24th Jun2020

‘Styling Hollywood’ Review (Netflix Original)

by Rhys Payne

Styling Hollywood is a Netflix original series that tells the story of Jason Bolden and husband Adair Curtis who run JSN studio, which specialises in celebrity styling and interior design transformation. The series shows many gorgeous outfits wore by many wonderful celebrities as well as showing drastic home transformation. The show obviously promotes the business which is fantastic from the owners perspective and does exactly what it needs to do. After watching Styling Hollywood it has become my ambition to hire my own personal stylist when walking the carpets such as the Met Gala and Oscars!

While people may think that a show focusing on looks and appearance is very superficial, the show makes a point to discuss many key and important issues facing the world today. The two designers have an in-depth discussion about the importance of creative people to consider cultural sensitivity, as there was an issue with a very established company developing an outfit that was very similar to black-face (which is obviously a very terrible idea especially nowadays.) The show also makes a point to allow a platform to showcase black designers and black celebrities, as well as both Jason and Adair, being people of colour running a super successful business – which is particularly important in this current political climate we live in. Additionally, Jason and Adair are obviously members of the LGBT+ community, so two see two powerful, successful, gay, black men on television is fantastic and can only empower any viewers who fall into any of those categories!

However despite all this, when starting Styling Hollywood I thought it would predominantly be about creating stunning costumes for celebrities but the focus moved from “styling” to be more about the drama between the married couple and relationships within the business. This at times appears trivial and seems forced by the creative team as these issues are quickly solved. I was somewhat disappointed by the limited amount of actual styling and interior designing happening throughout the series, with most of the time spent follow drama and fights between on-screen characters.

The scenes in Styling Hollywood transition from one to another using the clever use of an almost ‘Instagram Stories’ inspired transition, really adding to the idea of vanity and beauty in the show – which is clever and fits perfectly. However, some of the pictures used in these transitions are unusual and oftentimes don’t seem to fit the themes in the show. The episodes in this first season (for I presume there’s a second one planned) perfectly flow into one another which makes it perfect for and easy to binge-watch – which I personally did without realising how many episodes I had watched! But I did feel as if the end of the show did fall really flat.

Overall, Styling Hollywood is a show that showcases the art of personal styling which is often ignored during awards and events etc. To raise awareness of the hard work of stylists is fantastic and it promotes the business which can only benefit those working for JSN. I hope if a second season is produced we can see more styling process and interior design transformations rather than drama!

*** 3/5

Styling Hollywood is available on Netflix now.

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