Friday, July 22, 2011

It's 'like' 'literally' killing me....NZNTM

What I love about the Next Top Model shows (NZNTM and ANTM) is the taste of luxury, of fashion, of jet-setting and the admirable drive and shrewd business sense of people like Heidi Kulm, Tyra Banks and now Sara Tetro. The accessories, the clothes, the panning shots of New York City, the amazing photographs that are a culmination of that episode's challenges and the inside glances into the contributing industries. Sheer talent alone makes for good television. These reality show contests remove Gossip Girl story lines and leave us with the arrogance, beauty and fashion that provide the same kind of guilty luxury that buying Vogue and Harper's Bazaar every month does. The September Issue ended with me simply hitting play again and watching it right to the end without pause. My favourite scenes of Sex and the City are the wardrobe and interior design voyeur scenes, where the shot has clearly been constructed to show off every sartorial detail, every gorgeous cushion, wallpapered lounge, vintage furniture pieces.

This sneak peek into the high end, high fashion world is endangered though. It is endangered through the increasing accessibility for young fillies and attention seeking males who race through life at 100 miles an hour taking only the bare minimum in and not once stopping to smell the roses. The priority is, and I'm loathed to revisit the now cliche words of him, but the priority really is Andy Warhol's predicted 15 minutes of fame. Success is fast becoming hollow, with fame being misconstrued as integral part of that success.

The fashion industry has boasted a love affair with fashion, with art, with history. The industry has produced carefully crafted whimsy and endlessly campaigns to be taken seriously (Anna Wintour refers to this in The September Issue). But this generation increasingly show a complete lack of regard for the integrity of fashion and its world. It does not help that The Television Decision often cuts, edits, 'directs' and adds aspects that are presumed will make better television.

The final of NZNTM this year will be held live at Fashion Week. A proudly operated event that has helped the industry in New Zealand go from strength to strength. But do the models know the designers? Or are they happy slopping around in their Glassons gear before slipping into coveted Juliette Hogan and Zambesi wares? Have these girls got stacks of fashion magazines in their bedrooms? Have they followed Miranda Kerr through her fashion campaigns, not through her WHO Weekly photos?

The fashion industry is all about judging a book by its cover. We don't care about the contents, as harsh as that sounds. The industry is shallow, and wonderful and artistic, but we don't care about alcoholic mothers and we certainly don't need Tyra amalgamating her chat show with her visits to the model house. We just want results, and good ones. Otherwise, you are no longer in the running towards becoming the Next Top Model. The July 22 broadcast of NZNTM saw a psychologist come onto set. Really? Could the psychologist not just be part of the crew, just like the All Blacks? You don't see an All Black being dissected on camera by the team psychologist after a poor performance and attributing various faults to past, childhood environment and alcoholic parents. Why should models, who should be behaving professionally at all times, regardless of their circumstances, get that kind of airtime? And if a psychologist is really going to be visiting, do you think more than one session, off camera, might be more appropriate?

The models are young. Unfortunately in this day and age when everyone gets everything right when they want it, 'everything' excludes gaining maturity, or 'growing up' on the spot. But is it really to much to expect a certain level of grace, of respect, hell, of general comprehension?

It's all too easy to generalise. Many young people are budding leaders, determined to be successful, know that success does not equal fame and fame does not equal success. Many of those with a keen eye for the fashion industry DO know their designers, their fabrics, their market. With the help of digital media and exposure to the world's events through communication, youngsters will lead tomorrow's world with a more than capable finger on the pulse.

But oh NZNTM. How you, like, literally, kill me.

1 comment:

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