Luciana Scarabello told a touching childhood story as the nine remaining contestants on NBC’s reality design competition “Fashion Star” were challenged to step outside of their comfort zone this week. She recalled losing miserably the first time she tried her hand at — bowling! The tenacious girl immediately enrolled in bowling lessons, going on to become a member of Brazil’s national bowling team. Lesson here: never give up. If you keep trying at something you may actually become good at it.
Scarabello’s drawn out “Fashion Star” rise parallels her bowling story, with an uneventful string of episodes. But this week, she designed her first jacket – a cropped, collarless number that Macy’s and Saks Fifth Avenue went nuts over – bidding ruthlessly until Saks finally conceded to Macy’s $100,000 bid.
Ross Bennett went from tailored vests to sexy lacy lingerie, impressing H&M enough to get a $50,000 bid. “Somebody’s missing their wife,” remarked Jessica Simpson after seeing the racy undergarments.
Next, Nzimiro Oputa left his usual effortlessly cool menswear behind and moved on to a breezy dress that paid homage to Nicole Ritchie. Its billowy sleeves didn’t do much to win us over (we prefer his menswear), but H&M put in a $50,000 offer. Oputa’s fashion show partner, Sarah Parrott, failed to impress even her biggest supporter, H&M, with her bikinis, and garnered not one single bid.
Ronnie Escalante made another sale with his one-piece scuba-inspired swimsuit featuring a sexy mesh detail that revealed just enough cleavage to leave the rest to the imagination. Macy’s loved the suit and snapped it up for $50,000.
The last sale of the night went to Kara Laricks, whose soft, layered, romantic maxi dress was a surprise departure from her edgy menswear-inspired womenswear. Saks’s Terron Schaefer, the only buyer to bite with a whopping $100,000 offer, referenced Sally Fields’s 1985 Oscar acceptance speech, telling Laricks, “We like you, we really like you.”
Parrott joined the three other designers who didn’t impress the buyers. Barbara Bates’s attempt at boho failed with a color-blocked printed maxi dress; Nicky Poulis’s men’s shorts and slacks were a bit flat. But it was Orly Shani who really missed the mark with her latest gimmicky and overdone two-in-one item – a confederate-style jacket that became short at the pull of a zipper. The mentors chose to save Poulis because her designs have been purchased by each of the three retailers. Bates tried to play the victim card after she presented her collection, but the buyers still sent her home.
The most popular item of episode 6 so far? Scarabello’s jacket, which is the only sold-out piece at the moment.