Tuesday, February 13, 2007

It's Fashionable to be Ugly

Imagine working in an all-fashionable publication where your colleagues are wearing the latest designs from Dior or Chado Ralph Rucci that you just saw on the runway last Fashion Week while you dressed up in grandma cardigan with loose blouse in extraordinary flower prints that might be from your mom's so-called 80's vintage closet with crowned teeth and a thick-framed glasses.

What can you expect from the situation? Humiliation of course! And that is what Betty Suarez went through. Yes, I am talking about the new Primetime show on our sinful visual and sound box called television. It's called Ugly Betty.

Inspired from the Colombian soap opera Yo Soy Betty La Fea (I am an Ugly Betty), the serial is produced by Hollywood Latina actress Salma Hayek under joint venure between her production house, Ventanarosa and Touchstone Pictures. While in the Colombian version, the main character Betty or Beatriz Solano Pinzon (portrayed by former Miss Bogotá/Colombia Ana Maria Orozco) is a secretary who works for a fictional fashion firm called Ecomoda, the American version sees Betty or Betty Suarez (portrayed by actress America Ferrera) as a personal assistant to Daniel Meade, the Editor-in-Chief for fashion magazine MODE and also the son publisher Bradford Meade.

It was Bradford's decision to hire Betty Suarez to stop his son, who is a womanizer, from sleeping with his beautiful and leggy assistants, just what he used to do in the past. However, having Betty by her side doesn't mean he could no longer sleep with whomever he wants. In the pilot episode, he resented Betty and tasked her to a number of impossible assignments like removing cabbages from his coleslaw, covering for him while he had his usual sexual escapade with another woman and put Betty to insult by asking her to be the replacement model for MODE's client's advertisement.
Though he repented, Betty refused to work with him but until at one time, Daniel realized that with his business-minded thinking and Betty's knowledge and ideas, they can become the fashion industry's favorites.

As always, there's always antagonists and evil comes in the form of Wilhelmina Slater, a self-absorbed diva and the Creative Director of MODE. She lives on greed and Botox, the magic potion that can eliminate fine lines and wrinkles. Her resentment on Daniel began when her dream of becoming the next Editor-in-Chief of MODE ruined after Bradford favors his son to take the post.

She runs a scheme with Alexis Meade, Daniel's transgendered sister whom Wilhemina thought as Fey Sommers, to take over the magazine. With her personal assistant Marc St. James on tow, Wilhelmina will do anything to get her way on top. To actress/singer Vanessa Williams, playing the part Wilhelmina has been the cherry on top of her acting career.

But although Betty seems to be ugly externally, take a look at its costume details. It's a combination of drab and chic. Believe it or not, Betty wears Marc by Marc Jacobs wedges and totes Gucci's 85th Anniversary bag to work. Not that all, she will wear even more designer items on the future episodes. For Wilhelmina, the wardrobe choice is more sophisticated due to her role as a sophisticated and stylish lady. In bed, she wears her Leigh Bantivoglio nightgown while by day, she will be in her all-white ensemble of Carmen Marc Velo suit.

The Ugly Betty series was aired in the United States since last September and in Malaysia, the show was aired on 6th February 2007 at 8TV. Other countries to follow suit includes Singapore, Finland, Poland, France and South Africa to name a few.

*Photos courtesy of ABC

Don't forget to watch Betty and her fashionable misadventures in the Ugly Betty series on 8TV every Tuesday night at 9.30 p.m.

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