OK, it’s been a while since I was into a reality show (I know, I’m a TV snob). But after reviewing the preview episode of The Sundance Channel‘s “All on the Line,” which premieres tonight at 10 p.m., I’m really looking forward to getting hooked. It’s like the network has tapped into my psyche and the psyches of fashion lovers everywhere!
But before I go on, I must give full disclosure: One of my best friends is an executive behind the show — which means I hope she and the show’s creators really did tap into my psyche and the psyches of all of their fashion-loving friends. It also means I’m scrutinizing it way more.
What strikes me about “All on the Line” is that, despite the sped-up timing, staged scenarios and showcased quips that have become a reality TV norm, it is still in that shiny, new, documentary-style stage of exploring a fascinating subject with a fresh perspective. What happens after you taste success as a designer, then lose your mojo? I love that instead of being all about the manufactured drama (which is of course unavoidable, especially in fashion), it also focuses on the actual work that goes into reinventing a fashion brand from concept to showroom floor. We also get to sit in on major moments of pride and disappointment as each designer stresses about the details, struggles to look at the big picture and learns to accept the importance of taking risks — lessons that are important no matter what business you’re in.
Featuring Joe Zee, the charming yet brutally honest creative director at ELLE, this episode takes on Kara Janx, the season-two Project Runway contestant who was behind an impressive kimono wrap dress, and the challenges she’s had since with developing her business. More episodes explore the challenges of even more emerging designers — and give us more chances to see some fascinating behind-the-scenes footage.