Cast Blog: #LAUNCHMYLINE

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Patrick and the Snake

Kathy Rose: "My Heart Skipped a Beat"

It's Been Real

Over the Top!

Kathy Rose: "It feels great to make it this far!"

It's Tough Out There

Merle: "I Guess I Was Wrong!"

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Lady Marmalade

High and Dry

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

What Went Down

Out on the Town

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The One Where Merle Finally Won

Choices

Kathy Rose: "I Couldn't Believe It!"

Luck of the Draw

Don't Bungle the Jungle

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A Lot to Judge

David Applebaum: "My Big Mouth"

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No Wrong Path

Louanna Rawls: The Right Direction

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Stay Tuned

It's All Happening!

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 Tough Out There

Judge Stefani doesn't hold back in her critique of the final four teams!

Transition ...... 8 experts in their individual fields have evolved into 4 fabulous design teams. Over the past 6 episodes we have watched this competition bring out the best, and worst, in people.

The stress, pressure and silence in the design room this week was enough to test a flawless relationship. Combined with the super articulate critique by Kara Saun, even a warrior could crumble. We witnessed Galina's tears, Louanna's angst, Merle's moment of insecurity and Kathy's frustration. But did these fabulous people take it or make it personal? NO!! I was so impressed with all of the teams and their support of and for each other. It's tough out there in the real world, especially when up against deadlines. The FIT (on every level) SURVIVE and THRIVE. Talent is just not enough. An inability to communicate and work with others can destroy even the most promising (Marilyn and Coco).

Oh yeah, the clothes. My LEAST favorite looks of the competition other than Kathy's winner. It was an extremely difficult decision to eliminate Louanna and Jim. I love Louanna's confidence and taste level. Jim -- you are a master tailor!

There is sooooo much to look forward to in the finales. Trust me - it has been worth the wait!!!

See ya for the launch!

- x Stefani