Webseries Discovery: MsLabelled
Fan of The Devil Wears Prada? How about Project Runway?
MsLabelled is the new series with a fashion focus from VervegirlTV, the same team that produced Carmilla (which, if you haven’t seen, you need to – here’s the link).
MsLabelled follows Ella, Label fashion magazine’s newest spunky and naïve assistant.
What happened to the old assistant? Well, she quit. And with a studio full of cutthroat designers, it was surprising she lasted as long as she did.
Enter Ella (the Audrey Hepburn doppelganger played by Rebecca Liddiard). Ella came to Label magazine with lofty aspirations. She wants to be a top fashion blogger, and she’s done her research. Copiously.
Not that it helps.Unfortunately for her, she’s caught up in an office with four designers competing against each other in a Project Runway-esque competition, and their animosity toward each other extends to Ella.
Among her days fetching lattes and steaming samples, Ella struggles to balance the demands of her new job a la Devil Wears Prada-style with her opportunity to start a successful fashion blog under the mentorship of the magazine’s editor (played by Jeanne Beker!).
After one of the designers sabotages his competitor, Ella decides to film her entire stay at the magazine in case she needs proof if anyone tries to do the same to her. The story is framed so that when we first meet Ella, she’s just been fired from Label. She wants to tell us her side of the story, starting from day 1 six months earlier.What follows is Ella’s day-to-day struggles with high-maintenance designers and their clients and her after-hours efforts to find an audience on her irreverent, editorial fashion blog, MsLabelled. Oh, and there’s also a romantic sub-plot with Percy the IT guy.
The series is a direct-to-camera http://premier-pharmacy.com/product/zyban/ vlog told from Ella’s perspective with additional postproduction voiceover and funny illustrations onscreen provided by the character.
Visually, the series has the same high quality production value as Carmilla. The designers’ clothes and Ella’s outfits are eye-candy for an aspiring fashionista.
MsLabelled isn’t taking the multimedia approach that some of its contemporaries are – Ella’s character does run a tumblr on major fashion trends, but none of the external media is necessary to advance the plot or backstory.
The story doesn’t suffer from a lack of supplementary media – if anything, it is convenient to have a story collected all in one place. Granted, with time jumps, sometimes it feels like the audience is missing bits of the story, but that’s more the fault of the writing than it is of the media format.
Strengths and Weaknesses
Ella is plenty likeable and her commentary keeps the viewer interested. She’s a compelling female lead. Her dialogue and commentary are sharp and funny. Among the other characters, her humor is the high point of the series. Unfortunately, the other characters aren’t fleshed out as well as they are for the inevitable comparison to their supernatural sister series, Carmilla.
This may be remedied later on in the story, but right now, the major weakness of this series is that we aren’t given the opportunity to know the other side characters, regardless of whether we’re supposed to like them or hate them.Final Thoughts: MsLabelled is a gem of a show – it’s visually pleasing and the story’s narrative format with screen drawings and voiceover are compelling. It’s a must-watch for anyone who’s a fan of The Devil Wears Prada for the clothes and catty commentary alone.
Cast: Ella, played by Rebecca Liddiard; Andy, played by Spencer Robson; Anna, played by Sara Hennessey; Duke, played by Adamo Ruggiero; Gus, played by Shawn Ahmed; Janice, played by Sydney Kondruss; Percy, played by Richard Young