MF: Wonderdog

Posted on November 23, 2011

Okay, here’s the Bravo-supplied recap:

“Chris March and his team are taking fashion to the dogs when television host Maria Sansone wants to be transformed into a 1950s housewife for Animal Fair Magazine’s annual Paws for Style fashion show. Maria not only needs Chris to create a runway look for her, but also a complementing look for her cockapoo, Ralphie. Will Chris’ vision for Maria and Ralphie sparkle on the catwalk, or has he bitten off more than he can chew?”

And here are our thoughts:

Best episode yet! It takes time for a reality show like this to find its footing and we think with this episode, Mad Fashion may have just stumbled upon what should be its central conceit and formula.

First off, this was the perfect setup for Chris and his team. Those “I’m throwing a party to launch my shoe line” or “I’m hosting a drag event” -style episodes tend to fall kind of flat. New York City has some silly charity event every single night of the week. That should be the kind of stuff Chris and his team tackle all the time. It should be bland television personalities and rigid socialites coming up against the Chris March Gang’s idea of what glamour is. That should be the central conflict each week.

They keep trying to play up the whole “Will she like it?” aspect but with this gal -  who couldn’t have been sweeter, but let’s face it, you don’t get much more bland and image-focused than “TV Guide Channel presenter” – it finally clicked. She was the first client who we thought might actually balk at wearing the outfit. When she said nervously – ABOUT A DOG FASHION SHOW, WE MIGHT ADD – that this event was going to have the “elite of New York City,” we realized the show had found its perfect client.

You can’t have reality show celebrities, wild socialites, and comediennes each week because it’s practically a guarantee that they’re going to love whatever Chris and his team put together for them. Shove some uptight socialite or image-focused minor celebrity at him each week. The nervousness will be delicious to watch and the central struggle becomes one between conventional upscale glamour and the kind of wild, theatrical drag- and street-based (you don’t get much more of the latter than when you’re paying off the homeless) version of it that Chris and his team dish out.

We didn’t doubt that she would love the dress because let’s face it, it’s ridiculously adorable. It was the wig that provided all the conflict.

To be honest, we thought Izzy was a bit off-base with this wig. She kept talking about her years working on Hairspray and we kept thinking that this isn’t the Broadway stage and the client’s not a musical theater performer. That’s when it really clicked for us. Dirtyglam theatricality vs. upscale pretensions. You can’t get a more winning conflict than that.

But it failed to follow through on the great setup because after all her protesting, she wound up wearing the wig exactly as presented to her. It’s a decision that served her well and we were pleasantly surprised that she was so game, but producers, here’s how we would have done it.

We would have had Izzy make a wig a good 3 times the size of this one; something so outrageous that the viewer will sit there yelling at the screen that she’s lost her mind and waiting for the meltdown to come when the client flips out.

Then there would be conflict, as the outrageous wig is unveiled, to be followed by discussion, compromise, and healing as the client comes to some sort of acceptance, so long as several changes are made. Then, we would have had this wig presented as the followup wig, which the client assents to wear and everyone winds up happy.

Yes, we think about reality TV a lot.

Anyway, our point is, if there’s any sort of direction for the show to take, this should be it. We’re not advocating nasty fighting, just a basic conflict inherent in the setup of the show that allows for some narrative tension and gives the viewer someone to root for.

And of course, part of what made the episode so great was the costume itself, which was absolutely pitch perfect in every way. That dog looks so ridiculously adorable we can’t even stand it.

That’s why we think these silly charity events are perfect for the show. You expect something outrageous for a drag ball or a Mardi Gras float, but if you give Chris the chance to impose his outrageousness on an event with upscale pretensions, you get a great little hook. Also you get the team to dress up in matching outfits to attend the event and that’s kind of cute too.

We’re going to be posting sporadically over the Thanksgiving holiday – but we will be posting on Friday and throughout the weekend – can’t let Revenge and American Horror Story go by without commenting, after all, plus someone’s bound to wear something discussable on a red carpet somewhere. Don’t forget that the season 2 premiere of Joe Zee’s All on the Line debuts at 9:30 eastern on Friday night. We got to see the premiere episode at a screening a couple of weeks ago and we loved it. But then again, we loved season one. We will be blogging this season, of course.

To our American Bitter Kittens, have a happy and safe holiday, and to our impatient international Bitter Kittens, we promise we’ll make it up to you over the weekend. Airkisses and waves, darlings!

[Photo Credit: bravotv.com]

  • Anonymous

    Don’t agree with you on the wig. I think it’s perfect. I really love this getup. Theydonesogood.

  • Sara__B

    The hair is pure 60s, not 50s, but that’s a minor quibble. The woman and her dog are too adorable for words. Well done, Chris and crew!

