CCTV show Fashion Master is a grander, and more patriotic, version of the US reality show, and as the final show airs this Saturday, we go behind the scenes of the competition that has attracted up to 20 million viewers an episode. Fashion shows are not entirely new to Chinese television — but there has never been anything remotely as slick, professionally produced and well-funded as Fashion Master.
The programme, which airs at prime time on Saturday nights on China Central Television CCTVshowcases the work of 32 local designers — some at the start-up stage, others already established — and invites them to produce a mini-collection based on a specific Chinese cultural theme. The Project runway vietnam youtube sexual harassment incentive ensures that the looks of elation at winning a round — and dejection at losing — are genuine.
All the participants benefit in that they receive constructive criticism — and a few brickbats — from the panel of seasoned judges who have included Derek Lam, Vivienne Tam, Guo Pei and, arguably, the highest-profile designer of all, Taiwanese-American Jason Wu, who is a big favourite of former American First Lady Michelle Obama. Another stalwart on the four-person panel is cultural-expert academic Li Bo, whose garrulous enthusiasm reflects his delight at being asked to appear on a prime-time show.
Provisional figures indicate that each episode has attracted up to 20 million viewers, most of them watching on television sets, rather than digitally.