In terms of trendsetters -- which fads do you believe should have become trends?
Right now, I'm loving '80's punk. Nancy Spungen in leather pencil skirts and big sweaters & sweat shirts.
What would YOU have done with shoulderpads?
Jackets are so in now. I would have loved to have done a jacket with hard, square shoulders a la Jean Paul Gaultier.
In terms of creating a collection, how much does cohesion matter to you?
A good collection is very much cohesive, "seamless", if you will. I've always been amazed when a designer is able to send a single silhouette down the runway x number of times, but manage to have it looking different each time.
I was floored when I saw Nicolas Ghesquiere's Spring 2008 collection for Balenciaga. He sent the same structured dress down the runway thirty six times, and each one was as dramatic as the next.
Do you think of trends when you create your own lines?
I don't really think of trends. For me, it's more of a feeling. What am I feeling for the next season? What's the mood?
What trend would you like to be known for?
I think designing in fashion is all about being able to feel the pulse of the time. It can all change so quickly and there are so many variables at once. Fashion is so much about knowing what is right for when. At the end of what I hope to be many years in a very long and established career, I hope to be known, simply, as a talented designer.
What did you think of Chris?
Chris was one of the few designers in our season who I didn't entirely connect with, personally or aesthetically. I can see that he has a certain sense of humor, but I knew early on that it's not one that I particularly relate to either. I can say, however, that he does know how to sew.
There is a one minute stretch of time where you all have to choose your own teams. What was that like?
From the moment that Tim told us we had to choose our teams, I knew exactly which trends would go with the one I had.
What did you think when you saw Donna Karan as a guest judge?
I actually interned one summer at Donna Karan's collection studio when I first started out in fashion. It was after she had already sold her label to LVMH. She would still come in and try on every single piece in the collection. It was kind of amazing, just listening to her comments. Always on point and insightful. Besides, doesn't she look pretty fabulous now?
There's certainly a lot of conflict between you and Ricky this episode. What was your take on the disagreement about who was team leader?
If anything, the "disagreement" had more to do with what's expected of a team leader, which seems pretty obvious. To lead, right? Ricky did not provide any leadership. He could hardly come up with design ideas. (The one I distinctly recall him suggesting was fluorescent lace...the thought still makes me shudder.) So if he wasn't contributing as a team player, how could he lead?
When you have a team leader who doesn't, or can't, lead, what do you do? Sit back and watch the tower fall? That's not me. I'm a creative person for goodness' sake, I have ideas. What's funny – or scary, depending on how you look at it – is that Ricky was constantly asking for my or Elisa's counsel. He could not make a single decision on his own. It was only after I voiced my grievances to him that it conveniently became a situation where I was imposing my ideas, even though he had actively sought them. I guess Ricky would say, and rather crudely, that I didn't have the so-called balls to want to be team leader (again.) But I hope he knows that it takes more than "cojones" to actually lead.
You say on the show that you sometimes need some time to wait and see what you think/feel about things... which must be really frustrating in a competitive environment. Can you talk about that in terms of this challenge?
A lot of times in this type of work, you need to see something before you can decide if it's a go. Some of it is intuitive and just visceral. But there's a large part of it which can be intellectual and analytical.
For me, it's the balance of these two areas which makes fashion interesting. Sometimes, things just kind of hit...people might call it inspiration...but you can't always determine when that idea hits. It just happens. And if it's a good idea you can't ignore it. Unfortunately, the bad ideas aren't always easy to ignore either.