Bravotv.com: The challenge required you to make a distressed garment for your line. What were your initial thoughts about this challenge?
I was very interested in distressing - I love distressed leather and I like ripped up hemlines and avant garde clothes. I just didn't want to do it on denim. So I used brocade! It was the richest fabric, and I thought ripping up something rich looking was a much cooler way to go. It fringed in the most amazing way. I LOVED using the little torches and pics at the wash house, that was cool! I thought it was a great challenge, and I'm so glad most of the other competitors didn't go obvious and use denim. I definitely want to keep using this technique - it's very modern. And it's sort of punk and Goth, two anti-establishment movements that I love and relate to.
Bravotv.com: You were also inspired by another contestant, Louanna. How did she influence your garment?
Louanna's aesthetic was "simple elegant chic." She also tends to wear things that are close to the body, and her clothes for the show were body conscious. I know our jacket is pretty elaborate, and she didn't relate to it - which is fine (cause I do!! I think it's GORGEOUS!) - but the jersey convertible dress with the distressing is body conscious and looks like something she would wear - or make. She'd look hot in that dress, I think. > > You were the inspiration for Kathy's look. What did you think of her > creation? MG: I was watching all the effort Kathy put into distressing that fabric, ironing it to make it crinkle - it was amazing. I love the gold color and our line has a lot of coppers and golds in in - it's the best hue for brunettes. I can't wear a backless dress cause my boobs are too big - I need a bra, girl! - but for the model, I thought the dress was very chic and very Merle. I really loved the fabric.
Bravotv.com: How did Thai help you along in this challenge?
Thai had worked for BCBG and knows everything about denim and how to work with it. He also understood my instant dislike for denim. He was really happy we were working with brocade, was very game to make TWO pieces and not one - and that's the speedy in him that allows him to finish two garments in the time it takes others to make one - and he applied his great tailoring skills to the jacket and the dress. He really made these pieces FIT. We kept changing the shape of the jacket, because we were criticized on show 5 for the shape of our short jacket. We kept wittling away on these pieces till the bitter end of the challenge. We definitely WANTED to win!