    • Anonymous

      My immediate reaction as well. And early ’60s at that—before 1964, when everything changed. Lucy and June Cleaver never had the big bouffants.

      Still, I’m loving the look, and the dog outfit is spot on.

  • Anonymous

    Happy Thanksgiving TLo!

  • Sobaika Mirza

    I must have a similar getup for my puppy for Halloween next year! ADORABLE.

    • Anonymous

      Even though I have long scorned the idea of dressing up pets, they need to franchise that little doggy costume immediately and get it on the shelves for next Halloween. It will sell like hot bread! … pun intended ;-)

      • Sobaika Mirza

        Same here. I don’t like the idea of dressing up animals usually, but I have a 10 week old Maltese that NEEDS a Wonderbread costume of her own. NEEDS it.

      • Corinna Cornejo

        It’ll be the best thing since sliced bread!

        [sorry, I couldn't resist.]

    • Now I am The Bee

      I’m wondering where he got the fabric that absolutely mimicked the Wonder Bread balloons….!

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1316070988 Roey Thorpe

        I wondered the same thing!  That loaf of bread was the best part of a fantastic ensemble, and to watch Chris’s wheels turn as he came up with the idea was priceless.

  • Anonymous

    I loved this costume. Even the fabric choice is perfect. The only thing I would add to it would 2 Rose Marie-type bows on the wig.

    And I think your analysis is right on as well.

    Happy Turkey Day to all!

    –GothamTomato
    http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/detail/2561006

    • Anonymous

      Yes on the Rose-Marie bows. I couldn’t figure out what that wig reminded me of, and Rose Marie is it.

    • Anonymous

      Izzy’s original wig had the little bows. The client must’ve taken them off.

  • Anonymous

    That dress is absolutely fabulous!  Makes me want to design a really cute, kitschy quilt.

  • MilaXX

    I don’t want them to tinker with the show too much because I think it mostly okay and I fear tinkering would suck the joy out of this show which I adore. The dog was too cute for words. I’m glad Izzy finally had a client that worked with her wigs.

    To T and Lo and my fellow kittens/minion/unborn fawns, stay safe and don’t eat too much.

  • Anonymous

    The bread costume for the dog is too too precious. I love it. I wish my dog could stand to be put in such a costume. Sadly he throws a fit and sulks when we put a leash on him.

    I loved when Chris asked whether they could dye her dog. And when they bought the cart off the homeless man and the look of disgust on our pretty ginger intern when he had to disinfect it…priceless

  • http://twitter.com/thedogsmother thedogsmother

    good doggie!
    Also thought the wig was off a decade but still looked fab!

  • Anonymous

    I think, every single year, you should repost your “Martha Stewart ruined Thanksgiving” post so we can all relive the hilarity. Sort of like an “Alice’s Restaurant” homage. I still laugh about that one every Thanksgiving when things start to go wrong around here!

    • Anonymous

      Though, I remember Martha ruining Christmas?  Or did she spread her doom over more than one holiday?

      • Anonymous

        Ack!! It was Christmas! I thought for sure it was Thanksgiving. Either way, they need to repeat that post every year!

  • Anonymous

    This was a fun episode. Let’s face it, the wigs almost always push the needle way over into costume.  Chris teeters on that brink with a lot of his designs anyway, and the wigs just peg the meter.  The big hair was funny but it was already a caricature of that style.  A bigger version would only work at Beach Blanket Babylon!  He does indeed need more clients that will freak out a bit at his designs.

    Happy festivities one and all.

  • http://twitter.com/percysowner Linda Hostetler

    This was a really cute episode.  I loved the dog.  Frankly if I had been the intern washing the shopping cart I would have been looking for a nearby carwash and paid to have them run the cart through it.  Still this was great fun.

    • Now I am The Bee

      Yes!  Or at least he should have worn gloves!  Eeewwww….

  • Anonymous

    happy Thanksgiving to you, too, T Lo. You two are champs for posting over the long weekend.

    My birthday is on Thanksgiving this year, so I get the day off from cooking. We’re going to a fab restaurant instead! (Although I’m making a turkey today, because I couldn’t face not having the leftovers.)

    • http://joyouslifesf.wordpress.com Kiltdntiltd

      Happy Birthday Anathema!!!!!
      And I hope you T day is gloriously delish.  Where are you going for dinner if one may know?

      • Anonymous

        Thank you! We are going to Artisan Bistro in Lafayette. It has all the Bay Area requirements: locally sourced, sustainable ingredients; in a former small cottage, etc. ;-) It has really good food. Here is the Thanksgiving menu. http://artisanlafayette.com/thanksgiving.html

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_5LU5C262WB3Z5F4WZ6QGKXLNLE JaneM

    I was amazed at all the other great mock up stuff in the cart…the giant jar of olives, the corn flakes…

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1344922354 Eric Scheirer Stott

      Sweetie, those aren’t mock ups- they bought them right off the shelves!

