Chicago designer Barbara Bates competes on Fashion Star
Bates talks to TOC about Fashion Star and reality TV buffoonery.
You’ve been a Chicago designer for 25 years and the other contestants on Fashion Star seem to be a little younger. Did they come to you for advice?
A little younger? That’s an understatement! I really can’t say that everyone came to me for advice. But when I saw people in trouble, I went their way to offer anything I could.
And there are some famous mentors offering help on the show.
That’s a great story. I had never heard of John Varvatos. Everyone kept looking at me in shock, like grabbing their pearls and saying, “Come on, you’ve never heard of him?” But he was wonderful. Jessica Simpson, I’ve heard of her, but I didn’t know that she had a billion-dollar brand. And I knew about Nicole [Richie] because she has fantastic taste. I’ve always noticed her in fashion magazines.
There’s a challenge every week, right?
Yes, but it’s nothing at all like Project Runway. They shouldn’t even be said in the same sentence. They weren’t waking us up in the middle of the night so we could sew some spaghetti into a suit.
The show’s been completed for a while. Are you ready for it to finally air?
I am. I can’t wait. There’s so much buffoonery in reality shows, but this show is not like that at all. It’s very encouraging and inspirational. I’ve got tiny buffoonery, but it’s nothing that’s going to embarrass my race.
Fashion Star premieres on NBC on Tuesday 13 at 8:30pm. Find more information on Barbara Bates at barbarabatesdesigns.com.