Rihanna's Styled To Rock: Endless Talk About Fashion, No Actual Fashion

Rihanna's TV show 'Styled To Rock' is a shiny new fashion show for the MTV generation. It's packed full of celebrities, but light on entertainment value...
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Last night I sat down to watch the second episode of ‘Styled to Rock’ a brand new fashion show executive produced by Rihanna on Sky Living. After watching the episode I’m still not sure if this is a show about fashion, a reality series that follows a bunch of hipsters in East London who make awful clothes, or just a show with Nicola Roberts from Girls Aloud where pop stars talk about how much they love fashion, and how much their fans love their fashion, and how much their fans and their fashion influences their generic music.

Despite Rihanna’s name being attached to the project, I wanted to like the show, I really did but it is basically just a low budget ‘Project Runway’ in Shoreditch that celebrates the worst of British pop culture; this by no means is a good thing at all. Over the years, ‘Project Runway’ has been criticised for over portraying its designers, their backgrounds and their personalities in order to increase tension. I see nothing wrong with this as despite their use of dramatics, ‘Project Runway’ has always made sure that the designers creative process is at the forefront of every episode, the same cannot be said about ‘Styled to Rock’.

I know that ‘Styled to Rock’ has some connections to fashion because everyone is talking about fashion, all the designers talk about their experiences, their time at fashion school and what amazing fasionistas they are.

Everyone is talking about fashion but the problem is that, everyone is so busy talking about fashion that the process of creating the fashion takes a back seat.

The judges, English designer Henry Holland, Rihanna’s stylist Lysa Cooper and Nicola Roberts who apart from Cooper are so dull and uncharismatic on TV that I considered falling asleep next to George Galloway talk about fashion. The celebrity guests talk about fashion, everyone is talking about fashion but the problem is that, everyone is so busy talking about fashion that the process of creating the fashion takes a back seat.

Now I’m not really into fashion, by this I mean I don’t stress about my day-to-day outfits, 90% of the time I’m more of a ‘I wore this because it was clean’ kind of a girl but I like fashion shows because I enjoy watching the journey of turning a piece of cloth into haute couture. That to me is what these shows should be about, reminding everyone that those thousand dollar designer outfits that celebs flaunt on the red carpet were made with materials that cost fifty times less than its price tag.

This week the designers had three days to make outfits for hip-hop duo Rizzle Kicks, I was excited about the challenge because menswear is rarely portrayed in shows like this. The designers were divided into half: one half designed individual outfits for Harley and the other for Jordan who both had different styles. A bit of comic relief came from Chanelle, one of the designers, who asked, “Can I find out which one is Harley and which one is Jordan please?” The look on the duo’s face was pretty priceless as their egos were knocked down a peg or two. Spoiler alert, Chanelle found herself in the bottom two; I wonder if that had anything to do with it?

After the challenge was set the show got pretty blah, I spent a huge chunk of it discussing Nicola’s roots with my sister who was baffled about the fact that it wasn’t as ginger as she would have liked it to be. Then all of a sudden, another challenge was spun on the designers. They were given three hours to design an outfit for Pixie Lott to wear on a night out, again the creative process was edited out and instead I was forced to watch Pixie Lott talk about fashion.

It fails to do the most fundamental thing that TV is supposed to do: entertain.

Another spoiler, Megan won the challenge, she seemed excited as she watched Pixie walk away wearing her outfit. I assumed they would show some evidence that Pixie kept true to her word and wore the outfit on a night out but there was nothing, just more talk about fashion without actually showing much of it.

Eventually the designers had to fit their models who happened to be a bunch of hipster skateboarders (how avante garde right?) then it was off to the skate rink to find out who won the challenge. Two winners were picked, their outfits were worn by Rizzle Kicks at some festival and two losers were picked to fight for their lives: Chanelle and Brett.

Chanelle, the self taught designer fought her corner saying that she didn’t leave her twin babies at home just to get the boot in the second week. Brett, the fashion school graduate and cocky idiot who for the entire show dressed like she was on her way to comic-con didn’t really understand why she was in the bottom, in her mind she was the winner. As you can imagine, Brett got the boot and Chanelle lived to sew another day.

As a concept, ‘Styled to Rock’ isn’t particularly original but let’s face it, what is? Still, it has a lot of potential not just to showcase and kick-start the careers of its struggling designers but to entertain and inform fashion illiterates like myself on UK fashion. Unfortunately the show is so hell bent on upstaging itself in order to appeal to a younger audience with all its celebrity guests, unnecessary blinding bright colours and MTV style jump-cuts that it fails to do the most fundamental thing that TV is supposed to do: entertain. If you didn’t manage to catch the show last night, don’t worry you didn’t miss much.

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