I have a confession to make. I have a new addiction that there is yet no 12 step program for. It’s called Fashion Star, and it shames me to admit it, but something involving Jessica Simpson now gives me entertainment without hipsterish irony.
I actually really like the format of this show. Unlike the train wreck that is Project Runway, now when the clothes make you wish you could buy them, you actually can! You get to see buyers from H&M, Macy’s and Saks Fifth Avenue decide whether or not to buy the designers’ work. It’s also nice to see these designers paid for their work on a reality show competition. Another plus-the show largely ignores the drama between contestants (with so many contestants we’ll see how this works out as that number goes down in coming weeks). Though it does make time on occasion for an awful musical performance (LMFAO, really?), the show mainly focuses on the creation of the fashions and the opinions of the buyers and the surprisingly helpful and intuitive mentors (Simpson, John Varvatos and Nicole Richie). The show also cleverly takes advantage of the time gap between the filming and airing of episodes, during which the clothing purchased by these stores (only the highest bidding company gets the design) is produced and made available for purchase online the night the show airs, and in stores the day after.
While I understand that the majority of the designers do women’s wear, and that Fashion Star does feature a couple of menswear designers (another refreshing change from PR), the end result is that we see very little menswear and see even less of it purchased. The buyers took no menswear this week. The last (only?) time they bought menswear, H&M bought a pair of striped-colorblocked linen shorts. Of the three different color patterns the designer (Nzimiro) made the shorts in, H&M took the ugliest ones (red, white and navy blue stripes on top with a big block of blue at the bottom half); and they made only that pattern available, and not all three looks (including the totally swoon-worthy neopolitan shorts).
Believe it or not, the Operation July 4th BBQ shorts sold out in less than two days! Either there’s a crowd of superpatriotic ice-cream vendors and lemonade-stand proprietors out there just dying for a new uniform this summer, or the middle-aged, fashion-deprived midwestern dads of America got H&M gift cards for the holidays that they finally found a use for.
Geez, Fashion Star, you bought one piece of menswear and you chose THIS?! Gimme those neopolitan shorts!
P.S. To the stylists on the show, please keep host Elle Macpherson away from heavy floor-length toga dresses and slicked back ponytails. It makes the botulism buffet her face has been gorging on uncomfortably apparent and her overall appearance more Legend of the Crystal Skull than supermodel.