All On The Line S2E2: Qristyl Frazier

Posted on December 05, 2011

Meet Qristyl Frazier, a former Project Runway contestant and current “don’t call if Plus Size, call it Plus Sexy” designer. Qristyl is loaded with personality and no small amount of talent, but she’s extremely unfocused, to the point of appearing scatterbrained.

She is also evidence of just how long and how much we’ve blogged about Project Runway because we can spell her name without ever once having to look it up. Professionals, bitches.


Anyway, Qristyl has a fantastic understanding of how to design for a larger lady. Her clothes are bright, feminine and mostly very flattering. She has an unfortunate need to prove that jumpsuits can look great on anybody, as well as the typical struggling designer’s tendency to overwork her looks, sometimes to the point of being a little tacky.

Joe tasks her with making a look for a size 2, just to shake up her point of view and in the hopes that it will get her to start thinking about whether there should be a difference in how you design for a size 2 at all. Sitting in to judge her efforts are Rachel Roy and Olivia Palermo, who supposedly will be wearing the look if she likes it.

To be honest, we weren’t blown away by it. We don’t love the color of the top, let alone the shape of it. But we’re almost ashamed to admit that we didn’t see the possibilities…

Because the minute Olivia put the jacket on, we totally got it. The other two pieces left us flat, but that jacket really is a fantastic little piece.

Unfortunately, Qristyl let her ADHD get the better of her and, despite Joe’s charge that she remain focused, decided to make a second look to show them. It was, not surprisingly, awful. Although it did provide some wonderful comedy with Rachel’s earnest, hearfelt, “Why did you show this to me? This should never be shown to ANYBODY.”

Later, Joe did the focus group thing, forcing Qristyl and her team to watch a group of women rip her clothes to shreds.


She didn’t take it well.

On the one hand, her getting all defensive with these ladies and trying to give them a hard sell when they were only there to offer their opinions was kind of exasperating and we don’t blame Joe for being pissed at her. On the other hand, it was kind of hilarious.

Anyway, Joe gives her a shot at presenting a line to Lane Bryant, with the usual chance that they’ll buy it if they like it. We had some doubts at this point. She was coming off too stubborn and scatterbrained and we feared she was going to send a bunch of pieces out similar to the one that made Rachel Roy almost vomit up her lunch.

We thought the fit on this was pretty astonishingly good, and that the color and proportions were perfectly flattering. But we weren’t a bit surprised when the Lane Bryant people noted that jumpsuits are a tough sell to their customer base.


We weren’t all that crazy about this top and neither were the people from Lane Bryant. They also weren’t crazy about the pants but we thought they had a little interest to them. They tended to look a bit like track pants, though.


We still don’t like the shorts here, but it’s true: this look really does size up well. We like it more in the larger size, in fact.


We thought the skirt and the blouse looked really chic, but we felt like that jacket could have been a little more structured and fitted.


Knockout dress, no doubt about. And it would look great on a variety of shapes.


Very simple, but classically chic looks. The fit on both is superb. They’re also both flattering as hell.

Result: Lane Bryant bought the collection and will be featuring it in select stores and online soon. We’ll try and get you more details about that when they become available. Joe did it again and Qristyl got to re-learn the fact that she is talented and there’s a customer out there waiting for her if she could just get her shit together. We’re telling you, it left us all warm and fuzzy. We’re so proud when our PR peeps do well.




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  • Anonymous

    What I find ironic about the “No Words” dresses is that was the kind of cocktail dress she was trying to make for the challenge she got eliminated on. She ended up making a standard LBD instead. One of the times Tim gave her the wrong advice. anyway good for her making strides

    • They’re nice dresses, but there’s a touch of Star Trek in them

      • There is a reason the constume designers came up with the Sar Trek uniforms (Your’re thing of TNG, right?). The Star Trek costume designers found a design that would look good on both men and women of different body types. It’s kind of doing the same thing here.

  • Personally, I’m delighted for her.  I loved her as a contestant, and thought she had something really valid and important to do in the industry.  Good luck to ya, Qristyl!

    • Other than that disaster (the second piece) she made for the meeting with Rachel Roy, she showed some great pieces. I’m also really happy for her. 

      I wanted so much to like what she made on PR, but she just couldn’t get it together. Now we know why. The poor woman always has a hard time getting it together.

      I hope she has great success with Lane Bryant.

      • Yeah, clearly, focus is her biggest enemy. Instead of owning it and getting past it, she allows herself to get defensive.  I too hope the LB gig is good for her, though like others here who have posted I am fearful of what will happen to her work when it gets made up in LB’s typically cheesy goods.

        • Anonymous

          I don’t think typically cheesy characterizes LB. It’s all about the price point. Their higher end garments are rarely cheesy.

          • I will bow to your greater knowledge gladly.  I’ve never seen any of their higher end stuff.

