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Out of style: Why the latest fashion makeover shows have reached their sell-by date

Amid a plethora of new fashion TV offerings, Meadhbh McGrath asks if an old format has reached its sell-by date in an era of body positivity

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In January, Netflix premiered Next in Fashion, hosted by Alexa Chung. Photo: Lara Solanki/Netflix

In January, Netflix premiered Next in Fashion, hosted by Alexa Chung. Photo: Lara Solanki/Netflix

Lara Solanki/Netflix

In January, Netflix premiered Next in Fashion, hosted by Alexa Chung. Photo: Lara Solanki/Netflix

In the 2000s, fashion TV was booming. Trinny and Susannah were telling us what not to wear, Gok Wan advised on how to look good naked, Paisean Faisean proposed the way to a woman's heart was through her wardrobe, and Off the Rails sought to make over much of the country.

In the US, controversial series such as The Swan showcased radical transformations involving cosmetic surgery, while Tyra Banks brought us America's Next Top Model (ANTM). Project Runway began in 2004, and spawned a wave of TV hits, including Top Chef and RuPaul's Drag Race - which features judge Carson Kressley, the "fashion savant" of the original Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.

But towards the end of the decade, many series started to die off, due to dwindling ratings and relevance. Perhaps it didn't help that reality shows like ANTM and The City, along with the fictional worlds of Ugly Betty and The Devil Wears Prada, depicted the industry as a fiercely hostile and bitchy one. As Heidi Klum put it in her Project Runway catchphrase: "In fashion, one day you're in… the next, you're out!"