Bravo: How was it being on the other side, going in and meeting with the designers before judging, and how did it influence your judgment of the clothes once they were completed?
LB: I really loved it, actually, because what I see normally is the final looks without knowing about the process behind them. I worked with the designers to try to contain some of the color palettes. Cesar wanted to do blue and orange and green, but it was like an exploding fruit salad. I had to rein them in a bit. Being a judge, I've missed that time seeing what goes on in the designers' heads by being behind the scenes. It gives you a clearer picture of what their concept is.
Bravo: This week the House of Emerald focused on building a Hamptons inspired collection. From your experience with the Hamptons, what did you think of their efforts?
LB: First things first, I am quite shocked at Cesar this episode. He decided to design two swimsuits and he said, "It's like taking a dump, that's how easy it is." I felt like I was watching Jersey Shore. He was doing one orange and one blue, and I said orange was a tricky color for most women to wear. Then he made this weird racial inference, saying that I only didn't like orange because I'm a blonde and that there are women of color in the Hamptons too, you know. He went a little 'Lord of the Flies,' but maybe just needed some sleep.
Bravo: Dominique's dress managed to save the House of Nami. What about it was so interesting to you as a judge? What did you think of the rest of their collection?
LB: Dominque really goes for it. They all went to the lost and found and everyone else grabbed the pants and the shirts but Dominique found a bunch of umbrellas. She always does something different, no holds barred. I love that confidence. She made an adorable little black shift dress, and it had these umbrella overlays. It was witty and smart while the rest of the house was dark and dreary. Dominique really saved it.
Bravo: Things this week managed to go rather horrifically wrong. What was most offensive to you as a judge?
LB: The swimsuits and Cesar's cockiness about the swimsuits. They were not flattering... down below. They were badly unfinished and over-accessorized. There were hats and bags and cameras and sunglasses.. everything and the kitchen sink. I really think that to be a great designer, you also have to be a great stylist, and a lot of these guys just didn't style these looks properly.
Bravo: Ultimately this week it came down to over and under delivering. Why did the judges decide that David's over-accessorizing was more egregious than Cesar's multitude of missteps?
LB: It came down to the taste level. What you don't see on the show is that we [the judges] sit down and deliberate. It was really tough between David and Cesar. It was a very close call, and at the end of the day we decided that David should be the one to go because we just didn't know if the taste level was there. But he's super groovy in person. We know Cesar is capable of some amazing things — we've seen them before — and that's why he didn't get eliminated.
I thought the swimsuits were amazing. I didn't hear a 'racial comment', but an honest observation and the orange suit really does look amazing against the model's skin. Imagine.....swimsuits that real women would want to wear!Who would wear a dress made from umbrellas? Interesting, I guess - but not very practical. As usual, fashion judges are off the mark.