Designer Imposter? Elle Macpherson hosts Fashion Star for NBC

Elle Macpherson helps slobs like us look nice this fall (?) on NBC!
Elle Macpherson helps slobs like us look nice this fall (?) on NBC!
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Buzz is growing around a new fashion design show called Fashion Star, hosted by supermodel Elle Macpherson. While no air date has been set, a 10-episode series is expected to air in the near future. It's recently been announced that Nicole Richie, Jessica Simpson and designer John Varvatos will be joining the show as "mentors" à la The Voice.

If a reality fashion design show with celebrity judges seems like a Project Runway-knockoff to you, don't worry--it seemed like that to me, too. There are a few differences: Elle Macpherson's Australian accent isn't nearly as cute as Heidi Klum's German one (that's an empirical fact); Jessica Simpson often veers toward the color orange, but she can't beat Michael Kors in the self-tanning race any day; Nicole Richie is a lot like Nina Garcia, but without the formal education in fashion. Okay, maybe that crack about Nicole Richie was mean--she's pretty cute, and she's come a long way, fashion-wise, from her early days of braids and mini-skirts.

The long-running feud between Macpherson and Klum over the moniker "The Body"--both lay claim to the term "The Body"--positions Fashion Star as a possible competitor for Project Runway, although there is no word on whether they will air opposite each other. This won't be Macpherson's first plunge into reality/fashion television; last year, she became the host and an executive producer for Britain's Next Top Model. Fashion Star is also positioning itself as distinct from PR in other ways: The judges aren't "judges" but "mentors," though there is no word yet on whether it will be a true mentorship or if it is just a matter of semantics; also, according to early press, the show will be designing "real" clothes for "real" people, focusing on "accessible" pieces. Think jeans and swimsuits rather than high-fashion runway garments--no word on what "real people" means in terms of model size, though. Winners will be chosen through online sales--the piece purchased by the most shoppers wins--so we will find out soon enough what the design hopefuls think "real people" means.


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