Laura Brown

Laura Brown tells the designers to focus on the mystery and discusses her favorite femme fatale

on Nov 23, 2010

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.