Bravo: This week the designers were asked to design outfits not only for real clients, but for the Real Housewives from OC and NJ. First off, do you watch the Real Housewives shows? Were you familiar with the ladies?
LB: Many people say their secret shame is watching the Housewives shows. My secret shame is that I haven't seen them at all! I've edited many stories in this magazine involving the New York City shows, but the Jersey and OC were new to me. I got a real kick out of them, actually.
Bravo: You've obviously worked with celebrities before, and having to make a look work for their taste and body type. How do you think the designers rose to the challenge?
LB: I think the challenge was a great one, actually — you don't design in a vacuum, you design for women. And in this case, you have women who are constantly around cameras and hyper-aware of how they look. One even brought in a notepad and sketched her own dress! You need to know how to be diplomatic — it's like the fashion U.N.
Bravo: House of Emerald unveiled these grandiose champagne-hued dresses, but sort of lost it on the details. What disappointed you the most about their collection? What was there that you liked?
LB: I wish Emerald had used a little…emerald. It was this endless champagne palette — and everyone knows that endless champagne can give you a headache. If you're going to have a one-note color palette, you better be rocking it in construction. And Cesar's execution was not great — he said 16 times his model "had a real bust," like that was the most challenging thing in the world. So he built a corset for her, but he built one and sacrificed the lining. She looked like she should've been on top of a cake. And Golnessa's model apparently wore Spanx during her fitting, so when she put on the final dress, it was too small. Golnessa put in this hideous banana-shaped addition to her hip. To quote Glenda Bailey last season, it was a "banana drama." Bravo: House of Nami managed to win, despite their many troubles. What put them over the edge to ultimate collection territory?
LB: They won against all odds. David made this kind of Peter Pan leprechaun dress for Caroline — and she looked like a Christmas elf! But at the last minute he draped blue fabric over the dress — which gave it a lovely depth and looked great. Dominique's eveningwear looked like baby's first cocktail dress — but she was the first to acknowledge that evening was not her forte. The best by far was Eduardo's gorgeous midnight-blue ruffle shoulder dress on Dina.
Bravo: What about Eduardo's dress for Dina was so enthralling to you guys?
LB: The drama. The finesse he had. He designs cocktail dresses and does them beautifully, although of course, we would like to see him push his boundaries a little. But Eduardo was like, "This is what I do. This is my signature." Fair enough.
Bravo: You guys sent Golnessa home this week, why did her dress warrant the elimination?
LB: The poor girl — I really believe she never realized her potential on the show. She dresses so well, but her execution was so bad. I don't know if it was bad luck, or if she was just intimidated — her ideas were chic — but they just didn't look good. Some people can be design reality stars and some people can't. She'll be just fine.