Next in Fashion is now streaming on Netflix.
By Greg Wheeler
With $250,000 to play for, Next In Fashion takes some of the world’s most influential and prolific shadow designers and brings them together for a 10 episode pressure-cooker competition. With the usual slew of eliminations, drama and awe-inspiring moments, Next In Fashion is a really compelling and engrossing reality TV competition. Although some may bemoan its similarities to Project Runway, there are enough differences with this one to keep things feeling fresh. Unfortunately, a couple of stylistic issues hold this back from being a better title and will almost certainly turn some away.
After introducing the contestants, the series thrusts the designers straight into the lion’s den as they’re given the task of producing red carpet dresses and paired up. This opening episode does a good job setting the scene and introducing the main players, with some gorgeous dresses and stand-out moments. From here, the series starts to ramp up the competition as eliminations come thick and fast and each episode sees the designers tackle a different element of the fashion industry. From street-wear and denim outfits through to an elegant suit and underwear, Next In Fashion throws a number of different ideas and challenges for the teams to deal with. All of this builds up to the finale where the winner is crowned.
What’s particularly good about Next In Fashion is the way the show culturally incorporates people from all walks of life all over the planet. There’s a whole myriad of different ideas and influences because of this and it absolutely comes across in some of the designs. I won’t give away what these show-stopping pieces look like here but from the opening episode through to the finale, there are some really awe-inspiring outfits that will undoubtedly raise eyebrows and uttering a genuine “wow”.
The judges’ comments are fair and encouraging, with some constructive criticism thrown in at the perfect moments. Those expecting a Gordon Ramsay or Simon Cowell moment here certainly won’t find it, although some of the usual tropes from other reality shows do crop up. The high-pressure stakes bring with it a number of little clashes, tears, and drama but thankfully it never overwhelms the competition itself.
The biggest problem with Next In Fashion comes from its stylistic elements, which is a cruel irony for a show dripping in style. The camera darts around so quickly, with multiple strobe effects, quick cuts and a lot of content stuffed into every episode. There’s a frenetic energy to a lot of the series and while this may be okay during the idea and designing process, the actual runway segments feel a little frustrating given the camera keeps cutting every 3 or 4 seconds to the judges, the backroom guys and gals, and the model itself.
Overall though Next In Fashion is a compelling and enjoyable reality TV show. It’s not perfect, and a few of the frantic camera angles really hold this one back from being a better offering but the likable judges (Tan is just wonderful), the awe-inspiring designs and bites of comedy all combine to make this a really binge-able show well worth watching.
I give Next in Fashion a B+.