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Fashion Star Winner Hunter Bell: Jessica Simpson Told Me to Be More Sexy With My Designs

May/12/2013 at 10:11 PM ET

Fashion Star winner Hunter BellCourtesy Express

Looks like you might be wearing one of Hunter Bell’s dresses very soon. The 32-year-old southern belle (who says she’s inspired by designers like Diane von Furstenberg and Rebecca Taylor) has been crowned the winner of Fashion Star, trumping 12 other designers for the prize of launching their original collections in three of the nation’s largest fashion retailers — Express, Macy’s and Saks.

And Hunter may not have reached her goal without the help of mentor Jessica Simpson.

“I worked closely with Jessica, and she was always a sounding board for me to stay true to my own design aesthetic, but also very encouraging with the advice of making sure to show off a women’s curves with my designs and to be more sexy with them,” she tells PEOPLE at an Express breakfast showcasing her line (sample design above). “In this industry you need to be open to advice.”

From episode one, Bell was a frontrunner after her first fashion show resulted in a bidding war from the three major retailers. But for the N.Y.C. based-designer, one of the biggest highlights of the experience has been the resources the show’s platform has provided her.

“The most exciting moment was walking into the design studio and seeing your own desk with all of the necessary tools and resources provided for you from the network to be successful,” she says.

RELATED PHOTOS: Get more star wardrobe inspiration here

Turns out, Hunter’s passion and design prowess dates back to way before becoming a household name.

“What people definitely don’t know is that I didn’t just start out as a designer with Fashion Star,” she explains. “I have dedicated the past 10 years to making my passion become a successful career. I not only studied design in school and then at Parsons, but I also interned with Nanette Lepore, which was an amazing experience.”

And this is only the beginning for the dedicated designer. Her overall goal? “I hope to grow my clothing line to be a household name brand, expanding into department stores with an online presence, allowing me to create jobs and give back.”

Shop Bell’s capsule collection online at Express and in stores across the country tomorrow!

Tell us: Do you think Bell deserved to win? Will you buy her clothes?

–Brittany Talarico

Exclusive Video: Derek Lam on His Celeb-Loved Line for Kohl's

Mar/11/2013 at 09:30 AM ET

Derek Lam for Kohl'sStartraks (3)

Though Derek Lam’s line for Kohl’s DesigNation won’t be in stores until April, celebs haven’t been able to wait to get their hands on the pieces. Emmy Rossum (from left), Megan Hilty and Blake Lively have all been spotted in pieces from the Rio de Janeiro-inspired collection — making us even more excited to snap up some for ourselves.

Though the rest of us non-celebrities will have to wait until April to shop the styles, we’ve got an exclusive clip of Lam discussing how he developed the pieces in the collection. Follow Lam to sun-drenched Rio to see what inspired him to create prints that reflect everything from the busy city at night to the graffiti he saw on the walls.
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Michelle Obama in Jason Wu: Third Time's a Charm!

Feb/13/2013 at 10:41 AM ET

Michelle Obama Jason Wu
Jonathan Ernst/Landov

After spending her first four years in the White House wearing designers from Alexander McQueen to H&M, it looks like Michelle Obama may finally have picked a favorite: Jason Wu. Less than a month after wearing the designer to her second Inaugural Ball, she made another major public appearance, at the State of the Union address Tuesday night, wearing one of Wu’s creations. A

The First Lady flashed a big smile (and those new bangs!) from the front row in Wu’s custom red organza tweed flounce dress with a black yoke and leather trim. She added an Alexis Bittar sculpted lucite flower brooch with a jeweled center to the shoulder — and skipped the attention-getting nail polish this time.

It was already a busy week for Wu, having had his show during a blizzard at New York Fashion Week Friday, but between the raves for his collection and Obama’s third important outing in his designs, we’re betting it was a good week as well.

Tell us: What do you think of Obama’s Jason Wu dress? Are you excited to see more?

–Alex Apatoff

PHOTOS: SEE MORE FIRST LADY FASHION MOMENTS!

