Episodes: 26 (hour)
TV show dates: March 13, 2012 — May 10, 2013
Series status: Cancelled
Performers include: Elle Macpherson, Jessica Simpson, Nicole Richie, John Varvatos, Caprice Willard, Terron E. Schaefer, and Nicole Christie.
TV show description:
This reality competition series seeks to find the next big brand in fashion. Featuring host and executive producer Elle Macpherson — along with celebrity mentors Jessica Simpson, Nicole Richie and John Varvatos — the series gives 14 unknown designers the chance to win a multi-million dollar prize to launch their collections in three of America’s largest retailers: Macy’s, H&M and Saks Fifth Avenue.
The fashion designers featured on the show include everyone from the stay-at-home mom who makes her own clothes to the recent design school graduate who has held jobs with major design houses. The contestants who come to the competition with their own existing lines will be challenged to take their brand to the next level. All the contestants are put to the test to see how they react in a variety of real-world scenarios — to determine who has the vision and desire to build a fashion empire and achieve his or her dream.
Each week, the show begins with a huge fashion show that features musical performances, dancers and models in front of a studio audience. Every fashion show is built around a weekly challenge that is created to further develop and expand the designers’ brands.
To help in the decision-making process. Caprice Willard (Macy’s), Terron E. Schaefer (Saks Fifth Avenue) and Nicole Christie (H&M) serve as judges who make on-the-spot decisions as they vie for the right to purchase and exclusively carry the work of the up-and-coming designers each week.
At the end of each episode, America has the chance to immediately purchase the winning designs. What viewers see on TV in the evening will be in stores immediately. Each week, designers who do not sell any of their items to the buyers will be up for elimination. Celebrity mentors Simpson, Richie and Varvatos will be able to save one of these designers from the chopping block.
In the end, one designer will become the next Fashion Star and will receive the grand prize — $6,000,000 in orders for capsule collections in Macy’s, H&M and Saks Fifth Avenue stores.
For the finale, each mentor has one designer remaining in the competition. Jessica has Hunter Bell, a sophisticated trendsetter who’s sold over $1,000,000 this season. Innovative fashion prodigy Daniel Silverstein is the sole survivor of Team Nicole. And design maverick Cassandra Hobbins is representing Team John. For this week’s challenge, each designer will create three head-to-toe looks for each retailer, aka a capsule collection. At stake is a $3 million prize – the opportunity to create a capsule collection for Express, Macy’s and Saks Fifth Avenue.
The Final Three are over the moon, hugging, laughing and crying to have made it all the way to the finale. They pull themselves together for one last meeting with the buyers. Caprice comments that there’s no frontrunner now; it’s a clean slate, no matter how much anyone has sold. She stresses to Daniel that Macy’s prefers garments that many women of all different shapes and sizes can wear. Feeling exuberant, Daniel’s thinking about saturated colors, which impresses Caprice – he’s channeling her inner Macy’s girl. Used to thriving under pressure, Daniel decides to create a piece that each retailer will know they have to have.
Cassandra’s only sold once to Saks, so Terron will be her focus. He spends their time together talking trends, like the emerging white story. He wants her to be simple, sexy, sophisticated – and salable! Erika tells Hunter that her capsule collection has to be stellar, and she’s hoping for a little more rock ‘n’ roll. After meeting with the buyers, the designers go fabric shopping with their mentors. John and Cassandra spend a lot of time discussing whites for Terron. Jessica encourages Hunter to try working with neon for Express.
Daniel tells Nicole he wants to go super-geometric for Macy’s. Caprice wants a great tailored blazer and a pair of shorts with print and color that can fit anyone – and he’s going to give it to her. Nicole is very vocal, guiding an overly excited Daniel to a more commercial fabric choice. For Macy’s and Express Daniel is focusing colors and fabrics and fit that will look good on anyone. For Saks – and this collection is his baby – Daniel’s focusing on white, all different tones. But beyond showing off to the retailers, Daniel can’t wait for his dad to see his designs, because he has believed in his son when most parents wouldn’t. Everything’s going well – until Cassandra notices Daniel’s Express dress looks very much like her dress from last week.
