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Yesterday afternoon we caught up with Merle Ginsberg—the almost winner of Bravo's Launch My Line—via telephone. The fashion editor and writer—one of our very favorite moguls and a fellow blogger—lives and works in Los Angeles. So while our drafty windows kept us shivering Ginsberg was likely enjoying the California sunshine as she dished on backstage hearsay, what show producers and horny judges were after, her second season as a judge on RuPaul's Drag Race, her buddy Patrick McDonald, and her chock-full future in fashion.
So, you were robbed. We expected you to win; and we think you expected to as well. What was that like for you?
One thing that was never on the show—all eight shows—was an audience award. The audience voted and we won the audience award of that last show. Once we won the audience award we were feeling pretty cocky. I didn't necessarily think I would win, I just thought, quite honestly, that if it's Kathy I'm cool with that—I really respect what she did. If Eric won or Eric came in before me I think I would've been a bit bummed because I just didn't like his.
Did everyone on the show feel that way about Eric? How did he manage to stay around for so long?
Oh yeah, we were all like, why is he still here? Like, god! What he was doing was unbelievably ugly, unbelievably unwearable and ridiculous. He knows nothing about fashion—I've always said going in [to this that] straight guys are at a disadvantage because they just usually want women—particularly a young guy like Eric—to look fuckable. They don't really want them to look chic. But, one of [the female judges] really wanted to have sex with him—and up through the premier, by the way. And, Eric's girlfriend at the time was Jaime Pressly. She was on My Name Is Earl, a big NBC show [at the time], and of course Bravo's owned by NBC Universal. So we kinda thought that had something to do with it. And, look, I don't think the producers wanted three women at the end.
You and Thai worked really well together; are you planning on working with him in the future?
Since we walked off that set we have talked almost every day. He made all my clothes for the second season of RuPaul's Drag Race—the clothes are magnificent and you can see them all on the show. I'm producing his very first fashion show in late march in Los Angeles—that'll be his fall 2010 collection of evening wear. And we are absolutely trying to get money to make a not expensive, very convertible line of clothing.
So, you’re going to pursue fashion design?
Definitely. We know what we're up against in this economy, but I think our clothes are kind of fabulous and perfect for this economy. That jersey dress would retail for like $200, and you can make a skirt out of dress like that—that dress was meant to do a lot of stuff. I wouldn't produce all those clothes, but the real commercial stuff, absolutely.
Anyone else in the cast you imagine you'll keep in close contact with or work with in the future?
Kathy and Emil are good friends, I see a lot of them, I think they're fabulous. Patrick was a good friend before and a better friend now. We actually worked on some Golden Globes projects together. He lives in New York but I do see a lot of him.
Speaking of Kathy, did you see the collection on Rue La La? What did you think of the way it was butchered?
[Not yet but] I'm not surprised. What she did was very fine and beautifully shaped. I had a feeling it might go a little down scale. But hey, look, you know we're living in the real world, it's all about money, and the fact that they had that happen for them is a good thing. I never thought it would look the way they made it because some of those pieces could be really expensive.
Blogger to blogger—what are your favorite style blogs?
Certainly Racked LA and I'm not even bullshitting you. I'm a person who needs to know about retail and I read it all the time. I love the Cut, Fashionologie. I get really pissed off with some of these cutesy celebrity sites—even the LA Times—'oh what was Eva Mendes wearing?’ It's like, no, it's your job to find out what Eva Mendes is wearing! [There isn’t] any real information, [they’re just] tossing stuff up there!
We are Racked, we have to ask: what are your favorite shops in New York?
Barneys. You know what, if i had a lot of money I’d probably never go anywhere else because everything I want is pretty much there. I do love going to Nolita, there's always fun stuff down there, and all those little stores in the Lower East Side really kill me. I always thought Bendel's knew what's what, and you know, I go to Zara and H+M—I think they're better in New York. I don't know why, the buyers are just smarter. and I certainly want to go to Top Shop, see what's going on there.
RE: Barneys—you're preaching to the choir?