Review of Fashion Star by Adrienne Yancy

I love shows about fashion and design, so naturally I was really excited to see if the new show Fashion Star had anything on my favorite show Project Runway. The show opened with a meaningless dance segment followed by a lingerie collection from the show host Elle Macpherson. ( I don’t think it was needed and the styling was off.)

The show highlights 14 designers who are offered the chance to become the next great fashion star. Each designer shows one of the latest looks from their collection and they compete to have their look purchased by H&M, Saks Fifth Ave, or Macys. If the look is purchased, consumers can purchase their favorite looks the next day online and at select brick-and-mortar retailers. The season winner gets a 6 Million dollar contract for a collection.

The designers who don’t get offers for their look go into the bottom and risk being eliminated. Each episode one designer gets voted off. Nicole Richie, John Varvatos, and Jessica Simpson are the designers’ mentors, while Nicole Christie is the buyer for H&M, Terron Schaefer is the buyer and Executive VP of Saks Fifth Ave, and Caprice Willard is the 17-year veteran buyer for Macy’s.  For the premier episode, the designers are challenged to create one piece for the buyers that show who they are as a designer.

The Designers:

Orly Shani, The Bartender. She presented a convertible mini skirt; I like the concept of the shell mini skirt, but I don’t think I’d buy it. Bought by Saks for $80,000.

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Edmond Newton, The Hair Stylist.  He presented a halter cocktail dress. I didn’t like the dress because it’s been done so many times before. Macys offered him $60,000 for his look.

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Oscar Fierro, The El Salvadorian Drama Queen. Eveningwear is his specialty and this week he showed a butterfly mini dress. The judges didn’t like the look, since it’s been seen dozens of times already, too. No offers, but he really put up a good fight to stay!

Nikki Poulos , The Swimwear Designer.  She also showed resort wear and tonight showed a Kaftan with three quarter sleeves. Macy’s offered $50,000 for her retro-chic look.

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Nicolas Bowes , The Male Chauvinist . Additionally, a former model, he showed a lambskin motorcycle jacket. They said it’s been seen before… obvi. He made Jessica upset enough to wanna slap him! He didn’t seem to like the fact that women were critiquing his menswear, since they were women!! He got no offers.

Barbara Bates, The Breast Cancer Survivor. She showed a shirt and skirt. No offers.

Sarah Parrott, The Self-taught Designer.  Presented a sexy shift dress with a back cutout. I really liked this design! She’s the first designer to show a look that I really like and could see myself wearing. They loved the dress. $80,000 offer from H&M. They loved the wearability and the edge of the look.

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Ross Bennett , The Texan Tailor. Presented Full Cullottes. I think they’re too baggy, but then again culottes are baggy. They didn’t like his old school silhouette of the pants. They bashed his tailoring, but loved his style and personality. No offers for his pants because of the limited scope of customers.

For some reason they fast-forwarded the show… I guess it was getting repetitive for them too, so we don’t really know who these designers are: Ronnie Escalante, Luciana Scarabello, Lisa Vian Hunter and Lizzie Parker (they did show her get a Macy’s sale, briefly.)

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Kara Laricks, The Androgynous Menswear Designer. She showed a collar as an accessory, and got no offers.

Nzimiro Oputa, The Over-Achiever. He presented a sport coat/blazer. They really liked the sport coat, styling, and permanent stand up collar. $50,000 offer from H&M.

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Overall only six designers made sales and are safe, and eight designers are in the bottom. Nicolas, Oscar, and Kara are chosen as the bottom three. The mentors get a save each week, and this week saved Oscar, while the buyers must drop someone from the final two, and let Nicolas go.

Overall I liked the show, but I didn’t love it. It’s very showy with all the staging and lights and dramatic music, and could be a bit more laid back like Project Runway. For example, I feel like they use a similar stage as The Voice, and I think it makes the show too much of a production, instead of being focused on the actual artists and their work. I don’t care to hear Jessica Simpson and Nicole Richie talk throughout the entire show; I want to hear more from the talent. I’m willing to give it another try next week, though.  If you’ve seen the show, we would love to hear your comments!

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