  • Sobaika Mirza

    I love this show! Perfect palette cleanser for the current state of ‘fashion’ television.

  • Yeah Qristyl!!  I love her attitude “Plus Sexy” INDEED.  As a former plus sexy gal, I find her clothes very flattering and a breath of fresh air.  That “No Words” dress? I NEED in my size…today…just because. 

  • Anonymous

    I used to be a regular Lane Bryant customer, but I think their quality has gone way downhill in the last few years, so I’ll be interested to see if they can sell this line without turning it into crap.

    • I have to admit that I’ve never been all that happy with Lane Bryant. The clothing was never that well made, and the designs were nearly always oriented toward a tall, pear-shaped woman with a large frame, unlike short, apple-shaped me. In terms of mall, plus-size wear, I’m happier with C J Banks. It offers more options for different shapes and sizes of plus-size.

      • I mostly agree with you that LB clothes aren’t always as well made as they should be, and that they favor the pear-shaped as opposed to top-heavy (like me). But fashion-wise they skew younger than C.J. Banks, whose styles appear very matronly to me. So I always go back to LB, hoping to find something that flatters and will last a bit.

    • Anonymous

      The same goes for the Gap, Old Navy, whose clothes might as well be made out of tissue paper, Banana Republic, NY & Co., pretty much any mall store.  A basic shirt from ON was never great, but it at least
      lasted through a whole season before becoming so misshappen or pilled as to be unwearable.  Now, you wash it once and it’s over – practically disposable.  Gap jeans used to be great, and now they’re made out of thin, cheap, over-stretchy denim.  A friend of mine pointed out that it’s another form of inflation.  The clothes don’t cost anymore, but they’re made more and more cheaply so the quality just gets worse and worse.  I have my doubts that LB can pull these off, which is a shame.

      • MilaXX

        ON is a joke and since they only sell plus online in addition to being cheaply made, I don’t bother with them. I could give you a list of plus size retailers a mile long. Shopping as plus size gal is like an Olympic event. You have to know all kinds of tricks an tips to looking half way decent.

        • Ugh, that is so true!  And for no damn good reason.  That’s why I started making clothes in the first place.  I never quite crept up past the dividing line, though for ME I was definitely plus-sized.  My best friend, however, is a large girl — she will NEVER get below a 12 (I’d say a 14 or 16, more likely) even if she starves herself for a year!  She’s normally in an 18 to 22, and a lot of that is from her bone frame.  I got sick of her going shopping and coming home depressed or pissed off, so we decided that the clothing industry could go to hell and we’d do it ourselves — I design it, she looks at it and gives any changes, and then we buy the fabric and I sew it for her.

          • MilaXX

            I do a combination of things. Some things I get made, some things I buy in stores and some things I buy online. I think it depends on personal style and where you live, but I get a lot of things in store and at the mall.

          • “the clothing industry could go to hell”

            You got that right.

          • Anonymous

            I can so identify with going shopping and coming home depressed or pissed off.
            Awesome friendship you’ve got going there. I’d hire you to sew for me 😉
            [I can sew, but only from patterns. I can design, but don’t know how to translate it into sewing.]

          • I work in kind of an odd way because I make everything custom and because I don’t know how to correctly draft a pattern (I do it all by instinct, honestly.)  But how I do it might work for you:

            Basically, I make a 2D model of the body, by fitting a second skin of muslin.  I just tape it with double sided tape (because pinning takes twice as long for no good reason), and then draw the outline at the halfway point where seams should sit.  I also mark the belly button and the breasts and dotted lines for things like princess seams, the waistband in the back (because that varies from person to person), hemline marks, sleeve lengths, necklines, etc.  Basically any functional seam gets a line on it somewhere.  (I used to write it next to the line in pen so I’d remember)

            Then I can lay fabric over it to cut or I can cut a muslin pattern off of it.  It takes longer, but the fit is impeccable every time and takes into account anything on the body that isn’t standard. 

          • Anonymous

            It’s great that you found a method that works for you. Your explanation confuses me a bit, but I’m sure if I saw it in reality, I would understand. Sounds hard to do it on oneself without help though.

            I had to laugh—anything on the body that isn’t standard
            Raise your hand if that applies to you!

            If only the fashion industry could standardize anything about women’s sizing.

          • Yeah, it’s hard to explain — and it’s hard for other people to read one of the muslins without me explaining each line.  But I swear it is easier than trying to make a pattern in the traditional fashion!

          • Anonymous

            Lord so can I. I’m one of those people who’ll never see size 12 without taking out some bones, and shopping for clothes is pretty much guaranteed to depress me utterly. (Hence why I’ve channeled my natural instinct towards clothing into shoes — much less upsetting to go shoe shopping than, say, dress shopping.) I’m also pretty oddly proportioned, apparently, so finding stuff that fits is hard even once I’ve actually found the appropriate size.

