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Next in Fashion shines a spotlight on runway social trends

4 mins read

Hosted by Queer Eye’s Tan France and the glorious Alexa Chung, Next in Fashion is a competition to help the best designers from across the world further their career with the winner getting $250,000 to contribute to their business.

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Each episode is a new challenge where the designer has to work in teams to create a runway outfit from rock and roll to lingerie and patterns. All aspects of their skills are put to the test.

There are a couple of great things that put this fashion show aside all the other reality shows out there.

The contestants are a selection of top fashion designers from across the world, all with their own businesses and looking to embed their name further in the industry. They hail from all over the world, including China, Japan, the US, Canada, Italy and even Scotland’s very own Dundee.

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Seeing the whole process from a sketch of a design, to the planning, sewing and final execution, is incredible. It is not often you get the chance to really see the work that goes into creating a piece of fashion.

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When it comes to self expression each individual designer has their own personal tastes, styles and techniques. Having to collaborate with another designer is a massive challenge.

But the best teams show their ability to put creative differences aside and decide what is objectively best to stay in the competition. You quickly see the teams that cannot work together, or respect each other’s knowledge, falling short.  

The mixture in cultures makes the dynamics even more intriguing, heightening Next in Fashion from your standard reality tv show.

Conflict sparked in the streetwear episode, as the two teams with the most experience in this area ended up in the bottom two. It brought up the question of what does streetwear even mean anymore?

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The controversy emerged when designers Kiki Kitty and Farai Simoyi had to defend their designs.

Farai Simoyi hit out at the industry, saying: “We were given streetwear, and we design from our perspective, and the thing that I’ve noticed in the fashion industry is it’s mostly one voice that’s heard.

The high-end brands and designers are taking ideas from us every single day, and it only becomes cool when it’s high-end. For a lot of us minorities and the underprivileged, we want you to see us, but it’s so hard to be seen.”

The guest judge, Kerby Jean-Raymond, who was the designer behind Pyer Moss, walked out after the judges disagreed and were unable to make a decision resulting in nobody getting eliminated that week.

After weeks of working together, and with just four teams left in the competition, they will now have to go head to head as individuals. It’s a savage twist which keeps the competition interesting.

Overall, it’s a captivating watch for anyone interested in fashion, and the structure, presenters and variety in tasks make it surprisingly entertaining even for those who don’t.

Next in Fashion is available on Netflix now.

Film Media and Journalism student at the University of Stirling. Film and comment editor at Brig Newspaper. Edinburgh / Stirling

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