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Reality Fix: Fashion Star “Pilot” 

Photo Credit: NBC

I watch way too much TV in general so I try to choose carefully when deciding what to add to my already (over)full schedule. I guess I have a weakness for reality fashion shows (well, some reality fashion shows), because I knew I was going to give Fashion Star a chance. I like the brands of all the mentors and the host. I like that we’re finally seeing a fashion show where commerce plays a major role – because, guess what, it does in real life. I like that the mentors are there for advice and to save someone the buyers put in the bottom 3 each week. I think where Nicholas Bowles really got into trouble this week was dissing and dimissing Jessica Simpson’s opinion. And every time he opened his mouth to “explain,” it just got worse. The producers of this show picked these 3 mentors for a reason. I think they have a lot to teach these designers and if anyone thinks they’re too good to at least listen to their advice, they should get out of the fashion game now.

What I Like:

The mentors. There is something about Nicole Richie that makes me want to listen to what she has to say about fashion and maybe even about life in general. I have not and will not watch her earlier reality show exploits, but I trust her when it comes to fashion. I only wish the designers could hear some of the comments the mentors make as they’re watching the runway show. I loved Nicole’s vagina comment about Ross’s clothes, but I didn’t love that she toned it down when she talked to him later. I’m not a Jessica Simpson fan, but I love her clothes. I think she’s made so many smart choices when it comes to her brand and this is someone who the designers can learn a lot from. I’m much less familiar with John Varvatos, maybe because I’m female but I do enjoy a man who knows how to dress. I’ll admit it. But I like his critiques and I like that there’s a male mentor on the show. I have a problem with anyone who wears sunglasses inside (it screams diva to me), but I’ll put that concern aside for now.

The buyers. I like that representatives from H&M, Macys, and Saks Fifth Avenue are part of the show. They are 3 very different brands with very different customers. I liked everything the buyers had to say in this episode, especially when they were discussing which designers to put in the bottom 3. I might want to hear even more for them in the future. We’ll see.

Some of the designers. Everyone who seems like they are in this competition to learn and make the most out of this great opportunity has my vote. Nicholas had an attitude problem in the work room, so I knew I wasn’t going to be a fan. I’m glad Oscar believes in himself so fiercely, but I want to see his talent come across in his designs. That big personality will only get him so far. So far, I like Nzimiro, Orly, Lizzie, and Sarah. We didn’t get to meet everyone or even see all the collections so as the numbers dwindle I look forward to seeing all the clothes and getting to know the designers better.

What I don’t like:

  • This show is definitely over-produced. And by that, I mean the pyrotechnics on the stage during the fashion show is too much. I also don’t need dancers or any sort of props (like motorcycles) on the stage. Is this supposed to be about the clothes? Stop trying to distract me from them.
  • I wouldn’t mind spending a little more time in the workroom with the designers and I hope we do in the future. This week’s challenge was about presenting their signature look so maybe we didn’t need to see that process. But depending on what the challenges are in the future, I think I would like to spend a little more time away from the spectacle of the stage.
  • The act breaks are awkward. I don’t know if Elle Macpherson needs to attend a little Hosting 101 refresher or if it’s the producers who need to step in, but the transitions are awkward. I have no problem with them wanting to build suspense just before the show goes to commercial, but there’s got to be a better way to do it.
  • The time slot. 10 pm? I guess it doesn’t really matter what time it comes on, since I will ultimately have to DVR it but that seems a bit late to me.

Despite the problems, I’m still very intrigued by this show and I’ll definitely be watching next week. I’m curious to see what kind of challenges the designers must face each week as well as how the mentors will continue to contribute and guide the designers.

What did you think?

Fashion Star airs Tuesdays at 10/9c on NBC.

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