I will admit that I only started watching the show after its second episode. I was browsing the TV guide and found the title “House of DVF.” I got curious, mostly because I have a big soft spot for Diane Von Furstenberg (who doesn’t?) and I got addicted.
“House of DVF” is a new E! reality competition where eight young women compete for a chance to be chosen as DvF’s global brand ambassador. Other than watching the eight young hopefuls try their best in their weekly tasks, the behind-the-scenes look in the inner workings of the DvF company makes any fashion-fans’ toes curl.
What sets this show apart from most reality TV shows (with the possible exception of “Project Runway”) is DvF’s hands-on approach. It is thrilling to see how DvF would affectionately (but with a firm motherly hand) mentor and advise the contestants who struggle to meet her expectations in their weekly projects. These weekly projects are not your run-of-the-mill whacky challenges but realistic tasks you would do in a fashion company. This includes preparing for press presentations, thinking of new ways to re-invent the wrap dress, and selling that new dress to distribution companies such as Nordstorm.
Although it was disappointing that DvF did not explain what exactly does a brand ambassador do (side note: in episode 5 when DvF asked Jinna what she thought the job was about, Jinna said that “it was about representing the brand.” Too bad Jinna did not get the change to elaborate further before DvF lectured her about the drinking. Spoilers. End side note.), watching her try to instill poise in the contestants and being a positive role model gave me fashion butterflies. It was humbling just to watch such a big successful fashion icon teach women that they don’t have to be b****es to succeed. She defies the spirit of most reality series by refusing to instigate dramas and instead, asks the contestants to be their best selves.
When DvF could not see a contestant being the brand ambassador, she doesn’t just “auf” them – she gives them a heartfelt farewell, her email address and a pretty impressive-looking goodie bag (I haven’t found out what’s in those bags because it felt too personal, as if it was a secret between DvF and those contestants. That’s how profound her goodbye was). What makes me tear up a bit during those goodbyes was the regret you can hear in DvF’s voice. She clearly wasn’t exploiting those women. Instead she was looking for the best in them.
Words could not express how much I love you DvF, and “House of DVF.”
Which is why I was incredibly shocked when news emerge that the “House of DVF” is facing a ratings disaster. Executives of the network were “rumored to be disappointed” and apparently, the show’s ratings were so low that they were even worse than the launch of E!’s “#RichKids of Beverly Hills” and “Botched.” I have never heard of both shows but they sound like a terrible comparison to the classy reality “House of DVF” series. Although people, including Lifestyle Networks president Frances Berwick, came to “House of DVF”’s defense, news about the disappointed execs can make anyone nervous that there won’t be a second season of “House of DVF.”
At this point, I just want to put my two-cents in and encourage the execs of both the network and DVF company to keep on producing “House of DVF.” Although I have never subscribed to the channel, I personally think that E! would benefit from such a TV show, especially since their highest rated show is the “Kardashians.” This is a TV show that encourages and helps women to project themselves at their best, instead of encouraging cattiness, selfishness and all sorts of terrible melodramatic behavior. DvF should also be proud of the show, as it espouses all that she stands for and her philosophy – “to make life elegant and easy for women.” Her positive influence on the show will help so many women out there learn that they don’t have to be unnecessarily aggressive or to be a “b****” to succeed, and to just be the best versions of themselves. The subtle but powerful personal growth of the contestants on the show also reinforces the DvF marketing strategy about the journey of a dress – this is the journey of women growing in relation to the DvF brand and attaining the grace and poise they can hope to achieve.
As DvF had once said (in her press release for the show):
“one of the things that I deplore about some of the shows on television is that they objectify the women and they make you say, if you’re a b****, you win. And that was a very important point, that you don’t have to be a b**** to win”
Although you can never discard the importance of ratings, I believe that the inspirational and empowering messages of the show will eventually lead to more people watching it. Trust me, any parent worth their salt would let their children watch “House of DVF” as opposed to (*shudder*) the “Kardashians.”
On a happier note, the finale of “House of DVF” season one airs this Sunday and I can’t wait to see the woman who can make DvF proud.
- Adele Chapin, “Execs Reportedly Embarassed Over “House of DVF” Ratings.” Published 18th November 2014. <http://racked.com/archives/2014/11/18/house-of-dvf-ratings.php>
- Jethro Nededog, “NBCU Cable Chief Bonnie Hammer Disappointed Over E!’s “House of DVF” Ratings Insiders Say (Exclusive).” Published 13th November 2014. <http://www.thewrap.com/nbcu-cable-chief-bonnie-hammer-livid-over-es-house-of-dvf-ratings-insiders-say-exclusive/>
My favorite articles in relation to the show:
- Sundi, “Season 1; Episode 3; Why Did I Do This?; Aired Nov 16 2014” Published 16th November 2014 <http://community.ew.com/2014/11/16/house-of-dvf-recap-why-did-i-do-this/>
- Basically all the recaps posted by E!