Fashion Star: Rooting for Ronnie

Ever since I started watching Fashion Star several weeks back, I just fell in love with the show. I liked the concept. It wasn’t all about the designs but rather, it also factors in the education for designers on designing for particular markets with buyers from prestigious shops like H&M , Macy’s and Saks (Caprice, Nikki and Terron) making offers for collections that the designers present. This gives contestants the leg up that they need to have their clothes sell on the floors of these establishments. A dream come true for struggling designers.

In doing so, designers are challenged to go the extra mile and think like business people who want to establish their brands and create a niche in the market for themselves. Mentors Jessica Simpson, Nicole Richie and John Varvatos provide inputs and guidance but pretty much leave the designers to decide how they want to brand themselves and show off their creativity.

THE DESIGNERS. 14 designers with their own unique style battle it out on the floor to get their dresses sold.

I like the show because it has a really cool vibe going on and the contestants don’t spend too much time trash talking about other people’s work. Because of this, the show focuses more on the actual product and the creative process rather than the drama behind. Don’t get me wrong. I love Project Runway but it has a different atmosphere than Fashion Star and it has its own appeal. I’m just saying that Fashion Star is refreshing and fun to watch.

The first week I watched, the talented Ronnie Escalante was bucking up after five weeks of not being bought by any of the shops. My heart immediately went out to him, especially since I saw that his clothes were quite understated but classy. From the get go, I was keeping my fingers crossed for the guy and when he was up for elimination, I was glad that the mentors chose to save him. Week after week, Ronnie had hits and misses and his worry was obvious (I understand how traumatic and nerve wracking it would be to be passed on for so many times) but yet he persevered and stayed true to his style, at the same time absorbing the inputs of the buyers and modifying his looks to suit the mass market.

THE BUYERS. These are the guys that the designers need to impress more than the mentors. They have the power to eliminate contestants that do not suit to their tastes.

When the final three were announced, I was so worried that Ronnie would not make it. His style was so subtle compared to the edgier contestants, but he did, and for that I was glad. When he showed his final collection, the mentors did not fawn over it like they did the rest but Ronnie’s designs have evolved, and he has obviously become better. (I think Ronnie’s style is more conservative, perhaps owing to his roots in the Philippines. Just to clarify, I was rooting for Ronnie before I learned that he was Filipino).

In the end, he did not win the $6 million deal to sell to all three stores but I know that he has loads of talent, and he has a great many ideas yet to reveal. I’m proud of Ronnie and I’m looking for a new season of Fashion Star. And ______ (I’m not going to spoil it for you) was a deserving and gracious winner. All in all a great finale to a great show.

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