            (I can’t sew at all, or design, or know the kinds of things that would look good on me without trying them on. It’s annoying.)

          • Oh, honey… every woman who has ever shopped feels your pain.  Skinniest woman I know hates shopping because nothing fits her correctly because while she’s skinny, she’s still apple-shaped. 

          • Anonymous

            Heh, I’m sure. Funnily enough, women don’t actually look like dress forms. Still waiting for people who make our clothes to figure that one out.

          • If my sewing room weren’t in a state of chaos right now (moving sucks), I’d give you my contact stuff, but god knows when I’m gonna be ready to start working again.

        • Anonymous

          Could I please have that list?  I need all the help I can get.  I lost quite a bit of weight but I’m still plus size and having a hard time finding clothes.

          • MilaXX

            In store one trick I have found helpful is to chat up the sales people. Find out where the flagship stores are located. They will have the nicest items in more variety of sizes.
            Brick and Mortar –
            Catherines – I get suits and dressier clothing here
            Avenue – I get more casual wear here. Sweats, jeans, etc… Also shoes and wide calf boots.
            Fashion Bug – I get sweats and gym clothes
            Lane Bryant – Dresses, skirts, costume jewelry
            Ashley Stewart – Party clothes,trendy stuff you only want for a season or 2. Nice linen stuff in the summer.
            Macys/Nordstrom/Saks – Skirts & sweaters
            Target – Swimwear, occasionally skirts

            Lane Bryant, Ashley Stewart, Onestopplus (read reviews & item descriptions carefully before ordering), ASOS, IGGI, Kiyona, Ulla Popkin, Silhouettes (great for slips/camisoles).
            I keep hearing that Old Navy has good jeans, but I don’t personally like them and jeans are too difficult to buy to purchase online and then ship back what doesn’t fit. Old Navy stopped carrying plus sizes in their brick and mortar stores years ago and I find their stuff too cheap to be worth the hassle.

            You can also occasionally luck out at stores like Marshalls/TJMaxx/Ross, but there’s no rhythm or reason to what you may find.

          • Thank you also for the list.  Just spent 4 hours at the mall yesterday looking for a dress to wear to a wedding.  Very frustrated!  Finally found one at Lord & Taylor but spent waaaay more than I wanted to.

          • MilaXX

            I rarely wait for an event. I buy on sale. I know I will need at least one fancy or formal look a year so I keep an eye out and if I see something I like I buy it and stick it in the closet. Once got a gown I took on a cruise for the Captain’s ball for $6 this way. It’s too frustrating having a time limit to shop for special occasions.

          • I rarely, if ever, need truly FORMAL wear, so I skip that.  But I tend to buy a lot of dresses that are high end materials with simple enough cuts that I can dress them up or down — chiffon’s a good one for that.  In the right cut it can be just a bit dressier than a sundress or full cocktail wear.  Wool works for winter in the same way:) 

            And I NEVER pay full price unless it’s something VERY specific. 

          • Anonymous

            Dear Buffy: The absolute BEST plus sized clothing is available at They have well-made, beautifully-fitted, grown-up, ladylike dresses that make you look sexy, yet appropriate. I am a lawyer and I wear their dresses every day to work, to meetings at my daughter’s school, to church and out on dates with my husband. I have the Betsy Ruched Dress (red), Scalloped Boudoir Lace Dress (black and neutral), Viviene Cinch Dress (black, blue and red) and the Tory Cinch Dress (purple, black, navy and red).  Kiyonna literally gave me back my dignity after years of being forced to buy the clothes that are typically available to plus-sized women which tend to come in two equally distasteful flavors I describe as “chubby teenage hooker” and “Aunt Bea”. I actually cried in the Kiyonna showroom once out of sheer gratitude. Go there now!

    • MilaXX

      I have the opposite experience. I think the quality has gotten better.

      • Anonymous

        I haven’t really looked at them in a couple of years, but I used to get a lot of my work wardrobe from them, and over time found them moving into more casual stuff with louder colors and more tent-like shapes.  The last straw was when I bought two pairs of jeans from their new line and both wore through in about 18 months.  The Old Navy (!) jeans I bought to replace them have held up much better.

        • Anonymous

          I agree…ON jeans are pretty good.  I have several pair and they really last.  ON tops or dress pants I tend to have more issue with, but no problems with jeans.

    • Anonymous

      I’ve gotten some REALLY good looks at Coldwater Creek lately for my apple-shaped self, but for my money you still can’t beat Jones NY Plus-Sizes on sale at Lord & Taylor or Macy’s. It’s been a while since LB made anything I can wear to my conservative workplace.

  • Anonymous

    Looks like a great episode. I missed it and searched through On Demand this weekend, but they didn’t have it (they only offered a two-minute preview). I always liked Qristyl and thought she had talent, but required a bit more experience. I’m glad she did well and wish herthe best with her line for LB. 

