Next in Fashion (Season 1, 2020)
Hosts & Judges: Tan France & Alexa Chung
Guest Judges: Elizabeth Stewart, Jason Bolden, Monique Lhuillier, Prabal Gurung, Phillip Lim, Kerby Jean-Raymond, Adriana Lima, Christopher Kane, Josefine Aberg, Maxwell Osborne, Dao-Yi Chow, Tommy Hilfiger, Eva Chen, Elizabeth von der Goltz
18 budding fashion designers compete for a $250,000 prize and the opportunity to launch a clothing line with Net-a-Porter. – IMDB
Next in Fashion is the the latest global competition that takes on finding the best upcoming fashion designers around the world with a huge prize to help their fashion business grow while giving them a chance to also launch their line online. Its a pretty big deal and one of the best parts of these shows is seeing that there is an international participation with the fashion designers coming from different countries and with different backgrounds. Just like any competition, each week’s task is a different type of clothing to challenge them and to help them break out of their comfort zone.
To be honest, most Netflix competitions (as with most competitions) are structured very similarly. What makes it exciting is the race against the clock to make something that embodies the designers vision. At the same time, the show starts off with pairing the designers into twos and it varies between some duos who have worked together before and some who are completely strangers and need to find their balance in the work up until a certain point where the teams are separated and they compete as individuals up to the finals. This is pretty much the most similar to the Netflix global cooking competition, The Final Table (review). This structure works well for this style of show as you see the idea of cooperation and the new ideas that push through each other’s comfort zones so when they break apart, it also helps give them that individual ideas and direction. I think it happens a little late in the show and I wonder whether it has to do with one of the episodes that result in a dilemma that ends up with no team being eliminated. We will come back to talk about this issue later.
If we look at the hosts, participants and judges, its a pretty nice group. I’m not into the fashion world so I know very little of where these judges come from other than Tommy Hilfiger because his clothing is pretty much a household name and widely available and like Adidas or other big name brands. The hosts are Tan France and Alexa Chung and they are a fun pairing. I’m a big fan of Tan France, even on Queer Eye so its great to see him do this show because he does have a more grounded fashion sense and one that can be elevated. Pairing with Alexa Chung, they both balance each other out pretty well. As for the participants, its nice to see that they are from many different countries: South Korea, UK, China, Mexico, North America, etc. It gives a different vibe as you can see each stylist and their different vision that they bring to the table especially as each challenge always is at least one of their fortes while others will find it challenging. Its a good way to give them a more well-rounded way to attack different challenges and break through the comfort zone. I think those challenges and the teams that can get through it really are the most fun to watch.
Overall, Next in Fashion is a pretty good competition. I’d say that its one entirely bingeworthy. I think I watched it over 2 to 3 days. Its nice to see different fashion and ideas in different types of interpretations. If there was anything to criticize based on that one incident they had (which bothered me a little) is that there isn’t a strong enough system of elimination. Its a competition and sometimes tough choices need to be made. While I can understand that fashion is subjective, there has to be some way where even when its not unanimous to be able to keep with the system of elimination whether giving the guest judge who has the expertise the tie breaker or get some odd number of judges or whatnot. I’m not a competition expert but it just seemed a little unprofessional how the whole thing went down when the editing showed a favor of who was supposed to leave. Either way, its just a thought. I still think its very entertaining as a competition and I’d be down for another season.