The Fashion Show: Sadder than a Pair of Harem Pants

It doesn't bode well for The Fashion Show, Bravo's brand-new rip-off of its former flagship program, Project Runway, that the most entertaining thing during its premiere was the previews of The Real Housewives of New York City reunion that aired during the commercials. 

To the right is the design of Miami-based  contestant Markus. No, the first challenge was not "Space Pajamas"! The 15 designers were divvied up into three teams and had to design collections around a "must-have piece." Markus ended up under the leadership of John Day (whose unique personal aesthetic is part flamboyant son of a sumo wrestler, part Muzzy from the popular children's language tapes), who decided all women absolutely cannot go another day in their lives without having a pair of gray silk harem pants in their closets. You can still blame Markus for that top, which is... well, the nicest thing you can say about it is that it's a top. 
So how bad is this show so far? The harem-pants team wasn't even the one singled out for elimination. Take deep breaths and learn to live in a world where there are actually designs worse than baggy silk harem pants. We'd tell you that Markus's design wasn't even the worse on his team, but we don't want your brain to implode. 

And as for the non-design aspects of the show -- ugh, it's not even a hot mess. It's just a sad, cold mess so far. Kelly Rowland is involved as host, and we're not even sure she knows why. Isaac Mizrahi, with years of acclaimed design and television work, should be a natural on this show, but he just comes off as Tim Gunn's angrier little brother (in fact, as designer of Liz Claiborne, Gunn is actually his real-life boss). Then the designers -- they fall into three groups: frustrated ladies, over-the-top men, and everyone else who just kind of fills in the background, AKA so-far non-frustrated ladies and low-key men.

Maybe it'll get better. We hope so. In the meantime, we'll be waiting for the Housewives reunion and hoping that when Project Runway's new incarnation debuts on Lifetime this August, the show will have a Miami designer we can blog about. 

[This post was edited for accuracy and restraint] 

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