Those Wacky Fashion Shows
Before we speak about the current rash of so-called “fashion” shows currently the rage on the cable networks, let’s talk a bit about the concept of style and fashion flair, Kaitlyn Mae.
An important notion, sweet granddaughter, and one of not so little import. For I do not care what the Bohemians might tell you, how you dress, fix your hair and general appearance IS very important, both in terms of how the world sees you and even how you see yourself.
Grandmother will offer some important concepts about appearance, Kaitlyn Mae, as generational knowledge hereby passed on.
-If you want a specific job, Kaitlyn, then always dress as if you already have that job. Suppose you are a dedicated computer input specialist but yearn for that corner office where the department manager sits. Begin your quest for that job by adopting the same manner of dress as the current occupant of that office. Sometimes you might look a bit out of place in the position you currently hold but right there you are one up for the job. In that, sweet child, you will already have the look.
-Kaitlyn, it never, ever, matters what size you wear. Please do not commit the female crime of stuffing your body into a smaller size than mindlessly bragging about your size twelve body you’ve managed to fit into a store size eight. It doesn’t matter if one has a size eight on their frame if the result is as if a bratwurst were crammed into a hot dog roll. Wear properly fitting clothes is what Grandmother is saying here.
-Pay attention to accessories. Accessories can change an outfit from casual to dressy, can compliment the clothes being worn, and show a certain amount of thought with the choosing.
-Make up is your friend, Kaitlyn Mae, and I wish you would tell your mother this. Although your mother is very pretty without makeup and I know she has no small amount of pride in that fact. But a little shimmer eyeshadow, a roll across the lips with gloss, and a quick brush across the cheek apples with blush will bring that beauty out to a greater shine.
-Hair matters, Kaitlyn. Find yourself a good hairstylist and stick with her/him. Grandmother does not wish to stipulate that young Kaitlyn be a slave to fashion rages but do keep up with current trends. No matter how independent we’d like to be, go ahead and go to that dance with a teased up beehive ‘do’ and hear the giggles behind your back. Besides, it’s good to change our hairstyles on occasion and why not use current style as a rudimentary template and add your own take on it?
-Looking nice takes time, Kaitlyn. Do not get up in the morning and grab your outfit from hangers while eyes are still sleeping. Lay out the outfit, with appropriate accessories, shoes and required undergarments, the night before. Disasters are too often the result of sleepy eyes trying to create elegance in a darkened morn.
-Most important, Kaitlyn, should the chubbiness gene take hold on your body, do not fall back on black clothes and lack of grooming for the sorrow. Dress your best no matter your body size. Fat people can look nice and often do.
Now let’s review four fashion shows Grandmother has watched at least once and for each has, as expected, an opinion.
The notion is that an individual greatly in need of a style revamp is “nominated” by friends, family or co-workers. There is a certain amount of humiliation in that the fashion offender is taken to task for failure to dress with proper attention to body type, impressions left and not living up to full fashion potential.
They never pick someone really ugly for these sorts of things, Kaitlyn, and Grandmother suspects this is intentional. Your mother would be a great candidate for this sort of show, Kaitlyn, in that she has a beautiful face and a nice body that could be better outfitted than her current trend. But if you tell her I said this, Kaitlyn, then I shall have to deny it.
Through various methods, the fashion offender is given a new wardrobe, hairstyle and makeup. Like the room makeover shows, there is a grand “Reveal” at the end when the fashion offenders makes a grand entrance, now all beautiful and properly outfitted.
Now on to the interesting ways various shows achieve this formula.
This show is featured on the Style Network and is, Kaitlyn, a bit hilarious and with quite a bit of tongue in cheek.
There is a “Judge” over the proceedings. There is also a “jury”, usually three stylists of some sort who sit in the jury box ready with their comments.
The fashion offender is brought into the “courtroom”, having been nominated for fashion arrest by someone they know.
The fashion offenders show up attired in their very worst, which is, so the nominator asserts, the fashion offender’s normal mode of dress. Hilariously, the fashion offender then tries to defend their mode of dress even though they may be attired in paint splattered pants or tight tube tops that add nothing but laughter to their appearance.
It’s a bit of a send up Kaitlyn, in that exaggeration is used to its finest end. The nominator will often bring other clothing from the fashion victim’s closet for additional courtroom laughter.
