It's the new show with the clever title! Here's Isaac Mizrahi, amazing in Unzipped, telling us about "real life, real people, REAL FASHION." I don't get it. And there is Kelly Rowland, who has obviously given up on any future as a pop star separate from Beyonce. Isaac tells us that they've assembled 15 talented fashion designers. Each week they will be challenged to create a look that will be showcased in front of a crowd of industry insiders. I've been waiting for the part where this isn't exactly like Project Runway. Is this it? A "crowd?" Then, they'll be judged by Isaac, House of Dereon model Kelly, and Fern Mallis. I love Fern Mallis! She is totally the Paula Abdul here, without the patches of super-morphine. She's so nice. The designers are competing for $125,000 and the chance to have their designs manufactured and sold. Nice. That's the hard part. So, there are some tiny differences, I guess. I wonder if they'll give them longer to work on their looks? Four people will show a full collection in the finals, though Isaac doesn't say if that will be at Fashion Week. Oh, here we go, the audience will decide the winner! This could be interesting.
The credits come from the same French techno-pop machine that all of the other Bravo title sequences come from. The show begins in New York and we meet Kristin, from Chicago. She has an organic clothing line. She says she's ready to take her company "to the next level." Ah, the oft discussed next level. Kristin enters what looks like a Meatpacking District club during the daytime. Next is James-Paul, an "experimental designer." His designed aesthetic is derived, he says, from "post colonialist theories." Shit. He worked for Vivienne Westwood and he's got a crazy outfit on, including some clog sandals that are seriously verging on being high heels. Here's Merlin, a ridiculous man in head-to-to red, with cape and feathered hat. People ask him if "Merlin" is his real name. He is self-taught, believe it or not. He tells Kristin and James-Paul that he loves competition. So, their workroom is apparently in the building that Kristin entered. Interesting. Lidia, an "avant garde designer," enters the room. She seems relatively not crazy. Here's Reco, who tells us that he paid his way through school by designing outfits for strippers. That's an amazing story. It's like All That Jazz meets Lady Sings The Blues meets Showgirls. He notices Merlin's outfit as soon as he walks in. And, he's wearing all acid washed denim, so you know shit's gotta look crazy for him to call it out.