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Fashion Star Episode 3: Which Designers Are Standing Out?

Last night's installment of Fashion Star was all about designing trendy summer clothing. The mentors advised contestants on the most popular looks of the season, urging them to add more color and to use lighter fabric.

On the runway, this translated to a lot vivid hues, cheerful patterns and color-blocking. Per usual, the buyers went for the most universally pleasing pieces—items with lots of hanger appeal, like a bright sheath dress and long printed maxi. However, there was one big thing that did set this episode apart from the previous two. Finally, now that enough people have been sent home, I'm starting to recognize—and root for—certain people.

Since the show started with such an overwhelming number of designers presenting in a short 60-minute time slot, there hasn't been much time for anyone's personality to really shine through. (Except for Oscar. When someone's four feet tall and wears a bright orange hat, that's kind of hard to forget. But since he's already gone home, it's a moot point.) This week, however, I found myself really looking forward to seeing what Kara came up with. I genuinely liked the plaid shift dress she created last Tuesday and was impressed again when she created cool slouchy tuxedo pants. She also has an interesting asymmetrical haircut and a wide-eyed, "Aw, shucks" sort of attitude that is very endearing.

Another person on my radar is Orly. While her two previous creations—the "twofers," as Jessica Simpson called them—were not really my style, they were memorable—and so was she. And although I think it's very important for the product itself to be marketable, in a perfect world, the designer should be too. (Don't agree? Just look at what happened with Dior and John Galliano. Do you think that brand would be as successful if he was still at the helm right now, despite his amazing talent?)

My two current picks, along with four others contestants, hit it big with the buyers last night—click through the slideshow below to purchase the winning pieces for yourself.

Kara's cropped pants were produced in the same plaid fabric as her winning dress from last week. Could this be the start of a signature print?

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