November 13, 2007

TV Styles: Hot or Not?

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As television shows attempt to capture your attention this season with witty titles and peculiar characters, can you guess which ones fall behind the curb and which ones take the cake for fabulous fashion? In case you’ve ever wondered, the networks that are battling it out behind the scenes of your TV screen are not only vying for your attention by hiring clever writers like Alexander Payne (Grey’s Anatomy), but also by fighting fierce fashion wars. These sitcoms are going for the gold, or at least attempting to, each season as they plop down tons of money to hire the best wardrobe stylists in the business e.g., Branden Marks (Dancing with the Stars) or Catherine Adair (Desperate Housewives). Unfortunately, even though both of these stylists have accomplished creating hot looks on their clients, there are many TV series don’t even come close to this goal.
With television creating such a visual canvas adorned with elaborate settings, beautiful people and seductive choreography, one would think that fashion would have to play a major role in an industry immersed in sitcoms, dramas and reality television. Disappointingly, that is not always the case. For instance, what was the stylist for the hilariously comedic sitcom The Office thinking? Since its debut in 2005, the show has exhibited an ongoing lack of pursuit of chic fashion. In my opinion, an office is one of the best places to model your newest Ralph Lauren tailored jacket and confident, classy Chanel pumps or an Armani suit with Versace Croc embossed leather shoes. And, what about ABC’s hit show Lost? Yes, I know they are stuck on an island, but if you really think about it how is it that their clothes are even still intact? These characters have been marooned on an island for over three years; shouldn’t their clothing be disintegrated due to all of that excess exposure to intense sun and saltwater? Trust me, cotton does not hold up that well! So it’s obvious that someone is clothing them, right? Since that’s the case, why shouldn’t they dress in style? Even Ginger managed to appear fabulous in her Myrna Low style gowns while stranded on Gilligan’s Island.
While these shows are both deemed “nots” in the fashion department, some other networks are fortunately not following their lead. Showtime’s The L Word is a prime example of “hot” when it comes to wardrobe. This show radiates élan on a whole new level. Wardrobe stylist Cynthia Summers does amazing work on this cast when dressing her characters in everyday high fashion and stylish casual wear. She puts her very own spin on L.A. lesbian chic when choosing ensembles ranging from androgynous Dolce power suits to hot Malizia bras. Another show that is all about what’s hot is Ugly Betty. While it is true that the show is supposed to be about inner beauty and whatnot, it’s real theme is high fashion. After watching a whole season of Ugly Betty, I emerged with no added sense of moralistic responsibility or a higher calling. What I did gain was a higher understanding of style trends and increased fashion know how. Wardrobe stylist Eduardo Castro has really proved himself as one of the hottest stylists in the business, with the ability to dress the ugliest to the sexiest of characters. This includes Vanessa Williams as the evil Wilhelmina Slater and Becki Newton as sassy Amanda Tanen (now Amanda Summers.) These are the types of shows that deserve the most credit because they not only enhance our television screens, but also our wardrobes.
If you are the type of viewer that loves to be entertained by more then just funny scripts and odd characters with a sad sense of fashion, then be on the look out for more gifted stylists debuting next season. One stylist in particular is former dresser of Sex and the City stars, Patricia Field. As everyone is still raving about her work on SATC, she is preparing for another turn on the small screen with ABC’s Cashmere Mafia. Fortunately for us, stylists like Patricia Field and Cynthia Summers are the future of fashionable TV.