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Lookbook The Series - Like It or Not?

7/10/2013 08:46:00 AM Chai Chen 19 Comments

Not so long ago, some time April 2013, popular fashion hub Lookbook.nu launched a very special project dubbed as Lookbook The Series. LOOKBOOK: The Series is claimed to be a story of passion, intrigue and betrayal set in the world of online fashion blogging. This original series was said to be inspired by the LOOKBOOK.nu community and each episode is available for viewing at lookbook.nu/tv


The project launched mixed reactions as well from eager fans and lookbook users; as well as the press. Like me ... I was intrigued about what type of story it has. Is it promising enough ... will we learn from this series ... is it gonna be "just another blogger" post showing different branded items without real style ... will they have lackluster acting ... etc. Those were some of my initial reactions when I saw it's email announcement. At the same time, I was also a bit excited back then since, well, this is something new from the Lookbook team. I tried to follow the shorts and I'd love to share my thoughts about this show.

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The series started off very promising, I must say. It was an exciting first episode but somehow; I guess it gave off too much information since the beginning. I tried hold off my judgment on the series but as the episodes went along; more and more, it seems the excitement waved off and the enthusiasm slows down. It wasn't as promising and I just kept watching just for the sake of checking what's in store for the next episodes. Nothing much to my surprise ...


The series became more predictable as each episode is shown; much as each of the characters are introduced. Here's my predictable take on the characters.
  •  Hannah, the new kid on the block. Despised by more tenured folks / students / fashion gurus in her school. No matter how hard she tries, she may or may not blend in. There's always an arch-nemesis around. But she will remain as sweet and good-looking; innocent and kind as she is being portrayed in the story. Unknowingly. Unsuspecting.
  • Cleo, the evil twin sister personality. Glam. Fashion Queen. B|@tch of the story. Beautiful. Admired by many. Looked up by newbies. Tend to generate a certain kind of "following" wherever she goes. The "insecure" type hence she needs the support of her "subordinates" or something to that effect. Always plotting devilish ways vs. her rivals.
  • Mark, the boy-next-door ex of Cleo. Finds new love with the new girl on campus. Develops the photographer-model relationship and progresses into a "new love" mode. He's a good guy per se as the story tries to paint him - helping the newbie fashion blogger a.k.a. girlfriend. But no matter what he does, his character is dry.
  • Julius, the right hand of Cleo. Not much about him has been divulged. Although he's one of the main casts; I guess there's very slow progression in his character - other than showcasing his "closet" side and that he's the sidekick of Cleo. What's up with him? I dunno ... maybe his character can be removed in the story or something ... no offense!

Or maybe I judged so quickly ei? We'll see. I'm not sure how many episodes are there but really, the characters and scenes are very much predictable to this point. It's always a plot vs. Hannah which doesn't succeed because of her good heart anyway and yaddah yaddah yadaah ...


The episodes are rather short as well. An average of five (5) minutes I guess? And each episode is shown with some days-to-weeks interval so much to the dismay of the viewers and followers. I don't even await the next episode anymore but I tend to watch it when I find time. I guess I watched the first 4 episodes in 1 sitting; and then the 5th when it was launched; and then just watched up to the 9th episode now. I haven't gone far yet ...


Some scenes and events are a bit far from reality; though the series aimed to show a little bit of this and that. Imagine the new girl on campus immediately generating tons of hits on lookbook? That doesn't even come at par with lookbook policies - unless her looks were hyped that much by lookbook "kings & queens" or the users who have tons of karma or something. And her looks have already beaten Cleo in the ranking / hotness or whatever metric there is? And how about the too-quick-fallen-in-love relationship with the blogger and the photographer? That quick? Moreover ... a "newbie" fashion blogger as she's introduced ... gets a seat and invite from prestigious brand - Marc Jacobs? Really? Newbie fashion blogger caught Marc Jacobs' eyes? It is lowly possible, but not highly probable. Too good to be true.

I'm not sure as well if it achieves its purpose. Somewhere, I read that it aimed to showcase the relationship between a fashion blogger and the photographer. Maybe they realized it's a little shallow to be the overall topic so there are some scenes distracting along the way. There's conflict building up yes, but maybe not enough to hold its audience. It aimed to also incorporate aspects of lookbook into it and I guess somehow this goal was achieved since some episodes became a feature this and that product / brand; but overall, it might not be achieving its overall purpose - if there is. Quoting from their site -  
The Series explores the creative and intimate relationship between a fashion blogger and her photographer using a dramatic urban fairytale told through the canvas of LOOKBOOK.nu and the L.A. fashion scene ... (but I'm just not so sure that the episodes are painting it that way ...)

This might be the nasty side of me too but somehow, I don't think the actors and actresses in the series are achieving the emotions needed in each scene. Probably true, they have lackluster acting / cast. The dialogues / scripts doesn't sound natural - it's too-scripted. The facial expressions are not enough to convey the right message. I ain't a professional actress, mind you; but I guess I can definitely say when it's too fake or not, right? The cutesy acting of Hannah or the too-deceptive image of Cleo ... and the waking up from bed with my makeup on - scene with Hannah ... some scenes just make me laugh.


Overall I still salute the team behind this for still trying to revolutionize the fashion blogging industry and capitalizing on brand partnerships; advertisements; and utilizing a medium with fast-rising audience count - the web episodes / online TV. I'm not sure how much would they take from the commenters and feedback they get like this review I'm doing ... but I wish them luck in future ventures; even with the development of this current project.

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What are your thoughts about it? Have you watched it? Did you like it? Share your feedback below. (^_^)

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Chai

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