Marilyn Crawford: "I Do Not Want to Blame Anyone"

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


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.

Bravotv.com: How were you inspired by lady gaga and the sunglasses?

I loved the sunglasses because when I am fully dressed and get ready to walk out for whatever occasion I look for the right pair to compliment my outfit, especially if i am arriving on red carpets or walking in front of the media on a sunshine filled day.

Bravotv.com: You clearly had some issues with your design expert Coco. Describe your work relationship and your experience with her.
Coco is a very interested young lady. Perhaps she had not experienced the kind of generosity, kindness and love I have in life. So you must not judge, you never know what might have been going on in her personal life? Coco and I obviously had no working relationship unless everything was her way, but I learned from the experience that you cannot make everything OK, some things you have to let go. some people do not want to be happy, cooperative, have major fun, and live their best life.

Bravotv.com: Do you think your disconnection with coco was ultimately to blame?
I do not want to blame anyone, it is what it is and i have definitely moved far beyond the show. somethings are obvious and you know the answer.

Bravotv.com: the judges said you were a visionary, but your designs were obvious. How would you respond to that criticism?

I am visionary, my designs were fabulous, but were limited to what my expert was capable of sewing and making a pattern for. So you draw the conclusions.

Bravotv.com: What's next? Are you still hoping to launch your line?
I am definitely going to launch my line, in both casual business and a line of white blouses. I have windsorptm, an interactive integrated branding, technology/HD streaming and strategic marketing firm. So yes, I am already into the next thanks to all of you and an incredible support system. Also, check out 2810vegas.com, my business club for special events.....

Bravotv.com: Anything else you would like to add?

A special thank you to my beautiful supporters and fantastic viewers. I appreciate your support, emails, blogging, comments, and letters. It was a difficult journey. Instead of having 1 challenge like the other designers, i had 4.

1. Creating the winning design. (Which was supposed to be my only challenge)

2. Coping with the negative attitude of my partner "can't do, not enough time, will not happen, it won't work."

3. At critical times an absentee partner.

4. Trying to teach myself how to cut patterns, sew and fit.

I was taught you always do your best and have a positive attitude. I knew I was in trouble when half way thru my expert told me;  1. She said she gave up on her dream of becoming a top parisian/european designer. A lesson for me and you, anyone who gives up on her dreams is not going to help you accomplish yours.

However,  there is a platinum lining. As Joel Osteen says," it is my time." The line will be launched.Tthere is someone out there that recognizes the demand for real ladies and will supply the need. Look for Llilly R. and when you do not see it in stores ask for it. Let them know we have a voice that will not be silenced.

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It's Been Real

"As each designer introduced their collection and I saw their work unfold on the runway it made me so proud to be a part of LML."

It's been real - Kathy and Emil and Native Rose are victorious! What a finale! (How cool was Fergie? Positive, confidence building, supportive and kind - thanks for celebrating the designers rather than turning their world upside down in the last hours before the launch.)

I love that the finale was aired in 2 parts. While watching last week's episode, the stress and chaos (especially for Kathy and Emil) had my stomach was in knots and I knew the outcome. Listening to the teams reflect on our critiques as part of the creative process was awesome. We (hosts/judges) took our job seriously and are proud to have played a role in the team's evolution. As each designer introduced their collection and I saw their work unfold on the runway it made me so proud to be a part of LML. There can only be one winner, this is a competition, but in life and fashion Eric, Galina, Merle, Thai, Kathy and Emil are ALL WINNERS - BRAVO!

Eric and Galina - you stayed true to your girl from day 1. The Desi J girl loves life and is sexy 'cause she feels it. And in these clothes she will look it! You were a wonderful "mix" of personalities and talent and treated each other with kindness, class and dignity at all times. I hope you collaborate on a line and please send me the look book to place an order. Best of luck in everything, you deserve it!!!

Merle and Thai - WOW! When I saw the evening gown hit the runway all I could think about was where I was going to wear it! The asymmetrical long dress, convertible distressed look, high waisted pant - I will forward my address and credit card privately as I MUST OWN! Your vision was clear since the beginning and focus fixated on a woman like me and so many others who want versatile, beautiful clothes. I believe in each of you individually and as partners you have potential for greatness. Everything happens for a reason. I know your connection and collection will live on way past LML. Please keep in touch, I can't wait to see the future of Inside/Out. It was beyond a pleasure to spend time with both of you.

Kathy and Emil - YAY!!!! Native Rose will be launched and I can't wait to shop Rue La La and get my hands on the strapless zebra dress and black jumpsuit! I am thrilled for you. Your integrity and value for each other and the Native Rose collection was clear in both your designs and relationship. Even in the arduous moments you respected each other, never made it or took it personally. The ability to work with others, manage, lead, is a true gift and a major ingredient in the design and business recipe.

Kathy, YOU are a JEWEL! May you only experience wonderful things in your life and actualize your dreams. Emil, you exude sophistication and charm. Native Rose is going to be on everyone's radar this Spring and I hope in seasons to come.

Congratulations on it all - I am so proud of and happy for you!!!

Dan and Dean- You are my G's and I, your J. New York, LA, Mykonos, London, Milan (Italy, Europe - ha ha!) Can't wait to see you soon!

Lisa Kline - LML did not introduce us but brought us closer. In the darkest moments of your life you radiated and marched on. You are a winner and a warrior and I love you. Viki, Holly, Mark, Jen and the entire LML family - thank you for a wonderful experience.

Until we meet again

- xx Stefani

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