Yesterday, a video of Joe Zee's new reality show All On The Line was leaked on Racked. The show features a different emerging designer each episode, and ostensibly saves them from inevitable financial ruin and disaster with the help of Zee's witty mentoring and design critiques. It sounds like it's the natural evolution of Project Runway, concentrating on more viable designers who might actually have a future in the industry, and the first episode focuses on local talent Leila Shams.
The thing is, I already really liked Shams as a designer, and I don't really think her design work needs that much tweaking, much less a full on overhaul. Her Fall "Bad Luck" collection featured plenty of covetable digital printed pieces with images of shattered mirrors, howling black cats, and of course, my favorite number, 13. I saw Shams's Spring collection back in September at the D&A tradeshow, and I loved the giant prints of galloping white horses, albino alligators, and posing peacocks. I even made a personal order for the oversized owl-print shirt in the photo above.
In fact, the only item that I didn't like was the single piece that Shams collaborated on with Zee during the course of the show taping. It's a pretty traditional looking black evening gown with a large peacock printed on the train, and it looks out of place with the rest of collection (I heard that most people who had seen that piece were similarly unimpressed). I'm sure the show will be great entertainment, and I also think it's amazing publicity and exposure for Leila, who might even become a household name depending on the success of the show. Hopefully it will even help her alleviate some of her financial woes. But it might also inadvertently reveal that being a great fashion editor, vocal critic, or funny television host isn't synonymous with being a good designer.
Thursday, January 6, 2011