Fashion Star, Episode 5: There’s No “Why” in Teamby Tyler Sandersfeld -- 04/11/2011
Welcome back, fashion fans! Last week on They Both Look Equally Cheap to Me, the top 11 designers tried and half-succeeded to create one high-end look and one low-end version of the same look. Despite boring the buyers and being the only designer left without ever getting a buy, the mentors saved Ronnie Escalante, so the buyers sent home Lisa Vian Hunter and her rip-off of Paddington Bear.
In ratings news, last week’s episode earned a few thousand more viewers. However, it looks like this show is going to stay between four and five million viewers. However, host Elle Macpherson brags that the successful designs have raked in more than $1.5 million in sales so far. I wonder if there would be just as much sales success on cable as NBC. And if the editing was better.
This week, the top 10 must work in teams to create a window display theme for their runway shows. Mentor Nicole Richie reminds viewers that a window display uses props and themes, and it cannot be subtle. These designers need to be in-your-face this week in order to sell.
The first team combines beachwear designer Nikki Poulos with the more corporate-minded Barbara Bates. Barbara works on a menswear-inspired pinstripe dress. Nikki likes the sophistication of Barbara’s designs, but doesn’t find it complementary to her own Jean Harlow-inspired gown. Barbara says Nikki has no concept about window displays and does not work well with people. Nikki dislikes Barbara’s idea for a “cheesy” photo shoot theme in their display.
Barbara tells Nicole that she’s ready to bash Nikki in head. Honestly, considering we have a Nicole Richie and a Nicole “Nikki” Christie on this show already, I’m ready for Nikki Poulos to leave and de-confuse this show a little. Anyway, Nicole is scared for this duo since they are complete opposites. Therefore, she likes the photo shoot idea because it can help them tell a story together while keeping their styles individualistic. Barbara just hopes the buyers get it.
Barbara and Nikki show to “When Love Takes Over.” Barbara’s high waist dress walks out first. It looks very professional. Almost too much, really, since the three skirts have no variation. Next is Nikki’s vintage-inspired maxi, and the vintage is definitely there. I don’t feel love or hate for any of these designs.
John Varvatos loves the whole window and the creative energy from these two. Nicole can see beach appeal combine with glamor in Nikki, whose “chimichangas are on fire.” Stay tuned for more 10 p.m. language from Nicole, folks. John dislikes how Barbara is using the same fabric for all three bottoms. He thinks she has a fine silhouette, but she squandered her opportunity to show more.
Barbara faces the buyers first, and as expected, no one cares enough to bid. Terron Schaffer of Saks Fifth Avenue sees odd fabric choices for a spring collection, but believes Barbara is making headway. Barbara tells the buyers not to wait for her to be famous; they can buy her cheap here. Wrong kind of professional, Barbara. Nikki gets a $50,000 bid from Saks, but H&M offers $60,000. Saks adds $20,000 to the bid, so H&M does. Despite the love for Nikki’s prints, Terron is out. Nikki Christie would run into the store to buy Nikki P.’s dress if she saw it in a window display.
Team #2 matches perpetual montage act Luciana Scarabello with perpetual disappointment Ronnie Escalante. The two became good friends after both received no buys in the first three weeks. So, of course, their massive success this week gets the montage treatment. Luciana gets a whopping $100,000 for her dresses from Saks Fifth Avenue. In his fifth attempt, Ronnie finally gets a bid for $60,000 from Macy’s. H&M, however, goes for $70,000. The bidding war is on, with Caprice Willard of Macy’s winning with $110,000. This is the first time that Ronnie actually gets an offer, and we barely get a look at his designs. I know NBC and the producers of this show are not watching, but blowing past two high-buy designs again is just inexcusable. You want this show to get a second season? Then PRODUCE IT MORE COMPETENTLY!
Jessica remembers getting her own window at Macy’s, so she helps Orly Shani, Ross Bennett, and Sarah Parrott on their work. So we have teams of three when there could have easily been five teams of two. This show is so horribly designed. This group works on a Gossip Girl theme for the window. Sarah’s personal design will involve reversible blazers. That sounds like something Orly would do. Ross wants to create a sexy vest with a classic conservative feel. Jessica wants him to add paisley. Barf. Ross works on set direction with plenty of product-placed fancy car action. He believes the buyers will understand this vision unless a model falls.