  • https://profiles.google.com/104791269167429064986?hl=en&tab=h Judy S

    Darn, I actually thought “If I’m still up tonight at 10 I will watch it” and then forgot and went to bed at 10:10. I hope they have a marathon over the holiday, as I’ve only actually seen 2 episodes and I adore the show. Thanks for the analysis but no thanks to the proposal for “reality show conflict over the wig.” I think we’ve already seen a couple of times that if the wig is not approved it does not get remade. Not enough time.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_K7VOQSAYZ7H2OBX6LOJNNIBSSE Amanda

    Happy Thanksgiving guys! You’re blog is one of the many things I’m thankful for this year :)….hmmm, maybe I’m not Bitter enough for this blog, I’ll work on that…ha!

  • M Carlson

    OMG, I love that dress!!

  • Now I am The Bee

    This really was the cutest costume ever.  And Chris absolutely nailed the dog outfit.  I have nothing critical to say–it was sweet and funny.  And how nice that most of the staff actually attended the event this time! 

    You, also, have a fabulous Thanksgiving Day–stuff yourself with no regard for the consequences!  I will do the same.  Mwah!  And the same to all of you here. God bless us, everyone.

  • lilibetp

    If I weren’t a size 20, I’d wear that dress.

    • http://profiles.google.com/grandiva1968 e jerry powell

      If Divine can pull off a similar look (and he has)…

    • Anonymous

      If you aren’t shy about the size of your skirt, the multiple layers of crinolines can create a waist for any of us!

      • http://www.GiftedCollector.com Nancy Abrams

        Seeing all that fullness brought back the days when we would soak our slips in a bath tub filled with starch to get the desired poufiness. 

        Happy holidays to everyone. 

      • http://profiles.google.com/shannonlstewart Shannon Stewart

        I’m seriously considering going with a ton of crinolines for a maternity dress I’m working on — I hate looking pregnant, and I’m wondering if I can get the skirt big enough to hide it…

        • Anonymous

          Did I miss something? Will congratulations be in order in a few months? Go you!

  • Anonymous

    I love, love, love the dress and the dog’s costume.

    Happy Thanksgiving to all!

  • Anonymous

    Loved the dress, loved the dog coat, thought the shopping basket was stupid when seen in context. Yes, I realize that the success for the dog costume hinged on the grocery shopping concept, but that cart just looked really  awkward on that tiny runway. Chris and company should have checked on how big the catwalk was going to be.

    And after all that mugging with LuAnne deLesseps, Chris may soon have a Countess (or is she an ex-Countess?) as a customer.

  • Grace Armstrong

    Tom and Lorenzo, you make my life more fabulous. Have a lovely Thanksgiving!

  • Anonymous

    Happy Thanksgiving, m’dears!!

  • Anonymous

    Have a lovely Turkey Day!  

    I will be having a lasagna plaid* day, as the person who is joining me for dinner does not eat meat.

    * http://www.italianharvest.com/subcategory.php?prodID=598&subcatID=3 

  • Anonymous

    Happy Thanksgiving to T and Lo and the minions who celebrate!

  • Anonymous

    I want that dress!  And Wonderdog.  

    Happy Thanksgiving, TLo.  You make my days brighter and I’m thankful for that.

  • Anonymous

    Eh, I like that the show isn’t too gimmicky with its drama.  And the wigs are a point of tension–poor Izzy.  I’m actually a little surprised that they didn’t go with a slightly smaller wig–the girl’s face was pretty small–but the whole thing was a hoot–go Wonder Dog.

    Though I think my favorite part was the homeless-man shopping cart for 60 bucks–with belongings.  Now, that’s what I call a make-it-work moment, but on the insane side of things.

    • Anonymous

      And we never did find out what else was in that shopping cart! 

      • Anonymous

        Do you think the belongings even made it into Chris’ studio?  

  • Anonymous

    Dog costume: wonderful.

    Person costume: The fabric of that dress! How PERFECT that floral print is. But the piece de la resistance (in my mind) is the pink netting with baby blue satin trim they used for the petticoats. THAT was brilliant.

    Those petticoats made the whole episode for me, they’re just. so. RIGHT. ETA: Crinolines, not petticoats. But you all knew that!

  • Anonymous

    Oh, & Happy Thanksgiving to all!

  • Anonymous

    I only saw part of the show – but LOVED it when Chris asked whether he could dye her dog!    That was hilarious. 

    I am sorry but I do this that in many cases the wigs are too much.  (wow, looking at a Chris March dress and the wig is the part that is OTT in my mind)

  • Anonymous

    I want a dog so I can put it in a Wonder Dog costume. ADORABLE!!!! INSANELY ADORABLE!!!! And I don’t even like dogs. My cat would never wear that costume, though.