    • Anonymous

       I missed it and searched through On Demand this weekend, but they didn’t have it (they only offered a two-minute preview).

      Wait a few days.  Sometimes the On Demand doesn’t have things right away.  I watched last week’s episode today.

      • Anonymous

        Thanks, Lilithcat!

    • It can take take On Demand several days to put the episodes up, but I’m pretty sure it will be up before the next episode. Also, if you get the Sundance channel, you should be able to find it. They rerun everything about 100 times throughout any given week.

      • Anonymous

        Thanks, accidental housewife!

  • I need to start saving up so I can buy her “Now Words” dress!

    The jumpsuit actually looks a lot better than I thought it would. It may not be the thing for Lane Bryant, but I have a feeling that Ashley Stewart would have picked it up.

    • Anonymous

      True. Ashley Stewart is definately more fashion forward, and caters to a younger clientele than LB. The jumpsuit would work better there.

  • Jacqui

    I love the knockout dress! And would probably buy if LB sold it.

  • Ramona Boersma

    I thought Joe was almost unrelentingly negative (as edited); it really made you wonder why he was backing Qristyl at all. I thought many of her original looks, while poorly made, were very flattering. And I liked some of her capsule collection. But mostly, it was all a little underwhelming. She seems a natural for Lane Bryant, although I agree with another poster here that the quality of their clothes is so bad, it makes it impossible to wear. I wish they’d up their prices and quality rather than shooting for the price point they have. I’d like to see Qristyl succeed, but if the goal was to reinvent her line, then selling into cheap Lane Bryant isn’t much of a reinvention. I would have loved to see a pricier line sold at Bloomingdales, for example, for a real reinvention.

    • Anonymous

      Yeah, I was thinking that too.  It seemed like kind of a cop out to bring her collection to LB. But maybe Bloomies and other higher end department stores weren’t interested…

  • Oooo I am excited to purchase that purple top and the black skirt.

  • Sara__B

    I agree that she can make flattering clothes, but I shudder to think of them in the cheap fabrics Lane Bryant will use.

    • MilaXX

      LB has stepped their game up in recent years. A lot of their stuff is fairly decent quality.

  • Anonymous

    Girl’s lucky she’s working in the reality teevee age. She needed both Project Runway AND All on the Line to get her business off and running.

  • Anonymous

    I thought the challenge was to design for a size zero?

  • Find it odd that the illustrations are drawn as size -0.

    • Anonymous

      Agreed – I just posted something to that effect; should have seen your comment first.

  • The brown jacket needed a LOT more structure — I’ve never worked with a plus size yet who DOESN’T want structure in their jackets. 

    And jumpsuits are a nearly impossible sell for Lane Bryant, not because of size but because of market: as a rule, their customer tends to be an average woman who wants to look good but needs a practical, functional wardrobe.  It also tends to skew a little older — not a lot of teens or women in their early 20’s.  Jumpsuits are not practical — anything that requires you to strip naked to pee is not a usable garment for most women!

    I thought the Nicely Stated in all red was great, but in the dual tone it made the model look dumpy — the proportion was wrong.  (And her bra did NOT help at all!)

    The No Words dress was FABULOUS, though I’d like to see it on some plus size women who AREN’T models, just because I’m wondering how much cling the fabric has. 

    The Takeover (with a better jacket) and the Statement were both great looks that would sell quite well as long as the price point fits.

    The Excuse Me should have had a deeper V-neck… it would have been more flattering and plus size women still like to show some skin sometimes.  And one thing they generally feel they have over their skinny sisters is that they have better cleavage.  At least one of these looks should have gone more toward the “sexy” side. 

    • Stefanos Mantyla

      Do you reckon well-padded underwear will fit in a jumpsuit?

      That last sentence, second paragraph really made me laugh aloud!

      • Trust me, I’ve tried and tried to come up with a way that would make it feasible and there is one.  I want to love the jumpsuit, because for wardrobe purposes, it’s much like a dress — one piece of clean laundry and you have an outfit — but with the added benefit of pant legs so you don’t have to shave your legs!

  • Anonymous

    I think it’s especially great that she did some suiting. Finding suiting that fits is bad enough for any woman (I’m enthusiastically avoiding this right now: sweater dress and blazer, yup yup), but it’s especially difficult in plus sizes.

    • Fit the shoulders and have everything else take in or let out.  (I have occasionally had to add in a panel on the side for a friend of mine who caries her weight in her midsection — a good seamstress should be able to add in fabric if necessary in a way that still works.) 

      • Anonymous

        Thanks! I do know, I just. For one thing, I don’t have enough time before the upcoming thing I need to look businesslike for to get everything altered; for another, I’ve got an odd between-sizes thing, and the real issue is my shoulders and upper arms. I have the feeling that the shoulders on a jacket are pretty tricky to alter, and adding fabric in a sleeve also seems treacherous. (Very broad shoulders, small torso, sigh.)

