Spoiler alert: if you haven't watched the Fashion Star finale yet, don't read!! Also, this is a massive post.
I'm happy to say I did not jinx my number one pick, Kara Laricks. And her collections? My personal favorites are below, but I really wish H&M had made those major pants she showed on the runway, the drop-crotch ones that my husband heckled just before I kicked him out of the living room.
My favorite Kara Laricks H&M piece? The black romper. It's totally Kara and the cut is stylish and comfortable. No weird romper-pulling happening here. The only romper dilemma is yanking down that really cute white shirt underneath. I recommend first tucking it into your underwear, then pulling on the romper. Go get some hipsters in the lingerie department.
In addition to the romper, I highly recommend the long black skirt and dress. I adore these pieces. The skirt has very little hangar appeal, but put it on and do a little runway walk in front of the mirror. Beautiful. The fabric is silky rayon and both pieces have slits on each side that gracefully fall open as you walk, very subtly sexy.
My favorite Kara Laricks Macy's piece? Her dresses. Try them all and good luck choosing, as they are all going to impress. Perfect for work, great for after-work, and good even for more formal occasions (see tuxedo shift), they are beautifully cut, classic pieces. This is one of my favorite things about Kara Laricks: her work is interesting and chic but not trendy. If you hung her dress in your closet and didn't touch it until 20 years later, I bet you could pull it on and go.
In addition to the dresses, I highly recommend the lightweight, cropped black pants (above, right, with cameo T). These are a wonderful work pant for spring and summer. I wish the sleeveless jumpsuit (above, left) was made of the same material, but it's a heavier polyester that feels hot for summer. Too bad, because I loved the calf-length button cuff.
Macy's Herald Square had a better selection, but to be fair it was a much bigger collection than H&M's. Although I was overall impressed with Kara's capsule collections, I was disappointed that many styles seen on the TV runway were either significantly altered or not found in stores. I guess that makes the show even more like a real runway-to-store experience, right? Often very little of what one sees on the runway is exactly what shoppers get in stores.
Adieu till next time, Fashion Star. You had a rough start but a stellar finish! Soon I'm going to need a Fashion Star Second Season Update, like will the buyer and designer panels remain the same? BURNING QUESTION!
H&M Herald Square and H&M Penn Station
34th Street and Sixth Avenue
34th Street and Seventh Avenue
Macy's Herald Square
151 West 34th Street between Broadway and Seventh Avenue