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‘Bikini or Bust' a fun, fluffy fashion fix

Ashley Paige:

Bikini or Bust

10 p.m. Friday, TLC

If you're an A-list bikini designer with a client list that includes Christina Aguilera, Jennifer Lopez and Gwen Stefani, you've got it made, right?

Not if you're Ashley Paige, an Earthy designer who has carved out a niche in the world of high-end bathing suits, but is tottering on the brink of bankruptcy.

She doesn't have money to pay for parking, she says, or the rent on her studio in Los Angeles. The demand for her knit suits is high, but she doesn't have the financial backing to increase production, so she's at a standstill.

“Bikini or Bust” is a fun, fluffy fashion fix for the summer months. It's a chance for aspiring designers to get a behind-the-scenes look at the fashion biz. Not everyone becomes Vera Wang or Marc Jacobs overnight, if at all.

Paige's lack of business acumen is amplified by her non-traditional approach to business: she pulls tarot cards before leaving for work every day and holds a séance and lights candles to help summon money.

We're quickly introduced to those who try to keep the Ashley bikini train on the tracks: her mother, Leah, with whom she lives; Antoinette, her opinionated assistant; Juan, the knitter who brings her designs to life.

Her mom is adorably anti-LA, plying Ashley and pencil-thin runway models with biscuits and doughnuts. Leah will tell anyone and everyone the story of Ashley: how she boarded a Greyhound bus in Florida with $300 and three suitcases and is now living her fashion dream. Almost, except for those pesky bills…

Style Editor Rachel Sutherland

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