        The real issue, though, is that having to buy A Real Suit makes me feel like a grownup who does Suity Things, and that is terrifying. And the stores I end up shopping in make me feel small and grubby and not-belong-y. Growing Up: Sometimes Difficult.

        • Yeah, I ALWAYS recommend buying to fit the shoulders, even if the waist is bigger, because I find it annoying to alter a shoulder.  Generally, if it fits at the shoulder, it will fit the upper arms, so then you just need to take in (and possibly shorten) the torso.  If you still need more room in the upper arm (and make sure you go sleeveless under the jacket, sleeves can add a lot of bulk), I have added fabric in the form of a tuxedo-style strip, though it is not my favorite.  Just be very careful of the material you use (I would go for the classic black on black) because it can go from tux to racing stripe pretty easily:( 

          As for the stores and not belonging, I want you to go find a mirror right now and repeat the following:  “I have every right to shop wherever I damn well please!  I pay their salaries, they don’t pay mine!”  Keep doing so until you believe it.  Then put on your favorite look and march in there like you own the place.  For all they know, you do.

          • Anonymous

            Thanks for the advice and the pep talk! Much appreciated. 🙂

    • MilaXX

      If you live near a flagship store Catherine’s has nice suits. I always have to have mine tailored, but they have decent fabric and are lined. I actually have to have my suits tailored down when I buy from them. Pants need to be hemmed and jackets made more fitted, sleeves hemmed. Still it’s nice to have the option of taking in a garment.

    • Anonymous

      Talbots!  Great quality, nice fabric, classic style.  Not cheap, but they have great sales.  They aren’t going to set anyone on fire with their style, But really nice stuff to which one can add jazzy accessories. And if you’re short petites.  PLUS PETITES! !!!

      • Anonymous

        Yes, good classics that you can make more interesting and modern with accessories.  Also they have overlapping plus and misses sizes so you can really try a 16 and a 14w to customize the fit, especially on pants.

        • Anonymous

          Or, if you’re a pear like me, you can get a skirt or pants in woman’s sizes and a jacket in straight sizes and run singing into the street.   I love Talbots. 

          • Anonymous

            Exactly. The store near me (and by near I mean an hour and a half away), is now set up so all three–women’s, misses, and petites–are connected. It’s great. You can mix and match from whatever works.

        • I still think all stores should do that for every size from a 10 up to a 30 at least.  When my sister-in-law was a 10, she need plus proportions because her body has the build of a 0.  My best friend needs a misses in an 18/20, because the plus is just off. 

          • Anonymous

            I know. It’s not just sized up; it’s also different proportions. On their website I believe that Talbots goes to an 18 and in some things a 20 in the misses sizes. They stop at a 16 in the store, but you can return any sizes to any store (I hate returning by mail).

          • The shoulders are the worst — not every larger woman has the shoulders of an offensive linemen or boobs that sit at waist level!!!  In fact, most of them are still recognizably female and do know how to buy a bra — why are shoulders set that way?!?

  • Anonymous

    Good for Ms. Frazier! I’m glad her PR time led her here. I did love the small size jacket (in both large & small versions), but I hated “The Takeover” jacket – it had the frumpy, shapeless, rumpled look of cheap plus size wear, and I hate to think what it’ll look like mass produced for the Lane Bryant price point.  Though I imagine having an entree into a bigger volume market & making that work would go a ways toward creating the opportunity for a higher-end effort.

    Overall she still ‘feels’ to me like a designer that is not  yet on a clear path to success and may do some more wandering in the wilderness, but I hope I’m wrong & she can smoothly & immediately parlay this into increased success.

    • The sheen in the fabric is awful — it’s never going to look good after a 12 hour day, which a suit should.

    • Anonymous

      re:lane bryant.  i wore plus sizes for many years, being 5’10” and in my elder years. i always found that the larger stores such as nordstrom and macy’s in downtown san francisco (not the smaller branches at suburban malls) had the best selection of upscale plus sexy.  the only thing i ever bought at lane bryant was bras (i gave up wearing them years ago, though).  but i agree, it could be a good starting point for qrystal.

      could be tmi, but about three years ago i found out i was hypo(low)thyroid, and lost fifty pounds without trying once i got on the meds.  so all you big girls, be sure to get that thyroid checked!  i feel 100% better, and i can fit an XL which provides me with a lot more fashion choices. 

      • Particularly if you have had children, as most hypothyroidism develops post-pregnancy.  Signs other than weight gain include: lethargy, being cold all the time, dry skin and hair loss.  It is not necessary to have all of the signs — endocrinologists recommend every women have the (ridiculously easy) blood test done between 2 and 6 months after giving birth each time.

  • I will never understand this idea that size matters in designing clothes.  It really doesn’t.  SHAPE matters greatly, but a pear is a pear no matter the number attached. 

