Crafty Manolo » Catwalk or Catnap?

Catwalk or Catnap?

By Twistie

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So. 24-Hour Catwalk has come to the US. The British version has been doing well for some time with Elizabeth Hurley as the hostess with the mostest style. Over here, we have Alexa Chung (far right, shown with judges James LaForce, Cynthia Rowley, and David Blasberg) putting designers through their paces.

The rules are simple but deadly. Four designers arrive and are presented with mystery boxes, a la Chopped. Once the designers open their boxes of doom, they are given two hours to create fashion out of whatever happens to be in the box. They must sew something, though they are allowed to pin it together so long as the needle and thread are used somewhere, and they must use the item in the box in the final design.

At the end of two hours, the judges look at what has been wrought, send two of the designers home, and give the challenge to the remaining two contestants. Said contestants are given twenty-four hours, three sewing assistants, a theme, and another mystery box to create three co-ordinated looks for a catwalk show. The winner goes home with bragging rights and ten grand in cold, hard cash.

All in all, it ought to be one of the more entertaining reality shows on television. You’ve got eager contestants, wildly implausible challenges, big money on the line, and – let’s face it – designers as a class tend to come with fantastic bitch virtuosity that leads to some brilliant (and creative) smack talk.

Alas, it’s all gone wrong in the casting. The designers were entertaining enough in the premiere, though I missed the sort of pull quotes one gets on Project Runway. And while the assistants all got to have their say to the camera and on set, most of them were a rather dull bunch. But where things really fall down is with the host and judging panel.

Out of the four, I found Rowley the most compelling, and I think a good deal of that was the fact that I kept agreeing with her. Chung, in particular, is just not very good television. Every time she came on camera, I wanted to take a nap. The clothes she wore may have been fashion forward… but they came across as what her mother might have dressed her in for her second grade class photo. Juvenile yet dull is not a good way to come across as an authority figure on reality television.

I did leave the show on my DVR for the time being, and hope to see some more exciting television out of such a fun premise… but we’ll see after it’s been on a couple weeks.

After all, Chopped, Top Chef, and Project Runway All Stars are all in full swing right now, and even  Angela Lindvall (who I happen to find by far the least compelling of the hosts of these shows) has more personality in her pinkie than I saw in Alexa Chung’s entire body.

One Response to “Catwalk or Catnap?”

  1. ZaftigWendy Says:

    Actually, I kind of liked Alexa Chung. To me she came across more as Mean/Scary Headmistress than schoolgirl. She reminded me of the mean headmistress of Shirley Temple’s school in “The Little Princess.” Only not quite so cruel/mean as tricksy/mean.

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