MF: “Shoegasm”

Posted on October 05, 2011

Chris March’s Mad Fashion debuted last night on Bravo and never has there been a more accurately titled show.

The show has a very simple format: Chris and his team devise a totally ridiculous getup for one of his clients. Interpersonal drama seems to be kept to a minimum, which is a refreshing thing to see, but these are early days.

At a tight half-hour, it’s all about the work. It remains to be seen if they can make every project interesting enough for an entire episode, though. And we felt that everyone was playing to the cameras just a little too hard. Lots and lots of uproarious laughter over things that were only mildly funny. That could just be first-episode-itis, however.

Unfortunately, such a tight, simple concept doesn’t really lend itself to blogging about it extensively. Of course that doesn’t mean we don’t have opinions.  The goal this episode was to make a look for shoe designer Ruthie Davis to wear to the Fashion Week party for the launch of her line. Chris, of course, came up with the idea of making a “dress” out of shoes from the line.

Conceptually, we thought this was great, but it didn’t work for us as well as we thought it would. The style of the piece seems totally at odds with Ruthie’s own style. She said she was thinking “Bond girl,” and for the life of us, we can’t see that in the final piece at all. We loved the “skirt,” but we assumed the shoes would be on the outside of it. You really can’t see them all that well the way they’re positioned. And we’re not sure the hairpiece was needed at all. Still, it’s a wild look, which is exactly what you’d expect from Chris, and it’s always fun to watch colorful, creative people make something eye-popping. We’ll be tuning back in next week.

[Photo Credit:]

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    • Susie G

      I enjoyed the show.  The highlight for me was the look on Ruthie’s face as she walked down the street.  She looked so happy!

    • Bitsy Carver

      She looks like she’s wearing a codpiece.

    • Mich

      i liked the show, too. and i kind of liked how everyone laughed like crazy people-it seemed the reaction of people who generally get along.

      my favorite part of the outfit was using the spiky shoes as shoulder pads. loved how that part turned out.

    • Anonymous

      Not bad and drama free. Not so crazy about an episode next week where he must deal with a Real Housewife. I am open to a show with likeable people in the industry though. As opposed to the the show following it

      I will say while Fashion Hunters had more entertainment value, I found that 1 employee they focused on a little annoying. No annoying people around Sissybear

      • Sobaika Mirza

        I know exactly who you’re talking about. She IS annoying!

        • Anonymous

          They are ALL annoying!

      • yuju ti

        Totally agree!! I like the first episode of Mad Fashion, but I’m not looking forward to see Chris working for a Real Housewife. I never watch Real Housewife but by watching those promoting commercials I know this show is all about women I despise. Regarding to Fashion Hunters, that manager Ambria annoys me a lot, she might turn me away from this show if they keep focusing on her. 

      • accidental housewife

        I thought Mad Fashion was great fun. Fashion Hunters, on the other hand, made me feel stabby. With the exception of Simon Doonan, everybody on FH annoyed me. I’d rather see an hour of Chris. Or a half hour of Chris and a half hour of Simon Doonan. Bravo needs to get on that.

      • Sasha DeCat

        One episode of that annoying twit was enough for me — I’m done with Fashion Hunters. Gah! I hate her.
        Mad Fashion, OTOH, I’m totally down with.

    • Charlotte Horseman

      Missed the show – sounds fun.  I’ll check it out.  She (Ruthie) is cute!  Could pull off anything…

    • thedogsmother

      Is Chris March. I will watch anything with him in it. I say have two clients and make the episodes one hour.

    • brett spivey

      “mor, mor, mor sissybear.”
      It was adorable to hang out with Chris again, even for just a half hour.
      How about an offshoot MST3k with Chris talking up his favorite campy movies?  Podcast, anyone?
      …’Cause that young’un needs film lessons!

    • Anonymous

      I actually think the shoes work better inside.  They won’t get caught up on someone’s clothes

      I like the half hour format.  An hour would need too much filler

    • Jessica Pippin

      Chris’s assistant went to my high school! So excited for this show. 

