As Heidi Klum once said, "In fashion, one day you're in, the next day you're out." Next In Fashion is definitely in. This is not your tita's fashion competition reality show. In Next In Fashion, fashion's old guards have been replaced by today's fashion vanguards. Hosted by Queer Eye's resident fashion guy, French tuck-enthusiast Tan France, and proto-influencer Alexa Chung, and streaming on Netflix, it is aware and reflective of the times that we live in.
For one, there's diversity. From the hosts—Tan is of Pakistani descent and Alexa's parents are English (mom) and English-Chinese (dad)—to the guest judges to the designers who come from all over the globe.
And it's fun and uplifting! We've been led to believe that reality shows need drama in order to thrive, but Next In Fashion shows us that they don't. Not anymore. Catfights are so last season, and kindness is now en vogue. In Next In Fashion, the designers are always ready to lend a helping hand, calm each other down, or share constructive criticism.
At the end of the day, it's all about the fashion. We tune in to watch the designers struggle and overcome challenges, but we stay for the runway looks they come up with, like Angel and Minju's joyful, printed wedding couple outfits, Carli and Daniel's power suit, and Ashton and Marco's cool, colorful underwear.
1. It's just so positive and heartwarming!
Positive and heartwarming are hardly the words you'd use to describe a reality show, especially one that's a competition with $250,000 (P12.6 million) at stake. But Next In Fashion is to Project Runway what Terrace House is to Love Island. It's drama-lite. There's no backstabbing and very little snark. In fact, for the most part, the design teams are sincerely supportive of each other.
Case in point: In the finale, one of the designers actually helped the competition solve a technical issue on their showstopping look.
2. Even so, it's still immensely bingeable...
…proving that you don't need all that toxic drama to hook an audience. All you need is really good fashion.
Because all, save one, of the contestants are already established designers with their own labels—and have collectively dressed celebrities like Beyoncé, Katy Perry, Harry Styles, Lizzo, and Lady Gaga—the clothes they make on the show are amazing! But, as Tan France points out, the designers have yet to become household names.
3. Guest judges include the likes of Monique Lhuillier, Prabal Gurung, and Philip Lim.
Our very own Monique Lhuillier was the guest judge on the first episode, where the designers were asked to design and make a red carpet gown. Prabal Gurung judged the episode on prints and patterns, Philip Lim on suits, Kerby Jean-Raymond on streetwear, former VS Angel Adriana Lima on lingerie, and Adidas' Josefine Aberg on activewear.
Regular judges include Instagram's Eva Chen and stylists to the stars Elizabeth Stewart and Jason Bolden.
4. The contestants make clothes for women and men.
We love that we got to see looks for both men and women on the show. There were contestants who've never made menswear and contestants who don't know how to make womenswear, but everyone rose to the challenge every single time (albeit to varying degrees of success).
5. There's one contestant who doesn't know how to sew!
Italian designer Angelo Cruciani is the creative director of his brand, Yezael, but can hardly sew a stitch. Thankfully he was paired up with Canadian designer Charles Lu, whose impeccable talent for construction, patience, and openness to Angelo's creative input made them one of the top teams to watch during the competition.
6. Spoiler Alert: Angelo's attitude after being eliminated is a lesson in positivity.
Once the teams were disbanded, Angelo's lack of legit sewing skills inevitably led to his elimination. But the humility, gratitude, and positivity he displayed during his farewell speech makes him, as he says, a winner.
7. Tan France's hair!
Because, come on, look at it. It deserves its own show!
8. The show has diversity!
There's a designer who grew up in Zimbabwe, a Pakistani-American streetwear designer, a winner of Young Designer of the Year from Scotland, a Dominican-Puerto Rican designer who's dressed the likes of Fergie, a couple of designers from the UK, an Indian, Italian, a South Korean designer, and a young Chinese designer who made it in Forbes China's "30 Under 30" list, just to name a few.
9. It's got Dragon Princesses and English Queens.
Angel Chen and Minju Kim, who were partnered together for the team challenges, have known each other for four years and see each other as sisters. They're so close, they even came up with a nickname for their team (which comes with a power pose, naturally): The Dragon Princesses. Hosts Tan France and Alexa Cheung, refusing to be outdone, dubbed themselves the English Queens (and yes, they came up with their own pose, too).
10. The collections featured in the finale are EVERYTHING.
We could watch the runway shows of the two finalists over and over again. The hosts and judges asked for showstoppers for the designers' final looks, and boy, did they deliver. You can actually hear the audience gasp (it's even in the close caption) as the winner's final dress was revealed. It's really something special.