Photo Credit: Courtesy of NBC
Some are calling Fashion Star "the new Project Runway" or "the American Idol of clothes" -- no matter what you call it, the show (Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET, on NBC), which premiered last night, makes your head spin from the moment it pounces onto your TV screen.
The basic premise: Each week, unknown designers have the opportunity to create an article of clothing to sell. Three mentors -- Jessica Simpson, who has a billion-dollar fashion empire, style maven and designer Nicole Richie and menswear designer-to-the-stars John Varvatos -- play the Tim Gunn role, dishing out critiques and advice. Host Elle Macpherson, who has her own line of intimates, hosts the brief, frenetic runway show, where three buyers representing Macy's, Saks Fifth Avenue and H&M have a chance to bid or pass on the line.
For a contestant who succeeds, his or her line will be available for sale online after the show or in stores the very next day -- a unique element that seems to be working. By today, late morning, many of the picked-up styles were already sold out in stores. "This is something that's never been done before," says Richie to People. "We're talking about the epitome of immediate fashion."
Offed contestant Nicholas Bowes showed us why people say, "Don't mess with Texas." After Simpson and Richie dissed his motorcycle jacket on the runway, the Aussie menswear designer dismissed their critique and said, "It's very hard to understand the girls giving advice about men's fashion."
Normally sweet, southern belle Simpson replied, "I'm a little bit offended. A lot a bit, actually. To talk down to a woman in this business? We're running the world right now." She then added, "I'm trying to be nice, but I really kind of want to hit you across the face right now." Bravo, Jess!
This isn't the kind of drama that was rumored as the show was filming, but we'll take it! During the premiere episode, there were no signs of strife betwen the design divas and there may not be any. It would make sense for Richie and Simpson to keep the focus on their business savvy and amp up their well-established street cred in the design world, versus cheapening this opportunity by becoming tabloid fodder.