothing shopping spree IF she agrees to listen to their fashion advice. If she does, she’s given a head-to-toe makeover and then returned home beautifully dressed to the astonishment of those nominating friends and family. While I don’t always agree with the clothing advice given to the clients, I do like that they use men and women of all ages, shapes, and sizes to makeover. I also like when the clients fun pub that they CAN change their life by changing their clothes, because I’ve seen it with my own clients time and again.
What you can learn: how to dress various body shapes, how to dress for different occasions, and how to gain confidence through appropriate wardrobe choices.
The Rachel Zoe Project
Rachel Zoe is a celebrity stylist who dresses her famous clients for TV appearances, movie premieres, and red carpet events. While I don’t always agree with her choices – and am ASTOUNDED by how many of her clients allow her to dictate their public image by wearing whatever she tells them to* – I can’t help but be impressed by how hard this woman works. With her backstage access to designers, models, and celebrities, she knows entire collections, how to put clothing elements together, and perhaps most importantly, how to make high-level contacts and massage delicate egos to get what she wants.