Fashion-Minded Reality TV Gets a New Star

So now it’s NBC getting into the fashion reality show world, with its planned “Fashion Star” hosted by Elle Macpherson. (It’s sort of “Project Runway”-like except focusing on mass market department store-level clothes viewers can buy online, which makes it different — right?)  With the plethora of fashion-related reality shows of various kinds populating cable — TLC’s “What Not to Wear,” the Sundance Channel’s “All On The Line” — one might wonder just how many fashion reality series can be squeezed onto the tube before exhausting viewer appetites?

That asked, Planet Green’s April 19-debuting “Dresscue Me” is worth a look.

It’s a thing unto its own.  It follows the work and life of Shareen Vintage stylist and store owner Shareen Mitchell, who has a giant, ferocious, emotional, charming, artistic personality and whose clients include Katy Perry and Cat Deeley.  The latter compares Mitchell’s downtown operation to “Fight Club” in that what goes on inside is secret. That is, of course, until now.

Mitchell sweeps through a warehouse so full of old clothes workers use forklifts to move them around. She ticks off rejects at a quick clip — “no, no, no, no.”   She ferrets out two or three garments worthy of saving amid the mountainous piles.  She gets teary as she worries about how she is going to make all her customers feel properly beautiful. She frightens her worshipful staff, condemning inferior thrift store finds as “boring,” “matronly,” and “I’m so not into that.”  She re-tulles, shortens and hoists.  Clients come in and she performs enthralling transformations.

Planet Green isn’t the first place one would expect to find her. She says she’s been approached several times about doing a reality show, but nothing before felt like a good fit. “I wanted to work with a company that is high-minded in its perspective of the world, the highest standards in terms of consciousness,” she says. “Planet Green is looking for people doing interesting things in an innovative way.  My perspective, in fashion and in life, is that you can have it your way, like the old Burger King slogan. If you want a dress without the pleats, take out the pleats.”

Words to live by.