    • Anonymous

      Cute, but, yeah, her personal style didn’t really mesh with the final project.  Wish he’d kind of stopped with the shoes as shoulder spikes–it was still Bond Girl then, but with that touch of unexpected Cris March whimsy.  The shoe skirt just stepped over into drag queen territory, which is kind of what you expect from Cris March, so not a surprise, but I don’t think the client was quite up to it.

      Still an easy half hour. Kind of a post RZ chaser.

    • Sobaika Mirza

      The hair is the only place I see an old school Bond Girl – that’s why I think they included it.

    • Deitra S.

      Too much Bondage Girl & not enough Bond Girl. I missed it, but I’d like to try out at least an episode or two.  I’ve got plenty of love for Chris March…in small bursts.

    • Chrissie

      Is there anywhere to watch this online? I don’t have cable and I couldn’t find a link to a full episode on Bravo’s website.

      • Miss World

        you can watch it on it was free but idk if that’s because i am an amazon prime member or not. 

        • Chrissie

          Thank you. I found it on there, but it seems to want me to hook up my computer to my tv? I don’t want to do that.

          • Miss World

            sorry this is so late!

            that’s just weird and i definitely didn’t have to watch it that way at all. it’s like hulu or netflix instant watch. i hope you were able to figure it out!

    • Anonymous

      Shoes are totally in the wrong place.  Put them on the outside, and up near the waist, heels closest to the waist, toes pointing down.

    • Anonymous

      That hairpiece was practically offensive and I didn’t understand placing the shoes inside the ‘dress’ either. I loved the stiletto shoulder pads.

    • Anonymous

      Like most, I agree that it would have worked better with the shoes on the outside. 
      It was cute how she seemed hesitant to walk outside in the outfit but then Owned it

    • MandyJane

      Oh, I love Chris March! Maybe the laughter was a little bit due to nerves or something. I did notice they were cackling about only mildly funny things, but it didn’t bother me. I’m so happy to see Chris on TV again.

    • Anonymous

      Loved the show! Loved Ruthie’s look. However, like some have said, the hairdo was not necessary. Ruthie was a good sport for going with Chris’ complete look when she had made it clear that she wanted something that would be more a bit minimalist.

    • Anonymous

      Liked the show and lack of drama. I thought her dress showed off the black/yellow shoes she wanted to feature (on her feet) better before they put the metal cage on.

    • Judy_J

      I can’t believe I missed this!  I’m sure though, that there will be reruns a-plenty in the coming days. 

      • Anonymous

        That’s what I’m hoping for too!  Last time I looked at the Bravo website to look at the schedule, this show wasn’t even on there. 

    • Anonymous

      I didn’t even realize this was starting yet, duh!  Looks like fun…nothing much else on TV is fun these days, so I may have to set ye olde DVR. (but Moral Orel is back, so I can’t complain too much.)

      I WANT those magical fuchsia chairs, BTW!

      • Anonymous

        Yay!  Moral Orel!

    • Anonymous

      Sheesh – I can’t believe I forgot and missed this. Thanks for the recap TLO.

      As for the laughter, wasn’t Sissybear prone to spontaneous bursts of maniacal laughter on Project Runway anyway?

    • Anonymous

      It was so much fun to see Chris again. 
      Ruthie was a very good sport. 
      I loved the spikes and the shoes on the shoulder, but I was
      a little unsure about the cage and placement of shoes.
      I really hated the hairpiece.
      Curious if Ruthie realized she would never get any of those shoes back. My mind kept seeing $$$$$$$$$$$$.

      I just now noticed the tie of neon yellow around her neck to match the shoes! Bert!

    • Anonymous

      Glad you blogged this because I forgot to record it! The skirt looks like a baby mobile for a Carrie Bradshaw offspring.

