The show’s stylist, Daniel Musto, told us all about what it was like on set while the contestants styled their first fashion campaign — read on for more on the emotional episode!
“Who’s your campaign?” That was our question of the week for the Fashion Star contestants last night. We have less than half the number of designers with which we began, and the competition is getting rough. While organizing a print campaign, some designers triumphed while others became frustrated and showed their true colors. This week was especially fun for me, being that the contestants and I were able to focus on branding and marketing. A clothing company is nothing without its image, and still-photos of the product a step toward fully determining a demographic.
Episode eight opened with a step onto the sophisticated side of the street: John Varvatos‘ Spring 2012 collection. Jam-packed with earth tones including slate, mud, and creme, it revealed a softer side to menswear. When styling the runway presentation with John, I was able to apply a number of draping techniques I learned while working with womenswear. The flowy shirts and loosely woven blazers showed characteristics of female garments, but with structure and edge that sweated masculinity. There wasn’t a male model on set who didn’t boast about how expensive and sexy they felt.
With a pat on the back and a brief word of good luck, I sent John to stage to receive recognition of his achievements as a menswear designer. Modest yet proud, Varvatos found his seat among a sea of applause.
Kara Laricks designed a tuxedo shirt for both men and women. Her female model wore the look two ways, representing both sexes. I not only had a blast working by Kara’s side styling the looks, but also got a laugh as the model’s stand-in on set. The always adorable designer showed a tender moment between her and the camera, where she took her own advice and realized how important it was to be open about who one truly is, especially when sustaining a career that requires daily creation.
Nzimiro elevated his menswear to another level by designing something “cozier.” He felt the best way to advertise the comfort of his cardigans would be to show them with vintage luggage. Channeling the traveling-customer was a great concept, as it targets such a broad audience.
After a bidding war over Kara’s looks, as usual, Nzimiro also found success with a $100,000 order from Caprice Willard of Macy’s.
Hitting many walls with her team, Nikki Poulos tried her best to push through the obstacles that the process was throwing at her. She felt that the photographer wasn’t following through with her vision, and ended up selecting a photo that only showed the neck and shoulder line of her dress. This decision was found to be a poor one by the judges. You could see the disappointment in their eyes, as they are known to be such huge fans of Nikki — especially Jessica and Nicole.
After teaching the audience (and me) that she started her collection with a small loan from her credit card and now sells to one hundred stores, Luciana Scarabello left us inspired and proud of her. You could see that she was pushing herself in an attempt to gain speed in the competition.
Orly chose to do a motorcycle jacket-inspired dress made of a four-way vintage silk. She used the purple sample on her still-photo model, Monroe. To achieve a look that was completely “Orly,” we used Orly’s personal motorcycle boots. We were thrilled with the images and found ourself let down when the buyers revealed their cynicisms.
Ronnie impressed the mentors by incorporating “color-blocking” into his shoot through blocking a blue dress with red balloons.
Ross had his sights set on an equestrian structured coat and refused to turn back. Ultimately Ross’ Texas-inspired stint on Fashion Star was put to an end, after unexpected tears from Jessica Simpson. The competition has really start to take a toll on everyone involved, physically AND emotionally. It can only get more grueling as we face our final two episodes of the season!
- 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.