"Fashion Star" Episode 7 Report: Karma Strikes and John Varvatos Fights for a Suit

"Fashion Star" Episode 7 Report: Karma Strikes and John Varvatos Fights for a Suit
Ross Bennett presenting his designs on NBC's "Fashion Star"
(Tyler Golden/NBC)

It was the “Fashion Star” mentors turn to shine on NBC this week as Jessica Simpson, Nicole Richie, and John Varvatos helped steer the remaining eight contestants in the right direction by showing them the ropes and assigning the garment each of them would make.

Kara Laricks and Ross Bennett were the first pair to show their clothes. Varvatos, Bennett’s mentor, told him to step away from his structured tailoring and make a “chic, elegant” dress. The two could not agree on materials when they went shopping and Bennett’s refusal to take Varvatos’s fabric advice probably led to his demise. The snide Bennett continually mocked Laricks’s design (Richie told her to make a women’s suit), which had a slight drop crotch. “I just don’t see her style of clothing in America anywhere,” he said. (He obviously hasn’t been to New York lately — we just saw a few people dressed in similar looks last night.)

Come catwalk time, karma nipped Bennett in the butt. His dresses, one of which Varvatos called “Little House on the Prairie,” failed to catch anyone’s eye. Laricks’s suits were a hit, and Simpson even said, “My crush has been on Ross but now it’s on you.” Take that, Bennett! After Macy’s and H&M didn’t buy Laricks’s suits, Varvatos had to interject. “This suit that Kara did is so new, you guys have to take another look here,” he told the buyers. “Come on, you’re crazy for not buying this. That is such a strong piece.” Saks Fifth Avenue’s Teron Schaefer finally went for the kill, bidding an impressive $100,000 as he triumphantly raised his fist in the air before turning it into — a peace sign! (Works for us.)

The next pair to go up, Sarah Parrott and Nzimiro Oputa, failed to garner any buys. Parrott presented a baggy frock that was supposed to be an elegant dress, and Oputa showed a fitted men’s suit. “I need you to stand so deep in the ground and say, yeah, these are my designs and I feel so proud of them,” Richie told the always-second-guessing-herself Parrott. “And I don’t feel that from you.” Even though Oputa’s ensemble was fashion forward, the added stitching and details he put on – against Varvatos’s advice – were the reason the buyers said they didn’t move. Did you learn your lesson guys? Listen to Varvatos, or else. (We couldn’t help but wonder if he consults with the buyers beforehand).

Richie got a little raunchy as the cameras turned to the next duo. “You’re a big cocktease,” she told Ronnie Escalante, while picking through fabrics. “It’s time for you to be a full-blown slut.” Um, okay. Escalante and Orly Shani showed next, with the buyers going crazy over Shani’s column dress. Saks and H&M both stopped at $70,000, but Shani went with H&M because she had yet to sell to them. Escalante’s sleek one-shoulder floor-length gown was picked up by Macy’s for $50,000, showing that he had indeed taken Richie’s oddly-stated analogy to heart.

Luciana Scarabello and Nikki Poulos showcased their garments last. Scarabello’s structured dresses were lovely and she selected the right prints – H&M snapped them up, making Scarabello the first designer to have been bought by all three retailers. What a comeback! Poulos, on the other hand, was unimaginative, simply chopping off length of one of the many vintage-inspired long dresses she’s created during the competition to make the short garment that Richie assigned to her.

So who was spared and who was let go? The mentors saved Oputo, and rightfully so, as we think he’s the most talented out of the foursome who didn’t sell. “I won’t let you down,” he promised. The buyers opted to cut Parrott, since she only sold at H&M. We were disappointed and hoped she would hit more homeruns. For somebody who has never worked in fashion, the girl proved that she has an eye. Somebody, hire her! Only H&M’s purchases were sold out as of this morning, confirming the theory that lower prices make the items more appealing.


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