All On The Line S3E6: Domino Dollhouse

Posted on October 18, 2012

Better late than never, darlings, right?



Meet Tracy Broxterman, designer of Domino Dollhouse. It’s hard not to love her and not to root for her, because she’s got quite the uphill battle proving herself in an industry that tends to define beauty in a way that doesn’t include her or girls who look like her at all.

Tracy is very, very sweet and has a stated mission to help the fashion industry redefine what beauty means by offering stylish and fun clothes to all those ladies we all see walking down the street every single day (or even in the mirror), WAY more often than we see size twos (or fours or sixes or even eights).


The problem is, while she’s got some good ideas – and brings a much-needed sense of fun to plus-sized clothing – her work is rough, to say the least, and thus, not easy to sell to buyers.


Enter Doctor Joe, God bless him. We don’t know many fashion editors on his level who would even bother looking in this direction, let alone committing himself to help a designer like Tracy meet her goals. As he always does, he zeroes in on what’s  wrong with Tracy: Everything. By that we mean, she has no business plan or any understanding of how to put one together, shockingly little in the way of understanding the mechanics of fashion and how to utilize that knowledge to design clothes; and perhaps not surprising at all, very little in the way of self confidence or leadership skills.

Joe tells her she’s got a shot at making a dress for Octavia freaking Spencer, who’s turning into the queen of plus-sized fashionable ladies, it seems.


Octavia is adorably sweet to Tracy but, as kindly as she can phrase it, tells her that her dress has problems.


Namely, that it’s sleeveless and all in black, which is something Octavia informs her (and which has been largely true in our experience and after listening to our Bitter Kittens for many years) is something a lot of plus-sized ladies tend to get annoyed with, as if the rule about black being slimming is true in every case or that women of larger sizes need to be forced into a color-free style ghetto.


Octavia does note that the dress has some lovely detailing on it and tells her that she’d be happy to wear this design if Stacey made some of the changes she suggested. It is a nice-looking dress and we were impressed with how well Octavia was able to zero in on what needed to be done. Then again, it’s been our experience that stylish plus-sized ladies are EXTREMELY well-versed in fashion and what they require from it.


Then Octavia gave her flowers, which almost made us cry, it was so sweet.

Joe arranges a buyer’s meeting with Lane Bryant because, of course. Stacey is thrilled because she’d love the opportunity to inject some youth and a little bit of her own rocker style into the brand.

Later, he brings Ashley Falcon from People Style Watch in to see her progress and hear her pitch.As per usual – because the designers on this show have absolutely zero understanding of the value of press and the value of having a business plan – things don’t go all that well. Tracy is insecure and unsure of herself, and can’t answer any of Ashley’s questions; most notably the ones on price points.


Joe goes ballistic on Tracy and storms out. As much as we love him, it was really hard to watch. Seeing a thin, well-appointed, powerful fashion editor tear into a girl like Tracy is just painful. But Joe’s not a bitch for no reason and Tracy really needed his brand of tough love, he kept at her and kept at her until she tearfully shouted that she really wants this and she’ll do what it takes to get it done. Hard to watch, but the right thing to do. Tough love ain’t pretty, after all.


It’s buyer’s day and never before have we held our breath so hard, fearful of what was going to happen; not even with Korto, who we’d known (and rooted for) for years.


We gasped a little when this came out. We’re not a hundred percent on that top, but it was a fun and unique way to use colorblocking to… not so much make the model look thinner, but showcase her body to its best effect. We REALLY loved that take on the biker jacket. The size of the lapels showed an advanced sense of proportion for the plus-sized woman. And we never would have thought you could do a horizontally striped skirt in that size and have it look good, but it really worked because of the way she used contrasting stripes.


We loved this look for having some serious rockabilly style, which is not something you’d expect in plus-sizes. The Lane Bryant ladies didn’t like the neckline, rather stupidly sticking to the mantra that plus-sized ladies should only wear v-necks or scoop necks, which is just plain narrow-minded, in our opinion. Granted, the execution on the top was a little problematic, but still. It’s a cute look.


She lost us on this one. She clearly is a genius when it comes to utilizing stripes for plus sizes, but that skirt shouldn’t come up so high. If this was a simple A-line with a pink blouse, it’d look great.


She kind of lost us on this one, too. The skirt’s okay, but that top is really awful. Bad color, too shiny, the neckline in this case really did look too high to us, and the bows on the sleeves are a bit much.


What a fabulous look. We can’t imagine this wouldn’t sell like hot cakes. It’s pretty, feminine, sexy, with a little edge, and it gives her a great shape. The sheer cutouts on the bottom of the tights were a great idea.


Again: The girl is a flatout genius when it comes to utilizing stripes for plus sizes. We do think the waist sits a little high, though.


D’aw. We’re teary-eyed.

Of course they bought some of her pieces. How could they not? They still sounded awfully Lane Bryant-y, even when they loved some things; and by that we mean, they were annoyingly conservative in their thinking, buying into the idea that all plus-sized women want to dress in the same middle-aged styles. We wish Tracy all the luck in the world and we truly hope she wins the inevitable arguments with Lane Bryant and gets them to understand that big girls have a range of tastes, and some of them want to look like sexy rocker chicks, instead of like the mother of the bride or the senior executive assistant.



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