Jessica Simpson had a busy night!
Actually, she may have been resting her ready-to-burst belly at home, but the one-woman brand was still everywhere, first rewarding challenge winners on The Biggest Loser and then judging aspiring designers on the premiere of Fashion Star.
"People across America can change their lives, and I think Conda and Kim are setting such great examples," Simpson said on TBL as the ladies pored over racks of clothing and accessories from the mom-to-be's eponymous collections.
In addition to a year's supply each of BeautyMint products, the winning pair scored free Simpson-brand clothes, shoes and necklaces with diamond butterfly charms.
"Any time you get discouraged, look down at your butterfly," she encouraged Conda Britt and Kim Stone, both single moms who were triumphantly fitting into size 10s and skinny jeans for the first time in years. (Conda's brother had initially won the shopping spree after they triumphed in tug-of-war, but he swapped the spree for her goldfish, and then Conda picked Kim to go along.)
"These girls have lost so much weight and it just shows how determined they are to feel good about themselves," Simpson said. "To be able to be a part of that is very, very special."
Speaking of special, tonight also marked the premiere of NBC's Fashion Star, hosted by Elle Macpherson and featuring Simpson, Nicole Richie and John Varvatos as mentors who both meet with contestants behind the scenes and offer opinions once the looks go down the runway. (E! and NBC are part of the NBCUniversal family.)
Sort of like The Voice, but with clothes, the aspiring superstar-designers send out a look and hope that at least one of three buyers from Saks Fifth Avenue, H&M and Macy's will want their creations. Of the designers who get no offers, the mentors save one and then the buyers decide who's out.
It's not quite as complicated as it sounds...
Simpson and Richie started off an a roll, praising the first two designers out of the gate, both of whom got offers from Macy's and Saks for their bubble cocktail dress and two-in-one miniskirt, respectively, and remain in it to win it.
But then the show really got underway, and it turns out these gals are not to be messed with!
"I'm a little bit offended—not a little bit, a lotta bit. To talk down to a woman, in this business? We're runnin' the world right now, OK?" Simpson drawled, smiling but obviously pretty serious, when Australian designer Nicholas Bowes trotted out a few motorcycle jackets and then said he didn't really understand "the girls giving advice about men's fashion."
"We're trying to help you," interjected Richie, who had questioned why one of Bowes' models came out looking like the "top half was going to a rock concert and the bottom was going line-dancing."
"I'm tryin' to be nice," Simpson added. "'Cause I really want to hit you across the face right now!"
Alas, that didn't happen. But the fun didn't end there!
"It looks like someone's grabbing her in her vagina!" Richie leaned over to tell her fellow judges, prompting a big laugh from Simpson, in response to contestant Ross Bennett's "full culottes."
"We call that a wedgina'" quipped Varvatos.
We do believe we've got ourselves a show here!
In the meantime, looks shown tonight by Orly Shani (Sak's), Edmond Newton (Macy's), Nikki Poulos (Macy's), Sarah Parrott (H&M) and Nzimiro Oputa (H&M) are available online tonight and will be in stores tomorrow.
But of the eight designers who didn't receive bids, Nicholas Bowes, the Australian jacket designer who didn't get the idea of women judging men's fashion, was the one tossed out on his arse. Oh, wait, he corrected himself afterward: "I wasn't saying that girls don't have a clue when it comes to fashion. I'm just thinking they don't understand high-end fashion."
So long, mate.
(Originally ublished on March 13, 2012, at 8:17 p.m. PT)