Liz Gray

Contributor to HGTVersus

Jul 13

Ask the Producer: Episode 7

Design Star Season 7 Cast

Producer Loren Ruch With the Season Seven Cast + Guest Meg Caswell

Each week, I chat with Design Star producer Loren Ruch about what we didn’t see on the show. This week, do the designers choose what they wear on the show? Plus: Find out how Meg felt when she returned to the DS set.

From Parebernet on the blog: As I watch each episode, I often wonder if a TV stylist helps the designers choose their on-air wardrobes. Are they simply given general guidelines on what to wear (or not to wear), or does someone actually help them throughout the challenges (beyond hair and makeup)?
Hello, Parebernet! All of our Design Star designers are 10o percent responsible for their own wardrobes, hair and makeup for the entire season. We had no one helping them at all (except for when they were on The Talk). I approve all of their interview outfits in advance and the outfits they wear in the show open, but other than that it’s totally up to them to dress themselves.

Meg has been the reigning Design Star for a little less than a year now…did being on-set bring back any fun/not fun memories for her?
I’m on set with Meg right now, so I asked her your question directly! She said that coming back to Design Star brought back two sets of memories and emotions for her. One was total and ultimate fear when she stepped into the evaluation studio. She said she had literally blocked out the ‘fear’ that she had felt from that part of the process until she stepped back in it…so it gave her a bit of a stomach ache! However, that feeling was overridden by the incredible love and support she received from Vern and Gen when she was on the show this year. She said that it ended up being so much fun being on the other side of the process – and that Gen and Vern made her feel like she was truly a member of the HGTV family!

Best on-set moment from this week’s episode?
By far it was being on the set of The Talk! The designers (and production team) were so excited to be part of something so huge for their camera challenge. My personal favorite moment was sitting in the audience of The Talk and cheering on all four of the designers. I was like a proud Papa watching my kids grow up in front of millions of people!

How exciting for the designers to be guests on The Talk! Which designer do you think was the most nervous before they went on stage? Did the demos sound different in person than they did on the show?
Surprisingly none of them seemed all that nervous! Hilari was LOVING the spotlight. Danielle was dancing and singing just moments before going on air. Britany looked like a supermodel on set, and people backstage thought she was a celebrity. And Mikel, who had taken hosting classes prior to Design Star, was so polished that he seemed like a regular contributor on the show. They all did so well…it was by far our most polished season.

Have a question for Loren? Ask in the comments below and he may just answer you next week!

Posted at 1:23 pm

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  1. Do the designers have a budget for each challenge? I'm asking because I live in LA and know that the stores you show them shopping in are not cheap!

    Joanna on July 13, 2012 at 9:46 am
  2. The winner is Britany, i know it!

    Krystal on July 13, 2012 at 10:49 am
  3. what color of blue did Britany use on her wall?

    blondie on July 13, 2012 at 11:32 am
    • I read her blog and it says Dunn Edwards mythical blue, i think i might try it out too.

      JohnsonsFamily on July 13, 2012 at 12:37 pm
  4. I love watching Britany every episode and unfortunately we see less of her than the others. I don't know why even the challenges she excels at we don't get to see more of her and the process like we have with the others in the past… why is that?!

    JohnsonsFamily on July 13, 2012 at 12:36 pm
    • I totally agree. What's up?

      Linda on July 16, 2012 at 11:30 am
    • I agree…Hilari is a trip! HGTV should schedule her with Meg. The show would be HILARious! I like Danielle as well but Brittany's designs have outscored Danielle's in the last 3 shows to include the Yert or Yurt. This was the best design start show ever…a lot of talent. The contestants have made it hard for the judges to decide. I am so excited that you would think I was one of the finalists. Anyway, good luck…the decision will be made in a few minutes. Yikes!

      Tess on July 17, 2012 at 5:48 pm
  5. I really want Design Star to return to its roots. Find a group of unknowns, like David was, and run the show like it was in the first season. There are a lot of "diamonds-in-the-rough" waiting to be discovered and HGTV is instead seeking out established professionals. What does everyone else think?

    Allen on July 13, 2012 at 4:52 pm
  6. Would Design Star ever do away with the camera challenge? I watch the show for design, and it seems like I have to pay my dues to the network so the show can pick the winning designer, but that's not why I watch the show, and it cuts out time that we could hear more from the designer's? I would like to see the show develop a series of design steps that a typical designer follows and see how the contestants follow certain methods or some other process they go through?

    David on July 13, 2012 at 6:36 pm
  7. Could the judges become more involved with the designer's before the judges panel? Normally if a designer goes to a client, they bring back color samples and fabric samples, and then the client picks which one they want and then the designer continues the work, but we miss this important step, and we only see the designer's fighting with each other, and then all of a sudden, the project is done and then to make it worse, the judges base there decision on the end result of which they have never interacted with the designer's. I would like to see more of a process where the designer brings in samples, and color boards, furniture choices. I would even like to see the designer's go on trips with faux clients to pick out furniture, and then have to create rooms based on what their faux clients picked out. It's all about the designer's process, and it seems lately that the judges are basing the choice on facts that appearantly they don't know about until after their decision? Thanks for your consideration.

    David on July 13, 2012 at 6:56 pm
  8. Thank you, Loren, for taking the time to answer our questions. I love the show and tune in every week. I even watch the repeats, in case I missed something the first time around. That says something important about the way the show is structured. For me, the hour flies by and I'm left hungry for more. What more could a producer want from a TV program? I'm sure it is a challenge balancing all of the different elements within the time allowed, taking into account the commercials necessary to pay for the program. And one thing more: Vern Yip is the bomb! His evaluations are always spot on – and help the viewer understand why a design or design element works or doesn't work. He can articulate his knowledge clearly and concisely in thirty seconds or less. The man was born for television.

    Parkebernet on July 13, 2012 at 8:38 pm
  9. Please someone tell me where I can get that gorgeous gunmetal circles light fixture that Britany used over the dining table!

    Julie on July 14, 2012 at 4:51 am
  10. Loren, if I want a room redone – or a house or something, how would I qualify for Design Star competitors to do it? What would you charge? How does that work?

    Maggie on July 14, 2012 at 4:11 pm

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