Chad: Tiger Lily! I was really excited to talk to you again, because you're a beloved Chicago designer, and I couldn't imagine someone better to discuss a fashion-centered challenge with! You've worked with Shea quite a bit, is that right?
Tiger Lily: Oh yeah, that's my ride or die home girl! We met in college during our baby costume designer days in the Columbia College costume shop.
Chad: Wowwww! And unless I'm mistaken, you designed Shea's already legendary hot dog headpiece, right???
Tiger Lily: I sure did! Shea couldn't have picked a better girl to do a hometown pride look!
Chad: Ha! I got such a thrill seeing her come down the runway in that look! Can you tell me if any more of your designs will be appearing on the show, or is that top secret?
Tiger Lily: Thank youuuu!! I'm still gagged by that moment, too! And I hope we get to see more Coulee/TL collabs on the show, but only time will tell!!
Chad: Haha, indeed! I liked that this week's challenge allowed for plenty of creativity, and it allowed the queens to strike a balance between glamour and total camp craziness. What did you think of it?
Tiger Lily: Oh you know I live for a sewing challenge. It really creates SUCH a divide talent-wise. The girls get to bring so much stuff with them that is created by designers they worked with in the past, it's completely different to build something in a time crunch with no planning. And the little sidekick part cracked me uppp. I think it was a missed opportunity for a lot of the girls, but all in all, it wasn't my FAVE design challenge.
Chad: Ha! The sidekick characters were so, so bizarre. Somehow I missed the part where they explained that they'd be animated, so once the runway started, I was totally floored.
Tiger Lily: LOL me too!! Like when Trinity was making her starfish, I was like wtf is she gonna wear on the bottom?
Chad: Why didn't this week's challenge rank among your faves?
Tiger Lily: I kind of wish they didn't have to do the sidekick thing just so the costumes they made could be so much more of a WOW factor. But then again, I think the producers know this season isn't a big sewing season...(Minus Shea and Charlie, CLEARLY)
Chad: Right, the inclusion of more comedy detracted from the impact of some of the fashion.
Tiger Lily: Exactly! So I wasn't completely gagged by the look outcomes as a whole, but it was cute! Like, it's still a design challenge, which I always enjoy.
Chad: Here's a very tough question for you:
Tiger Lily: uh ohhhhh >__<
Chad: Despite that Shea is a goddess, and we both love her, she was considered "safe" this week. What could she have done differently with that look and presentation to have gotten one of the top spots?
Tiger Lily: Perhaps the actual storyline of the character could have been stronger. It was clear Shea poured all of her time in the look. And of course, allotting time for a fitting would have been helpful, but I didn't mind the walk -- it was very hobble skirt chic!
Chad: Hahaha! In Untucked, she mentioned that the tulle was tripping her up, or coming out or something -- did you catch that?
Tiger Lily: Oh yeah, you know when she was talking about that, my designer head was already figuring out what went wrong in there. I mean, that's what happens when you don't have a chance to get a fitting in, so completely understandable. Dressforms don't walk!
Chad: Yeah, I really can't imagine the stress and time limitations these queens are under! I loved the overall shape of Shea's gown, and her use of colors in the garment and wig were really striking (and unusual for her!)
Tiger Lily: Yes, she served it!!! Always proud of her, she's really representing herself well as a Chicago Queen and Designer, as well. I just love the shit out of her.
Chad: You mentioned that this didn't seem to be a big sewing season -- who just totally fell flat this week?
Tiger Lily: Well, clearly Farrah and Kimora suffered through it. Which for me, those two should have been lip syncing
Chad: Yes, agreed. That was baffling.
Tiger Lily: BUT, I think they put Aja in the bottom because they needed to get Kimora out of there, and they know that Brooklyn Queens can BUCK.
Tiger Lily: And we haven't seen a good lip sync yet. I feel like if Farrah were to lip sync against Kimora, it would have been a snooze fest and that song is soooo high energy. They needed a girl like Aja to fuck it upppp.
Chad: And I do think that Aja has been struggling so far in the season -- they wanted to light a fire under her ass and highlight her strengths.
Tiger Lily: I already knew Aja was a strong performer before watching this episode, and homegirl DID turn out a complete look. Granted, maybe it wasn't a princess look, and the concept was a little all over the place. But she had like 3 pieces she made!! That alone should have saved her.
Chad: I liked how graphic it was, that it basically made her look like a 90's mutant superhero. But I think the judges have been baffled by her makeup, and they didn't like the concept.
Tiger Lily: Yeah, the makeup can definitely be better, but this season is in HD so those lenses see into your soul lol
Chad: And admittedly, I wasn't sure where she was going with that wig.
