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Fashion Star, Episode 2: Buy, Sell, and Tiradeby Tyler Sandersfeld -- 03/21/2011
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Welcome back, fashion fans! Last week on We Are Not Project Runway, and We Have the Middling Ratings to Prove It, we saw 14 designers make a first impression to the mentors and buyers. Six of them made a good impression and saw their designs make it to the racks of H&M, Macy’s, or Saks Fifth Avenue. Those designs sold out quite quickly, too, so mission accomplished there. Three of the eight no-sells faced elimination, with Nicholas and his “women have no say” attitude getting the first boot.
The ratings for the premiere weren’t quite as hot as Orly’s convertible skirts, though. It couldn’t quite average five million viewers. Considering that Project Runway got major kudos for topping four million viewers for an episode on cable, that is not a fantastic number for NBC. Well, it shouldn’t be fantastic for NBC, anyway. Although its competitors on CBS and ABC did beat Fashion Star in total viewers, it did win the 18-49 demographic with a 1.6 rating. We’ll see if there is any movement after this episode.
There is no pointless dance routine kicking off this episode. Elle Macpherson gets things started quickly, saying that the public got to get a look at the construction process over the past week. In the first group, Lisa Vian Hunter says she has a vintage-inspired brand and is always thinking Audrey Hepburn when she designs. John Varvatos tells her to drop the neck line on her pieces, and Lisa is mortified. Nicole Richie thinks Lisa needs to connect to a younger audience. Lisa eventually agrees with John’s changes, with the hope that the show will not be a disaster.
Ronnie Escalante hopes for an unexpected reveal in the back as he designed his looks. He boasts his work with superstars like Zac Posen, knowing that the buyers expect more. Kara Laricks decides to create a full piece after her near-elimination over a stupid accessory. She shows off the menswear detail to Jessica Simpson, who seemed to like it. Kara says she was a fourth-grade teacher for ten years. It’s important for Kara to prove herself and confirm her “be who you can be” mantra to her students.
It’s show time. To “I Like It” by Enrique Iglesias, Lisa starts the show with her Trudy day dress. It’s a simple design, but it looks nice with the popping colors and prints. Kara’s draped tie dress is a little too baggy for my taste, but it does make the models look thinner than they already do, and I do like the ties. Ronnie is last with his blouse with zipper detail. The opening just looks wonky, but at least it can be zipped up. But really, can we really count that as a plus?
Jessica loves Lisa’s design, especially the hot pink piece. Every sorority girl would want this, in her opinion. Nicole likes Ronnie’s idea, but the models look bottom-heavy and the backs could eat someone. Elle was worried that Kara would just do buttons. John says Kara rocks this week.
Lisa gets a $50,000 offer from Caprice Willard of Macy’s. She loves the pleats and color choices. Ronnie, however, gets no offers whatsoever. H&M’s Nicole “Nikki” Christie sees his passion, but the opening does not work for her. Kara improves on last week by getting a $50,000 from H&M, but Saks goes $80,000! Nikki ties Terron Schaffer’s offer at $80,000. Terron says Kara is no longer a one-trick pony, so he ups the offer to $90,000. Nikki matches again, so Terron goes up to $100,000. Wow! The bidding goes up to $110k, at which point Nikki lets go. This means Saks Fifth Avenue gets exclusive rights to the tie dress. However, Kara promises to make Nikki a dress on Elle’s request. Kara is in tears about this huge offer.
In the next group, Ross Bennett believes he has a charming gift with making his client feel like the center of attention. John reminds Ross that the buyers are looking for spring fashions. Ross, however, won’t change his heavy fabrics. He also thinks little of Oscar Fierro, as does Orly Shani. Oscar and his orange top hat don’t like Orly either, especially since she’s “just a bartender.” Okay, so much for being the likably crazy Salvadoran. Orly got a great response for her convertibles last week, so she’s doing something similar this week. Ross is confident in his jacket.
To Ke$ha’s annoying hit “Blow,” small Oscar’s cape dress starts the show. The colors are flashy, the draping is trashy. It’s time for Fierro to go. Sorry, I’ve always wanted to stick a limerick into one of my recaps. Don’t kill me. Orly’s convertible maxi dress is cute, but two of the dresses seem a little long. Also, the conversion is a little too similar to last week’s skirt gimmick. Ross’s tailored bolero jacket is presented in three nice fall designs, including a tweed houndstooth that I quite adore. But this is an oddly warm spring, dude. Anyone who would buy these pieces this week would have to have some real body heat control issues.
Nicole feels that Ross’s tailoring is cute, but the fabric might not sell for spring. Jessica loves two-fers as usual, and she is excited to see what Orly can do with it next week. Jessica is not over the moon with Oscar’s designs, though. She does admit to dreaming about giving birth to the little guy. John is disappointed in these “hoochie,” “4 AM” dresses. Oscar is not designing for “hoochie,” but there are those kinds of women watching and buying, he hopes. I hope not.1 2 Next-->
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