She’s not in Queens. She’s not at MODE. She’s not on the air.
When ABC decided to cancel Ugly Betty, a comedy known for its fashion midseason, the network probably didn’t consider how much of an impact the show had made on the fashion and journalism industries. Exposing its weekly audience to appearances from designers such as Isaac Mizrahi and Vera Wang brought the fashion industry into the homes of viewers. Using this tactic, high-fashion started to become easier to relate to and more accessible to the everyday person. Ugly Betty regular co-star, Mark Indelicato, said the show “…made its mark on the fashion industry by coming out with the idea of ‘seeing the beauty in ugly’.”
The costume designer for Ugly Betty, Patricia Field, no stranger to television wardrobe design, was also a big part of why couture pieces made it onto a television sitcom. Ugly Betty had only begun to bridge the gap between specialized fashion shows and general interest comedy.
In the interest of full disclosure, I have to mention that one of these cast members, Ana Ortiz, who plays Betty’s sister Hilda, is my cousin. Although ABC cancelled the show in January, eight more episodes will still air on Wednesdays at 10 p.m.