Being a lover of beautiful things – whether it's the perfect ice sculpture, or cake design, body painting, or makeup application – it's is truly a pleasure to experience professionals create something out of nothing and Netflix's Next in Fashion produced by Robin Ashbrook, Yasmin Shackleton, and Adam Cooper is no different. The reality show designer competition premiered early in 2020 and although yes it does mimic Bravo's Project Runway, I absolutely enjoy every minute of it especially the charisma of the hosts. The dynamic duo truly adds a little spice to the competition and designers Tan France and Alexa Chung are delightful, charming, and fun to watch. The best part? The show is drama-free.
Next in Fashion consists of 18 contestants from streetwear designers to fetish glam, each one exceptional at their craft fighting for a chance to win $250,000 and have their line be debuted with Net-a-Porter a luxury fashion retailer. Personally I found this competition to be very fairy judged. There are times you watch reality shows and find yourself screaming at the TV when judges clearly portray their own biases to the contestants. Industry experts like Monique Lhuillier, Phillip Lim, Josefine Aberg, and Tommy Hilfiger brought their expertise and input making their final decision on the theme, innovation, and execution of the product.
To start the contestants must pair up in teams of two. Some partnerships have been together for twenty years while others just met and found commonalities graduating from the same university. Regardless of their history, they must work together week after week to produce show-stopping designs, and well some clearly have very conflicting ideas lacking basic communication and rapport to come to an agreement on style and in the end, it tremendously affects their finished product. Each designer is there to stand out and make a name for themselves, and each week one designer is eliminated. Eventually, only a few are left standing to showcase their own individual work.
The most interesting thing about this competition aside from France and Chung's humor and fashion tips is that each challenge is different. I found myself looking forward to the theme of the next episode. We were given suits and streetwear; undergarments and activewear; denim and military. Just such an expansive field of creativity and to see how each team finds relevance and interprets it in their own unique way producing some of the most beautiful and fashion-forward designs I have ever seen. I bet the contestants drooled each time the hosts presented them with the fabric closet, I know I did; the volume of material, glitter, rhinestones, and even the ability to create your own patter- wow!
The finale was magnificent and a showstopper. The last two contestants had to create a collection of ten looks which represents who they are as designers, their final piece had to be the most glam and they really delivered. One line was beautiful, wearable while still being architectural in their fashion-forward looks. The other no words could even describe. They literally jumped out from another world and descended on to the runway. The line sheik, sexy, and the wedding dress probably inspired tons of designers to recreate its brilliance and shock factor. The win went to the latter contestant and I'm sure the 250k changed her life, much deserved. A lovely reality competition and I wish that Netflix had reconsidered not renewing it for a second season- bummer.