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Wannabe designers have their work cut out

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TO Nicole Richie1

REUTERS

Nicole Richie arrives at the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Benefit celebrating the opening of 'PUNK: Chaos to Couture' in New York on May 6, 2013. Photo: Carlo Allegri

When Fashion Star started most fashion enthusiasts loved the show because it had all the right ingredients. It gave the viewer a glimpse of how trendy clothes come about.

You have the creative brains, then a celebrity mentor who directs them as to what’s in fashion. Then a huge clothing company buys the products they think will work for their customers. So there is really no favouritism because even you can sift through bad projects to find the good ones. Besides, like music, fashion is a matter of personal taste.

As with any reality show, there is a selling point, and on Fashion Star we meet the likes of Jessica Simpson, Nicole Richie (pictured) and John Varvatos who act as mentors to the eager contestants.

The three all have red carpet experience and have been in the entertainment industry for years, they have fans who follow their fashion sense so they have to know what works and what doesn’t, despite what Joan Rivers might have to say.

For season one, in each episode the contestants turn to their mentors for direction in preparation for a fashion show the buyers will attend.

These buyers represent large stores such as Macy’s (represented by Caprice Willard), Saks Fifth Avenue (represented by Terron E Schaefer) and H&M (represented by Nicole M Christie). These individuals know what really works in any given season.

Unlike the designers and, sometimes, the mentors, these buyers have a trained marketing eye which can see at a glance if a piece of clothing will fly or not. It is at these fashion shows that the wheat is separated from the chaff.

Any designer who has a bad day and has sold nothing is automatically up for eviction at the end of the episode. However, just to give the unfortunate ones a second chance, the judges (who were the mentors earlier on) get to save someone whom they think has the potential to go further. There is $6 million (R62m) in prizes up for grabs by the winner.

Enough of the show’s breakdown, with season two now upon us, it worth noting that a few things have changed.

To start with, former host Elle Macpherson will not be returning to conduct her duties. She will still be the executive producer, but Louise Roe will take on the hosting role instead.

Also to spice things up, the mentors will now get contestants in groups of four so that they can really concentrate on each and every one of them. It is probably an idea borrowed from X-Factor or The Voice and it should work well.

The other noticeable change is that H&M pulled out of the show and will be replaced by Express with its representative being Erika DeSalvatore.

Sadly, season two sees the $6m reduced to $ 3m, something that could spell trouble for the show.

It is kind of funny that you find people like Richie on the judges’ panel because you would think she would also grace the red carpets in trendy regalia and yet that’s not always the case. So, what exactly warrants her being a judge?

• Catch Fashion Star tonight at 8.30pm on Vuzu (DStv 116).


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