It's a Camp-tastrophe
Laura Brown tells the designers to focus on the mystery and discusses her favorite femme fatale
LB: This is the third episode, and for some designers it was third-time lucky, for others…not so much. The design challenge was to create a killer dress for a femme fatale. There were some dresses that were gorgeous and others that were more fatal than femme.
Bravo: Who are some of your favorite femme fatale through time?
Laura Brown: Marlene Dietrich. There's nothing like that woman. She had an ineffable quality of mystery, and she really knew how to wear the pants. The key to being a femme fatale is having mystery — and you have to be a real woman. A girl can't be a femme fatale. You have to have lived.
Bravo: What did you think of House of Emerald's "disco vampire" concept?
LB: What you don't see in the show is them explaining the concept to me — it was so convoluted, it was hysterical. She was a vampire, she loved disco, I think she was going to Studio 54? It was so camp. A true femme fatale, as Dita Von Teese (who was co-judging with us) would say, is not camp. And there was a lot of color in the collection. There was purple and red and mesh and tulles…and somebody had a cape! You don't have to look like Dracula to be a woman of the night. (And no, I don't mean that kind of woman of the night.)
Bravo: The House of Nami's looks were very cohesive, but lacked a bit of pizzazz. What did you think worked and didn't?
LB: I really liked Eduardo's dress — we all did. He has an amazing ability to create the most dramatically constructed cocktail dresses. Iman and I would have worn that dress in a second. The one challenge with him is whether he's going to make that dress over and over again. He's done a variation of that dress three times. Calvin's dress moved well but the hem was too long and the paillettes were a little Liza Minnelli. I said, "Who's going to wear that?" and he said, "I'll wear it!" To where? Maybe in his drag dreamscape. Overall, it was a tighter collection. It was more elegant as a rule, even if it wasn't heart-pounding.
Bravo: Right behind Eduardo, was Dominique's dress/coat combination. Were you surprised at how she's turning out pieces, considering how young she is?
LB: You know what? If you have a knack for fashion it doesn't matter if you're 21 or 51. She's a very gutsy girl: She'll go all out and make a dress and a coat in 24 hours. She's ballsy. She really goes for it. I'll give her points for that every time.
Bravo: What did you think of Tamara's outfit? Why did it deserve the cut this week?
LB: Oy, red leather pants and a red leather peplum jacket worn with black knee-high boots. She wasn't really feeling the femme fatale challenge. Mary J. Blige was her inspiration, but I don't think even Mary J. Blige would wear that! Dita really lambasted her. She said it was like a sale rack in 1982. I like Tamara so much, she's so charismatic and has such a presence, but she was stubborn and ended up making something else. And it was....notsogood.
Bravo: Were you surprised with Cesar's dress, as it was a major departure/misstep for him?
LB: It was a camp-tastrophe. It had a cape and a purple-red panel trimmed in sequins, and he put this netting around the bottom. So what I said to him was, "Throw off the cape, throw off the netting…oh that's better." I love throwing things off the stage — is that weird? Cesar's virtue is in simplicity, and he really overdid it this time. But he knew it.
Bravo: What other pieces really surprised you this week?
LB: I was surprised that Golnessa's dress didn't reflect how well she dresses personally. It looked like "baby's first cocktail dress." Her personal style is so cute, but her dresses haven't reflected that. Eduardo's was by far the best dress this week. Hmm, maybe Calvin should wear that.