A Guide to Keeping Your Fashion-Based Reality Shows Straight(ish)

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As I write this, hundreds of tiny-fingered Malaysian children are stitching the final touches onto the line of fashion-themed reality shows coming to cable this season; some are tried and true, others will be as well-received as the Chloe Sevigny Ironic Scrunchie Collection. Let's rummage through the bin and see what we find.

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1.Project Runway

Network: Lifetime

Premieres: August 20

The greatest of all fashion competitions nearly boarded "the train to Auschwitz," to paraphrase Austrian TV fashiojoürnalisten Bruno, after the Weinsteins announced they'd relocate the show from its comfy home at Bravo to the Mom Jeans Network, aka Lifetime Television. NBC Universal filed suit, and the wrangling delayed the sixth season; the case was finally settled on April 1, and the show premieres August 20. That's plenty of time for the models to have their hair done in the TRESemmé Hair Salon and makeup touched up in the L'Oréal Paris Makeup Room, before picking out the perfect handbag on the Bluefly Accessories Wall and hitting the runway so Michael Kors can make a sour face and declare the look, "Just. Awful. So futuristic-matronly. It's like Lovey from Gilligan's Island wintering in Palm Beach. The Palm Beach on Mars!" before turning to Nina to cackle at his own cleverness. [Project Runway]

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2. The Fashion Show

Network: Bravo

Premieres: May 7

Noticing a row of empty fit mannequins and a sad void in their lives, Bravo took no time in whipping up a Project Runway replacement show. (But you'll never hear them whisper those two ugly words; rather, they'll refer to their predecessor as The Reality Fashion-Design Competition Presided Over by a Teutonic Dominatrix and Advice-Dispensing Avuncular Dandy That Shall Not be Named.) Isaac Mizrahi and Destiny's Child's Kelly Rowland host, 15 designers vie for a $125,000 grand prize, and the winner is chosen by America. We choose Adam Lambert! Wait -- what? [The Fashion Show]

3. The Fred Segal Show

Network: Bravo

Premieres: NA

We've already made our predictions for this workplace reality show following the lives of a group of flawlessly appointed sales clerks working at the West Coast's premiere trendwhore-catering bungalow shoppeteria. [THR]

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4. The Stylist

Network: MTV

Premieres: NA

Among the new shows being unveiled at tomorrow's MTV upfront presentation will be a reality show entitled The Stylist, in which a dozen showroom-pulling mercenaries will compete in events like the Kill, Skin, and Make a Wearable Belt Out of a Deadly Python challenge and the Wonderbra Red Carpet Nip-Slip Relay. Before long, the Santee Alley knockoffs will be separated from the Fendi originals, and the final fashion consultant standing at series end will be crowned America's Next Top Stylist. It's all too thrilling for words. Phillip Bloch, this show needs your hosting prowess. [THR]

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5. The Rachel Zoe Project

Network: Bravo

Premieres: September 2009

Months ahead of its time when it comes to shows documenting people whose job it is to choose floppy sundresses and giant bug glasses for their 78-lb. starlet clients to wear, it's perhaps best remembered for its star stylist Rachel Zoe's catchphrase, "I die," which she said every time she really liked something. Try it, it's fun! [Zoe Project]



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