Fashion Week Is Christmas Come Early For Reality TV
“Reality show” is a funny term. Though we love ourselves some guilty pleasures, we long for the days of seriously unscripted docudramas. (Think: old school Real World.) Now reality shows are a lot more polished and a lot less, well, real. And for many reality stars, there is no backdrop more polished — or coveted — than the shows at Fashion Week.
Today the Wall Street Journal took an interesting look at this phenomenon, drawing a connection between sitcom Christmas specials and reality show Fashion Week episodes. Genius! It turns out the politics involved in filming around Fashion Week are pretty hilarious, just as we suspected.
First of all, not everyone knows about the unofficial official dress code. (In case you didn’t know, replace “on Wednesdays, we wear pink” with “on everyday, we wear black.”)
There can be culture clashes behind the scenes, too. When Bravo cameras were following fashion publicist Kelly Cutrone last year for the filming of her reality show, “Kell on Earth,” the camera operators showed up backstage at a fashion show Ms. Cutrone was producing dressed in khaki shorts and sneakers. “I was like, ‘Why can’t you just wear black like everybody else?’” she says.
Then there’s that nasty little issue of direction. Yes, reality shows are directed!
Still, filming at fashion shows can be awkward for both designers and reality stars, says Whitney Port, who is the designer of the line Whitney Eve and a star of “The City.” Last winter, Ms. Port attended the shows of Charlotte Ronson, Rachel Roy and Catherine Malandrino with MTV crews following in her wake. “They’re in everyone’s way,” she says.
Her line’s presentation is Saturday. It will be filmed for “The City.” Ms. Port says she will ask producers to respect that the fashion show will be her focus for that morning: “I will say, ‘There is enough going on without you stepping in and giving me direction.’ “
Of course some designers don’t want these “stars” at their shows to begin with. Shades of Snooki, perhaps?
At the Duckie Brown show Friday morning at Lincoln Center, don’t expect to see The Situation from MTV’s “Jersey Shore.” Co-designers Steven Cox and Daniel Silver say invitations to their fashion shows have been requested by reality TV publicists, but they have turned them down. “It’s a generous and loose use of the word to call them celebrities,” says Mr. Silver. “I’d be hard-pressed to have someone explain to me why it’s meaningful to us to have them pictured at our show.”
Ouch! What’s a girl to do? Stephanie Pratt has a solution: latch onto a socialite!
Ms. Pratt is now developing her own reality show and trying to break into the fashion business. “I was on a TV show that glamorized partying and fights with girlfriends,” she says. “It’s hard to have credibility. You always feel kind of inadequate.”
Next week, Ms. Pratt will attend the Vera Wang show as the special guest of Marjorie Gubelmann, a fixture of New York’s fashion and social set who has taken the reality star under her wing.
Yet, Ms. Pratt’s credibility tour will have to wait until after Sept. 12, when she is attending MTV’s Video Music Awards in Los Angeles.
Well played, WSJ, well played.