‘Fashion Star’ premiere review: NBC has a new reality gem

Surprised?

Going into the premiere for “Fashion Star” Tuesday night, we’ll admit that our expectations were pretty low. After all, we already have “Project Runway” for this sort of entertainment, and the idea of seeing commercial clothing rather than something over-the-top made us wonder where the creativity was going to come from.

However, we have to say that we were pleasantly surprised by the format and the entertainment value here. Format-wise, this was unlike any reality show that we have ever seen. The contestants show off their designs on a runway, and then the three mentors (pictured above along with host Elle Macpherson) try to advise them on what to do moving forward. After this, buyers from three of the biggest retailers out there (in H&M, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Macy’s) can choose to pick up the product, and the designed purchased on the show will be in stores the very next way. It’s a unique concept, and we liked the way that “Star” borrowed from “The Voice” in some ways in having a dramatic arrival for the contestants rather than just having a quiet audition or some generic challenge. It’s just also nice that viewers can actually see how these designers are doing, rather than just hearing about them occasionally on the red carpet for some awards show.

As for the mentors, we already are starting to think Nicole Richie is going to be the star here. She’s way smarter than anyone gives her credit for, and she also has completely no fear when it comes to what she is going to say at any given time. Both she and Jessica Simpson already have reality TV experience, and you cannot underestimate just how valuable this is when it comes to actually making the show easy to watch.

Do we still have concerns? Definitely. We don’t know where this show is exactly going from here, and how they are going to handle eliminations once they are down to just a few contestants who everyone wants to buy clothing from. As for the actual elimination process itself, it is an interesting format. The contestants who do not receive buys are up for elimination as the buyers ultimately pick a bottom three, and then the advisers can vote to save someone who they think is deserving of another shot.

After the buyers picked their bottom three this week, the judges saved El Salvador-born Oscar Fierro thanks to his ambition. Nicholas Bowes and “deconstructionist” Kara Laricks (who literally just showed up with ties and a collar) were the bottom two, and the buyers chose to send home Nicholas based more so on his attitude (which was incredibly demeaning towards women) than his actual designs.

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Photo: NBC

 

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