Express Hearts Amber Perley on Fashion Star Episode 2

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Last week we recapped great performances from both Texas designers on NBC’s Fashion Star season premier. Dallas native Amber Perley of Pearl Southern Couture and Austin’s Priscilla Barroso of Crowned Bird each scored retailer bids for their very first creations on the design-meets-commerce show. A tougher challenge in Episode Two, however, found one of our local faves hanging by a thread.


Click here to read Texas Designers Shine on NBC’s Fashion Star Premier



The show began with a twinkle in hostess Louise Roe’s eye. Directing the designers to create a little something sexy, she declared, ““If there’s one thing we know in fashion, it’s that sex sells.”

With 11 designers remaining in play after last week’s elimination, as a reminder, Amber is a member of mentor John Varvatos’ team and Priscilla’s on Nicole Richie’s team. Aside: Does anyone believe that Nicole Richie has “shaped the landscape of fashion,” as stated in the show’s opening sequence? Just curious.



Anyway, Priscilla (shown above) wasted no time stating her point of view on the challenge. The Austin designer explained from the heart, “I’ve always had people who don’t understand me. Kids in school didn’t know where I fit; I didn’t know where I fit. I have a very quirky sensibility, and I think wearing something that is original is very sexy.”

Through a vignette of personal photos, Priscilla then shared that she is a first generation American, with one side of her family from Turkey and the other from Panama. Her Turkish grandmother had a tailor shop in New York City, making this designer’s chosen field a family legacy. As for her sexy look, Priscilla created a bustier-topped dress with cut-outs in both soft coral and lavender.



Taking a more literal approach to the challenge was Amber Perley (shown above). “The women in the south are very feminine,” she explained of her line’s target demographic. “They like to show off who they are and be sexy.” Amber then created two suede dresses with plunging backlines in white and lightest beige

At runway time, Priscilla’s models walked with a fierce stomp in their colorful frocks, but John Varvatos whispered concerns about fit. Sadly, all three participating retailers – Express, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Macy’s – passed, meaning Priscilla risked elimination.  The Macy’s buyer called out her fabric selections as one of the deciding factors.

Redeeming the week for Texas, however, Amber later scored a bid from Express for her dresses. An offer of $60,000 came from the chain that also loved her looks in last week’s premier.

The show’s final moments revealed a tearful Priscilla during the judges’ deliberation. She narrowly escaped the final cut, however, as David Appel of Los Angeles and New York’s Tori Nichel ended up on the chopping block. After both Saks and Express called for Tori’s elimination, she was ultimately cast out of the competition.

Click here to shop Amber’s looks at We’ll be back next week with the latest Fashion Star scoop on DFW Style Daily.


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