Three Things to Know About the Man Behind Beyoncé's Super Bowl Look

Feb/04/2013 at 11:45 AM ET

Beyonce Super Bowl Halftime OutfitKevin Mazur/WireImage

After she sang the national anthem at a Super Bowl press conference on Thursday, Beyoncé asked, “Any questions?” Had the superstar asked the same thing after her incredible “not lip-synched” Super Bowl halftime performance Sunday night, we would have responded: “Just one: Who is responsible for that un-freaking-believable outfit?” The answer, it turns out, is not some household name couturier; it’s little-known designer Rubin Singer.

But we have a feeling Singer is about to become a household name thanks to the two looks he created for Beyoncé including a cropped moto jacket paired with a micro-mini wrap skirt made of nylon, metal, silk and plastic, which the star tore away mid-set to reveal a leather-and-lace bodysuit featuring python and iguana skin. (Oh yeah, and he also designed Michelle Williams’s killer getup and looks for the 120 backup dancers.)

Like most of the rest of the country, we can’t stop talking about what Singer created. So we did a little digging and uncovered three interesting tidbits about the designer. (Sorry, none of them are that he’s creating a diffusion line at Target … at least not yet!)

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Exclusive: The Most Dramatic 'Bachelor' Style News … Ever

Jan/28/2013 at 04:00 PM ET

Chris Harrison Bachelor ClothesTommaso Boddi/Wireimage

Bachelors come and go, but one constant remains: the show’s unflappable host Chris Harrison and his reliably dapper wardrobe. And since we’re always excited to see what he’ll wear next on the show, it didn’t surprise us to learn that people constantly ask him where he gets his outfits.

What did surprise us? The fact that Harrison is launching his own clothing line — a fact he shared with us exclusively when he visited the PEOPLE offices last week.

“I think there’s a huge market there for guys like me, who aren’t going to be wearing the ridiculous Ed Hardy stuff — we’re too old for that garbage — but at the same time, we don’t want to look like a slouch,” he says. “I like dressing up, but at the same time, I want to go pick up my kids from school and not look like a goofball.”

He plans to channel that passion for stylish, relatable clothing into the Chris Harrison Collection by Da Vinci, a partnership with his designer pal Christopher Wicks, whom Harrison calls “a genius.”

It’s a logical next step for the man who calls himself “a clothes hound — as much as you can be for a straight guy.” Harrison says he takes a lot of pride in the Bachelor wardrobe he puts together with the show’s stylist Cary Fetman, particularly noting his affinity for ties, vests and watches. “People come up to me saying, ‘Dude, I like what you wear, I like what you’re doing,'” he says of his style, “so I’m like, ‘Hey, let’s do our own [line].'”

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Enter to Win This Brian Lichtenberg Dress on Twitter!

Jun/15/2012 at 11:15 AM ET

Britney Spears, Ashley Tisdale dress
Splash News Online;Getty; Inset: Courtesy Brian Lichtenberg

Fashion faceoff: Britney Spears vs. Ashley Tisdale vs. you? Now you can find yourself dressing like the stars by winning the Brian Lichtenberg coral pink “Scuba” dress worn by two of Hollywood’s hottest blondes — no stylist required.

To enter, first follow the designer @BriLichtenberg, then Tweet us @stylewatchmag with a photo of your favorite shoes — sky-high heels, comfy loafers, saucy boots — we want to see them all! One winner will be chosen at random to win the sexiest, most star-worthy going-out dress for her closet, so read the rules below, then get Tweeting. Good luck!
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A-Listers' Newest Designer Crush: Erdem

Feb/03/2012 at 12:00 PM ET

Jessica Alba, Michelle Williams, Kate Bosworth Choose Erdem
Getty; Landov; Getty; Pacific Coast News

With so many choices to pick from, it’s not exactly a coincidence when style stars like Michelle Williams and Kate Bosworth select feminine frocks from the same London-based label.

Best known for micro floral prints and unabashedly feminine silhouettes, Erdem has become an offbeat industry darling. After Claudia Schiffer wore a runway look from his debut ready-to-wear collection in 2006, the designer went on to gain critical and capital success when Barneys New York became the brand’s primary stockist. (The Duchess of Cambridge helped put him on the map, as well.)

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