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Monday, April 22, 2024

NBC's upcoming fashion TV show "Fashion Star" comes this spring to compete with Lifetime's fashion shows "Project Runway," "Project Accessory" and the recent "24 Hour Catwalk" — reminding us why we love watching designers squirm under the glares and criticisms of their idols.

NBC appears to be the rebel of mainstream reality shows with their recent productions being the antithesis of mainstream hits. In a recent article, I wrote about "The Voice" in contrast to "American Idol" and "X Factor." This time, "Fashion Star" is the bad boy.

The trend is apparent in fashion reality shows as well. Lifetime dominates the genre ever since it acquired "Project Runway" from Bravo, and it has become the mother ship of fashion reality with the recent spinoff "Project Runway All Stars", which gathered the best of the best from the first eight seasons, only to be stressed and criticized - all over again.

Last fall, "Project Accessory" debuted after the season 9 finale of "Project Runway," which used the fool-proof show's formula of three powerful figures in the fashion industry with a slinky runway-model queen as the host — the difference is that instead of creating high fashion, they create fashion's toppings: accessories.

So how does "Fashion Star" fair against Lifetime's couture creations, which are backed up by some of the fashion industry's most notable figures?

Well, for one, it brings its own powerhouses: singer and lover of all things fashion Jessica Simpson, former Paris Hilton BFF turned fashionable-boho-chick Nicole Richie, and menswear designer who worked with notable lines Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein, in addition to his eponymous line, John Varvatos.

Except, they're not judges but are rather mentors to the designers.

And of course, what's a fashion show without its supermodel host? Australian model, actress and businesswoman Elle Macpherson will host the new show.

So if they are the mentors, who's judging?

The Los Angeles Times states that the judges are buyers from Macy's, Saks Fifth Avenue and H&M.

Each week these retailers will make an on-the-spot decision to buy and carry the designers' looks they like most. Immediately after the show airs, that very look will be available in the stores.

This show is a fresh take on "Project Runway" because this gives the designers an equal chance to have their designs hit retail directly every week, as opposed to only having one or two special challenges in the whole season.

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Entertainment Weekly got a first-hand look into 14 contestants.

Let's just say that this has got to be one of the most wide range group of individuals.

We cannot help but root for these designers - no matter what station they're on.

"Fashion Star" will premiere March 13 at 9:30 p.m. with a 90-minute episode.

Each new episode will be an hour long on Tuesdays at 10 p.m. on NBC.

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