The season premiere of NBC’s hit fashion reality show Fashion Star (season 2) aired last night with a new host- fashion editor and designer Louise Roe (who took over for season one host, Elle Macpherson). The show which aims to find the top fashion designer in the country, brought back uber successful fashion designers Jessica Simpson, John Varvatos and Nicole Richie as mentors. Last year the mentors mentored each and every designer, but this year each designer has been paired with four up and coming designers, which they chose themselves. Saks Fifth Avenue’s Terron E. Schaeffer and Macy’s Caprice Willard were back as buyers; but H&M was replaced with buyer Erika De Salvatore of Express.
At the beginning of the episode we were introduced to Jessica’s designers: Hunter, Tori, David, and Jesseray and Garrett. Jessica’s mentee, Hunter (who sold to Saks Fifth Avenue for a year and a half) was excited to have been chosen to work for the “most successful celebrity designer” because if “anyone knows about making sales it’s Jessica Simpson. She’s got that sophisticated Southern style that I incorporate into my designs.”
Next up were John Varvatos group of talented designers: Amber, Cassandra, Silvia and Brandon. Cassandra (who unfortunately didn’t receive any offers from Saks, Express nor Macy’s last night) stated “I’m so excited that John Varvatos- the ultimate mentor/designer is my mentor because there’s such a large menswear inspiration in my women’s wear designs.”
And last but certainly not least, Nicole Richie of House of Harlow and Winter Kate chose: Priscilla, Johanna, Bret and Daniel. Daniel who’s the youngest designer, “was accepted to FIT at the age of 16, started at 17 and by 18 was tutoring.” His dress which he calls the “spine dress” was adored by Saks Fifth Avenue. The confident designer stated “I love what I’m making, Nicole loves what I’m making so I think we could have a good thing going.”
Fashion designer Hunter Bell of Hunter Dixon had the biggest night of all the designers. Bell, who once sold her beautiful designs to Saks Fifth Avenue, but had them pulled after a year and a half, made a big impression on all the buyers. Macy’s bid $50,000; Saks Fifth Avenue and Express started a bidding war over Hunter’s gorgeous dress, which she initially had sketched to be a maxi (dress) but mentor Jessica Simpson convinced to raise the hemline to the shin. Express and Saks Fifth Avenue both capped at $200,000 (each) and it was up to Hunter to choose where she wanted her dress to be sold. When Louise Roe told her she had to make a decision, Bell stated “I love Express, but I’m going to have to go with Saks. It was our first department store, it was the biggest WOW moment in my whole entire career, so thank you so much.”
Successful menswear designer Bret Young decided to take a huge risk by creating a pair of colorblocked pants, much to his mentor Nicole Richie’s dismay. She wanted him to design what he’s used to doing and what he’s successful at- men’s clothing; but Bret felt that it was important to take a risk. As Bret’s pants were modeled down the runway, the mentors made it clear that they were not happy with his pants. Macy’s buyer Caprice Willard wasn’t happy with his show stopper decision to not do a menswear design.
At the end of the night it was Bret Young of Team Nicole, and Jessica Simpson’s designer mentees JesseRay and Garrett who were up for elimination for playing it safe and not bringing the “sex” to their dress like Simpson had asked. Express voted for JesseRay and Garrett to be eliminated; Terron E. Schaeffer of Saks Fifth Avenue voted for Bret, and Macy’s also voted for Bret. Menswear designer Bret Young was sent home for not sticking to his menswear designs and taking too big of a risk.
NBC Fashion Star Season 2 Episode 1 Recap
John Varvatos team:
Amber: Macy’s offered $70,000 for her piece; Saks 75,000 and was sold to Express for $175,000.
Silvia: Initially received no offers from Macy’s and Express, but her item was sold to Saks for $75,000.
Cassandra: Had no offers from Macy’s, Saks nor Express.
Brandon: Initially had no offers from his menswear piece from Saks or Express, but was sold to Macy’s for $120,000.
Nicole Richie’s designers:
Daniel: The young designer’s Spine dress didn’t receive offers from Macy’s nor Express, but was sold to Saks Fifth Avenue for $150,000.
Priscilla: Her Moonlight Romper didn’t receive any offers from Saks nor Express, but Macy’s purchased it for $80,000 because they felt it was “trendy for spring.”
Johanna: Express offered $50,000 for her piece, but they were outbid by Macy’s who purchased it for $55,000, because they felt it was “superb, perfect for all sizes.”
Bret: Didn’t receive any offers from Macy’s, Saks Fifth Avenue nor Express.
Jessica Simpson’s mentees:
Tori: Had no offers from Saks, Macy’s nor Express. Caprice Willard felt it was “too tailored and structured.”
David: His military inspired jacket had no offers from Saks Fifth Avenue, Macy’s nor Express.
JesseRay and Garrett: Their dress had no offers from Saks Fifth Avenue, Macy’s nor Express.
Hunter Bell: Her dress was bid on by Macy’s, Saks Fifth Avenue and Express. She sold her dress to Saks Fifth Avenue for $200,000.
Without further adieu, here are the pieces that were sold to Macy’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Express.
Unfortunately Johana Hernandez Tulip Dress in Black. Price $109 via Macy’s sold out, but I would keep checking just in case they restock soon.
Saks Fashion Star winners:
Mod Flare Dress in Orange by Amber. Express
Mod Flare Dress- Chalk by Amber. $69.90 Express