The Judge will then find the fashion victim either “guilty” or “not guilty”. If guilty, the fashion victim must undergo a style makeover.
The TV audience then follows the style offender through his/her fashion makeover until a final Reveal that leaves the courtroom audience oohing and aahing and the jury commenting.
The Look for Less
This is a show also on the Style network and is kind of fun.
The fashion “victim” in this show usually has some very special event in the near future and needs some help with dress preparation. A certain “look” has been chosen directly from the world’s fashion runways. With two fashion stylists to help and a budget of $150, the would-be runway star is sent off to try to duplicate the look of the fashion runway through purchase of identical clothing styles that would achieve the same end of glory and beauty as exhibited on the runways.
The threesome run around through cheaper stores than the great fashion houses and manage to find a skirt, top, shoes and other fashion frou-frou that will achieve the look desired.
The fashion victim then is given a sweet hair revamp, puts on the cheaper clothes as purchased, and makes a grand entrance to their previously described special event. Again to the ooohs and aaaahs of all attendees.
Two of these fashion makeover shows are featured on The Learning Channel and they are both my favorites.
What Not to Wear
Well you got to like this show, Kaitlyn, for its name alone.
Again, a fashion victim is “nominated” by friends or family and the two hosts, a woman named Stacey and her male cohort, Clinton. The fashion victim is given a credit card with $5,000 on it and sent off to purchase new and more fashionable clothing.
But not before the fashion victim is given specific instructions from the fashion hosts and agrees to trash their former wardrobe in its entirety before the astonished eyes of the TV audience.
The fashion victim then trots off to various stores and using “the rules” as provided by the hosts, purchases clothing, shoes and other attire that will update wardrobes and improve appearance from this day forward.
Somewhere in the middle of this show the fashion victims will fall back on their former inappropriate method of dressing. The show’s hosts, watching on some sort of closet camera type of thing, might see the former hippie appraising some psychedelic type of tunic, which requires that the hosts run from hiding directly onto the store’s property and save the fashion victims from themselves.
Of course the fashion victims receive an updated hairdo and makeup application, dons their new and more stylish clothing purchases, and makes a grand entrance, again to ooohs and aaahs from the audience.
How Do I Look?
This is Grandmother’s favorite show Kaitlyn, as it has the most interesting presentation.
Hosted by Finola Hughes, the show features yet another fashion victim nominated by three “accomplices”. The accomplices usually include a friend, often a boyfriend or girlfriend, a family member, often a sister, and a stylist picked by Hughes.
The fashion victim must present his or her self fully attired in a “typical” outfit. The accomplices then hoot and howl and criticize.
Again, Kaitlyn, it is not ugly people given these makeovers and the casual TV viewer can plainly see the fashion victim’s great potential. Great potential that will result in the grand Reveal and this is exactly why the fashion victims are chosen.
After the accomplices critique the fashion victim’s usual choice of clothing, sometimes to the tears of the fashion victim, each of the accomplices are given $700 and sent off to buy our poor fashion misfit more appropriate clothing, at least as they see it.
The accomplices are charged with creating three “looks” for the fashion victim, generally a “workplace” look, a “date” outfit, and what is called a “wildcard” outfit, an outfit that as the accomplices see it, best capture the fashion victim’s personality and quirks.
The fashion victim then reviews the three outfits as chosen by EACH accomplice. The full outfits are draped on a mannequin that the fashion victim can see the entirety of the collection. The fashion victim will either ooh in pleasure as the curtain is removed from each mannequin or snort in derision.
Each accomplice must also provide a suggested hairstyle and makeup routine. If the fashion victim selects a particular accomplice’s “collection” then he or she must agree with that accomplice’s choice of hair style and make up.
Grandmother thinks this is a great show and always watches for new episodes. It’s very interesting what folks will pick out for other people to wear and the fashion range changes depending on the accomplice. Boyfriends, for instance, choose sexy and alluring clothes for a girlfriend. Sisters and family often pick clothes for the fashion victim that THEY like. The fashion stylist usually does the best job, what with that non-partisan thing and all.
Kaitlyn Mae, clothes and style are not the soul components of an individual but if appearances don’t matter, why bother mowing the grass? Or painting a room? Or adding a vase of fresh cut flowers on the dining table?
First impressions do matter, how we look matters, our presentation to the world is what makes others want to look deeper.
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