Were you excited about the challenge when it was first announced?
I was definitely excited because I am completely enthralled by avant-garde fashion and art. I thought the hairstyles were totally outrageous and it was cool to see the hair team have a super creative moment as well.
What does "avant garde" mean to you?
I think defining terms is quite critical for this challenge. Fashion is full of vagaries as aesthetic itself is so entirely subjective. I could probably write an entire dissertation on this now, but I'll keep it concise. For me, avant-garde is understood as art, music, literature, etc, that is experimental and/or conceptual and/or innovative. In the past I have done what I call "avant-garde" as such: imaginative, experimental fashion outside the tradition of a runway show, which in no way means that it is necessarily "couture". I believe the two terms can be separate and unison. In this challenge, I think it is best when the two terms are the same breath. That is where I faltered for the judges. I was thrilled by the opportunity to explore the "conceptual" explanation of the hairstyle ... ultimately, it was a cool idea, but it wasn't couture.
How did it go working with Ricky? There didn't seem to be any problems.
I didn't have any problems working with Ricky. I think one reason is because we would run at the gym together, so we had a bond outside the workroom, and we respected each other inside the workroom. I think Ricky felt comfortable with me as the team leader. We were both excited about the dress and had fun making it together.
Were you worried at all about the fabrics you chose? That seemed to be a big point of contention with the judges.
I was a little worried about the bright colors cause the other teams were dark. But, dude, this is what is so funny about the challenge. I wasn't worried about all the different fabrics because the total image is what I saw in my head. I wanted different colors, layers, and textures. Hindsight's the devil. I totally got what they were saying.
What did you think of the other designers' looks?
I was really blown away by Christian. He made that whole dress by himself minus the headdress. I am always impressed by the outcome of Jillian's diligence and determination.
How did you come up with the concept for the ready-to-wear look?
A quart of excitement, a stick of conceptual development, a pinch of exhaustion, a dash of irritability from Challenge 7, and a cup of edamame mixed fabric with a Ricky and stirred!
REALLY though ... I thought Marie's hair looked like a nest AND I have always been obsessed with Li Edelkoort who is this rad trend forecaster who works out of Paris. She has written about a trend called "nesting" which brings one into the home. It's not just about enjoying your environment, but also "engaging" with it to survive difficult times."Nests" -- using layers of texture and color ... I went off of that in my own way ... or the wrong way maybe, huh?
Did you think you would be the one sent home or that your group would be in the bottom two at all?
I knew I would be in the bottom two because I wasn't able to do the finishing on the garment that might have saved it. Or not. I only half expected to go home. Until I chose myself. But it was honest, so it was cool.
What did you think of the judges' comments about the garment looking "cheap?"
I thought: This is for a picture of a crazy hairstyle in a magazine ... right? To me, the challenge was to create an advertisement. I saw my garment through a camera lens in a garden with beautiful lighting and Marie looking amazing. When I conceived of the dress I wasn't thinking about selling a haute couture gown -- I was thinking about a beautiful picture. And then on the runway i looked at my gown and the haze of herbivore hunger and ensure for my health disappeared and i remembered, "Oh yeah ... I'm on this show to do fashion, not a photo shoot."
Anything else you want to talk about?
Team leaders in the bottom ...kind of a snooze BUT mostly I want to thank all the other designers for being such amazing human beings. I have acquired friendships that are truly beautiful and life-altering. Thank you all!
What's next for you?
So many things! still working as as a stylist at E!, working on a small ready-to-wear collection that I will have ready in March here in Los Angeles! I am selling my hair accessories at Studio in Fred Segal in Santa Monica, and my online shop is doing rad. Thanks to all the amazing fans, and I feel prepared to greet new opportunities as they arise!