Get an exclusive, first-hand recap from Daniel Musto, stylist on the show! Find out what it’s really like working with the designers and what goes on behind the scenes.
As we enter our third week, America is more excited than ever to get their grubby little hands on the Fashion Star merchandise. Our west coast fans have even started logging on to our retailers’ websites during the east coast feed to ensure the availability of the winning merchandise!
Last week we bid farewell to the most flamboyant of the contestants, Oscar. Our top-hatted friend let his ego get in the way and disappointed the buyers. Although he and I had a few laughs together backstage, he let me down by speaking negatively of his fellow contestants. I’ve always known to treat your peers the way you wish to be treated. That way, your successes will run parallel, as opposed to cutting each other off. That’s the most important lesson I have latched onto during my career as a stylist.
While Orly is in tears and feels lost in a sea of fabric, Barbara is boasting that she will whip out a can of whoop-ass if she doesn’t get bought this week. The beauty of this competition is that the mentors and I are there along the way to help expand the designers’ visions, which enables them to reach the expectations that the industry throws at them. Whether they are feeling lost or are overly confident, we are there to keep them focussed and inspired.
Taking a nod to the seventies, Elle Macpherson is decked out in a brick-red, one-shouldered frock and a slicked back ponytail. Introducing LMFAO performing their smash-hit, “Party Rock Anthem,” she kicks off our summer-inspired episode. During their rambunctious performance, our models showcase some of summer’s hottest swim looks. Initially, we were going to create a runway show involving bright-colored swimwear, but changed our minds last minute when we realized that black and white swimwear would stand out greater in the colorful environment of an LMFAO performance. My favorite look from this segment is the fishbone twisted black one-piece on model, Ashley Alexander, who became a model for The Jessica Simpson Collection after appearing on Fashion Star. You can see her in the croquet photos on http://www.JessicaSimpson.com. I must add, it’s not easy to find heels that complement swimwear without making the models look cheap. That was probably the biggest obstacle for this episode.
I put Nikki, the buyer for H+M, in a khaki trench dress. We gave it an organic edge with ethnic-inspired gold earrings. The strong structure of the dress needed softening to match up with Nikki’s strong, yet comforting, personality.
Nicole advised Ronnie to follow the trends while keeping his design structured. With a ton of fabric being draped on his dress form, he unfortunately didn’t impress the buyers enough to get purchased this week. Although the entire panel thought his print-choices were stunning, they felt the shape of his asymmetrical draped dress would swallow the customer.
With tears on her face and slurred thoughts in her head, Orly started with one idea and shifted to an entirely new one. Ending up with bold color-block sheath dresses, the mentors and buyers are entertained and find themselves fighting over the product. Jessica wants one in each color, while Orly’s family is in the audience cheering her on the entire show! In the end, she ends up achieving a $120,000 sale to Saks.
In this segment, our theme was “California Girls.” Garnering inspiration from Katy Perry and the stunning work done by her stylist, Johnny Wujek, we put together three looks with tons of color and curves for the dancers. With tons of lacing on the corsets, and fancy elastic to secure the heels, it shows that many styling tricks go into ensuring that dancers’ outfits don’t come loose on stage.
Nikki feels “at-home” as she designs a look that is inspired by summer. She is the first of the contestants to design rompers. While rompers took a while to catch on in the American fashion marketplace, they can now be found in a majority of retailers. In fear of frontal wedgies, she hopes and prays that the buyers understand her and grasp her vision. Relaxing after a Macy’s buy, she is told that the fit needs a little work but can be enhanced during production.
Jessica mentions that a “pop of color” is going to be a massive trend, while consulting with Sarah in the design room. Jessica has proven to know her trends! While styling a shoot for Jessica’s website this past weekend, I made sure to throw pops of color into every look. With the use of colored heels, bangles, and sunglasses, anyone can easily spice up a look that is feeling drab.
The aerialist who performed in the air above our summer-themed runway tried on a ton of looks for this number. We tested her performance with sequins, metallics, and even peacock prints. In the end, we landed two killer blue leotards, decorated with hanging beads, and HAD to use them. They picked up the lighting of our set, beautifully.
Sarah’s maxi dresses were bought by H+M, her biggest fan! The teal dress she designed on the first episode sold out on H+M’s website before the West Coast even aired the show. That’s a sign of a designer who KNOWS her customer.
A well-deserved $120,000 buy came from Macy’s for Ross’s printed shorts. He and I showcased them with solid, streamlined tops and simple shoes. This gave the audience the opportunity to focus on the shorts, while the rest of the look was complementary.
Kara designed pants that were full throughout the leg, avoiding the exposure of any imperfections. You can see the pride that John Varvatos has in his eyes as he applauds her progress over the past three weeks. He sees that she is way more than the basic neck pieces she designed during our first episode. The pop of color around the neck of model, Monroe, came off of Kara’s showcase from last week. Incorporating past pieces proves to the buyers that a designer’s collections are cohesive and form a true brand. You can also see this in the accessories we did for Lizzie the past two weeks. You will often see the same shoes used, week by week, for the same designer. This is done to prove that the customer can get a ton of usage out of the Fashion Star products while incorporating pieces they already own.
Nicole recognized that Edmond paid homage to her through the addition of hippie headbands to his maxi dresses. Edmond is a sweetheart and knows the tricks to impressing the mentors. Human attraction to clothing is all psychological, and Edmond marketed his runway looks to grab Nicole’s attention — but unfortunately, he didn’t nab the attention of the buyers this week.
Soon after we learned that Lizzie did not make a sale this week, we bid farewell to her. Although she is talented and ambitious, she will not be our Fashion Star.
- For more Daniel Musto, visit his website here and be sure to follow him on twitter, @danielrmusto.
- For additional footage of Oscar storming off stage, and hiding from the cameras, watch Jeannie Mai’s backstage footage here!
- Fashion Star airs on Tuesdays at 10PM on NBC and can also be seen on the show’s website.