Patrick and the Snake

Former contestant David gives his take on the latest episode.

I’ll call this one “Patrick and the Snake” and tell you that I wish I could have seen that interaction up close. I could really feel the added stress of a challenge due in half of the time allowed in previous challenges. With a shorter window, this was a challenge that really hinged on the skills and working relationships of the experts. Well I have been in the studio and I have seen every one of the competitors in action, so I wasn’t worried about Merle or Louanna; they have two facile experts. Those two ladies know their stuff, so I did not expect either Merle or Louanna to make a misstep.  And then ANOTHER FIELD TRIP? I was wondering why… until well, who didn’t love watching Patrick deal with a snake and Marilyn interact with the tarantula? Oh how fun it would have been to see the crew trying to have Patrick keep the snake in his work space for continuous inspiration…

With so little time to create the next piece in their collection, this was the chance to see the teams make decisions on the fly and the experts had to be able to offer their professional perspective on what could or could not be fabricated in a short time frame. I was already worried about Patrick because Roberto prefers to work on hand sewn couture and this was going to be a jumper that had to be sewn quickly. They had not seen eye to eye and any missteps would really mess them up. You could see that train wreck coming. Marilyn and Coco don’t see eye to eye either, but Coco is so skilled they have a little more room to maneuver with. Eric and Galina are a perfect pair, you haven’t seen much of it in any of the episodes, but they are a hoot. I wish my work space would have been next to theirs. Besides, Eric was assigned the toucan… could that guy have been more lucky? A toucan, his fabrics and Galina… no way he was going in the bottom 3.

Let’s get to the garments. I have to start with Kathy. When she was in the bottom 3 with me last week, I knew she would not be dropped because she and Emil are so capable, as seen this week. I have so much respect for Emil. Did you see the 3 versions they were working on simultaneously? Emil and Kathy worked so well at honing the fabric and cut and delivering a spectacular piece that would look great on so many women. Oh and my personal gratitude for creating a deceptively simple garment in black that won.  I was also in the bottom 3 with Vanessa and even though she claims that no one gets her, in the end it is about how well the garment looks, and if you have seen Tressa’s line… well she can make anything look fierce. I can be included amongst those that haven’t “gotten” her first two pieces, but I really liked this one and do not think she deserved to be in the bottom 3. Unlike other safe choices (and you know who you are), this one was her point of view but (in my opinion) very well done. Why is it that I have a feeling there was another component to Merle’s garment? I know it was supposed to be a one piece, but this one just looked so much tamer than what I know she is capable of.

Kevin… I guess it was just your time. Someone gets eliminated each week and all it takes is one miscalculation, especially with an abbreviated timeframe. There was too much detail in that garment to put together in such a short challenge, but I wouldn’t put an attempt of that magnitude past Kevin. Most of you might not have heard of Kevin Black before, but of all of my fellow contestants… I had heard his name before I had heard of any of the others. More than a decade ago, before rap music became mainstream I was designing the headquarters for Virgin Records and something for Quincy Jones, and Kevin’s name was among the original pioneers mentioned time and time again by some of the biggest names in the music industry. Kevin was certainly behind the scenes, but he is among the group of rebels that broke down that wall. There was a lot of talk about how much these guys were risking and what kind of character it took to take on the establishment. I for one, am glad that they succeeded, and was pleased to finally meet him. Now welcome to the “dropped” group… population 3 and all men.

Oh and Patrick, you know I love you… but I am sure you went home that night thanking your lucky stars. I would bet that your original concept was much nicer than what happened when you took the scissors out of Roberto’s hands. It looked to me like every time you two tried to fix something, it created two more problems. But you’ve survived to compete another week… and next week the challenge might get another team to stumble. I cannot wait to see what it is and who it affects.

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