Watching beautiful people Fashion: The market looks very good for TV shows by the glamorous about the glamour industry.

November 13, 1997|By Rod Stafford Hagwood | Rod Stafford Hagwood,SUN-SENTINEL

"Elsa Klensch's Style" has been a top-five ratings winner for 17 years on CNN. "Fashion Television" is cabled on VH-1 into 150 million homes. And now hip-hop heavy Vibe magazine is bringing its heavily styled fashion-and-pop culture show, "Vibe TV," to the little screen.

And yet you still don't see many people swishing around the office in Vivienne Westwood bustle skirts as you do all the time on the E! Channel's "Fashion File." And when's the last time you ran into Todd Oldham at the flea market like you do repeatedly on MTV's "House of Style"?

Fashion on TV? This ain't PBS. The value here is entertainment.

"When the lights go down and the first model floats down the runway, that's perfection," Jeanne Beker, host of "Fashion Television," said last year.

It doesn't get any better than that. Send the video crews out to cover fashion (including fashionable parties, artists, interiors, etc.) and you've got programming for the year.

And good ratings. Think of all the viewers those beautiful bodies in designer duds can draw. All of these programs boast a 40 to 50 percent male audiences.

Because of fashion TV, a lot of guys recognize Karl Lagerfeld's fan as well as they know Tiger Woods' putter. They know Claudia Schiffer is no longer the face of Chanel. They know Pamela Anderson is no longer the "Tool Time" girl.

Here's the rundown on the fashion lineup:

* E! Channel's "Fashion File." Airs Monday at noon; Tuesday at 12: 30 p.m., Thursday at 12: 30 p.m. and 5: 30 p.m., Saturday at 10 a.m.

Host: Tim Blanks.

Style in a word: Dignified.

Prototypical question: "Would you put this in perspective for us."

Microphone grip: Think Sinatra.

If this show could be a tree: Not sure which, but it would bloom frequently.

Verdict: If you know who Carla Bruni is you're fashion-savvy enough.

* VH-1's "Fashion Television." Airs Saturday at 11 a.m.

Host: Jeanne Beker.

Style in a word: Adventurous.

Prototypical question: "Are you supposed to be able to see through that?"

Microphone grip: Firmly thrust forward.

If this show could be a tree: A willow. Wispy, but a tree nonetheless.

Verdict: So much to see, so little time. This show is a whirlwind tour for the "Absolutely Fabulous" set.

* MTV's "House of Style." Airs sporadically as it happens.

Host: Daisy Fuentes.

Style in a word: Street.

Prototypical question: "Is that your longtime companion?"

Microphone grip: Clip-on.

If this show could be a tree: It's not about trees. It's about flowers. Everything's coming up Daisy.

Verdict: Before Fuentes, you had to watch with the sound turned off.

* CNN's "Style With Elsa Klensch." Airs Saturday at 10: 30 a.m. and Monday morning at 12: 30 a.m.

Host: Elsa Klensch.

Style in a word: No-nonsense.

Prototypical question: "Wherever did you get that color palette?"

Microphone grip: What microphone!?

If this show could be a tree: Redwood. It's been there forever and people come from miles to see it.

Verdict: Wear something nice while viewing this. You'll feel better.

Pub Date: 11/13/97

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