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Styled to Rock (2013) – Competition for Project Runway?


Category: Reality-TV
Actors: Rihanna, Pharrell Williams, Erin Wasson, Mel Ottenberg
Channel: BRAVO-TV
Duration: 42 min
Rated: PG

So I guess Bravo-TV tried to come up with a new and unique show that could compete with Project Runway, which was aired on Bravo-TV for five seasons. But after the contract with NBCUniversal was over the producers decided to leave Bravo and go to Lifetime. Of course there have been disputes over the show, and even a lawsuit followed, but eventually the networks arranged a settlement.

So the concept is simple: 12 designers compete for a grand prize which includes a cash prize of 100,000 Dollars, a fashion spread in Glamour Magazine, and the chance to be a part of Rihanna’s very own design team. Each week they have to design an outfit for a certain celebrity. During the progress of creating the perfect outfit, the judges decide who will be able to showcase their work to the special guest judge, which is the celebrity the challenge is tailored for, and who will be up for elimination.

Having watched the first episode of Styled to Rock, I have to say that it doesn’t reach the quality of Project Runway or any or any other fashion design show. The only reason why this show might get a decent rating is Rihanna, who is executive producer and host of the show. Apparently she picked out the designers personally, but if those designers are the best she could find, the fashion world is in big trouble. So far we have seen horrible construction, absolutely no sewing skills, scary bad fits, and a cheap choice of fabric. I did not like any of the contestants so far, because their appearances seemed very staged and over the top, but I did like the fact that a lot of them are in their thirties and forties, and not only young people who just made it out of college.

The judges are fashion icon and singer Pharrell Williams, model Erin Wasson, and Rihanna’s stylist Mel Ottenberg, who also took the mentor role. I don’t want to degrade anyone, but do a fashion icon, a model and a stylist really have the same knowledge a fashion designer established while actually being a part of the fashion industry, and working in it? Do they know about construction, seam allowance, or a perfect hemline? I don’t know. I mean let’s be honest, even if a singer,model, actor, or whoever runs his own fashion line they might do a sketch or tell their team what they want them to produce, but I doubt that that they know about the process. So why didn’t they have a fashion designer in the judge panel? Do the contestants know how about those things? I am sure they don’t, some of them have probably never heard of pattern making either. Are the judges likable? I don’t know yet. And Rihanna seems nice and cute and sweet, but for her being the face of the she shows it for a very little time.

I am not digging the idea of the show at all. Why would we need another fashion in the first place? And what does this show say about the fashion industry? The only message I got from this episode was that the most horrible and talentless designer can be the most successful person in this world as long as they are the personal designer for a celebrity. How encouraging in that for all the struggling designers, who now know that talent doesn’t even matter?

I think the show has potential to be a success among Rihanna fans and people who want to see drama and care more about seeing celebrities rather than talented people putting on a decent show. But like I said, this was only my impression after one episode.

I wonder why can’t people stick to their expertise. Rihanna should look for a singer and not a fashion designer. I even think the show would feel fresher or different if she was looking for a stylist. At least that would be different.

I wish everyone involved with this show good luck, but I know I will not tune in anymore. I appreciate talent and quality.

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  1. i kinda have expectation for this show to be more about creating crazy-avant garde costume for a star performance on stage (and i think the contestant was expecting the same) . But after the 3rd episode, i think they (the contestant)
    was in the wrong place. They was given the task to design and sew clothes for red carpet, book signing etc. wich require a high tailoring skill. Then its become predictable who will made through the pull each week (its the one who have the skill)
    Its a shame since most of them is more about idea and skteches not a tailoring ability. I also dont believe that the celebritie’s stylist
    will ever let their star wearing ratchy clothes that was made in a hurry like that (even the winning clothes have bad quality on its tailoring)

  2. Nailed it! I couldn’t agree more. I was really excited to see this show. Being an avid Project Runway fan as well loving the fashion edge that so many musical celebrities sport. There is so much potential here. I wanted to see talented designers stepping out on a ledge and blowing us all away, instead we got a handful of poseurs and talentless hacks. I have seen art students throw together outfits in their bedrooms twenty minutes before hitting the club that have more originality and quality than the garbage seen on this show. I feel so bad for the artists who are forced to choose and wear any of these clothes. Come on, Bravo, find some real designers and cut back on the “guuuurrrl, she so shady” contrived drama BS. If you want Project Runway viewership, give us real designers with real skill and judges who know the difference between a well made hem and something held together with double sided tape. And please, for the love of god, no more neon spandex with fringes! I mean, seriously?

  3. A UK version of this was on Sky last year. Also hosted by Rihanna but with different judges. I kind of liked it but some of the quality of the clothes was pretty questionable and it didn’t have good viewing figures. I think it’s been cancelled.

    • Oh really? I didn’t know that. Interesting. Well, hopefully more people will watch it here. I am sure it is devastating to have a show cancelled. But then again, why can’t people stick to their expertise? Rihanna should look for a singer and not a fashion designer. I think I would even like the concept better if she was looking for a stylist. At least that would be a new idea.

      • The UK one was actually more about finding a stylist now that I think about it but there was a lot of modification of existing clothing that some of them were rubbish at.

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