  • Anonymous

    Dog as loaf of Wonder Bread = inspired and my favorite part of the show! The human outfit was good, too. Happy Thanksgiving T & Lo! Thank you for lifting up my days with your insightful snark and for increasing my vocabulary and knowledge about fashion. You’re the best!

  • Anonymous

    I am thankful for such entertaining reading. Thanks you guys, You’re great.

  • Anonymous

    OMG it’s Miss Yvonne’s perfect prissy little sister Miss Suzanne.

  • Anonymous

    Gosh I love the drama-free-ness of this show.  It is such a joy to watch these people create and interact in a fun way.  I always feel so relaxed watching MF.  The perfect balance of all the puzzle pieces that is the MF cast - it’s like televised feng shui.

  • Anonymous

    The wig actually photographed less outrageous that it looked when originally presented.  At first look, it was a little drag queen (big surprise).  In the photos, it really completed the outfit.  

  • http://profiles.google.com/singingraisin ali meowmeow

    Am I the only one not nuts for the dress? For me, the wig is totally necessary, because without the over-the-top-ness off it, I just cannot get behind that dress. The gingham is a total eyesore that only gets excused when the costumey aspects of the rest of it are dialed up. Without it, it just looks like an ugly dress. (I do love the crinoline, though.)

    No arguments on the dog costume, though. That’s just adorable.

    • http://www.GiftedCollector.com Nancy Abrams

      Sorry, but I had a red gingham dress just like this fabric circa 1959-60 and got lots of compliments on it. The fabric was perfect for the time frame Chris was re-creating.

      • http://profiles.google.com/singingraisin ali meowmeow

        No doubt the gingham itself is timely, but the the panels of it mixed with the floral are the eyesore for me. A gingham dress or a floral dress would have been great, but the two of them mixed together just does not look right to me at all.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Austen-Jane/100002245814326 Austen Jane

    Nice nude peep toes. So 50′s.

  • Anonymous

    Happy Thanksgiving, gentlemen! xxxooo

  • Anonymous

    I think this is how the boys at BM started out…just saying
    Happy Thanksgiving Tom and Lorenzo and bitter kittens!

  • Anonymous

    Happy Thanksgiving to Tom and Lo and all the Bitter Kittens. I’m grateful all of you are here. Be safe in your travels and enjoy the delicious feasting.

    • Melvis Velour

      Wishing all of you a great holiday and when it comes down to giving thanks this afternoon, TLo and my fellow Bitter Kittens will be near the top of the list.

  • Pennymac

    This show is a joy to watch. Such fun! Have a wonderful holiday, T and Lo. You brighten my days and I’m proud to be a Bitter Kitten!

  • yuju ti

    I really hope this show gets a second season !! 

  • http://joyouslifesf.wordpress.com Kiltdntiltd

    A very delectable T Day to all the fawns and minions. And to our Esteemed hosts,  T + Lo, you guys are the most awesomestest ever. Have a holiday as fabulous as both of you are.

    And as for Mr March and his crew.  One big grand BRAVO!!!  What a delight that outfit was in every aspect.

  • http://twitter.com/ggore Glenn Gore

    I guess the “social elite of New York” includes the Bravo Real Housewives of New York now?    Lord, the show lost a bit of credibility when they came onscreen.    

  • mrspeel2

    Thought I’d take a few moments away from turkey basting to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. Hopefully everyone has enough to eat and that you all arrive safely at your destinations. (An extra BIG Gobble, Gobble to our two Favorite Bloggers!)

  • Anonymous

    Just popping in for a sec to with Tom and Lorenzo and all the minions/bitter kittens/poodles (et al) a beautiful Thanksgiving.

  • Anonymous

    Happy Thanksgiving to all the other US minions. Hope everyone’s meal was as incredibly tasty as the one I just had! And special thanks to TLo. I’m grateful to you guys for your wit and fabulous good sense every day, not just today!

    • Anonymous

      I second that comment!!!

  • Tausha Woods

    No conflict needed in this show. It’s pure creativity, Conflict would cheapen it.

  • Anonymous

    Loved loved loved this episode! The dress is absolutely adorable and I think the wig is divine as well. And what a great idea for Wonderdog. Paying a homeless dude $60 for his shopping cart? I LOL’d big time.

  • Anonymous

    I also loved this episode and the dog was adorable, I did see some irony in the white bread costume.

  • suzq

    And no comments about the brilliant Wonder Dog costume?  And how thoughtful the team was at making something the dog would want to wear?

  • Margo Anderson

    I’d really like to know what Chris charges for one of these outfits.  Seven people working on it, with expensive materials and extras like $500 wigs, must add up to a nice chunk of change.