    Lone exception: height.  There are things that tall people can do that short people can’t (Palazzo pants for instance…) and vice versa. 

  • Anonymous

    I haven’t seen this episode yet but will try to find it. Congratulations to Qristyl. So glad to see her succeeding here. I agree with the other poster that it would be far more of an achievement to be able to put plus size looks in a more upscale store than Lane Bryant. Basically I have sworn off LB except in desperation. There are only two of these looks that personally appeal to me, the Arrival jumpsuit (I would love to have a well-fitting plus size jumpsuit, go figure), and the No Words dress, very cute and flattering, especially like the color blocking on the sleeve.

    Here’s my beef. I don’t know who draws the sketches for each week’s episode, obviously someone on Joe Zee’s team, as they always have the same style, but, BUT, couldn’t they have at least for this episode, drawn them in a Plus Sexy Size, instead of the usual trim, exaggerated figure who’s as tall as a basketball player? Annoys me no end. It can still be exaggerated, it just needs to obviously suggest a more full=figured woman!

    • Anonymous

      Yes, the irony of the drawings showing the same elongated, skinny beanpoles as always to illustrate a plus size collection struck me.  I mean, we all KNOW that no-one, including models, look like fashion illustrations, but it still seemed silly.

    • Anonymous

      i always thought the designer did those sketches.  no?  does t-lo know?

      • From the footage, it looked like Qristyl did the sketches.

      • Anonymous

        I guess she did do the sketches, since TLo has seen the footage and I haven’t. I suppose I’m jaded because ALL fashion sketches to me except for a very few, look like they could have been drawn by the same person. I’m actually disappointed in Qristyl then, that she doesn’t do plus size style sketches.

    • You deserve an infinite number of “likes” for that last paragraph.

  • MilaXX

    Lane Bryant Tweeted that Qristyl’s collection will be available In January. (Sorry I didn’t bookmark the link) I liked this collection. I was pretty certain she had gotten the LB contract because both LB and quite a few plus sized blogs have been buzzing about this appearance for a few months now. Here’s the thing with jumpsuits. On a plus sized gal like Qristyl or her model it looks great. They are tall enough to make it work. My guestimate is maybe half of LB’s client base is tall enough to work a pant suit and even less of them will buy it. If I would Qristyl/LB I would do it in black and add a sequined belt & then do a smaller run for the holiday season.  I am 5’3″ on a good day. I wouldn’t touch a jumpsuit with a ten foot pole. The size 2 walking shorts suit? Loved both in the size 2 & the plus size. I like the color of the top, but hate kimono tops but I’d buy that suit and add another top to it. Didn’t like the black pants/kimino top at all. I did like the black skirt/peach top, but not the jacket. I hated those pleats in the back. LOVED the 2 toned dresses. I would buy those in a heart beat. Also loved the red dresses.

    I enjoyed this episode for giving us big gals a little fashion. even better I LOVED the coupon I got for checking in on Get Glue. I was in the stores bright and early Saturday spending that bad boy.

    • Yeah, height is a bigger factor in what works and what doesn’t than anything else — there are things I make that look amazing on my 5’8″ and 5’11” plus size clients that look awful on my 5 ft sister-in-law, even though she has the size 0 everyone is supposed to want.

      I find very little at LB that works on us shorter people — everything was always cut too long for me there, even in the arm — which is saying a lot because I have the arm/leg proportion of a gorilla.

      • MilaXX

        I used to have that problem with LB. Stuff was too long for me. I’d say maybe the last 5 years, they seemed to have changed that. I still have that issue with pants, but dresses work well for me and so do their tops. I think they are trying to compete with Ashley Stewart and attract the younger market. I was there this weekend and they had this pretty one sleeved party dress that actually was to short for me and I’m 5′ 3″. In hindsight I think it would work as a mini for a taller gal

        • I do that all the time — I find a dress that’s “too short” and then I realize that it’s supposed to be a mini and I just think it’s too short because I hate minis:)  Also, my torso is long — if my legs matched, I’d be at least 4 inches taller, so it’s REALLY long.  Some skirts are too short on me just because my torso takes up more than the dress than it should.

          • I like Fashion Bug better than Lane Bryant for that very reason.  I am 5’2″ and Lane Bryant the sleeves and the shoulders never fit right.

  • Anonymous

    The purple or cobalt version of “No Words” looks like a generic Star Trek costume for the denizens of planet Nebulon 12. 

  • This will be the first time and maybe the last that I’ll ever have the chance to wear something you’ve shown on your blog. Fun!

  • I’m buying the shit out of that “no words” dress as soon as it’s available.

  • Anonymous

    “Tlo said:  She has an unfortunate need to prove that jumpsuits can look great on anybody”

    Right? Jumpsuits are meant for tall, skinny model-type girls. Period. Everyone else looks dumpy in them no matter what they do.

