'Fashion Star' Recap: Field Trip With Nicole Richie & Jessica Simpson

Wed, April 25, 2012 4:25pm EST by 1 Comment
Fashion Star Recap

The show’s stylist, Daniel Musto, told us all about what it was really like for the designers to work with the mentors!

Our mentors play a crucial role in the design process of Fashion Star. This week, they guided and directed the contestants toward success, as they helped conceptualize the designs. Saks, Macy’s, and H+M rely on the product’s appeal in order to bring money into their companies. This week, the mentors were in control. They put their names on the designs that were created and made sure that the final products were up to par.

Kara Laricks was excited to design full suits, per Nicole Richie‘s request, but was scared of designing three in just a week. John Varvatos expected Ross to come up with an elegant dress that exuded youth and a flirty appeal. I was definitely hesitant that he would find difficulty branching outside of his structured comfort zone. Nicole and John accompanied the two at International Silks & Woolens to go fabric hunting (I call it hunting because it is that grueling).

Ross and John had conflicting opinions about the direction of his collection this week, and Ross found himself frustrated. “I’m not working for John Varvatos, he is just my mentor.” Before his dresses hit the runway, he lost confidence that he would succeed. He was disappointed with the end-results. I appreciated the romantic flow of the fabric, but the draping didn’t satisfy the vision he had from the beginning. To enhance the shape of the models’ bodies, I belted each dress. This gave us the opportunity to show how they can be accessorized, while hiding any flaws that Ross found. John found that that the belts complicated the look, but I knew that he would have been even more disappointed if the flawed waistline was on display.

Ross always likes to entertain the general audiences nationwide, as well as those in his homeland of Texas. I included stilettos AND cowboy boots this week to represent both markets.

Kara’s suits were so sexy, while modest, that Jessica Simpson found herself crushing on Kara and her models. We had a lot of fun styling the looks, as Kara always lets me discover her design-personalities and run with it. Together, we were able to form her brand week-to-week.

Ross missed the mark with our buyers, while Kara’s looks landed a $100,000 buy from Saks and are available in stores now! Be sure to pick up a timepiece necklace to throw around your neck with her suits. It was Kara’s favorite accessory of the week.

One of my favorite vintage stores in Los Angeles happens to also be one of Nicole Richie’s. The Way We Wore was described best by Nicole, herself. “It is fashion history on the racks.” She brought the contestants there to zone in on what inspires them. She said that she finds a ton of inspiration in these environments and hoped that her system could rub off on the designers.

Wearing a blush-tone one-shoulder dress, Jessica Simpson bonded with Sarah Parrott and Luciana Scarabello as she offered them a glimpse of her showroom. “I go through that every delivery,” she said as she explained what it is like to have samples turned down by buyers. She reminded them to stay true to who they were, while also catering to the current marketplace.

Nzimiro was instructed to make a tailored suit, which eliminated his “sportswear” inspirations while steering clear of Wall Street. H+M favorite, Sarah Parrott, was told to make an elegant dress, in hopes of garnering the attention of Macy’s and Saks. Both designers failed to land a sale this week, disappointing an anxious audience.

Based upon inspirations from Orly Shani‘s personal style, John Varvatos wanted her to find a midpoint between sweet and rough. She chose to do a dress inspired by a blazer.

Nicole Richie hoped to inspire Ronnie Escalante to become an evening-wear designer this week. Orly impressed the mentors with her tough zippers on soft silks. She found herself having to choose between Saks and H+M, and took a “business choice” by going with Nicole Christie. Ronnie also found himself successful this week, but at Macy’s.

Jessica Simpson wanted Luciana to push toward a “structured” direction while Nicole Richie wanted Nikki Poulos to whip up something mini. She was concerned that it was “not where she wanted to be.” She found difficulty grasping the challenge, but forced herself to take the direction she was given. Although Nicole Richie was thoroughly impressed with Nikki’s dresses, the buyers insisted that she needed to pay more attention to detail toward the tops of her designs.

A three-way battle commenced among the buyers for Luciana’s structured dresses, with the win going to H+M. They loved how she worked the fabric patterns into the final aesthetic. In fear of losing Nzimiro Oputa this week, the mentors rescued him from elimination. Unfortunately, Sarah was chosen to leave the show. She found hope in continuing her design career and seeing where she would be a year from the competition. I admire her positive outlook and am sure that she will continue with the success she found on Fashion Star‘s first season.

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.

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