Fashion Star: Episode 3 Recap

Last night on “Fashion Star” the 12 remaining contestants had to create “summer trending designs.” Dear Reader, I regret to inform you that it’s going to be a rough summer for orifices, if Macy’s has its way. Store rep Caprice Willard bid $50,000 for Nikki Poulos’ “palazzo jumpsuits,” which, according to Nikki herself, create both front and rear “wedgies.” I understand taking fashion risks, but personally draw the line at yeast infections.

The episode was a pain in the butt in other ways, opening with a vigorous but stock performance by LMFAO. “Fashion Star’s” producers seem to lack confidence in their product, compulsively stuffing the show with aerialists and lackluster go-go dancers. Any viewer sticking with the show wants to see clothes, not a dead-in-the-eyes girl on a flying trapeze (you know the poor thing was hoping for a callback from Cirque du Soleil, but had to settle for this gig instead).

Incidentally, “Fashion Star’s” ratings are trending downward, dipping almost 17% in its target demographic from last week.

However, when last night’s episode featured its best assets, i.e. frothy Jessica Simpson, tart and smart Nicole Richie — even monotone John Varvatos is growing on me — it proved to be a tasty shopping elixir.

NYC bartender Orly Shani created last night’s most delicious design, a simple but sleek sheath dress with colorful peek-a-boo pockets and hems. Jessica wanted the silky sheath in all three Easter egg colors, as did I. Imagine my disappointment when I went to Saks’ website and discovered that the dress’ shimmery material had been degraded to a polyester/rayon blend. This is something I would expect, and even accept, from H& M, where prices reflect haphazard tailoring and gauche materials. But Saks wants me to pay $295 for polyester?! (Surely Jessica was able to get hers in silk!)

Having sold designs two weeks out of three, Orly has established a pretty good track record. However, if the show is shaping into a horse race, its true stallions are Nzimiro and Sarah, who are both three-for-three. Bear in mind that the ultimate “Fashion Star” winner must design separate lines for each retailer; thus far, Nzimiro and Sarah have only sold to H&M. Regardless, I think both are talented and exhibit great range. Nzimiro also happens to be cute as a button, and is the object of Jessica’s new crush (and mid-show tweet).

Surly southerner and bow-tie enthusiast Ross finally scored a Texas-sized sale to Macy’s for his innocuous women’s pleated shorts. (You can now find them in Macy’s, which out bid H&M at $120,000.) Bland though the shorts were, they were a marked improvement in Ross’ Alexis Carrington aesthetic. In her signature bitchy-pithy style, Nicole told Ross that he needs to stop designing for “…those old actresses that are on yachts.”

At the end of the show, somebody had to go home and that, sadly, was Lizzie, former Microsoft manager turned tatted suburban mom. Lizzie seemed down-to-earth and genuine, but her “heavy metal” jersey dress screamed mall store mosh pit.

Alison McDonald is a TV comedy writer, and also the creator of the “She Got Problems” web series. Follow Alison on Twitter: @shegotproblems.