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Last night Bravo's Launch My Line premiered—and after one hour we're confident this is going to be a pretty entertaining Wednesday night distraction. The contestants are total characters, and the fact that the industry moguls—rather than the not extremely accomplished fashion designers—are sort of the stars is pretty refreshing. Mainly because these people have no idea what they're doing; but also because they have different points of view and skill sets than your average, run of the mill, Bravo-fashion-reality-personas (really it's just the fact that they have no idea what they're doing, though).
Here's the premise: ten leading professionals from a variety of creative industries are teamed up with ten young fashion designers and together they set out to create a cohesive collection. Each week the teams will create a piece for their line—and each week one teams line "will be dropped" (We know, it doesn't exactly have the same ring to it as Heidi's "auf wiedersehen.") The winning team's collection will be produced and sold in stores—or at east that's what hosts Dan and Dean Caten of DSquared2 keep telling them. We're doubtful.
The episode opened with an introduction to the contestants and their kind of hilarious reactions to meeting the twins ("I know I'm nervous, but am I seeing double?"); teams were then picked at random by designer's blindly selecting items from a sack. Items had been provided by the moguls—shocker, David Applebaum, the architect, submitted a compass (double shocker, later when selecting fabrics he picked, like, all black). Next, teams were shown around their work spaces, shipped off to select fabrics, and introduced to the trim/supply closet.
Within minutes teams are already at odds, moguls are totally hating on each other, and drama is brewing. An early focus on Dan Karaty, the choregrapher, and the fact that he wanted to construct the most complicated of pieces—a tailored jacket—set the scene for his dismissal (the under-sized "toilet bowl" tails and the poor fabric choice didn't do him any favors either).
Anyway, Louanna Rawls, celebrity stylist ("I'm a wardrobe stylist and I know what looks good on a person") and daughter of Lou, and designer Jim won with a mold-purple (if puce were purple it would be this purple) cocktail dress with a totally stupid back/tail/train thing. Marilyn and Cokiko were robbed—their hooded blouse and high-waisted skirt were the live audience (Live audience!) favorite: totally chic and undeniably wearable.
Whatevs, here are the top ten moments of Launch My Line episode 1:
10.) Marilyn Crawford, the CEO, and designer Coco or Akiko (this is how little focus there was on designers last night—we're not totally sure) clashed immediately. Marilyn is clearly a ball-busting workaholic; Coco/Akiko (Cokiko) is not. Unsatisfied with their piece's lack of "runway pop," Marilyn decided to spend the night coming up with a new concept, while a bored Cokiko peaced out. Best part of the drama: Cokiko, clearly unimpressed with Marilyn's suggestion that they call the line Lilly Women, drolly states "maybe we don't need to say women" (implying that this isn't, like, Dress Barn). They settle on the equally hilarious "Lilly Remarkable." All that said, Marilyn is our early favorite—we love her little expressions: "wowness," "c'mon power," "runway pop." Also, she already cried.
9.) Cruel twist: After shopping for fabrics contestants are told they won't be visiting the fabric store again—those first and only acquisitions are all they can use for the duration of the show.
8.) Crazy-nose, crazy-bangs, deer in headlights Vanessa Gonzalez, event designer, says her "signature piece is the jumpsuit." She owns "over 30." Her runway look last night—which almost got her sent home—was a spangly job with a crazy copper-colored sweetheart/heart-shaped nightmare bodice neckline thing. It had dangling heart charms hanging from the legs which called to mind the pants Claire made for Ruth while rolling on E in Six Feet Under.
7.) Kathy Rose, jewelry designer (who, along with Patrick, could really drop the zany hats), and Kevin Black, music mogul, already hated each other within the first half hour. Kathy allegedly stole Kevin's fabric, prompting Kevin to state: "this is war."
6.) Speaking of Kevin, did you notice how much he spit all over everything when he shouted, "let's get it started, baby!" Yikes.
5.) Patrick McDonald, "fashion writer" and dandy, was paired with crazy-looking nightmare designer Roberto de Villacis. This match resulted in an epic clash of queens and some mess of a garment that was supposed to be a trench but turned out to be more of a dress (the most trench-like aspect of the piece was the garish, fuchsia, faux Burberry nova check that Patrick so masterfully selected because, you know, his taste level is so refined). Twenty-three minutes in: Patrick mentioned that Roberto could be neater. Roberto freaked out and threw everything everywhere, shrieking "you want a mess, you clean it up!" Then he disappeared. More importantly, Patrick's rings and the fact that Roberto was wearing a denim tunic and sunglasses the size of a Middle Atlantic state.
4.) Patrick totally out-gays himself: he seriously bought three massive ostrich feather boas and described "the dandy" as a male peacock.
3.) Dan and Dean are disappointing but fascinating (Twins!) Their voices are a bit nerve-racking and frankly, if you close your eyes, you can't really hear the difference between their talking on the show and the previews for the new Chipmunks movie. And, we know you live in Italy. We also know you're from Canada. Drop the pepperings of Italian before we hate you as much as we hate Giada De Laurentiis. Also, by the second scene (19 minutes in), they'd already given up on matching outfits. Fail. That said—twins!
2.) Designer Thai is hilarious. His low-angled "yeah" response to Frédéric Fekkai's involvement called to mind a gay velociraptor and his runway look—despite the tassels or drawstrings or whatever—brought to mind a Transformer. It was like three different outfits in one!
1.) Um, Lady Gaga is coming! She's in the previews! Are they designing an outfit for Lady Gaga? How can anyone not want to watch this?