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Next in Fashion VS Project Runway (Review – Netflix Premiere 29 January )

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Next In Fashion is a high-stakes competition series premiering on Netflix January 29 featuring some of the world’s best and quietly innovative designers who compete for a chance to become the next big name in fashion.

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Hosted by fashion designer and TV personality Tan France (Queer Eye) and designer, model and global style icon Alexa Chung, Next in Fashion begins with 18 designers who face challenges centering on a different trend or design style that has influenced the way the entire world dresses.

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When it comes to Fashion reality series, the 15 year old Project Runway comes to mind with a format that pits its designers against one another encouraging trash talk and catty behaviour in the cutting room. You won’t find any of that nonsense in this grown up version Netflix original that brings the focus back to the design and craftmanship.

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There’s a sense of professionalism and commradery between the designers of Next in Fashion, even between those who conflict with one another when working in group challenges.  The contestants are established in their careers, have worked for major labels, dressed A-list celebrities so you’ll find none of the standard catty trash talk that has sometimes dominated the focus of Project Runway.  These are real respected designers and professionals.  Even while competing with one another, they are all consulting with each other trusting their opinions with each other’s design, that speaks volumes on the calibre of talent assembled.

Judges are in search of looks and designs that don’t exist yet as the standard they set at Next in Fashion is all about the future of fashion.

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These talented contestants have worked for major brands and dressed A-list celebrities, and will now compete head-to-head to see who has the skill, originality and determination to win the grand prize: $250,000 and an opportunity to debut their collection with luxury fashion retailer NET-A-PORTER.  We’re given an insight into each designers approach with an assembly of stellar talent who have graduated from the most prestigious fashion academies, self starters already running and distributing their own range or looking to make a name for themselves after establishing ghost careers for well known labels.

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The runway showings each week are before an audience and the commentary of the judges both during and after the process of design is constructive letting viewers in to the real world of fashion.   One of the most irritating things about Project Runway are sometimes the unnecessary mocking of designs by judges when their contestants are supposedto be designers making a living off their work.  There’s none of that disrespect regardless for contestants of Next in Fashion.

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Each episode this season the challenges are prescribed themes for the designers including Red Carpet looks, denim, suit tailoring, streetwear among many others.  Unlike Project Runway, no dollar amount is set for garment they create.   It’s a designers dream where contestants are given free reign to create being provided some of the most luxurious materials, the ability to do their own prints on fabric enabling them to unleash their full potential on the runway.

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Having seen Season 1 – each designer is strong in their area of expertise – activewear, lingerie, prints, haute couture, mens, women’s and the format of the show while similar to many that are still on air on competing networks, have perfected a formula that brings the focus back to the design while lifting the industry as a whole to new unchartered territories of design.


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