Last night the designers received very specific advice from the buyers and had to create two different sets of outfits. Basically they knew exactly what H&M, Saks Fifth Avenue and Macy’s wanted from them, and it was up to them to deliver.
Nzimiro was a little nervous about making a safari jacket, even after the mentors encouraged him. But as the only designer who has sold men and women’s material, Nzimimi (as Nicole Richie calls him) took a chance, despite his pattern maker being all whiny about how something isn’t working right. The retailers didn’t care for the jacket, though, nor the pants he made.
Kara was challenged to make something sexy and for the everyday customer. She’s been making things too high-end — what a terrible problem! But, still, she needs to get buys from all three retailers to win the title of Fashion Star. So she does a sexy dress aimed at H&M and a trench coat with the hopes of getting Macy’s interest. She keeps it her with a tie and collar on the dress and a masculine air about her coats. Jon Varvados notes it still has “her handwriting” on it.
And, by golly, it works. Saks wants her coats, too, but Kara makes the right business decision and goes with Macy’s. I’m sure it felt great to be wanted by all three buyers, especially when there were bidding wars for both items she created.
By this point, I knew she was clearly going to the finale, but I still had to watch the rest of the designers compete to be worthy of standing next to her in the end.
Orli was asked for something chic and sophisticated so she made a cropped jacket/low-waisted pant pairing and a structured dress. The black and white dress would be so flattering on a lot of women’s bodies. Jessica Simpson wants it; I want it! Both outfits were well done, both were bought. I think she really took the advice of the buyers and the mentors, and it paid off. The dress is now at Saks, which solidifies that I have expensive taste. H&M picked up the slacks.
Luciana had to do something for a working woman, and she chose to do a crop jacket with a pair of shorts. As Orli noted, Luciana is recycling things she’s already done. I did like the print on the high-waisted skirts but the draping wasn’t really my style. The buyers didn’t like either of them because the pieces weren’t good enough as standalone items.
Ronnie goes for a menswear-themed dress and double-lapel suit. I love the white and navy dress and the ivory suit versions, and the buyers agree. H&M even thinks the dress will be the biggest new dress purchase they have in their “modern classic” section this year. (Saks wanted it too, but they were outbid.) Macy’s bought the ivory suit.
Nikki was asked for some diversity in her line — aka not a maxi dress. Nikki creates her own patterns from five different pieces of silk, and the end result is pretty cool and still her aesthetic. Both Saks and Macy’s wanted the dresses so Nikki chooses Saks, where she hasn’t sold before. Despite Jessica Simpson asking her not to try a high-waisted pant, Nikki went for it with a sailor-themed slack. The buyers agreed with Jessica and so there’s no buy there.
No matter who sold tonight, three people were still being sent home. No one was safe, which was probably why the final three held one shocker. Kara and Ronnie were the first finalists announced. As two of the most winningest designers, they were pretty much a shoe-in. (Yay Kara!) It was the third choice I disagreed with. With everyone in tears, it was announced Nikki and Luciana were not Fashion Stars (obviously). Between Orli and Nzimiro, I was really pulling for Orli. Not only did she score buys tonight when Nzimiro did not, but she makes convertible outfits work and creates things that are innovative and wearable. Unfortunately, it seems that the buyers wanted someone who does menswear, too. That has to be it, because I can’t come up with another reason he won the spot over Orli.
Next week, we’ll see Kara compete against the two dudes in the finale. I can’t wait to see what she comes up with.