Heading into episode five of NBC’s Fashion Star, we’re still smarting from the elimination of Texas designer Priscilla Barroso last week. Portrayed as a ‘sad clown’ character through her run on the show, she labored over one cheerful, vintage-inspired look after another, but none landed a buy from participating retailers Macy’s, Express, and Saks Fifth Avenue.
Priscilla offered us many insights into this reality competition, however, in our exclusive interview last week. And so, we move forward as more educated viewers (and more suspicious of creative editing) when it comes to our remaining hometown fave, Dallas native Amber Perley.
With eight contestants remaining in play, this week’s challenge directed the designers to work in pairs on coordinated separates. “Don’t kill each other,” cautioned celebrity mentor John Varvatos with chuckle, before the added element of a Glamour Magazine critique upped the overall ante.
When the pairing off was completed, Priscilla’s former buddy Daniel ended up stuck with his sole remaining teammate in mentor Nicole Richie’s camp, Johana. Last week, Johana’s unsportsmanlike behavior alienated her from just about everyone in her group – but earned her big bucks from the buyers. Meanwhile, under the watchful eye of mentor John Varvatos, Brandon and Cassandra paired off, and Silvia and Amber made for a promising duo. Jessica Simpson’s sole remaining players, Hunter, JesseRay, and Garret, joined for a trio.
Silvia quickly suggested a fitted jacket for her half of the challenge look. Amber was on edge following last week’s near miss on the chopping block, and a flashback to Macy’s buyer Caprice Willard’s words of wisdom reinforced her need to design beyond her personal preferences. She eventually settled on a collarless blouse to go with Silvia’s jacket, and a hug from her new partner bolstered the Texan’s attitude.
Later, when Susan Cernek, Glamour’s Fashion Development Director, arrived for her critique, she gave the ladies’ plan props. “The separates and the pieces and the shape, they feel really modern and they feel accessible and wearable,” she enthused to Amber and Silvia.
A few minutes after that, mentor John Varvatos came out of left field and dashed any fragile hopes the partners had developed. He threw both Amber and Silvia’s confidence into chaos with doubts about the top-jacket pairing. Silvia then decided to change designs mid-stream to a pair of pants, and dashed off to find her patternmaker to make the switch.
As for Cassandra and Brandon, they devised a men’s summer suit despite very choppy waters. Specifically, Cassandra made waves by taking the jacket half of the look without consulting her teammate. The drama continued between the two throughout the remainder of the episode.
Likewise, Priscilla Barroso’s former teammates Daniel and Johana also clashed. From their basic silhouettes to their floral print, they couldn’t see eye to eye on anything. In fact, Daniel believed that Joanna was “trying to poison his soul.” Oh, the drama!
After a brief pause for station identification – and for Nicole Richie to try and sell us some Suave shampoo – this week’s runway walks began.
Cassandra and Brandon’s separates started the show on a plain note. Whether blue blazer and brown pant, brown blazer and blue pant, or coordinated as a grey suit, the pair’s looks were a yawn. A comparatively low combined buy from Macy’s of $120,000 was no surprise.
Amber and Silvia’s looks then presented a much-need pop of color (shown above). Our pick of the duo’s three color combinations included Amber’s white top with black racing stripe and a bright orange skinny pant by Silvia. Even John Varvatos acknowledged of the outfit, “It’s super cute.” Silvia’s pant then earned a bid of $100,000 from Express, and Amber’s shirts scored a sizzling $150,000 from Saks.
Hunter, JesseRay, and Garret then laid an egg with sales of only $105,000 combined. Johana and Daniel, however, took top honors with a total of $355,000 in sales to Saks.
Lesson learned? Fight like soul-poisoning cats and dogs in reality land, and you’ll get rewarded with big bucks.
At elimination time, the mentors offer up Brandon and, again, Amber to the buyers. This week, as with last, it was a real head-scratcher that Amber was sent to walk the plank. Her bid of $150,000 from Saks, after all, was greater than both Hunter, JesseRay, and Garret’s and Cassandra and Brandon’s combined team totals. After a little nail biting on our part, though, Brandon was sent home.
Our mid-season Fashion Star takeaway? Nothing follows real logic on this reality show – not the alliances, not the feuds, and certainly not the designers’ storylines. So, we’ll just hope for the best next week.
In the meantime, head to SaksFifthAvenue.com to shop Amber’s winning looks from this episode.
All images via NBC.com