Tiger Lily: THE WIG... oh that wig. That poor wig.... hahaa RIP
Chad: Was it like... an explosion of lava coming out of her scalp? It definitely didn't survive that lip sync intact.
Tiger Lily: I get what she was trying to do.... but at that point, I would have styled my wig into a swirly up do, and then attached something exploding out of there. It's all about getting the foundation of the structure down. But again, maybe she was focused on all those pieces she created and thought the wig would be easy peezy.
Chad: Yeah, the weird flat wedge just wasn't an attractive shape to work with.
Tiger Lily: Yeah, it was rough. But at least she tried something!!!
Chad: Who else came through with some interesting looks?
Tiger Lily: I actually loooved Trinity's look, especially the headpiece. She rightfully deserved that win and her sidekick was definitely the best.
Chad: I thought Trinity definitely pulled through with a colorful, fun approach, and the Stanky Starfish was great, but I wasn't blown away by her actual look. You know that I love big, bold, graphic design elements, and that was NOT what her headpiece was. I found it kind of a confusing jumble.
Tiger Lily: And Eureka! Gave me a little bootleg Violet Chachki at the finale last year... but loved the concept. Eureka knows how to hold her own in a group. She knew everyone would be going pretty, so she went the other direction, and I really appreciated her Sewer Princess look.
Chad: I wanted a more complicated gown from Eureka -- I just felt like it came off too simple, despite her avalanche of accessories.
Tiger Lily: True, true. See, this is where I think not having to do the sidekick thing would have helped them turn out grander/more realized looks.
Chad: Yeah, definitely. What about Nina? We didn't see a ton of her this week, but her look was a silvery spectacle!
Tiger Lily: I am actually LIVING for Nina. I can't wait to see what she'll come up with next. She's so damn creative and resourceful and represents what SO MUCH drag is like out there. For all the weirdos and the broke kids and the weird broke kids. I am so happy Nina is on there to show her artistry. And she can stand amongst the 'pretty' girls and still deliver.
Tiger Lily: I loved Sasha's story and her headpiece.
Chad: YES! I mean, everyone who knows anything about me knows that I love Sasha.
Tiger Lily: I wasn't crazy about the dress, but it definitely worked for her. I adore Sasha!! She is a true artist.
Chad: Her look and story reminded me a lot of Kim's "blossoming flower" story from Season 8.
Tiger Lily: YAS! Bitch, I thought the same thing. Fully realized storyline.
Chad: I agree that her time definitely went into the headpiece and floral arrangement rather than the actual gown. But damn, it was so bold and beautiful. I feel like her story was actually TOO earnest and heartfelt for the judges. They wanted more cartoony schtick than artfulness, right?
Tiger Lily: Omg totally agree. Because you know with that sidekick thing they wanted the cheese.
Chad: I'm also concerned that Sasha barely gets ANY screen time on the show. Either they're just not interested in developing her as a character, or they'll bring her out more later in the season? I don't know -- I'm a bit worried.
Tiger Lily: I agree! I want to see more Sasha, I love her solo interviews. You can see she's such a kind, thoughtful, and intelligent person. Maybe she doesn't give the best sound bytes, though.
Chad: Yeah, I don't think she tends toward the shady side of things.
Tiger Lily: Exactly, and that's what the children want. I feel like Sasha will get her moment.
Chad: Okay, I think I'm ready. Let's talk VALENTINA. It seems like about 2/3rds of the the RPDR fanbase are going CRAZY for Valentina. Are you?
Tiger Lily: I mean, what's not to love!? I met her at the NYC premiere, and she is absolutely as delightful in person, as well. She's endearing, she's stylish, beautiful, young, enchanting. Such a wonderful representation for a young queen.
Chad: How do you feel about her runway looks?
Tiger Lily: I wasn't crazy about her ice queen look, but she still gave it to me! I think she should have been safe for that one.
Chad: Yeah, the queens in Untucked claimed it looked like a figure skating leotard, and I see that. But I think her combination of gorgeous makeup, the striking wig, and the ice queen concept really added up to something memorable.
Tiger Lily: Agreed. I think she does have that star power to make everything she does memorable.
Chad: Right. She's undoubtedly a breakout star of the season so far, and it feels like she has the most momentum of anyone!
Tiger Lily: I feel like sometime soon the judges will call her out for “resting on pretty.”
A quick programming note: I'm going to be traveling over the next three weekends, so I'm not going to be able to whip out my new RPDR artwork as quickly as I'd like to. That sucks. But hopefully I'll be able to share stuff by the Monday night or Tuesday following each episode! The good news is that you'll be able to find me at C2E2 in Chicago and at DragCon in LA later this month!