Eliminated ‘Fashion Star’ contestant Barbara Bates wanted more direction from mentors
Despite 25 years of fashion experience, including outfitting huge stars like Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson, “Fashion Star” contestant Barbara Bates was out of her element when she had to design a bohemian dress during this week’s task on the show. Unfortunately for the Chicago native, it resulted in her elimination.
“I could have picked something that I was used to, but that wasn’t what the assignment was,” says Bates. “I had to go out, I had to research it, and that was something I knew nothing about – I hadn’t even heard the word (bohemian) before - that was just where I decided to go.”
On the episode, designers were challenged to create something they weren’t used to making. Bates says, in general, she felt the mentors (John Varvatos, Jessica Simpson and Nicole Richie) should have made more of an effort guiding the designers on creative pieces that would receive a bid on “Fashion Star.”
“They should have offered more specific advice to what (Saks Fifth Avenue, Macy’s and H&M) were actually looking for, because it was a guessing game,” Bates says. “It was a guessing game from the beginning through the middle to the end. If you figured out what it was, then it was good. I think we all kind of felt the same way. I was not really sure what they were looking for.”
Bates adds that by the time a mentor offered help, there wasn’t much the designers could take away from their advice at that point in the competition.
“I think that the feedback came a little too late,” she says. “You’d already purchased your fabrics and you were on your way to doing something, so if you did get some feedback that you thought was just incredible, you were kind of stuck because you couldn’t go back and change your fabric,” she says.
Now that Bates is off the show, she says it’s business as usual for her brand.
“I had a business to come back to,” she says. “I’m doing the same thing here that I was doing on the show. The extra exposure that I got just breathes extra life into what I’m already doing.”
“I get paid for it, and it’s mine,” she adds. “And it’s the tune of a different beat.”
“Fashion Star” airs Tuesdays at 10pm ET on CTV two. You can watch episodes online at CTV.ca