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TV review: Styled To Rock
Rihanna produces Sky Living's Styled To Rock - is it worth watching though?
Rihanna steps off the stage and into the design studio as she produces Styled To Rock, her first television show, in which twelve wannabe celebrity fashion designers create outfits for the stars of the music world. The celebrity judging panel includes Girls Aloud's Nicola Roberts, fashion designer Henry Holland and Rihanna's own celebrity stylist Lysa Cooper.
Madame Jacqueline is hilariously strange. Nicola gets freaked out when Madame Jacqueline revealed that she is obsessed with 'murder and death'!
Meganne's angry rant that only wealthy people are able to break into the fashion business is cringeworthy to watch.
Sky Living deserve a medal. For too long, stars of the music world have pranced around on stage looking like they've rolled around in a car boot sale covered in super glue. Whether it's Lady Gaga or Nicki Minaj, when it comes to performance clothes it seems the more mismatched the look, the better.
Don't get me wrong; I'm hardly a fashion critic (the most experimental piece of clothing I own is a Christmas cracker jumper), but even I can see that wearing a telephone as a hat à la Lady Gaga can't really be a good look.
Sky Living must be on my wavelength; they've taken it in their humble hands to right the wrongs of the music fashion world by giving twelve aspiring celebrity fashion designers the chance to clothe and style a host of celebrities on in this show.
The contestants are challenged with creating stage outfits for different artists (including Katy Perry and Cheryl
"Heidi sounds like a hamster stuck in a tumble dryer"
Cole) and the winner will design an outfit for the most famous pop star of them all - Rihanna.
The superstar has three celebrity judges at her disposal; fashion designer Henry Holland, her own personal stylist Lysa Cooper and Girls Aloud star Nicola Roberts.
While Lysa and Henry are obvious choices as judges, I can't help but wonder about Nicola's qualifications for the role; is she a fashion icon just because she's sometimes photographed wearing quirky jumpers? If that's the criteria, I might as well turn up wearing my Christmas cracker jumper and see if I can land a spot on the panel!
"The real drama starts when the contestants showcase their creations"
Unlike many stars who put their name on a TV show and then have little to do with it, Rihanna features heavily in Styled To Rock's first episode. We first see her choosing finalists for the show and the singer seems genuinely invested in her decision.
She then chats with the judges about the contestants' first task: "I want to see how they take direction before we set them loose on our friends!" Well, what could they possibly design that's worse than a Gaga telephone hat?!
Ready to rock
Talking of the contestants, as you might expect from a show based on fashion, there's a great mix of characters in the twelve finalists. My favourite has to be Jacqueline; she insists on being called 'Madame Jacqueline' and has an obsession with death. Yikes! I can't imagine her designing anything too cheery. Still, Jacqueline (oops, I mean Madame Jacqueline) is deliciously dramatic to watch, especially when she sets to work on her first design.
For their first assignment, the contestants had to make a stage outfit for rapper Kanye West. But there were rules; the finished ensemble had to be in the family of black, tonal and have an element of 'hoodism'. The contestants had three days and an unlimited budget to make their masterpiece.
Must say, it was great fun watching them run around choosing their materials. It reminded me of The Apprentice when the candidates have to go out and bargain for fabrics.
Back in the design studio, we met some of the other contestants including Heidi who I'm fairly convinced is a
"Styled To Rock is polished, exciting and entertaining"
shoddily-disguised alien. After re-watching the episode a few times, I'm still not certain what Heidi is actually saying when she talks - she speaks so fast that she sounds like a hamster stuck in a tumble dryer.
It was only the first episode, but Heidi broke down in tears because she had to change her design at the last minute. It may be unlucky for her, but her early mid-life-crisis certainly made good telly!
But even Heidi with her extra-terrestrial tendencies isn't the biggest character in the show. We also meet Ricky (who speaks with an American accent despite living in the UK is whole life) and Meganne who really, really has something against rich people. She's slightly terrifying.
Fundamentally a show about fashion, the real drama starts when the contestants showcase their creations to the judges. While some caught my eye, other outfits left me baffled (even though I tried to keep an open mind!). The judges seemed to love Brett's Kanye creation which, to me, looked like something a pregnant pensioner would wear. Saying that, I own a Christmas sweater that not even Bridget Jones would be seen in so what do I know?
The judges were entertaining to watch and although Nicola is known for being quite reserved, she really holds her own in the show and showcases her surprisingly extensive knowledge about fashion. Henry is endearingly cheeky and Lysa takes no nonsense from the over-emotional contestants. Yes I'm talking about you Heidi!
Like its producer, Styled To Rock is extremely polished, exciting and entertaining and although I don't know a thing about fashion (other than socks and sandals are never a good look) I actually found the show really enjoyable.
While there were no celebrity guests in the first episode, future shows see the contestants designing outfits for the likes of Cheryl Cole and Katy Perry. It'll be interesting to see what the thread-happy hopefuls do when they get their hands on the real stars. Maybe they'll convince Katy Perry to go on stage without having whipped cream canisters strapped on her breasts?
Probably not, but it will be fun to watch them try.
Verdict: Whether you're a fashion follower or a fashion phobe, Styled To Rock packs enough punch to keep you entertained.
- How to get abs like Rihanna!
Below: Pictures from the first episode of Styled To Rock:
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