Burning Questions

Eliminated contestant Marilyn talks Coco, Gaga, and what designing for the "real woman" means to her.

Jan 8, 2010

Bravotv.com: Expand on why you wanted to start your own fashion line.
I started my line to address the need for chic, sophistication and casual elegance for the lady who does not have a lot of disposable cash and wants to have versatile, yet flattering clothes in her closet. Whose clothes has a dual purpose, but also makes a fabulous statement that can not be denied.  When i think of my relatives, Barbara Stewart/Graves, Dean Evans, Dianne Wiggins, etc. I think of style for all sizes and all ages.

Bravotv.com: You said you're designing "for the real woman." Explain what that means to you and describe your collection concept.
Real women are women who lead real lives. In this economy most women work and they have to play the social role. Real women have luscious curves, but are in good health. Real women take pride in their attire whether running to work or going to a party. Real women give love, love themselves, and get love.

Bravotv.com: This episode you were challenged to create a wild card piece for your collection. what was your reaction to this and what did you have in mind initially?

Initially, I wanted to do an over the top piece with a double flap split so you only detach it while walking with a large O shaped tire of the same material as the dress, that looked like the dress in my first design, but had crystals scattered on it. It also was reversable and you could wear it off the shoulder, on both shoulders, over the head, draped down the back, etc. We would have won hands down.  It will be released in the Lilly R. line in the stores or if i can get a spot on QVC!

Bravotv.com: What did you think when Lady Gaga walked in? How did she help you in the process?
Lady gaga is now a huge icon. At the time, Idid not know who she was. We met her early in her career. She is a very nice, talented, intelligent positive person. She did not influence my designs other than to know you have to make your design style your own.  I saw her later at the VMAS and reminded her we met on the Bravo set. She was so engaging and delightful. I think we could hang and have big fun.