This week we all appear to be nicer human beings because the clothes were, frankly, better. As a judge, you don't want to kill people's dreams every week and the contestants really took on this challenge — even if the Bodies exhibit freaked them out a bit, it gave them a lot to play with.
How did you think the layering effects from House of Nami played into current design trends?
Personally, I find layered sheer clothing really hard because it's "I have to put this on, and then I have to put this on." But that said, Nami's collection came together really nicely with the pinks and reds and fringe as the veins — it was more literal than Emerald's take but it was more representative of what the challenge was. Nami used different fabrics so you could see layers underneath, giving the pieces more depth.
What did you think of the House of Emerald's decision to use Jeffrey as the head designer?
Smart one, kids! And I'm glad that Calvin accepted a master in command. I think Jeffrey is the quiet achiever of the group and he just stepped it up a little bit this week. He saw how destructive it can be when you have somebody not playing well with others. You have to work together and he took it on — and Calvin, thank god, didn't have a tantrum.
Were you disappointed by Mike's giving in so easily?
Oh, Mike. There he was saying he'd been to 300 fashion shows and his team would have to throw their dresses "in a pool of blood" to lose, and then he peaces out? You must know what you're getting yourself into when you sign up for the show. It's a tough road and you're really challenged — you're publicly praised and publicly castigated. He just talked such a big game; I was really surprised that he just left. But...good luck to him.
What other outfits were you really impressed with this week?
From the Emerald collection, my favorites were Jeffrey and Calvin. Jeffrey's was very body conscious but very graceful — it reminded me of Roland Mouret or Victoria Beckham. With Calvin, even though I liked the dress, I thought, "Why a backpack? Why?" He loves that sort of tricksy-dicksy stuff. At the time, I said, "Throw that backpack off the stage, it's distracting!" And the model threw it off the edge. Poor backpack. But that said, his skirt had a lovely fluidity to it; it walked well. Even the hideous yellow dress with the diamante from the first episode moved nicely. All up, though, it was a close call between the houses this time. They both did really well.
Where there any outfits you were disappointed in?
Tamara has so many bits and bobs and tricks — you might remember that in the first episode, Iman told her not to put everything in the same dress. You shouldn't be able to smell the effort. That square thing on the bodice, I still don't know why that was there. And I don't want to be the one to say, "Oh no, your dress isn't working and your hem is falling down. Darling, get a bit of sticky tack." But lord, you have to at least get the hem right. I like Tamara, though — I just wish her personal charisma would come through in her clothes.
Obviously, this episode ended with a rather huge twist. What can you tell us about how the judges came to that decision?
Nobody expected Mike was going to go. Even though Emerald did better this week, they were still challenged by Calvin — and Nami was working so well. It's a show of Cesar's maturity that he stepped up and switched teams. The show's producers are perfectly wicked — they are great at throwing in those little zingers and there will be more of them as the season progresses. As there are less and less people, it becomes kind of like Fashion Survivor. But without the tiki torches.