Burning Questions

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

Jan 8, 20100


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.

21 comments
Coill
Coill

check for less online shopping

Bekka
Bekka

Poor Marilyn had a bad "expert" who refused to work with her. I was rooting for Marilyn. I would like to see her back in Season 2 with someone who really knows what they are doing.

Patrick has been on way too long. Patrick and his expert are both a train wreck of no taste. blah

This is an interesting show!

Mandalyn
Mandalyn

I wish that the "Designers" would of had the option to choice a new "Expert" from the ones who were eliminated ~Like on Project Runway where they can choose a different model~ I think that would have benefited Patrick & Marilyn both! It was unfair that they both got eliminated bc their "Experts" had their own agenda. Great Job Marilyn! A lady should always be classy! Good Luck!

L M Franks
L M Franks

Marilyn,

I am not even going to dignify my comments with any mention of your former partner.

Your designs were fabulous. It was a shame that most times your ideas were not brought (or could not be brought) to fruition. I did not like your last dress. The judges were right about the back piece. It would have looked fabulous if there was a draped V in the front and back (similar to Kathy's blue jumpsuit) with a crystal band around the entire waist (not just pinned to the back).

Find someone who can sew and remake the dress. Vanessa's partner would be a good choice.

All the best with your line and don't let anyone get in your way!

Regards,

Linda Bermuda

EJ
EJ

Marilyn you are a great designer. KoKo really put the screw to you. She brought nothing but negative energy and laziness from the start of the show. Stay on your track to your dream.Your designs were elegant and I would wear them.

JDGeorgia
JDGeorgia

Marily, your designs were gorgeous and wearable, and on top of that you were mature and gracious and professional. If you had not been saddled with someone as juvenile, self-absorbed and unprofessional as Coco, you could have gone much further. Your grace toward her is an inspiration. You're right, she's damaged and you can't fix that. You just had to do the best you could with the situation. That's life. Sometimes life hands you lemons. But as you move forward, I'm sure you will find an investor, and you can assemble your own team. With the right partners, you will be unstoppable! I'm rooting for you. You are a beautiful being.

MaryMo
MaryMo

Marilyn, I would love to have the opportunity to design like you! I was disappointed that they dispatched you and not Patrick, but I figured that Patrick and Roberto's antics made for more riveting TV ratings than Coco's whining. That girl made me cringe! So many designers forget that the professional woman isn't a size Zero, and doesn't want to dress like a child, yet we still want to be stylish. Of course, we get the last laugh - WE HAVE THE MONEY! Looking forward to blowing it on your office couture!

Donna D.
Donna D.

Marilyn, u were my favorite, u designed sexy and mature clothing. But, thst COCO is a unhappy COOCOO whose altitude was rude towards you. I wont buy a string from her, but your line when it comes out girl I will be 1st in line. I wish you much success, because u already r there just do you. your audience awaits :)

MaryBalto
MaryBalto

I might be done with this show. Marilyn was so gracious and tactful and had the worst "designer" to work with. Nobody left does anything for me. I'm so disappointed. I'm leaving for vacation on Friday and I think I'm done with this show. Stupid decision "judges". Marilyn designed great outfits!

McKenna G
McKenna G

Marilyn -- On the show and in your comments, you showed maturity and business savy and compassion. I am a plus-size business woman who very much needs the kind of clothes you were/are designing and who was rooting for you.

What can one say about poor Coco? She's obviously a damaged soul, who put revenge above any sense of professionalism or grace or teamwork. I don't think anyone in the fashion industry will consider her a "team player" no matter what the judges comments. Anyone who's motto is "You hurt my feelings and I'll bury you," is not someone I'd want to work with.

Neet Neet
Neet Neet

You made the best of an unfortunate situation. I really think you should be given a second chance with someone who really wanted to be on the show. Good luck in the future, you are truly talented. Class Act!!!!

Carma
Carma

I love your designs. I would buy and wear them. I can't believe that Coco's sabotage was tolerated. Her final smirk when the design was being critiqued clinched it and told me that she was living proof that "misery loves company". Marilyn, I wish you well and hope you continue to pursue the design line. I am a "Real Woman" waiting for designs like yours....made for me. Your exit comments were selfless and classy. In life, I have learned..."the bigger the devil...the higher the level". You are about to move to the next level. Keep looking forward and leave deadbeats where you encounter them.

Luv your work Girl!!!!

Carma

Sallie H Spiller
Sallie H Spiller

I could not BELIEVE the negativity from Coco! I think Marilyn was most gracious in her comments and approach...she tried so hard to work with this negative girl....what else could she have done to win? I think Marilyn should have another chance to design. I also wear extra large clothes and would like to see Marilyn's designs once again.

Mary K
Mary K

I loved Marilyn's designs. It's such shame that she was matched with such a negative partner. Marilyn had visions, Coco could never see beyond a text book. Cocoa should have checked her ego at the door, not Marilyn. I would work for Marilyn in a NY heartbeat. Good luck, Marilyn!

MACWILLDU
MACWILLDU

I was heartbroken when your name was called to leave the show. Your expert, was a cop out, you were doomed from the jump, hindsight. I loved the way you showed attitude when walking away from the show, you go girl. Marilyn, I really do hope you launch your line. And cudos for having a good attitude. Love you in Louisiana.

Lalara
Lalara

I am sorry u were eliminated because I really liked your designs. I agree that Coco was an impediment to completing your vision.

Kudos
Kudos

It was obvious you were not paired with an expert, Marilyn - your teammate was a little girl who constantly threw time-consuming and needless tantrums. Her cocoklicks website shows she hasn't designed anything since 2006, and it was a mismatch from the start. You design for women, it appears her aesthetic is to make a woman look like a little girl. She doesn't have your sophisticated perspective, and the hosts seem clueless as well. I don't buy their clothes anyway, but as a member of your target audience who buys lots of clothes every season, I'll certainly being following your success.

Janette
Janette

I thought Coco was a pain in the ??? to Marilyn and all the conflict she caused used up Marilyn's time to design. All she did was complain and whine. I think Marilyn deserves another shot. You expert shouldn't make you more and more stressed while competing on TV.

Jeannelle
Jeannelle

Marilyn,

I think that you had the most difficult task which was to deal with Coco's negativity. The designing end of it was fabulous but the executioner was not your partner. I admire you and wish you the best and know that you will launch a beautiful line!!! :-)

AJKnows
AJKnows

I loved your designs for the real world. Yours was the only collection I could envision myself wearing. The wildcard dress was rather common but you get credit for overcoming all and sending anything down the runway. I'll Google Lilly R from time to time.

Anadion
Anadion

To Marilyn Crawford, You are a great lady and it is sad your Line was not Launched by Bravo. Too bad you were partnered with quite a low selfsteemed and negative expert, who does not appreciate someone like you. She might have been a sewing wizard, but as a human being she "so sucked"! Nevertheless, their (Bravo TV)narrowsightness will be your grand success... there are many of us who will benefit from your vision, caring and work ethics. God Speed!