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Who's the Simon Cowell of Bravo's 'Launch My Line'? Hint: She's from L.A.

December 2, 2009 |  2:33 pm


It's not New Yorker Stefani Greenfield of Scoop boutique fame or Dsquared's Dan and Dean Caten from the snooty European fashion establishment filling the Simon Cowell mean judge role on Bravo's "Launch My Line," which premieres tonight at 11 PST. It's sunny L.A.'s Lisa Kline, owner of the eponymous Robertson Boulevard boutique, who gleefully pops the contestants' bubbles.

The show features 10 professionals who dream of designing a fashion collection. Contestants include “So You Think You Can Dance” choreographer Dan Karaty and fashion journalist Merle Ginsberg. The contestants team up with veteran designers such as Coco Kliks and Roberto De Villacis to complete a look for judging by Dan and Dean Caten, Greenfield and Kline. The winner will get to launch a clothing line, and the designer who helped pockets $50,000.

“I’m mean, funny and critical,” says Kline. “I don’t sugarcoat anything. Stefani, who I love, is brainy East Coast. She's way nicer than me, very eloquent. Everybody there was way refined, be it New York or Milan. I was the wild L.A. girl."

The first episode -- which also features as contestants crooner Lou Rawls' daughter, Louanna, and peppy MOCA events producer Vanessa Gonzales -- has that brand of manufactured reality-show tension in which paired contestants' temperaments are mismatched or too similar.

But what was the biggest challenge for judge Kline on "Launch My Line" besides the emotional eliminations?

It was telling the Caten twins apart: ”Every day they look the same and dress the same," she says.

-- Max Padilla

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Photo: From left, Dean and Dan Caten, Stefani Greenfield, Lisa Kline. Credit: Bravo