Following the first three episodes of Fashion Star Season Two, things were looking great for one of this cycle’s two Texas competitors. As for the other hometown favorite, our hopes were high that she’d stitch up a few fraying ends as NBC’s reality competition progressed. After last Friday’s fourth episode, however, we feel we may have fallen victim to at least one case of manipulative editing.
At the beginning of episode four, nine designers remained in play. To recap, Dallas native Amber Perley is one of four designers on celebrity mentor John Varvatos’ team, while Austin’s Priscilla Barroso completes a trio on team Nicole Richie. Three designers also remain on Jessica Simpson’s team.
As for this week’s challenge, a new twist required the designers to work together in their respective teams on summer weather looks.
“It’s gotta work together. It’s gotta be one voice,” cautioned Varvatos (above, far left), stressing that the resulting collections must represent cohesive color palettes, silhouettes, and fabric choices. After deciding as a group upon a Tropical Vacation theme, Amber noted to her teammates, “Hawaiian prints are really ‘in’ for spring.”
Sylvia, Brandon, and Cassandra seemed none too enthusiastic about her choice, and Brandon expressed concern about Amber’s lack of experience as a designer. Eventually they sidestepped the suggestion, and proceeded with a blue and white palette.
Amber’s contribution to the collection would be a pant in both tie-dye print and crochet. Sylvia envisioned a maxi skirt, while Cassandra created a long halter dress. Brandon considered a clam digger pant, but then switched to shorts after mentor John’s critique. As for her critique, John panned Amber’s choice in beading and trims, noting that her aesthetic is younger than the rest of the team. “It doesn’t mean that she’s not designing good items, but she’s not as far along as the other designers are,” he noted.
For our part, we sensed a shift in the presentation of Amber’s on-screen character. Up to this point, she had been shown as a frontrunner, continually selling designs to the ever-critical retail buyers. Now, we see a green young challenger putting her teammates at risk due to her lack of industry experience. Could this be a case of manipulative editing?
“I am not a big fan of Johana’s style,” Priscilla (above, right) confessed in an interview vignette, after rejecting her teammate’s suggestion that she design a flowing dress for the collection.
After fighting through the friction, the trio devised a plan consisting of a tank by Johana, shorts by Priscilla, and a summer suit by Daniel. A little eye rolling from Priscilla hinted at unvoiced concerns, but her friendship with Daniel seemed to override any doubts.
Johana (above), on the other hand, randomly took a sharp turn without warning her teammates. After deciding on her own to switch her design to a strapless romper, she dashed off to the fabric store for more supplies. This is allowed?
At this point, the viewer most likely echoed Daniel’s exasperated, “What the hell?”
The chaos continued across the room, as teammate Cassandra (above, right), seemingly out of nowhere, threw Amber under the bus. Though no previous strife between the two ladies had even been hinted at in previous episodes, Cassandra vented a total lack of confidence in Amber’s skills, as well as surprise that she’s never been up for elimination.
Hearing of the gossip through the grapevine, Amber responded, “If you think my dress is ugly, tell me to my face. Don’t tell people behind my back!”
Sigh. The whole feud seemed very forced.
At runway time, Amber’s looks gained cheers from the crowd. Mentor John rightly noted, however, that few women would be able to pull off her skin-tight pant design. Cassandra’s maxi dress, though, was a clear standout, eventually purchased by the buyer from Express. Amber, sadly, broke her three-week streak in failing to attract any bids at all.
On Team Nicole, tensions ran high following Johana’s stunt. Overshadowing her teammates designs on the runway, her jumpsuit also ruined any hope they had of presenting a cohesive collection. Adding insult to injury, the mentors’ panel again noted fit problems with Priscilla’s design. No bids were offered to Priscilla or Daniel, but Johana was showered with cash and praise.
Guess the lesson learned is that $100,000 is the prize for finding an ‘I’ in T-E-A-M.
The head-scratching developments continued at elimination time when Amber was placed on the chopping block. Huh? Less surprising, sadly, was that Priscilla stood by her side. Like a broken record, the mentors again noted Priscilla’s strong vintage-inspired perspective, and apparent inability to design outside her box. Eventually, Priscilla was selected by the buyers for elimination.
“They didn’t want to take a chance,” the designer lamented through tears after the final call. Priscilla ended her run with the belief that if just one of her quirky designs had been purchased by the buyers, she could have proved her popularity with the public.
We’ll miss you, Priscilla. And as for next week, we predict we’re in for more of the faux fight between Amber and Cassandra.
All images via NBC.com