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Daniel Musto's 'Fashion Star' Recap: Nicole Richie Warns Ross About His Designs

Wed, April 4, 2012 11:54am EDT by Katrina Mitzeliotis Add first Comment
Fashion Star Recap

Get an exclusive, first-hand recap from the show’s stylist, Daniel Musto! He filled us in on how all the magic comes together behind-the-scenes while we’re watching at home!

As a wardrobe stylist on a huge television show, I become friendly with the other beauty departments, but don’t often have much time with them. Julianne Kaye, with Maybelline doing makeup, and Theodore Leaf, with Suave doing hair, were Fashion Star‘s other department heads. Tonight, we decided to watch the show together, which was tough because we had SO much to say about each of our experiences. It was exciting to hear the drama that was happening in other areas of our set, while I was knee-deep in shoes in my office! Whether Theodore was teaching us his secret for adding volume to a model’s bouffant, or Julianne was explaining what specific eyeshadows last longer on different skin tones, our mouths were running a mile a minute.

Watching the show, it is fun to see a model succeed at her runway walk, knowing that the shoe was really loose and basically taped to her foot. Often, when the shoes are too big, but complete the look perfectly, someone on my team will add a ton of shoe-pads and double stick tape to secure them to her feet. Last week, we had to add a thick elastic “mary-jane” strap to a dancer’s shoes so they wouldn’t fly off of her feet. I can speak on all of our behalves by saying that we work extremely hard to make the show flawless, and it is completely gratifying to see such beautiful work showcased on our stage.

With that, the fourth episode of Fashion Star opens with the groundbreaking news that the buyers have already bought over a million dollars worth of the contestants’ designs, and we aren’t even halfway through our first season! The clothes are selling out, and the viewer is hungry for more!
The mission for the remaining contestants is to design a high-end look, as well as a low-end look. Australian Nikki Poulos started off by stating that if something isn’t sewn properly, it could look cheap. This is true, and it’s relative in the quality across the board in the fashion industry. Macy’s and H+M will often do lower-end lines with some of the most pristine designers out there, including Matthew Williamson and Versace. It is the contestants’ mission to prove that their visions work in a vast number of markets.

While Orly Shani was having difficulty designing a high-end look because she didn’t see herself as a high-end designer, Sarah Parrot was simply having an issue with “designer’s block.” In the end, Orly draped a pant that is adjustable in more than one way, bringing us back to her impressive “zip-off skirt” phenomenon from our first episode. Sarah was brought to tears while finding the words for her feelings. The tears have shown every week, but they have always proven to be worth it as she is selling to the buyers like crazy!

While Ross Bennett was feeling overly confident in his designs, Nicole Richie predicted that his ideas will turn off the buyers. He stuck with his gut, moved forward as he initially planned, and proved Nicole right. The drama continued as Luciana got into an argument with her pattern maker. She stated that it is his job to interpret her designs and not change them. The tensions were often high in the design studio, as the contestants were working endless hours with little sleep and many experts to impress; including even myself, at times. Her tribulations were worth it, as Saks placed an order for $60,000 worth of her mauve bib-dress.

Although Ronnie Escalante impressed me with his low-end look, the buyers weren’t convinced. He did a black strapless mini dress with a wide aqua panel down the middle-front. Jessica Simpson agreed that this color blocking is an easy way to wear color, while still appearing slim. Macy’s buyer, Caprice Willard, encouraged Ronnie to take more risks and really utilize the talent that has brought him to the competition.

Barbara Bates married two of my favorite silhouettes: dresses and vests. She was confident that the world will go nuts over her creations this week. She proved herself with a $50,000 buy at Macy’s.

For our dancers during the final showcase, I knew that there would be bright lights, smoke, and fans from behind them. I felt that a tight silhouette was important, and to not distract from the runway show, I put the girls in full body black catsuits. To enhance the appeal, we added a little cleavage, metal-beaded bodices, and knee high black leather boots.

With Kara Laricks‘ designs, I was always sure to keep the styling extremely true to her “androgynous” image. Although the extra items I added to the contestants’ designs weren’t created by them, I found it important to keep the look strictly inspired by the brand we were creating around them.

Menswear-inspired shorts were key, this week, to telling her story on the runway. While Kara’s neckties underwhelmed the buyers during our first episode, she has used them as inspiration throughout the season. This week she used the necktie shape to enhance the tail of her high-end coat, along with a bright pop of color. Macy’s and Saks battled for her jackets, but Saks took the lead and spent $60,000!

Lisa Vian Hunter attempted two trench coats and impressed our female mentors, while John Varvatos wasn’t thrilled. Losing out on any bids, she was put up for elimination, and was broken the bad news by Elle Macpherson that she is not our Fashion Star. A sad goodbye to another hopeful designer, the show closed while we anxiously wait for next week!

While none of our boys got bids this week, our girls owned the night with buys at all three stores! Next week, they work in teams. Let’s see where this design adventure takes us!

Daniel Musto

  • 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.