Fashion Star, Episode 8

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HOUSTON - The fewer designers that remain in the competition, the more obvious it becomes as to who can really make it and sell to all three stores, and whose time is up on Fashion Star.

The challenge this week was to create a look and an ad campaign that encapsulates the brand/vision/aesthetic of your collection. Now THAT is a challenge. What I like most about it is the 360 degree perspective of the fashion industry it offers. It's not just about the clothes, it's not just about the branding, it's about the whole picture, and knowing how to seamlessly blend the creative and the corporate, the artistic and the industrial. Really, I can't possibly put it better than Terron Schaefer from Saks Fifth Avenue: "If your advertising goes unnoticed, everything else is immaterial." You can make the most gorgeous clothes in the world, but if no one knows what they are, where to buy them or what they're about, the clothes may sit on the shelf forever.

Kara Laricks blends the feminine and masculine so well, she has made it an art. She wants to "create a genderless world" for her customers, and her ad campaign perfectly embodied that:

Her tuxedo shirt went to Saks Fifth Avenue (no surprise there) for $80,000.

Nzimiro Oputa wants to design for the comfortable yet stylish world traveler. And I've never seen a cardigan look so sexy:

Nzimiro's cardigan sweater went to Macy's for $100,000.

Luciana Scarabello's customer is the risk-taking, independent woman. I'm not sure her ad campaign was as fabulous as her dress, but that woman sure can make a fabulous look:

Luciana's dress went to Saks for $50,000.

Nikki Poulos wants to create the look her "customer want[s] to aspires to." So… snobbery personified? Very good. This ad campaign was a disaster and didn't even feature the clothes:

Needless to say, no one bought Nikki's strappy maxi dress, and she was up for elimination.

Orly Shani is designing for the "It" girl, a girl that's not afraid of the camera, but rather jumps in front of it and owns herself and her look. The motorcycle dress/vest she created was pretty interesting, more in its vest incarnation than as a dress, but interesting nonetheless:

There were no bids on Orly's design and she was therefore up for elimination.

Ronnie Escalante's brand is… a bit hard to pin down. I'm still not entirely sure who he's designing for or how one would describe his aesthetic. That said, I did like this ad campaign:

Ronnie's open back dress (which looked incredibly familiar to the dresses we've seen from him the past two weeks…) went to H&M for $50,000.

Ross Bennett has a very clear image of his customer: Jessica Simpson. Or if not Jessica, than a prissy, Southern belle who can't seem to find her way out of her grandmother's closet and into our decade:

No one purchased Ross's vintage inspired hunting jacket, and he was up for elimination.

When it came time for the mentors to save a designer, they were stalemated and gave the decision entirely over to the buyers. I think Jessica Simpson couldn't bear to let go of Ross but the other two wanted him out, so they made it the buyers' headache.

Ultimately, the buyers chose to send the self-proclaimed "conservative, Republican boy from Texas," Ross Bennett, packing. See ya later, partner.

We're getting down to the wire, so tune in next week to see who makes the cut and who is out of the running.

Thanks for reading, and as always, thanks for watching KPRC Local 2!

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