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Auf’d Designer Emily: ‘Other Models Wanted to Buy My Dress’

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Jay Sullivan/Bravo; Barbara Nitke/Bravo

Wednesday night, the designers hit the streets of New York, seeking inspiration in the form of a snapshot. Captivated by what she called the “exuberance” of the city, Emily Brandle was sent home for her little black dress, complete with pink and orange ruffles. In hindsight, the designer says she interpreted the challenge too literally … and is at peace with the judges’ decision. But calling from New York, Brandle, 27, says her garment got raves from one demographic … the models! … and opens up about her failings in the challenge. … Brian Orloff

Let’s talk about your New York inspiration. Were you happy with the challenge and the image you selected?I was really happy with the picture I took. I thought it was really beautiful and captured the essence of New York: bright lights, big city, movement, energy. And I thought that my dress had an exuberance and an energy to it as well. Later my model told me that all of the other models wanted to buy my dress. I think that they’re my market … young, gorgeous girls. That’s who I want to dress.

Can you explain the concept of your dress and inspiration a bit more?I think that one of the things I got hung up on was taking too literal a translation from the picture. Obviously, the judges weren’t looking for that. They were just looking for a pretty garment that could maybe be referenced to a picture we took. So I think I was looking at it as a different kind of challenge. Clearly, if you look at who won and you look at her picture, there’s no symmetry between the two at all. You just never know what the judges are looking for. It’s subjective.

When you were standing on the runway, did you have a sense it was your time to go?When it was down to Jennifer and I, I looked in the judges’ eyes and I knew I was going home. I was shocked that it was me, but I could see it on their faces. And I was like, ‘OK. I guess this is my time.’

Did Tim’s critique in the workroom help prepare you at all? Did you make changes to the dress after that?Tim definitely does his best to give everybody the best feedback that he can. But that said, every person is ultimately responsible for their design. I changed some things after we spoke. I did refine my look. I started adding ruffles all over . . . and then it was just turning into this monster, so I stepped back and I edited. Ultimately I should have done something differently, I guess. But that’s the ‘coulda, shoulda, woulda’ game.

Exactly. You can’t go back and change things … just think about what you’d do different next time.Totally. If I could go back I would still be on the show, and I would win. Duh. Laughs.

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Jay Sullivan/Bravo; Barbara Nitke/Bravo