    The No Words dress is fabulous though. That is the kind of dress that could be the making of a business.

    And as an aside, several years ago (thanks to Tlo) I attended a private Project Runway screening, and met the whole cast. It was Qristal’s season, and she was very, very nice.


  • Yeah, why didn’t they open the season with this episode, which represents the show much better than the sad and somewhat petulant (‘have the girls bring the chairs”) thing from last week. Still sad when I think about that poor guy with his deer in the headlights look having his dreams evaporate.

    And boy, was I glad to hear you guys say you didn’t get it so much with her look for the little small size test. Yikes! Until we saw just the jacket…I had exactly the same reaction. And then that Amish disco explosion! Whoa.

    Reading the comments here, it sounds like some savvy fashion producer ought to do a plus size project runway type show. For one thing, it would be hilarious to watch all those people who freak out when there is a bump or a curve on a woman crash and burn. And for another, most people are not rail thin. Even thin people. 

    Wouldn’t that be a great show?

  • Anonymous

    I will buy “The Statement” ensemble as soon as it drops!

  • Stefanos Mantyla

    Someone fill me in, here: Is this the SECOND seller in the history of the show to succeed in selling something?

    I am relieved to see that the careers of Project Runway contestants do not end with Project Runway; there is always this air of that each time one gets eliminated. It was uplifting to see Qristyl’s name appear once I pulled your front page up! Good luck to her.

    • Mary McClelland

      No – a lot of them have succeeded. Kara Janx ,Radenroro, Gemma Kahn (sp), quite a few from last season did actually. Most of his designers seem to have marginal success. The lingerie girl and someone else from last season were real disasters though. 

      • Stefanos Mantyla

        Is that so? I wonder why I remember no one beyond that first couple winning. Was that very first couple Radenroro? Janx seems like a plausible winner, as I remember she had some beautiful stuff. Gemma Khan? Was he that kid with the taste issues and no base aesthetic who was up against Scoop? Or was that someone else?

        I do remember that lingerie girl was a real angel, though. Very charming character.

  • So Joe asked Qristyl to design something in a size 0. I would love for Joe to ask a designer who doesn’t make plus-sized clothes to make something in a larger size. So many designers talk about designing clothes for real women – women with busy lives, blah-blah-blah. How many of them make anything above a 14? Last week, someone was cursing Donna Karan for not making a particular dress above a size 8. (if ever there was a designer who talks about designing for how real
    women live, and often doesn’t come through, it’s her. I can’t stop myself from
    rolling my eyes every time I see her. She gives me a huge rash). But I’m willing to bet that’s not an uncommon occurrence among higher end designers.

    As much as I love joe Zee, though, I doubt he’d ever tell an up-and-coming designer to make something in a plus size. He’s totally entrenched in how the fashion industry works, and seems totally fine with it.

    • He sorta did that last season with Kara Janx.  He wanted one of her dresses in a (I think) 12, but I could be misremembering the size.  And oh what a fit she threw…

      • Mary McClelland

        No you’re right. He asked her to make something for a “full-sized” model so he could show the buyers that her Kimono dress worked for everyone. She was kvetching and whining the whole time about how she doesn’t design plus-sized clothing. In the end she did it and it looked great. 

      • Oops! I remember that now. I also remember Kara being horrible about it. You’d think he had asked her to make a dress out of cat poop. I’ve always liked Kara, so her reaction was a huge disappointment, and really irritating.

        So I take back what I said about him.

        • To be fair to Joe, while I FIRMLY believe that any designer worth their paycheck should be able to design for ANY size, there are some styles that don’t work over a certain size — I would say generally skinny jeans don’t work for anyone over a size 14 or 16.  Now, the converse is also true (in a sneaky thing that fashion people don’t tell you!) — there are some looks that don’t scale down well;  they become overwhelming.  So I do agree that not every designer should be asked to scale up for that initial meeting.  Buyers should ask them to scale up, but it should be done with more time and experience if their style is one that doesn’t automatically lend itself. 

          The issue with Kara was that her collection DID — that was an absurdly easy collection to scale up or down for anyone.  She was just being a whiny fashion snob. 

    • Mary McClelland

      I tend to think of Joe as very fair, he does not discriminate to me and often times in his “focus groups” the women are a variety of shapes and sizes as opposed to the classic fashion 0-4 lanky and straight window. Also, he often reminds the designers that to get into a department store, etc their clothes have to fit a broad range of women.

      Personally I think the fact that he featured an exclusively plus sized designer on his show speaks volumes. How many times have we seen that on a fashion-based show? 

    • Besides, designers who say they want to design for every woman mean it — and it’s so unreasonable of women to refuse to get down to size 2’s so that they can! 

  • Anonymous

    Funny inadvertent keyboard slip — “Don’t call IF plus size, call IT plus sexy.”

