starring Elle® magazine's Joe Zee

Overcoming Visual Insanity. Tonight at 10p.

Keith Pollock, who you see every week, is an old-friend and a trusted cohort of mine, who generally has no trouble telling me exactly how he feels about my work. If I style a story that looks a bit lackluster, he won’t mince his words. Same said for something he likes. He’s been so familiar and critical of my work over the years, we now have a running joke. He knows how much I love a sexy woman in all my pictures, often being inspired by the Seventies glamour of Scavullo and Avedon photos so whenever Keith sees my more of my signature handiwork, he’ll often toss out his one-liner in a very succinct way: “Oh, I see you’re doing the wet hair, smokey eye look again.”

All jokes aside, Keith can appreciate how much I love the virtues of a strong, sexy woman, which is why I was probably so drawn to Leila Shams’ designs when I first saw them. I’ll be honest and say I initially found her clothes trashy and overwrought, which can often be the downfall of many struggling designers. She had so much going on with each look and nevermind that dress after dress bordered on obscene. Don’t get me wrong, there were interesting ideas there for sure, like her use of photo prints and patterns, but often it was camouflaged amongst visual insanity. Not unlike Jedda-Kahn’s situation, where I had thought his case of “too much” can be easily remedied, I knew Leila would be a different animal (no pun intended). She was going to be more than just removing a few details and beads. With Leila, I had to also up her level of sophistication and that was my challenge. And this time, I couldn’t rely on wet hair or a smokey eye.

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