A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Talent and hard work, along with quite a bit of luck, can help you reach goals, gain (at least temporary) widespread recognition, and achieve dreams. That said, there's also an emphasis on competition, cattiness, and interpersonal drama.
Positive Role Models
Many of the designers are very sincere and have worked hard to make it to this point in their careers. The mentors are by and large helpful and encouraging. The buyers also offer a lot of constructive criticism. Some contestants are extremely catty and insult other competitors.
Violence & Scariness
Occasional tense exchanges or dramatic gestures -- for example, at one point a designer pushes objects off of a table when he's disappointed with the outcome of a judging round.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Some dresses and lingerie showcase women's bodies in a suggestive manner.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Occasional use of words like "hell" and "damn," plus references to body parts ("hoo-ha").
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Products & Purchases
Fashion Star is judged by buyers for three major clothing retailers: Saks Fifth Avenue, H&M, and Macy's. An actual price point is put on a designer's creation if the judge likes it, and viewers can actually buy the winning designs after the show airs. Maybelline is another sponsor. Sponsorship images and mention of these brands are constantly referred to.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Fashion Star is a reality show that highlights the branding and marketing aspect of being a clothing designer. Major buyers from H&M, Macy's, and Saks Fifth Avenue serve as judges, and brands are given major screen time, with the stores' logos emblazoned on raised judging platforms. Designers are asked to consider the ways their designs can be made more retail-ready, with a garment's ability to be sold privileged above all other factors. (And viewers can even buy the winning designs right after the show airs.) If you can get past Fashion Star's heavy consumerism, there's not much else here to worry about, save for occasional catty comments between designers.
Is It Any Good?
Fashion Star excels at presenting an exciting, polished look at ready-to-wear designs. There's a lot of surface in this show, but not necessarily much heart or emotional appeal. The majority of each episode is presented on a stage (with a live audience) that makes it look more like American Idol than Project Runway. Designers' back stories are used as segues between the presentations of each week's collections, along with minimal time spent in the workroom. This makes the overall effect very different from almost any other fashion reality show -- and helps to distinguish it from Project Runway-type spin-offs -- but not necessarily in a good way.
The pounding soundtrack (Lady Gaga shows up, along with other top 40 dance artists), strobe lights, and Hollywood glitz make Fashion Star fairly fun to watch, but they also make it more like a game show. Jessica%20Simpson's runway commentary is often awkward (she actually offers much better advice on the workroom floor than she does on stage), and overall the advice is so limited that there's just not much to this show. Add that with an emphasis on arguments between designers, and this isn't great stuff for tweens or young teens. Older teens with an interest in fashion might find something of minimal value here. Just make sure to pepper the after-show conversation with your opinion about fast fashion and consumerism.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.