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'Launch My Line' recap: The series premiere!

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Welcome to Bravo’s Launch My Line, where successful people in careers vaguely related to fashion get to magically produce high-end clothing with just a simple boost from delusions of grandeur, a hearty sense of entitlement, and a “fashion expert” who actually knows how to construct clothes and is going to do all the work. It’s just like real life! And it’s not just like Project Runway. Sure, the Frederic Fekkai Studio gives off a slight L’Oreal Paris Makeup Room vibe, but that’s where the similarities end. Tim Gunn has been replaced by a low-hanging fruit cluster called “DSquared2.” You look around “the design studio” (not the workroom!) and suddenly an event planner named Vanessa, the love child of Lauren Ambrose and Lady Gaga, is saying “I wanna look at a garment and have it make me cry.” Would she settle for having it make us cry at home? Across the room, a  jewelry designer/part-time cowgirl named Kathy Rose is burning sage — you know, because she “likes to have the sage flowing.” These people are so delightfully wacky! But do you really want to watch them pretend to make clothes?

The show is basically a crash course in fashion for these aspiring designers — one that seems even more ridiculous as the tenets of the industry (“baseline fabrics!” no time to explain what they are, just go get five of ’em!) are delivered by the D&D Bulls— Factory and cobbled together into a really awkward, condensed hour. Each “industry professional,” or “designer,” is paired with an established fashion designer, or “expert.” I’m already confused about the difference between a designer and an expert (Bravo doesn’t even make the distinction on the show’s website — they’re all “contestants”) but did catch that the expert paired with the winning designer stands to make $50k instead of launching his or her own line.

Anyway, each duo had to begin their line with a signature look, a fully conceptualized target audience and, of course, a logo. You can check out all the looks here. Be sure to say “We’re gonna take a moment to discuss your outfits,” like the judges did, and then pantomime with your phone and computer speakers for no more than five seconds before reaching a decision. Literally, that is what happened! I couldn’t decide whether that or Roberto’s temper tantrum was weirder. Does anyone else think Roberto, Patrick McDonald’s “expert,” is clearly a paid actor and maybe there’s a less camera-friendly cave troll/sewing superstar on their team who did all of the work?

The winning look, from Louanna, was shiny enough to be a My Little Pony cape, but otherwise simple and boring. Choreographer Dan Karaty went home, presumably because he and his expert Susan were too dull, by which I mean they acted like grown-ups and worked well together. No one turns on the TV to see that! It’s good, though, that Vanessa gets to stay. Lady Gaga will guest star during the season and it will be a perfect way for a lost little girl to finally meet her birth father. Suck it, ABC’s Find My Family! This show has reunions AND artful draping.

I guess I’ll give Launch My Line another shot. You too?

Follow Annie on Twitter: @EWAnnieBarrett

Image credit: Trae Patton/Bravo

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