Primetime Design: The Best Fashion Shows on TV

Fashion Police
Fashion Police
Fashion Police

March 8, 2013:  Fashion design shows are thriving, providing an inside look at both established designers and the dramatic competition among up-and-coming fashion designers. We earnestly watch models and celebs strike the perfect pose as designers toil on tomorrow’s favorite styles and argue over yet-to-be-released clothing. In some cases, we get to witness the live release of pieces that are made available the very next day.

Whether you are trying to break into fashion world or just want to know what to wear next season, design shows offer unprecedented access to the wide world of fashion. Put your cable TV resources to good use and fit these shows into your schedule for the latest design trends, tips and teases.

Fashion Star

Reality TV isn’t just for singers and dancers anymore. The fashion world has adopted the American Idol format and applied its own twist with NBC’s Fashion Star. Celebrities Jessica Simpson and Nicole Richie and designer John Varvatos serve as mentors and judges. Contestants design and pitch outfits to representatives from Macy’s, Saks Fifth Avenue and Express, who can bid to purchase contestant designs. Viewers don’t have to wait long to get into these clothes—purchased designs hit store floors the following day.

Project Runway

Credited with launching the fashion reality TV genre, Project Runway gathers designers, models, professionals and celebrities to judge and mentor contestants. Supermodel Heidi Klum leads the panel of judges and fashion expert Tim Gunn guides contestants with a critical eye. Now in its 11th season, Project Runway continues to produce successful designers. Winners have gone on to launch clothing lines and work with leading retailers.

Fashion Hunters

Who doesn’t love to fantasize about expensive clothing from the most exotic designers? Most of us, however, are just looking to nab a really good deal. Bravo’s Fashion Hunters caters to the bargain-bin diver in all of us. Fashion experts Ambria Miscia and Tara Muscarella lead the troops at second-hand boutique Second Time Around as they search for high-end fashion at dirt-cheap prices. Cast members hold charity auctions and fashion shows with the secondhand clothing. East coast shoppers can visit Second Time Around stores, while west coast consumers can shop online.

Fashion Police

E! Entertainment Television brings celebrity fashion banter to TV every Friday night. Led by the always-outspoken Joan Rivers, Fashion Police hosts a panel of fashion experts and celebrities who discuss the best and worst styles of the previous week. Come for the clothes, stay for the jokes—Rivers and friends don’t hold back when commenting on unflattering, unkempt or downright ugly outfits. Segments include “Busted,” where celebrities are caught wearing an outfit at multiple events, and “Guess Me From Behind,” during which the panel tries to identity celebs from pictures of their derrières.