Fashion Star – Kara Laricks
If like me, you have been glued to NBC’s weekly ‘Fashion Star’, hosted by Elle McPherson, you will be likely on tenterhooks waiting to see which designer wins the finale this coming Tuesday. Whittled down from 14 designers, the three remaining finalists have been tasked with designing an apparel line that will appeal to the very different customers of participating retailers – Saks, Macy’s and H&M.
Throughout the series we have seen the three designer mentors – Jessica Simpson, John Varvatos and Nicole Richie – offer advise and direction to the contestants as they embarked on a new design project every week. The process of elimination has been determined by the three buyers who, following a critique session, engaged in a bidding war to secure the best designs for their respective companies. Any designer who was unable to sell that week was subject to elimination.
It has certainly made for compulsive viewing as not only does Fashion Star highlite the talent required to succeed within the design industry it also reflects the human element too. Without any doubt the most successful contestant has been ex-school teacher Kara Laricks. Apart from the first week when she was slated for her offering of a pretty dismal tie/collar accessory, Kara has consistently delivered fabulous, creative pieces predominantly secured by Saks. She designs with an androgynous aesthetic to her tailoring, while her dresses have an unstructured feminine appeal. Unlike some of the contestants Kara recognizes that this is a golden opportunity to learn and has listened to the buyers and mentors interpreting their advice into her own brand. Emotional but focused, she is without conceit and if anything is unaware of how talented she is. Check out the slideshow which shows Kara’s winning designs and the subsequent retailer translations. Some of her pieces have sold out!
There is no telling who will win this contest. The other two contenders, both guys, are not, in my opinion, as multifaceted as Kara but who knows which way the buyers will go. Ultimately my money is on Kara – I would love to see her win the dream prize of designing a line for each of the three retail stores – but regardless of who wins, it will not be the last we see of Kara Laricks.