Fashion-Forward Television Shows

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For some of us, the late 2000s and early 2010s was a time of growth and self-exploration. We were ready to join the ranks of adulthood, using fashion and our newfound confidence to prove our capabilities to the world. While this transition seems like an ordinary right of passage, the onslaught of TV shows before us may be responsible. Jane by Design, True Jackson VP, and The Carrie Diaries had forthright, stylish main characters ready to take the fashion world by storm – even as they were still managing high school. Despite the frequent shenanigans and fumbles, each character showed us the power of hard work, dedication, and stylish accessories. This is an ode to our favorite teenage TV characters who made it in high fashion.

Jane by Design (2012)

(image via imdb)

Jane Quimby (Erica Dasher) has the odds stacked against her: She is a high school outcast without parental figures trying to make ends meet. To get by, Jane applies for an internship at the fashion label Donovan Decker, yet accidentally lands the role of executive assistant under the fickle and controlling Gray Chandler Murray (Andie MacDowell). Despite leading a double life, Jane climbs the ranks, all while putting her best outfit forward. The Freeform show, which only lasted 18 episodes, can be described as a time capsule, with Jane’s ensembles taking a strong influence from the decade’s trends. Between the patterned pencil skirts, statement necklaces, Peter Pan collars, and cheetah-print Jeffrey Campbells, we can only imagine how Jane would’ve continued her reign over the New York fashion scene.

True Jackson, VP (2008-2011)

(image via imdb)

It’s an ordinary day for charismatic True Jackson (Keke Palmer), selling sandwiches in the fashion district of New York. Impressed by her elevated style, the CEO of Mad Style, Max Madigan, hires her as the vice president of the company’s youth apparel line. The mundane days in the workplace are over once her friends Lulu and Ryan aid her in becoming a success. While their lack of experience places them in precarious situations, True’s love for clothing and advanced skills grant her an unlimited budget, front-row seats at fashion shows, and her own clothing line. The show’s success was evident; Nickelodeon reported an audience of over 4.8 million with the debut episode. The network continued the show’s triumph with a True Jackson fashion line, which was available exclusively through Walmart.

The Carrie Diaries (2013-2014)

(image via imdb)

As a prequel to beloved classic Sex and the City, The Carrie Diaries had big shoes to fill (or should we say Manolo Blahniks). During the two-season run, we meet young Carrie Bradshaw (AnnaSophia Robb), a bright and determined high school student who appreciates all things fashion. After stumbling into Larissa Loughlin (Freema Agyeman), a style editor working for Interview, Carrie soon finds herself working for the magazine full time and pursuing her dreams of working in the industry. The show’s New York 1984 backdrop couldn’t be more fitting: Both the audience and Carrie are exposed to the fast-paced, fashion-forward city life for which the decade is remembered. Under Carrie’s voice-over narration, we’re in awe at the bold neon colors, abstract patterns, chunky accessories, and iconic tulle skirts.

Which fashion show was your favorite? Are you ready to binge them again?

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