    • Karenlibrarian

      I loved it but I thought it was too short, I was hoping for an hour. There were some great one-liners — I’ll have to watch it again but I remember some witty quips, including “shoe carnage” and “bondage Christmas.”

      I love that we get to see a designer executing his visions, I’m so happy that he seems so successful, that workspace seems HUGE. And weren’t they shopping at Mood?  Any specific mention seemed conspicuously absent.

    • Anonymous

      Oh it was fun.  More fun than PR has been in weeks (or seasons).  Even the commercials were better than Lifetime’s.

    • Anonymous

      Forget the show–where do I get the pink chairs from the promo shot?

      • Anonymous

        I know!  

    • Anonymous

      Aren’t Chris’s sketches charming? Minimal, yet all the details that need to be are there.

    • Anonymous

      It was fun. I liked the shoes on the inside, and it probably worked better in person than on camera. I also didn’t like the hair piece much.

    • MilaXX

      Darnit I missed it and it doesn’t seem to be available On Demand. I’ll have to catch the repeat

    • MilaXX

      that’s odd it let me watch it on my computer for free and I don’t have amazon prime

    • Anonymous

      For those who missed the first episode, looks like a rebroadcast on Bravo, Thu, Oct 6
      10:00 AM.  (There is also one tonight at 5:30, but for east coast viewers, it is already too late.  So glad to see Chris again!

    • Judy S

      Thanks to whoever put up the Amazon link an hour ago or whatever. This show was so much fun! I loved that instead of showing speeded-up traffic the way PR does they show the atelier with everyone working speeded up. In the pictures above the dress appears to be on the hideous side but it was actually fun when she was walking in it. I would give Ruthie Davis a super-WERQ for this.

    • MilaXX

      okay, just watched. I didn’t mind the hairpiece. I think she did need a big one to go with the outfit. It just wasn’t a very good match as far as hairpieces go.  Still I love Sissy bear so count me in.

    • Anonymous

      Honestly…this is why I don’t like Chris March. He’s nice and funny or whatever, but every single thing he makes is a drag queen costume. It’s never over-the-top in a fashiony or avant garde way….it’s just kind of tacky. Like, what is this? What “look” or feeling is this supposed to give us? What is the hair? And yes, why did he practically hide the shoes? And why does everything have to have a hoop skirt? The best part of this outfit, by far….is the shoes she’s wearing. Ouch. (I also thought she seemed to be totally faking her supposed love of this look at the end. I don’t blame her for not liking it. It’s absolutely everything she said she didn’t want. Kudos to her politeness though.)

      I dunno…I watched this because I was waiting for Fashion Hunters, which I wasn’t crazy about either. I can see giving that show another chance, but probably not this one unless I’m suuuuper bored.

    • Anonymous

      Needs editing  Ditch the tights (competing texture makes the detail on the skirt lost), the interior thigh-straps (as previous) the choker (replace with something that’s actually jewelry and not a fabric scrap) and that ratted-out ferret on her head (what the what is that?).  After that, it’s kinda neat.  Agreed with TLo: I would love to see the shoes on the outside of the cage.

    • Anonymous

      Ooh, how did I not know about this show?   The outfit is silly but I like Chris and will give the show a shot!

    • Anonymous

      I like Chris and I’ll give the show another watch, but I thought this outfit was preposterous, ugly, ridiculous and lacking in any sort of aesthetic concept at all outside of “hammer shoes onto it!” The client looked a bad joke. The emperor was not wearing clothes.

    • Anonymous

      Didn’t care for it enough to watch again. Expected funnier. Liked Austin and Santino’s show a lot more than I did this. It was funny and sweet.

    • Anonymous

      I miss watching Bravo amidst the housewife shows that have been dragging it into the ground. But the dress looks fabulous and I am going to have to keep in mind to watch SissyBear’s show.

    • Anonymous

      I forgot all about it! ACK

    • Anonymous

      I love Chris but I have to agree about the trying too hard-itis. I hope they settle down. 

