Sad for Plaid
Laura Brown isn't sold on this week's pattern, but there are some bright spots.
Bravo: For episode four, this week's challenge had a lot of different parameters. Contestants had to draw from the past, modernize it, stay cohesive within their house and incorporate plaid. Overall, how do you think everyone did?
LB: thought a time capsule was enough, but it was like, now it's plaid! It was a typical Bravo twist. But plaid makes me sad. I'm sad for plaid. All of that considered, the designers did a pretty good job, overall. I think the key to success was an innate understanding of the time period that we were referring to. For example, Rolando's dress looked nothing like 1969. As a designer, knowledge of fashion history is absolutely vital. You need to be able to immediately identify different eras. And those that were able to did much, much better.
Bravo: So if you were building a time capsule for 2010, for the designers in the future, what would you include?
LB: 2010 is totally schizo. It's been part khaki-safari-leopard; part minimalism — which didn't last very long, thankfully; and, as we're heading into spring, it's citrus. It's Spring 2011, but us fashion girls like to jump on things early, you know. But all up, I'd say it's the brief return of minimalism and the leopard invasion (I am guilty — I have leopard shoes on as we speak).
Bravo: So, as we were talking about before, plaid conjures up these negative connotations and you're not a fan. What are some great examples of modern plaid that you've seen lately?
LB: Yeah, plaid reminds everybody of school. Or golf. But Alexander McQueen's tartans and plaids were the best. They nodded to history, but they looked rebellious. The same goes for Vivienne Westwood. I think designers who can handle plaid particularly well seem to be British — look at Christopher Bailey at Burberry, as well. He has made what could be a really old, stodgy plaid…cool. You need that kind of British anarchic sensibility. That's why I liked what Dominique did — she made it grunge and street. I think it worked. The way to treat plaid is to punk it up. Punk it up or funk it up.
Bravo: So really exciting, the House of Emerald finally won. What do you think put them over the edge?
LB: Fluidity, I think. Nami's collection was just clunkier; a couple of the designers — David and Rolando — did really poorly. The clothes didn't fit well (perhaps you could tell by my wincing face). Emerald's just came together more seamlessly. Jeffrey's dress really exemplified the spirit this week and when he really rocks it, you can't beat him on his fluidity, his body consciousness, and his sense of ease. There's a Stephen Burrows-ish thing going on with him — his clothes move well and you feel good and skinny — very important. And the fact that he had the idea to take the dorkiness out of the plaid by adding that half-capelet thing was really clever. It looked — what's our favorite fashion word? — modern.
Bravo: What do you think sent Rolando home over David?
LB: Jokingly, I would say David's guilt trip about his grandmother — that made us all feel bad. But, I joke. Roland's outfit looked like something in Home Etc. It looked completely ill-fitting, unimaginative, and stiff. The model even looked unhappy! There was none of his groovy, hipster-kid sensibility. And originally, Ro had shoulder pads — which is an example of him not getting the era. Nobody in 1969 wore shoulder pads — it was a free love shag-a-thon. It would have been so much easier if he would have done a really baggy, cool pant and a little halter-y top — or just something that sort of moved and was easy. I question David's instincts on fit sometimes. So much is made of him being a straight man, but if I were a straight man, I wouldn't want to see a woman's cleavage look like that. He should have kept his shoulder pads on the shoulders. And then Michael Jackson/grandmother, he gets so convoluted that boy. The clearest thing he's said all season is, "I love the vagina."
Bravo: What do you think of Caesar's work?
LB: He did great. This show is an example of Caesar taking on extra things and being a kind of savior and martyr of the house — and achieving it wonderfully. He has a great finesse and, as everyone knows, he's the most senior member, he's been working in the industry for the longest, he trusts his instincts when he lets himself to them and he just went for it. He's got a certain bravado. And that last dress was complicated, but in terms of a runway look, it looked amazing.
Bravo: So what other plaid pieces did you really like and what just made you annoyed and angry?
LB: I didn't mind Golnessa's little '50s thing — and she was lucky about the shawl that covered up that busted zipper. A little dress is nice — but I think, as Isaac said, sometimes you don't want to see another dress. That girl has the cutest personal style — she's so gorgeous — we want to see it on the runway, please.
But all up, I'm sad for plaid. That's all I can say. Iman says she loves plaid — but I've never seen that woman in plaid. Maybe Iman can make me love plaid.
Read more at Laura's blog and on Harper's Bazaar