What did you think when the models arrived on the runway?
I was not back in the competition yet, so I missed out on all of that.
What is your take on designing for what is referred to as "The Everyday Woman?"
I think designing for the "everyday woman" is about realizing that most women are not a size 2, and that they have concerns and needs when it comes to their clothing. I deal with these issues all the time as a costumer.
Jack goes home because of the Staph infection. What were your feelings? How did that strike you?
I knew some of what was going on with Jack, but apparently his condition got much worse after I was eliminated; I was only told he had to leave the show for "medical reasons". We all put so much time, energy, and sacrifice into the show; I thought it was sad he had to lose the opportunity because of his infection.
The return of Chris March! What was that like?
At first, I thought maybe they were joking: how could this be happening? They told me to bring my tools, and then before I knew it, I was thrown into the challenge without the whole thing really sinking in. When I walked into the workroom, the response was overwhelming. I was so happy to be back, but then it was time to face the long night ahead.
There is a giggly sort of hilarity to having Tim in the workroom. Is that common?
I think people feel very warmly towards Tim. I think this season we felt a little more friendly and attached to him than before. He has become so familiar to America that you can't help but think that you already know him. I think that advanced our relationship with him to a new level.
What did you think of Christian's design?
I thought it was great. He took his whole "fashion forward" thing and toned it down a little with great results.
Everyone seemed to jump in to help Steven finish his design. What did you think of it?
Boy, in my world a black dress with a white collar and cuffs only means one thing: maid. I think Steven was dealt a tough challenge, and he just lost his focus with it.
Was there anything else about this particular challenge that struck you as difficult or interesting?
It's funny, I could relate to these women. I have lost and gained back 200 pounds three times in my life. I understand the joy, as well as the hesitation, in embracing your new look. I've also done lots of taking in and letting out of old clothes!
What's it like in the workroom alone, in the middle of the night?
Quiet! Only me, no interruptions, no fighting over the sewing machines. I have pulled more all-nighters than I care to remember.
Your garment was called "Paris Hooker in the fifties." What's the trap of "costuming" in fashion?
I learned a lot after that challenge. Even the slightest hint of costume was going to get knocked, so I avoided it like the plague after that. Even if it limited my creativity, I had to learn how to edit out what the judges considered "cliche." Not that plenty of fashion doesn't contain a flavor of costume, but they just were not going to accept it from me.