All On The Line S2E3: Kathy Wilson Atelier

Posted on December 12, 2011

Meet Erik and Kathy Wilson. At first, they were giving off the “bitch and doormat” vibe, but they managed to subvert our expectations.

Kathy is a chic little number herself and is struggling to get her line off the ground.

Erik is deferring plans for law school and Kathy has one more chance to make her fashion career work before she has to pick it up and let her husband have a shot at his dreams. In other words, it’s ALL ON THE LINE. Thematically pure! That’s how we like our reality TV, bitches!

Together, they make bland clothes!

Or rather, she makes bland clothes and he blandly nods his approval of her bland clothes. And who does Doctor Zee call to help shock these two out of their blandstravaganza?


Adam Lambert; that’s who. Kathy is charged with designing a piece for him. He says he wants to change his style a bit.

She comes up with this:

Now, we have to say, we like the design quite a bit, though it’s not without its issues. That detail on the shoulder is interesting but a bit overdone.

And it looks better from the front than it does from the side or back.

Everyone in the room loved it, but we sat there watching with big question marks over our heads. Didn’t he say something about wanting to change his style a bit? Come on now. If you held that jacket up to anyone on the street and asked them who it looked like, they’d all say “Adam Lambert.” She gave him something exactly in his existing style.

Next up: focus group of opinionated women. Heaven. We want to grab a coffee with these bitches on the way out and make fun of what the receptionist is wearing. Anyway, they all say the same thing: Kathy has a cute and sassy personal style but her line is as exciting as room-temperature milk.

Joe gets her an appointment with buyers from Scoop and she has several design meltdowns in a row over it, desperately casting about for something that looks hip and not quite hitting the mark each time.

Eventually, Joe, ever the master stylist, realizes that the simplicity of her menswear means it goes from bland to chic when styled for women. He urges her to make only a small line of womenwear for the Scoop meeting and she falls apart again. The good news is that throughout this process her husband grew a set of balls and she became much more sympathetic to his feelings about his deferred career. So we got a meltdown, but not in the typical “she’s a bitch and he’s a wimp” setup that reality TV tends to trade in. Even though they were as frustrating as any of Joe’s “clients,” we had to admire them both a little for immediately understanding what the other one was going through and needed.

But in the end, she still only managed to show up with some very basic pieces. Joe worked some styling voodoo and turned what looked like a sales rack at Banana Republic into something quite hip and modern. In other words, he saved their asses.

Case in point: you can barely even see the dress when she first comes out. Joe styled it up to make it look fresh. Although it’s a cute dress on its own. It’s just that it’s too plain.


Very chic little look, but again, it’s all styling.


We can’t say we loved the way this looked. The fit was awful and given what we presume the price point would be, it’s not a very rich-looking fabric.


That is a genuinely great little top. The styling sells it, of course, but not so much as to detract from what a good piece it is on its own.


Full-on Annie Hall drag, right down to Joe ripping his own tie off at the last second in order to give this look some life. The results here are, sadly, more a testament to his skill as a stylist than to hers as a designer.

Joe’s like Fashion MacGyver. Next week, he makes a pair of sandals out of his belt and wallet!


It’s just all right. We really don’t like the proportions of the shorts.


In the end, they’re “in negotiations” with Scoop, which sound a bit tenuous. Sometimes styling can make or break a line. There’s no crime in the fact that Joe singlehandedly saved it for her. What she really needs to figure out now is how to do the kinds of well-made classics that she favors but make them look chic and up-to-the-minute, stylewise. Doctor Joe can’t come around every season and work his magic for you, honey.



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