Another field trip! Did you know instantly what wing you would use?
Honestly no. I spent an equal amount of time in each wing, taking every painting and piece of art in very seriously. In the end after realizing that the other three designers picked the same theme, I decided to go with the Roman wing because I saw so much beauty in every piece. There was a strong connection there.
What drew you to the specific sculpture in the wing you chose? Were you surprised at all by the other designers' chosen inspirations?
I loved the sculpture that I chose. It was stone and stood very still, yet at the same time it had so much movement and flow. I thought the ease it expressed in spite of its weight and stillness was truly sensual and beautiful. I was not surprised by what the other designers chose really and didn't spend much time thinking about it.
Did you ever consider using another wing just because you'd been so criticized by the judges for draping in the past?
I actually did. But in the end I followed my instinct. I knew then that I was in a Catch-22 position. If I chose draping then it was very likely that they would ask me why I didn't choose something different. On the other hand if I chose a different theme, they could have easily asked me why I didn't choose something that I did very well and that they expected from me. So in the end it didn't really matter. I did what I loved and as a designer you have to love what you do and follow your heart.
Honestly, for those who don't know, what does draping mean exactly, and what are the other options? What would be the opposite? Because we remember for Tiki you "draped" a pair of pants.
Draping is a beautiful and complicated craft. It might look easy and simple yet it is a very detailed process to achieve a sense of ease in a garment that is draped. When I drape a fabric, basically I am creating lines and shadows (kind of like sculpting) that create texture and flow. It's a process of moving a flat material around and molding it to a point that it appears in a flattering way around a body.
The opposite of draping would be construction, which I am also very capable of doing. For example I constructed patterns to create my denim, candy, mens, "What's the Skinny," Bitten, [and] trend team challenges. Construction would be working off muslin, pattern paper, and measurements to draft a pattern off a basic block. you would piece parts of the pattern together through seams that create a fitting garment. When you construct a pattern, you can drape a dress form with muslin. It is a term used also in construction where you lay the muslin on a dress form which is a step used before achieving a pattern. So you can drape muslin during construction which does not necessarily mean you are just draping another garment. I draped the muslin for the Tiki Barber challenge which was then used in the construction of my pants.
Did the judges' comments surprise you or you kind of knew what they're going to say at this point? Are you a big fan of Roberto Cavalli's work?
I wasn't surprised by the judges' comments. I am still proud and happy with my design in spite of what they said. Even when critiqued on my draping, the judges could not avoid the fact that it was a chic dress and quite wearable. If a dress is not wearable, then what is the point of designing? At the end of the day people need to be able to wear it and buy it.
I am not a big fan of Roberto's work. He exuded a negative energy and not because of his comments towards my dress but because of the way he delivered his lines.
What did you think of the other designer's garments? Any favorites?
I thought that Jillian's garment was beautiful and she deserved to win. It was creative and wearable at the same time. In fashion that is what it's all about. Creative ideas that are translated in wearable ways.
Without giving anything away obviously, tell us a little bit about the feeling of showing at Bryant Park.
It was very exciting to show in Bryant Park. There was a lot of great press and lots of celebrities who got to see my work. I am very proud of my collection and to be able to show at such an effective venue in a city that never sleeps gives me great exposure. In the end for me it is about business growth. I feel very proud.