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Glam God Casts a Pall on the House of Me

by Lauren Gitlin August 22, 2008 10:48 am
<i>Glam God</i> Casts a Pall on the House of Me Did you guys know that South Bend, Indiana is the style capital of the world? I'd never have guessed it growing up there, but now that I think about it, I guess it makes some sense. Two out of two stars of upcoming stylist-related reality shows are from there: Anne Slowey, fashion director of Elle Magazine and Miranda Priestley stand-in in the upcoming Devil Wears Prada-themed show Stylista , hails from said burg, as does Vivica A. Fox, she of the identically-themed VH1 show Glam God With Vivica A. Fox. It is true that despite the highest strip-mall per capita density I've ever encountered in my not at all scientific surveying of such things, South Bend does boast a handful of stylish folks with a genuine flair for fashion and an eye for creativity. This wholly includes -- and I'm not at all biased here people -- me and my girlfriends. And my mom, who rocked those louvered Kanye West sunglasses before every hip hop artist from here to Dubai got grabby with them. The rest of the town, from what I can tell, is happy to offer itself up to a rather limited array of designers that spans from the Gap to Dress Barn, with some Wet Seal thrown in for the under-fifty set (plenty of soccer moms think it's really cute to dress up like mall rat Lolitas but once they hit the big 5-0 they beggar off. Even they have standards to uphold!).

But I digress. The point of this post is not only to meditate on the strange confluence of factors that has made my hometown the breeding ground for reality show style "icons," but to evaluate one such icon and one such show. Vivica A. Fox's show premiered last night and people? It sucked ass. It combines all the crappy elements of The Real World (annoying, annoying contestants that stir murderous feelings in the hearts of even the most angelic among us; a "tricked-out" pad where they all live and provoke each other so as to provide "drama" for the 42 minutes of the show that aren't taken up with vaguely talent-related bidness) with a Project Runway-style format featuring style-focused challenges, a panel of "expert" judges that include gay-fabulous Phillip Bloch (perhaps the only real expert in the bunch), some British ho that they tell me is a fashion big wig at US Weekly -- because tabloids are totally the arbiters of all things high fashion, and the star of the show, Ms. Fox. (Seriously you guys how in the eff is it that Vivica is an expert on fashion? On a good day -- and I'm talking good -- she looks like RuPaul after a bender.)

Sure we're only one episode in, but I'm telling you guys, if my gut is on point (and it always is, barring some nacho-induced indigestion), this sucker is gonna crash and mutha effin' burn. The entire painful hour that I attempted to watch this piece of poo, I found myself alternately telling the TV to shut the hell up and running into the other room for respite when I was overcome by the tortured feeling that witnessing the idiotic contestants (particularly the wannabe gangsta of indeterminate race Indashio and the so-perky-you want-to-slap-her Jess) prompted. Vivica, you've cast a pall on me and my fellow South Benders. I only hope that Slowey can redeem us all from the lowly status you've caused us in the eyes of the international fashion world.

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