      I’m not sure this look met the client’s needs.  The shoulders were great but the metal hoop skirt was too much for her event, which looked pretty low-key. Part of the problem may be that Bravo is trying to bring some clients in who aren’t really Chris’s market. I can’t imagine that Dina Manzo is going to be a Chris March kind of gal, and I’m tired of the Housewives, even ex-Housewives, popping up everywhere.

      Bravo should let Chris design for whoever his regular clientele is.  If it’s mostly drag queens, then bring on the queens.  That’s what he does and it would be a fabulous show.  Instead, I think Bravo is trying to have Chris make things for a series of straight women who won’t truly appreciate what he does.  I don’t see that being a successful premise.  And Bravo probably doesn’t have the cojones to do anything else.   

      • Anonymous

        YES!  Let him design for someone who wants what he does!

    • Geno Boggiatto

      I liked the show, but as far as the dress, I’m not sold on it. I love how he used the shoes as shoulder pads, but I think that the piece with all the shoes screwed onto it was too over the top. And the hairpiece was ridiculous.

      But that over the top style is his thing and that’s what they’re paying for! It’s totally not my style, but it’s fun to watch something different. He’s definitely got some great ideas and tricks up his sleeve.

    • Anonymous

      Chris March rocks, loved him on PR, hope this show is a MAD success!

    • Anonymous

      Luuuv him. Not my fav piece but I know they’re going to get better!! 

    • Now I am The Bee

      I enjoyed this.  It looks like allt he worker bees get along fairly well, and everyone has the right attitude…”It’s just fashion!”  it’s not like they’re working on a cure for cancer. 
      The shoe outfit was…odd.  I did think the shoes would be easier to see on the skirt, but the whole thing was pretty cool.  The best part of the whole show was the seamstress who was a bit too young to know who, exactly, a Bond girl was! 

    • Kiltdntiltd

      Wow, I admit to not having checked the episode out.  From the images here though, what a HOT steamy mess of a result after 6 people worked on it.  Gotta check it out though and see for myself.

    • Anonymous

      I like Chris March a lot, he’s funny and cute, I kind of like the people on the show so far, but that outfit was a piece of crap. A very expensive piece of crap. There was no suggestion of Bond girl whatsoever, only (as someone said) Bondage girl/angry biker chick. The hair was stupid — more Hairspray than Bond. He did not listen to his customer when she told him not to be too literal. I think he came up with an unimaginative,  predictable, hot mess. Ruthie was a very good sport, indeed.

    • Anonymous

      didn’t see it, but i love Chris March and I miss him, so I’m all in.

    • Anonymous

      i am TOTALLY in love with chris march!  he is my all-time favorite personality on pr ever.  i think it’s because he embodies the quintessential flamboyance of the queens of the castro in SF in the early seventies.  so many old friends, many of whom i’m sure have been taken now by the plague.  when the lovely tim gunn visited him in new york, i was struck by their relaxed camaraderie, how tim felt so comfortable in his world when they visited his friend with that fabulous apartment.  i was hoping that a date followed. i can see them enjoying each other’s company.  friends with benefits, perhaps?

    • Anonymous

      i know it’s a chris march design, which i’m sure are hard for the average woman to pull off, but this look wore the shit out of her.  even without the skirt piece, she was totally swallowed up and just…  off.

      also, her shoes are tragic.  there’s something about the line of them (from toe to heel, in profile, i mean)  that comes off tacky and cheap:  OUT.

    • Anonymous

      This show was lots of fun.  It showcased highly creative and able people doing interesting and fun things – and they were all getting along!   How refreshing.

    • Mike S

      NOT aesthetically pleasing! 

    • Kathleen Gillies

      My favorite line “Lets make another one!!!!”  I can totally relate.  This was a fantastic dvr’d antidote to PR nastiness.  It made me feel happy.

    • Anonymous

      If the shoes were on the outside of the skirt, she’d be “whacking” people as she moved through the party. By putting the shoes on the inside, you’re literally drawing people in.