Nice Try Ty Ty

8:27 AM Posted In , , , Edit This 0 Comments »
So, up until last night's episode, I was feeling pretty okay about this season of America's Next Top Model (or if you will, America's Next Top CoverGirl...Seventeen Model...guest star on future seasons of ANTM).

The show has certainly (notably) downgraded itself over the years. Tyra no longer bonds with her little models in waiting - hell she sent Toccara from Cycle 3 to chat with the ladies last night. The sponsors have grown increasingly patchy and thin...remember when the prizes included contracts with Revlon? Sephora? Photoshoots in legit fashion mags? C3 was the beginning of the end for sure - but even that had really great sponsored shoots throughout the season (ranging from Dooney & Bourke to an energy drink to a diamond company) that made it feel more like a real modelling competition.

Part of the problem today is that a) there is a finite supply of model-worthy girls out there, b) the integration of the sponsors has made the show very cheesy and directed towards 'role models' (sorry single moms and former exotic dancers), and c) Tyra seems hellbent on picking different 'types' of girls to win per season...consider what a big deal was made when the 'first black girl', the 'first plus-sized girl', and even the 'first blonde' to win happened. As a result, it's a lot easier to figure out who can actually live up to Tyra's "top model" standards.

An additional problem has been the extremely gimmicky nature of the photoshoots, and the horrible airbrushing! However, the return to New York this season *felt like* a return to form (unlike C10, which made very little use of the world's fashion capital). The first three photoshoots all had slightly gimmicky themes - but the actually execution and styling of them *felt like* they could have been legitimate photoshoots. In almost every critique this season, they've mentioned 'showing off the garment', something that's been long-forgotten on the show for some time.

I always use Teen Vogue as a good barometer for the ideal types of photoshoots these girls should be doing on the show. It's a step up from the tacky High School Musical shoots found in teen mags like Seventeen, and more interesting than the boring as hell stricitly fashion photoshoots you find in Elle or Cosmo, but it's not quite as avant garde as something you might see in Vogue.

I was pleased to see that the first 3 shoots of the season could all easily have found a place in Teen Vogue.

America's Next Top Model

Although the 'bad seed' girls in the background downgraded this concept, the main models from the actual show all made perfect sense in a kind of Gossip Girl-esque cute shoot idea.

America's Next Top Model

Again, the idea behind this shoot was a bit silly - the show often talks about 'finding the light' and the idea here was they'd have a hand (ha ha) in lighting themselves. But the cool styling and group shots made it seem at least somewhat plausible as a kind of avant garde "rock clothes are in style again" concept.

America's Next Top Model

Although perhaps not the best example of the awesome potential this shoot had in terms of fashion, this is the first time in a long time the show really made use of its surroundings to create a dynamic setting. I could totally imagine a shoot where a magazine used different areas of a city to capture the latest trends - shown here, the business look.

However, last night's episode was just lame. The episode was about posing, and not a single girl had a fierce pose in the vintage camera approach they took. Thalia (who's been doing rather poorly all season) had the best photo to be sure, and the final scene in the judging room was BEYOND awkward ugh, but the overall photoshoot was not fashionable, realistic, or effective in delivering a unique photo for the girls books. If they wanted to do what they did - re: the old photo look - I think it would have been way cooler to have the girls do beauty shots and pose as cameos. How long has it been since they've done a normal close-up of the face? Even a vintage cameo would be preferable to last night's silly "immigrants on Staten island" concept that did *not* effectively use the city, as the prior shoot did.

I'm hoping that despite a lack of legit sponsors on the horizon, the show at least takes a turn back towards fashionable photoshoots that will not only look great in a girl's portfolio, but give them a taste of how to work a garment, no matter the shoot's theme.

- Britt's On


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