The first episode of "Launch My Line" certainly entertained, if the fashion slightly underwhelmed. To recap: the basic premise of the show is that 10 budding moguls of various kinds of industry (from choreography to architecture) are paired with 10 expert fashion designers to lead them through a series of challenges geared to help them create their ultimate brand.
The contestants are total hams -- from over-the-top dandy Patrick McDonald (who manages to be paired with Roberto de Villacis, a character that might give Patrick a run for his money) to music professional Kevin "this is war" Black -- and the name-dropping by all parties involved is truly spectacular. The fashion may not be the reason to tune in -- the winning silver dress, designed by stylist Louanna Rawls, was chic and flattering to be sure, but far from jaw-dropping.
The highlights of the show were undoubtedly the personality clashes -- Patrick's "expert," Roberto throwing fabric around in a tizzy after Patrick complained he could be a little neater; Kevin Black stealing a fabric that jewelry designer Kathy Rose had pre-selected; and of course, the unending pleasure of watching twins Dan and Dean speak in unison and wear matching ensembles.
As for the loser -- choreographer Dan designed a pretty ill-conceived jacket (with zippers and tails, no less) and the judges were less than pleased. When we spoke with partner, Susan, she emphasized the issue with the task (which, in many ways, likely serves as a warning for the complications of getting no-designers to design clothes overall): "[Dan] had no idea how complicated it is, how much time it takes ... When he first decided to do the jacket, I thought, 'Oh my God, he wants a jacket and there's no way to get into it.'"
In what seems like it serves as a percursor to future fashion disasters when non-designers are forced to design, Susan said that the "experts" are really told to be consultants but not partners. "I pushed him to think about things, but I also pushed him to make his decisions on his own," she said. "[The organizers] basically just told us, 'They are the designers -- you have to follow what they want.'"
Fortunately for Susan, she's got her own fashion line to fall back on, Elevate & Collide, though she revealed she's also coach gymnastics, strangely enough.