Cassandra had a different inspiration for each retailer. She’s giving an edge to the sexy, cool Express girl; she’ll explore neon for Caprice; and for Saks, she’s going to create an angelic feeling – and hopefully something Terron actually likes. Hunter feels confident about her designs for Saks and Macy’s, but she’s worried about Express, which she wants to look expensive, sophisticated – and rock ‘n’ roll. Luckily Jessica’s on hand to deconstruct the term “rock ‘n’ roll,” and drive home the point that this is not a task where Hunter needs to step out of her comfort zone. Nevertheless, Hunter’s nervous as hell, because the future of her brand Hunter Dixon is at stake.
With all the pressure, things are getting hairy in the Design Studio. Feeling like the dark horse, Daniel is struggling to figure out how his art fits into the commercial world. Hunter is starting to love the looks she’s put together for Express, and her confidence is coming back. She shows Jessica some leather-and-lace dresses she has in mind and gets some last-minute fabric advice. John is feeling confident for Cassandra, who continues to impress him. He’s curious to learn that she’ll see her parents for the first time in many years at the finale. It turns out that both Cassandra and John have a lot in common when it comes to family. Nicole is blown away by Daniel’s designs and is convinced he’s going to kill the finale.
Finally, it’s time for the runway! After tonight’s showing, one lucky designer will win the opportunity to design a capsule collection for all three retailers. Backstage, Daniel makes last-minute touches as his father and boyfriend stand by for moral support. After the show, mentors, buyers and audience jump to their feet for a standing ovation. Nicole is frank with her opinion – Daniel is the next Fashion Star! Both John and Jessica agree Daniel totally nailed his Macy’s collection. Terron is thrilled with what Daniel designed for Saks, especially his lace dress. Erika loves the blue chiffon dress Daniel designed for Express, but she’s not sure about all the other’s pieces. Caprice thinks Daniel nailed the Macy’s girl and particularly loves his bodycon dress.
Cassandra is thrilled to be reunited with her family backstage – just that alone is a win, making her feel less tense than usual. Once again, the entire studio gets on their feet for a standing O after Cassandra’s runway show. All three mentors have nothing but praise for her – Cassandra did an outstanding job! Terron admires her evolution as a designer over the course of the show; he particularly loved her trouser and blouse, but wasn’t wild about her dress with the rosettes. But Erika loved both of her dresses, and Caprice calls two of her looks “absolutely new.” Cassandra is a trendsetter!
Jessica runs backstage to give her designer a big, supportive hug, and Hunter’s husband and family are on hand to lend their support. All three mentors congratulate Hunter for hitting the hotspots of each of the retailers. Terron thinks Hunter’s designs were spot-on and well-executed. Caprice thinks Hunter created a different fashion story for each retailer, with three distinct collections. She particularly loved the lace peplum top with pencil skirt. Express loved Hunter’s flare skirt and blouse… but her little black dress was just a little too little.
Since the final decision is up to the buyers, Louise gives the mentors one last chance to stand up for their designers. When it’s time for the buyers to confer, Louise sends the Final Three backstage for a long, tough wait. Caprice loves Daniel’s work, but Erika thinks he missed the boat for Express. Nevertheless, everyone agrees Daniel’s lace dress for Saks is probably the best piece of the evening. Terron thinks Hunter is very consistent and confident; she knows her customer. Caprice points out that Cassandra brings an interesting edge – she’s stretching. But Terron insists Cassandra’s not new. It’s a tough choice, but finally the choice is made…
Louise brings the Final Three back to the stage when it’s time to narrow down to two. Erika delivers the bad news: Daniel is first to be eliminated. Louise assures him it’s not the last America has seen of him. Hunter and Cassandra are left clutching each other’s hands, waiting for the big news… All three buyers hit their screens at the same time, voting Hunter Bell as the second season winner.
First aired: May 10, 2013
What do you think? Do you like the Fashion Star TV series? Are you sorry that the show was cancelled and won’t have a third season?