starring Elle® magazine's Joe Zee

Episode Recap – Kara Janx – Don’t Just Say It. Do It.

What I Hoped She Learned:

“Don’t just say it. Do it.”

That was the thought that was running through my head as Kara and I prepped on the morning of our presentation with Neiman Marcus. Kara had promised me that she would re-cut a dress in a size 8 to show the Neimans buying team that we were serious about dressing the everywoman, but when I discovered my plan was dutifully ignored, it just didn’t sit well with me. Had we not set out from the very beginning to address the everywoman? Had I not explained that a retailer would see the collection as worn by real women, real customers? And let’s face it: a size 8 is hardly plus size. This should have been an easy task for Kara but for whatever reason, it just didn’t come together.

But like all pre-fashion show chaos backstage, you take lemons and make lemonade. We had to find a solution. And fast. I knew potentially one of the wrap dresses would work beautifully and when Kara unveiled a brown jersey wrap dress she made in the eleventh hour for the first time, I knew that was our answer. In the end, the dress looked great on Sarah, our size 8 model and the Neiman Marcus buying team, including the very fabulous Ken Downing, loved it. Whew! Crisis averted.

But that didn’t stop me from wondering why Kara would have fought me so much on this point. This was an excellent opportunity for her to prove what we’ve been talking about this entire time: dressing the everywoman. Why would she say she would do it and not? Time crunch or not, this was something vital to the end product. True, Kara loves a debate and I love action. But in the end, I felt she just needed to stop discussing and start doing. That’s my motto and hopefully, a lesson Kara will keep with her – which I’m sure she did – after our very successful presentation to Neiman Marcus. Of course I was frustrated at that moment, but ultimately, I was very proud of the final collection – even if Kara and I didn’t always agree along the way. But that’s just what passionate creative people do sometimes – fight in the process, as long as the final result is a meeting of the minds. Personally, I was just glad I was never confronted with Kara’s dangerous snip-snip-snipping scissors.

Tune in for more designer transformations on Sundance Channel’s all new original series ALL ON THE LINE. Tuesdays at 10p EST.