  • Carey Cauthen

    I don’t get it. The No Words dress is nice (if a bit Babylon 5), but everything else here? I’ve seen each of these pieces in the stores (and mostly rejected them as frumpy and dull) over the past decade. Nothing here is new, nothing here is earth-shattering. In fact, I’m pretty sure I’ve seen most of these in Layne Bryant already. It’s clothes like this that are helping keep me on my diet so I’m not forced to wear them anymore. Nothing “plus-sexy” about them. 😛

  • Holy shit, the black Nicely Stated model looks just like Gabrielle Union. It’s a little uncanny.
    I love Ms. Plus Sexy herself. Glad to see her again.

  • bloodshothalfblind

    i need that no words dress for a christmas party! 

  • Terry Weyna

    I want both “Nicely Stated” and “No Words” for my wardrobe.  Do you have any idea how hard it is to find something that isn’t black or brown when you weigh more than 100 pounds?  I’m really looking forward to these clothes.

  • As a “plus-sexy” gal, I’m actually mostly excited that The Statement and No Words are going to be available for purchase, because they are freaking FABULOUS. I say “mostly” because unfortunately Lane Bryant’s quality has sunk way down while their costs have stayed waaaay too high for said crappy quality. Still… that “No Words” dress is fierce enough to make me reconsider.

  • Random thoughts:

    Joe Zee did refer to a group of women as “ladies,” not girls on this episode.
    Interesting that so many of TLo’s readers are plus size (including moi).
    Re: Donna Karen – Years ago she said on “The View” that she did not make plus size clothes as she didn’t want to see her designs on large women. A few years later, I did see some of her things in the plus size dept. at Bloomindales and had a good laugh.
    The parent company of Lane Bryant, Redcats, has many different lines, each with its own web site. But you can access them all through Quality is fairly good, but their prices are so low, it’s OK if something only lasts a season. Be sure to sign on for their email updates as they send out fantastic email-exclusive discounts.

    • is a style-oriented blog specifically for plus fashion.  They include links to everything they feature, and they hit multiple price points. 

    • Anonymous

      Thanks so much for the link! I’m another loyal TLo reader who would put myself at plus petite (if that ain’t the bitch).

  • Anonymous

    Whoever helps the models with their foundations is doing a knock-out job.  Wearing drapey fabrics when you are sexy plus requires good foundations.

  • I think I saw those clothes on the clearance rack at Rainbow.  

  • Anonymous

    This post has lead to great responses from so many of the kittens. I appreciate learning some new stores to look into, especially from MilaXX. I finally got to view the episode and realized that I liked Qristyl’s collection better seeing the outfits on actual moving bodies than from the stills here. I’ve never been a fan of silk charmeuse, I’m a much more casual *girl*. Shiny fabrics make me feel like I ought to get a manicure and have to be careful opening the cat food can because I’ll probably get it on myself and have to change into something more frumpy.

  • Anonymous

    with the exception of “no words” and “nicely stated”, her clothes are BOR-RING and nothing this fat girl would dream of wearing.  although i can see most of it in the average lane bryant lol.

  • Jenna Kuhmann

    I hade the same thought about the jacket as I watched: “Why is no one saying that the shoulders aren’t fitted correctly?”  But it was a really cute suit. 

  • ErinGray

    For everyone on this thread who is looking for amazing plus-sized clothes, I am re-posting here my reply to Buffy.  The absolute BEST plus sized clothing is available at
    They have well-made, beautifully-fitted, grown-up, ladylike dresses
    that make you look sexy, yet appropriate. I am a lawyer and I wear their
    dresses every day to work, to meetings at my daughter’s school, to
    church and out on dates with my husband. I have the Betsy Ruched Dress
    (red), Scalloped Boudoir Lace Dress (black and neutral), Viviene Cinch
    Dress (black, blue and red) and the Tory Cinch Dress (purple, black,
    navy and red).  Kiyonna literally gave me back my dignity after years of
    being forced to buy the clothes that are typically available to
    plus-sized women which tend to come in two equally distasteful flavors I
    describe as “chubby teenage hooker” and “Aunt Bea”. I actually cried in
    the Kiyonna showroom once out of sheer gratitude. Go there now! 

  • Chantelle James

    I know I’m late to this party but I happened to catch this episode on rerun on CosmoTV here in Canada. I wanted to make the comment that the jumpsuit Qristyl was wearing to the LB meeting was not all that flattering. She’s obviously her own customer and if she wants to prove that jumpsuits work then I’d expect her to be wearing a jumpsuit that worked. The ankle treatment made her look even more top-heavy than she is and the way she’d pinned the wrap bodice closed with the clearly visible pin looked cheap. And was she hiding a camel-toe behind her hands?

    I know she got her collection in to LB and that they were looking at the collection, not the designer, but I just wish that she’d tried a little harder to wear something that really worked.