The Rihanna-produced “Styled to Rock” takes the fashion-design show and gives it a defined purpose: dressing music artists.
“I love a mash-up, it’s a bit of a remix,” one of the show’s mentor-judges, Erin Wasson, told TheWrap.
“I love the idea of injecting the idea of style and the idea of fashion into the music industry, because as a musician so much of what you’re translating beyond your music is based upon aesthetic,” she continued.
Originally set to air on the now-defunct Style Network, “Styled to Rock” premieres Friday at 8/7c on Bravo. It pits 12 designers against each other for the grand prizes of $100,000, a feature in Glamour magazine and the opportunity to join Rihanna‘s design team.
On the show’s mentor panel, Wasson provides the point of view of a model and established designer. Performer-producer Pharrell Williams provides the musician’s perspective. And Rihanna‘s own stylist, Mel Ottenberg, helps to decide if a designer really has the goods to join his team.
TheWrap spoke to Wasson about Rihanna‘s role on the show, what she’s looking for and what it was like when she heard that Style Network had been shut down.
What affect does Rihanna have on the show as an executive producer?
Even in the episodes when Rihanna‘s not there, you still feel her spirit, you still feel her attitude. Rihanna has passed the baton, and we’re all very much about execution.
I am very much about authenticity and I think that’s what Rih and I share quite a lot of — an innate desire for authenticity in everything, between the show and between every other facet of our lives, and certainly her life. But it’s her spirit that really gets translated into the show. Even on the days that she wasn’t able to be on set, she was still felt.
What are you looking for most when judging the designers?
You can be the best pattern maker, you can be the most extraordinary dress draper, but at the end of the day we’re living in a world where we’ve seen so much, we’ve been exposed to so much, and the only thing that’s going to separate you from anyone else is your point of view.
And I say that authenticity is the new currency of life, because that is what’s going to make you stand out from the crowd. You can be standing next to a perfectly executed dress that might be lackluster in flavor, and be standing next to another dress or outfit or whatever it may be, so maybe there’s some flaw technically, but if the vibe and the perspective of the piece is coming from a place of authenticity, then that’s what I’m going to be drawn towards.
As a designer, what would be the most challenging part for you if you were competing on the show?
Living with everyone, honestly. I know myself and I’m ferociously independent and I think that so much of my creative process in doing all of the things that I’ve done comes from places in finding quiet moments and being really insular and having that time to marinate and having time to project those ideas.
These kids lived on top of each other, worked, breathed, ate, slept together. So for me, that actual living situation I think is what would be my biggest obstacle for sure.
What was it like for you when you heard that Style Network had shut down?
When we got the news it was like, your heart does kind of skip a beat, “Styled to Rock” was so synonymous with the Style Network, it all went together very perfectly and that is how we had packaged it. But at the end of the day, everything happens for a reason, and I could not be more thrilled that we ended up on a network like Bravo who has incredibly chic competitive programming, and they’ve been successful with it and has a much larger viewership then what we would have been.
We’re going to be able to turn more people on now with Bravo than we would have with Style. So, as much as there was that scary heart palpitation moment at the end of the day, I think it actually landed in its perfect home.
Here’s a preview of “Styled to Rock”: