By Ryan Grant-Khailani, Third year, History
Earlier this month, the runway debut of Next in Fashion (2020-) Season 2 landed on Netflix’s line-up of original content for March. Gigi Hadid joins Tan France, best known for his skinny jeans and French tuck combination on Queer Eye (2018-), to cut apart the designs of 12 contestants.
The reality competition show is formulaic and manufactured – albeit an easy-to-binge viewing experience. Being easy to binge is not praise; wanting to finish the show in one sitting is more a result of the unengaging filler scenes between runways; the hook and attraction lay entirely in the designing feats.
While this introduction may give the impression that the show is trite, it must be noted that the designers’ personalities, and the storylines which are drawn out from them, work well to balance out the hyper-produced veneer of glamour. There are definitely better versions of this fashion-focused reality competition show - see Making The Cut (2020-) on Prime Video – but, criticism withstanding, the runway creations are oftentimes worth the previous 45 minutes.
The season ought to be celebrated for the diversity of the cast, featuring the first transmasculine contestant and the first non-able-bodied contestant. Although this diversity quality should also be measured against the first season, which showcased international designers, whilst casting this season seems to have been reduced to the US exclusively.
Some of the guest judges are stand-out, such as the first episode featuring Donatella Versace, but it is obvious that the more impressive guests have been polka-dotted throughout the season to maintain attention. The judges are not afraid to disagree with each other, which is refreshing for a competition television show, but one is left with the impression that this is frustrating for contestants.
When the judges cannot decide whether certain elements of the design should be removed or kept, how does the designer progress? Also, it appears obvious from the outset that certain designers are being favoured over others; the swimwear episode is the best example of this.
The chemistry between the hosts is incredibly contrived. The observably over-produced elements, such as obviously scripted interactions between them, are often distracting from some of the truly impressive design works.
The talent of the designers is truly the star of the show, with some awe-inspiring creations being created in around eleven hours (a very short amount of time for the tasks set). If you are in need of style inspiration, this is definitely a show to add to your basket.
Featured image: by The Tyler Twins, courtesy of Netflix
Did this new series inspire you?