Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Fashion Star: A Review of the Premiere

Fashion Star premiered on NBC last night. My opinion? It was an enjoyable show. Not completely thrilling, but definitely fun to watch. In case you weren't aware, the show is pre-taped, and at the end of each episode, the winning designers' clothes are available to buy at one of three stores: Saks Fifth Avenue, Macy's or H&M.

During the first episode, we met the designers in sets of two. We learned a bit about their backgrounds and watched them design for a few minutes. Then, the two designers had their clothes displayed on the runway. After that, the designers went onstage and met with host Elle MacPherson. The judges, Jessica Simspon, John Varvatos and Nicole Richie provided feedback.

Following that, the designers faced a team of buyers, one from Saks Fifth Avenue, one from Macy's and one from H&M. The buyers were given an opportunity to bid on the items that the designers displayed (they bid per designer, not per outfit). The buyer with the highest bid won the collection. If they didn't want to bid, the buyer could choose "no offer", and if he or she got no offers, the designer was put up for possible elimination.

At the end of the episode, the winning designers' clothes were put up for sale on the website of the company that won their design.

The Designers

I firmly believe that the show purposely cast both good and bad designers. Some people were cast for their talent, while others were cast for their personalities (like over-the-top Oscar Fierro). It is TV, after all.

Edmond Newton's design
One male designer, Nicholas Bowes, insulted the female judges by saying they didn't understand men's fashion. (They do.) This was not a smart move as two of the buyers were female. Between his cockiness and boring motorcycle jacket collection, I'm not surprised that he didn't get an offer.

Barbara Bates, the designer that presented at the same time as him, was also a dud. Her outfits featured detailing on women's hips, and I can say that most women don't want to wear big detailing on one of their problem areas. Fortunately for Barbara, her clothing wasn't as offensive as Nicholas', so she avoided the bottom three while Nicholas was the first contestant eliminated. Kara Laricks, who included clothing from other designers in her presentation, also found herself in the bottom three, narrowly avoiding elimination. The third counterpart in the bottom three was Oscar Fierrro, who was saved from elimination by the mentors.

The stars awarded with contracts were Edmond Newton, Nikki Poulos (I was not a fan of her looks) and Lizzie Parker with Macy's (shop their looks here),  Sarah Parrott and Nzmiro Oputa for H&M (shop it here) and Orly Shani for Saks Fifth Avenue (shop the look here, although the first week's designer's skirt is already sold out! It was my favorite, to be fair).

What's interesting is the variation in price among the items, from low-priced H&M items to Orly Shani's $350 skirt at Saks. I would say Orly is the standout star, being that her skirt was over $100 more than the next highest priced item and was the first to sell out online.

Was it worth watching Fashion Star? Yeah, it was fun. Not groundbreaking, not amazing, but it was cool to see what some really good - and some really bad - designers have to show.

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