Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Mad Fashion is Refreshingly Fun

When Bravo announced it would be airing a show starring former Project Runway designer Chris March, I couldn't help but be excited. Chris is by far one of the most memorable contestants Runway has ever had—who can forget that infamous collection using human hair and that contagious laugh?—and has made quite a name for himself in his post-Runway career, designing for stars like BeyoncĂ©, Madonna and [cue gay gasp] Meryl Streep. His fun-loving personality and outrageous designs seemed like the perfect combination for a television show.

Mad Fashion is now six episodes into its first season, and I'm happy to report that it's not your average reality show. Thank goodness.

The first thing that strikes me about Mad Fashion is how little drama is present. Let's be honest, Chris wasn't known for stirring the pot and causing trouble on Runway—save a few snide (and deserved) remarks about young Christian Siriano—and that same mentality is present here. Yes, the structure of the show, in which each episode features a new client looking for an extravagant outfit in less than 72 hours, is meant to provide some conflict, but the drama in the promos is almost guaranteed to be bigger than what actually plays out. Whether they genuinely enjoy the final product or are just faking it to be nice, all the clients—from comedy star Jennifer Coolidge to Real Housewives dropout Dina Manzo—walk away with a smile on their face without putting up much of a fuss. The same goes for March's staff: they are a rag tag crew that all get along well, with only the occasional eye roll to be seen.

This style might have the potential to get a little boring if it were dragged out over an hour-long episode, but at 30 minutes a pop it feels just right, especially when you see what happens when designers aren't all stressed out and crying. Without the drama, there is a lot of room for some plain ol' fun and silliness. The staff of Chris March Designs may not storm out of the workroom or scream at each other all day long, but they certainly aren't boring. Perfect example: while making an outfit for Dina Manzo, the group reenacted the famous table-flipping scene from Real Housewives of New Jersey's first season. Watch the video clip below:

Now, obviously some producer made this little spoof happen, but you can also tell that they are having fun through the whole thing. Plus, it's pretty friggin funny. And that's just one example of the CMD staff goofing around while making ridiculous wigs, headpieces and lace bodysuits. They are generally a group you'd like to hang out with, especially personal assistant/Oklahoma ginger Jake and BeDazzler-obsessed Christine. Seriously: can those two just come chill at Please Welcome Your Judges HQ?!

Mad Fashion is a refreshing change to the typical reality show format. No hair pulling, no drunken fights, no challenges or gauntlets—just a fun, drama-free half hour about crazy fashion. Add it to your DVRs immediately: Tuesdays on Bravo at 10/9c.
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