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Fashion Star Episode 5: Make it Memorable

On the latest installment of Fashion Star, the ten remaining contestants worked in groups to create window displays for their clothing. The point of this assignment was not to test teamwork skills, but the designers' ability to create visually interesting pieces. Unfortunately, the results were mainly disappointing—many of the designers floundered during this challenge.

As the judges kept remarking, most of the items just weren't special enough. Orly sent boring—and somewhat ill-fitting—shorts down the runway, and Edmund's standard men's button-down looked like it came from the Gap. (Which is a great store for basics—but the point of this show is to see something new!) Barbara's combo dress bordered on innovative, but instead of mixing up the fabric, she used pinstripes in all three styles. Even Kara and Nzimiro, who have consistently performed well this season, fell flat with overly safe designs.

There was, however, a few triumphant moments: Ronnie, who hasn't sold anything yet, caused a major bidding war with between Macy's and H&M for his backless dress; meanwhile, swim designer Nikki proved she can make more than beach wear with an elegant maxi. Much to Jessica Simpson's delight, her "southern boy" Ross sold a cropped vest to Macy's—and once again, H&M bought from Sarah. (But not before getting a stern warning from the Swedish brand: they want a more creative item next week.) Saks Fifth Avenue purchased from Luciana for the second time in a row, but I kind of think it's because the buyer has a crush on her—he seemed awfully flirtatious when they spoke Spanish to each other on national television. At the end, Ronnie was sent home for his unmemorable dress shirt, which means only one menswear designer, Nzimiro, is left in the competition.

I'm thinking that this episode will serve as a stepping stone for the remaining nine competitors going forward, and all the hard criticism will help them improve. Next week's show is going to be the one to watch! But until then, you can shop last night's best designs—click through the slideshow below to buy them now.

The H&M buyer heralded Sarah's drapey blazer as "the new cardigan."