By now you should have already watched my episode of STITCHED, or AN episode of Stitched at least. The new Canadian made design runway competition show on Slice has been airing since September and quickly become my Sunday night go-to (and not just because I was on one of the episodes)! In every episode it puts four new designers up against each other in a fierce set of challenges that tests their technical skill, how they do under pressure and of course their design chops. Contestants are from all over the US and Canada and the winner gets to walk away $10,000 richer. Every episode features a guest judge from the fashion industry and October 21 was my turn to shine.
Before I was asked to come on as a guest judge my experience with TV was limited to live morning segments and interviews so I had literally zero idea what to expect. To top it off STITCHED was going to be a brand new show so there was no previous episodes to watch or researc. Thankfully I am an excellent student of reality TV and quickly immersed myself in all things Project Runway. Even though it’s not the same format and things run a lot quicker on STITCHED it was fascinating to see what my predictions about how these shows are filmed and the reality compared. It’s not often that we work with big crews for projects and I was more or less thrown into deep waters. There was very little briefing on what is expected of me or what I should be doing or where I should be going. I was joining a cast of people who had just spent seven weeks filming episodes and getting to know each other on a personal level that I had to catch up to very quickly. The first time I saw the set was when we came in to shoot the first challenge so everything was as new to me as it was for all the contestants (minus the added pressure of winning). It actually felt surreal to be sitting alongside huge fashion power players like Joe Zee and Vanessa Craft, the editor-in-chief of Elle Canada and asked to be an authority on the subject of fashion and design. Very much a pinch me moment and definitely a highlight of 2018! Funnily enough the impostor syndrome quickly kicked in and if you watch my episode you may know why. The contestants heard that the guest judge was a fashion blogger and may have immediately demoted my importance on the panel? Maybe. I felt that might have been the case through the limited interactions on set BUT there could have been NOTHING to lessen the excitement of the experience.
For those curious about the process, the judges were not allowed to know anything about the contestants other than what garments they made in each particular challenge so there was absolutely no interactions between us during the three days of filming. In fact we each had an escort that was in constant communication with the production team when we came in and left the building to ensure there was no overlap. We weren’t even allowed to see the models between filming either. The shoots were quite long and because you had to stay alert on set at all times, in my case I was trying to absorb as much as I could, by the time we got home you were exhausted and ready for bed. The decisions we made during the show were purely based on what we saw in front of us during filming.
As for the judging itself let me tell you! I walked in thinking I’m gonna give them hell. I’ll be opinionated and will tell them everything is garbage and will get an Emmy award in no time! THEN I saw how amazing everyone’s work was, how much they could create in such a short amount of time. How to the contestants this was a chance at something big and how REAL it all was. As a judge I was already winning, recognized for all the hard work I have been doing over the years as an expert in my field, how could I possibly be the mean judge here? After the first challenge I immediately had a smile back on my face. I was blown away, and the longer we spent in front of the designers the more I appreciated how brave and skilled they must be to be thrown into a situation like this, have literal hours to saw something from nothing, be surrounded by cameras and then critiqued. I mean! I know very well how it is needing recognition for something you busted your balls for. The hope is that the experience itself of being on the show will help propel their brand regardless of winning the cash and of course each one of them should be more than proud of how far they have come just by being selected. It’s definitely easier said then done but at the end of the day everything is an opportunity for growth.
At the end of the day the experience was incredible! I saw and learned so much and have become completely enthralled with the process. Filming something over a longer period of time gives a feeling of community and the end result feels so much closer to your heart. Honestly I didn’t want to leave, I could have been a runner or done any number of misc. tasks on set just to be able to hang out on that set. Without giving everything away I invite you to click on the link below and immerse yourself in the world of STITCHED. The beauty of the show is that you don’t have to watch any one episode in any particular order, they all live independently of each other and can be enjoyed separately or in a binge session. The world is your oyster! WATCH MY EPISODE OF STITCHED HERE. Now how do I get my own show?! xoxo