HOUSTON - On this week's episode of Fashion Star, the designers were tasked with stepping out of their comfort zones and creating looks that were decidedly not their bag, baby. What's unfortunate with a task like this is that you have a bunch of over-caffeinated, over-stressed, reality-TV designers doing something they're purposefully not good at. You're clearly not going to be seeing the best looks come down the runway. Or you'll see a lot of a little, by which I mean lingerie and bathing suits. Don't get me wrong, I love a good bathing suit, but it's hard to compare a fully constructed jacket and a bikini.
Honestly, I didn't like a whole lot of what I saw Tuesday night. But I think my two favorite pieces were from none other than Luciana Scarabello and Ronnie Escalante. These two late bloomers are really doing the damn thing. Luciana is, to quote John Varvatos, "on a ROLL" right now, getting nice and chummy with Terron from Saks, by FAR my favorite and most fabulous buyer, who out-bid Macy's for her design at $100,000. Each of her three cropped spring jackets was beautifully made, unique and incredibly wearable—lookin' fly, Miss Miami! My other favorite design was the one-piece bathing suit from Ronnie Escalante. It was modern, interesting and uber sexy. Give me mesh and a cleverly placed cut-out anytime, any day, anywhere. This glorious swimsuit went to Macy's for $50,000.
But most of the other designs were questionable, to say the least, and what was once the bottom three turned into the bottom four, as an additional contestant's blood pressure was sent through the roof at the end of this week's episode. Orly Shani, Sarah Parrott, Nikki Poulos and Barbara Bates all found themselves at the mercy of the mentors and buyers as they faced elimination.
Nikki Poulos has created some great pieces this season, having sold $250,000 of merchandise between Macy's and H&M. The retro pants and shorts she designed this episode I actually didn't mind so much, because, let's be real, who doesn't love a buff man in some short shorts? There wasn't anything particularly outstanding about the three pieces she put forth, but they were by no means elimination-worthy. And the mentors agreed, using their save on her.
Sarah Parrott, Orly Shani and Barbara Bates thus found themselves facing the buyers. Sarah designed a fairly standard bikini, but there wasn't a whole lot of design going on. There were some cut outs and some color blocking, but if you're going to design something like a bathing suit it better be the best freaking bathing suit the world has ever seen. And for the first time this season, H&M did not come to her rescue. Dearest, darlingest Orly. The buyers are over your convertible-wear thing. I still think it's AWESOME, but I can't save you from elimination. The "confederate" jacket she designed was pretty interesting, but not entirely practical. And instead of looking cool and innovative, the zip-off section was just super duper strange, like a tail-o-fabric. But neither of these fashion infractions was bad enough to warrant the boot, as the buyers saved them both from elimination.
Which leaves us with Barbara Bates. Only Barbara could mess up a fabric that awesome, and make something that is by definition easy and breezy, labored and heavy. I bid you farewell, Barbara Bates. Best of luck with your mediocre design career.
Thanks for reading, and as always, thanks for watching KPRC Local 2!
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