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'Fashion Star': Jessica Simpson Expresses Fear Of High-Waisted Pants

Wed, May 9, 2012 6:24pm EDT by Katrina Mitzeliotis 4 Comments
Fashion Star Winner Kara Laricks

The show’s stylist told us what it was like working on the emotional episode, where they had to say goodbye to three contestants. Read on for his recap!

Fashion Star‘s contestants have sold over two million dollars in just eight episodes. This week, double the money is on the line as the contestant’s have to design two items that any of the stores can buy. That’s right: buyer’s choice.

With only six designers left, three got the boot last night. Distracting us from the anticipation of the elimination results, Fashion Star‘s stage was taken over by Nicole Richie‘s brands, House of Harlow and Winter Kate. With printed tunics, solid maxi dresses, and sheer tops, we only used jewelry and bags to accessorize. After trying the looks with an array of her Winter Kate footwear during our fittings, she opted to have the models go barefoot. This was even after we debated making gladiator-style sandals out of rope, wrapped around the feet. Elle Macpherson said it best to Nicole. “It’s so YOU!”

The design process started when Saks’ buyer mentored Nzimiro Oputa, showing him which pieces from past episodes he didn’t love. Jessica Simpson, John Varvatos, and Nicole Richie push him to listen to Saks and make it into the store for the first time all season. Jessica specifically wanted him to create his unique take on the “Safari Jacket.” He was in fear that he would be sent home, which exhausted him while pushing him to execute his vision.

Kara attempted a dress for H+M and a trench coat for Saks and Macy’s. Saks has received her extremely well, but now she needed to switch gears slightly and get her product into the other retailers. It is amazing to see how her neckties from episode one lead created a hesitant audience, but in the end, the ties set the stage for the image of Kara’s brand. The evolution is truly remarkable. Her dresses were girly enough to catch attention, while modest enough to leave the passerby wanting more. The trench not only looked great on its own, but really popped when we used garments from Kara’s past episodes as the under-layer. She had even discovered a flirty edge with her patterned lining. After a battle ensued between H+M and Macy’s for her dresses, Kara chose H+M. The trench won the bid at Macy’s, giving Kara the opportunity to say that she has sold to all three retailers.

Nzimiro came up with a killer casual mens’ trouser, which is often a staple that huge designers include in their collections to bring additional business to their brand. Companies like John Varvatos and Ralph Lauren can most likely credit a third of their business to the sale of pants. Appeasing Jessica, his safari jackets looked rough and tough without being too flamboyant. Unbeknownst to the audience, his cutters cut the fabric wrong that week, causing the pocket-fabric to pop, making more of a statement. This worked against his advantage. He received no bids on any of his garments, but was told by Caprice Willard that he has proved to her that he is capable of designing a full collection, which is pertinent to decisions leading to the finale.

Luciana took the success from the cropped jacket she did in the past, and she chose to do another one this week. This time, with plunging cleavage and a ruffle collar trim. She also tossed in a skirt, proving that she can take on an entire collection. Although her integrity was proven, her jacket AND skirt both received no buys.

While Orly Shani initially wanted to design a jacket, Nicole Richie pushed her to create the perfect suit. After a few hours of tribulations, she created a dress and the perfect suit, with an especially perfect dress pant. She receives a $60,000 buy from Saks for the dress with a smile, and $100,000 from H+M for the suit. $160,000 well-spent.

Nikki Poulos was pushed by Nicole Christie of H+M to do something structured or jersey, as their market appeals greatly to both. She chose an asymmetrical one-shoulder dress and high-waisted flowy pants. Jessica Simpson feared the pants, as she had an incident in the past with a pair of high-waisted jeans that she says changed her life. It’s truly amazing how important clothing choices are for someone’s image. If someone with a perfect body like Jessica can be scrutinized about her figure based upon the garment she chose, the impact of clothing choices making the woman is crystal clear. After a battle between Macy’s and Saks, Nikki chose Saks. This is a huge achievement for her, as she was completely unsure of the fate of her dresses before they hit the runway. She feared the worst.

Terron of Saks Fifth Avenue suggested that Ronnie Escalante should design day-wear; something that comes to life before 5PM. He ended up selling both his dress and his suit, making a successful week for this anxious contestant.

Upon delivery of the elimination news, John Varvatos holds his applause until he proclaims that he puts the remaining contestants in the same category as the elite designers he has worked with over the years. The compassion that the contestants have for each other appeared to mix with the stress and lack of sleep that had taken over the contenders, which lead to tears all across the board.

In the end, we said farewell to Nikki, Orly, and Luciana. Our Fashion Star will be the elegant Ronnie, the foxy Kara, or the handsome Nzimiro. Tune in next Tuesday night to catch a runway presentation of Jessica Simpson’s Spring 2012 collection, styled by yours truly, as well as the big reveal of Fashion Star‘s very first winner!

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.