Ross may be confident, but Orly is struggling with her lace dresses. The fabric has its own “devilish personalities.” Orly is worried that she will mess up her team. Hence, she scraps the lace and goes with classic shorts. Ross is worried about Orly continuously changing her ideas. Orly feels awful because she feels like she’s just throwing something down the runway.
The window display is a diner scene set to another piece of music I don’t care to identify. Ross’ double button vest goes down first. They almost look like something waitress would wear in a fancy restaurant, but the patterns save this design. Sarah’s reversible blazer is definitely more like Orly than Sarah, but it’s still very cute. Finally, we must gawk at Orly’s shorts with waist tie. This is not the Orly Shani I fell in love with in the first episode.
Nicole is simply baffled by Orly’s “wedgina” shorts. There it is, ladies and gentlemen. Nicole adds that no designer should be doing basics at this stage of the competition, especially since these shorts do not represent Orly. John tells Sarah that while she created a nice jacket, it is not a superstar design that raises the bar. Jessica believes Ross is representing Texas, as she wants that vest on a platter.
Orly should not get any offers, and she doesn’t. Terron doesn’t understand how those shorts evoke Orly’s brand. Sarah loses Macy’s and Saks again, while H&M, for the first time… hesitates before offering $60,000. Nikki loves the double-sided color choices, but she reminds Sarah that the winner must convince all three buyers. I don’t think Sarah needs all three buyers. Nikki obviously loves Sarah enough, so she might get an exclusive deal with them after all is said and done. Ross gets a $50,000 bid from Macy’s. Caprice believes Ross is hitting his stride with his styling.
Obviously, the last team consists of Kara Laricks, Nzimiro Oputa, and Edmond Newton. All three are on the same page with the window display’s color scheme. Kara loves how her teammates always smile. Kara’s “teacher look” comes out sometimes, though, during their shenanigans. Nzimiro laments about how he got bad feedback for his jackets last week. He aims to make something more wearable this week.
Edmond cannot let the mentors down this week, since he’s been in trouble two weeks in a row now. After working on a dress for a while, Edmond completely changes gears to work on a men’s shirt. Nzimiro is afraid for Edmond, especially since Nzimiro is an experienced menswear designer. Edmond just wants to show his range. Kara worries that the nautical theme will no longer be cohesive, so they switch it up to a travel theme.
With “International Love” fittingly blasting out of our speakers, the last show starts with Nzimiro’s casual jacket. I like it, but I don’t love it as much as some of Nzimiro’s earlier work. Edmond’s Oxford shirt looks plastic and uninspired. As for Kara’s shirt dress, the powder blue piece looks like a nightie. The other two look fun, though.
John likes Edmond’s black-and-white shirt, but the other two are very basic. Jessica saw the only color in the window coming from Kara’s designs, surprisingly enough. She loves all three pieces. Nicole calls Nzimiro “Nzimimi,” and she adds that he did a great job with the shoulder detail. John, however, doesn’t think the jackets are aggressive enough for a window piece.
Edmond’s shirt get hung out to dry by the buyers. Nikki expected a fabulous daytime dress and is now confused. Terron says every man has a black shirt, and the little bit of white is not interesting enough. The buyers agree with John and give Nzimiro no buys. Nzimiro thinks the stores are broke. Caprice is bored by jackets, so she wants to see him try a knit top or a true pant or something. Surprisingly, Kara is also completely out. Nikki doesn’t feel the dresses hit the mark for spring or window displays.
Five of the top 10 are in danger, and I think the final choice will be between Edmond’s bad idea and Orly’s no idea, with Barbara as an outside possibility. I think it’s time for Edmond to go, personally.
The buyers’ bottom three are Orly, Barbara, and Edmond. No surprises there, as I never expected Kara or Nzimiro to be on the chopping block this week. The mentors get to save one, and John says that while he loves all three of these designers, one brings enough crazy to stick around. That designer is… Barbara! She eventually takes the “crazy” bit as a compliment.
Caprice tells Orly that losing sight of one’s vision is the kiss of death. Terron chastises Edmond for his unextraordinary shift into menswear. The designer going home is… Edmond. Good call. He feels he did let himself down with the genre change.
Next week, the designers are forced out of their comfort zones. Some do well, while one (apparently Ross) is accused of being unoriginal. See ya then.
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