Season 2 Q&A: Kayne Shares His Workroom Secrets
Sassy, lovable Season 3 contestant Kayne got the boot on last night's episode of "All Stars" after sending a poorly-received pair of houndstooth-and-leather suits down the runway. We chatted with the laid-back designer about how his previous work experience helped in the workroom, his favorites of the remaining designers, and what he really thought of his elimination. Check out his Q&A after the jump!
Q: What made you want to return?
Kayne: Well, you know, it’s been since 2006 or 2007, back in the dark ages of “Project Runway," so for me a lot has happened with my business and a lot has changed with my design focus and the lines that I now design. I wanted another outlet to show the world what Johnathan Kayne is up to. When I was on the show last time there was no Twitter. Facebook wasn’t an option unless you were in college. So a lot has happened even technology-wise. I wanted to show this new world what Johnathan Kayne is all about now.
Q: What was your favorite challenge?
That’s a hard one. If we’re talking about my favorite pieces that I made, it would have to be – ironic! – the two jackets I made last night. I hadn’t made constructed suit jackets in a long time, so it was fun for me to do that, and to do it with matching up the patterns of the houndstooth. There’s a lot that goes into design that people take for granted that you don’t really see: The construction, the matching up of prints or a design. Honestly, last night’s jackets, even though I was eliminated, were one of my favorite challenges. And mixing houndstooth and leather I thought was kind of fun. And then the first garment I made, the beaded lace catsuit. That screams “Johnathan Kayne,” so that was probably my other favorite.
Q: Do you think you should have gone home over Laura Kathleen? Was that the right decision?
Are you kidding? Absolutely not! I get it – when I signed back up for the show, it’s one of those things where you open yourself for public praise or humiliation. And I get that, I’m totally fine with that. My life is a joke anyway – I love to laugh and make people laugh. But when it came down to the clothes, listening to the judges’ critiques I was worried. I was just like, “Okay, I could go home,” but I’m thinking, “Laura Kathleen’s fabric choices were bad, her construction was bad, and the design was bad.” And they said that about all of them. And at least they raved about my construction on the jackets – they just didn’t like my color combo and my choice of fabrics on some of my garments. It is what it is, but short answer: No.
Q: How difficult was it to design for both a man and a woman, especially during the time frame of the challenge?
I take advantage of my fast sewing skills. My past has afforded me the opportunity to make a lot of garments for people. I used to have a retail store, so anyone who came in, whether they wanted a custom wedding dress, custom pageant gown, ballroom dance costume, I pretty much made it. Each year I’d make about 400 custom pieces, which is a lot. I learned a lot. Every time I made something, I learned something. It was a little harder [during the challenge] since I took on so much – two tailored jackets! – but I’m pretty good about using every minute of time that I have and knowing what I can do to make the quality great. It was a little harder with a male model because I don’t do menswear, but my guy was pretty lanky and lean so it wasn’t too hard to fit his body. It was all right. I definitely loved the woman’s jacket more.
Q: Who do you think might win?
I’ll give you my favorites. Of course, Uli. We became pretty close on our season so I’ve known her for a lot longer. Honestly, Joshua McKinley and I became great, great friends. We actually are working together on a new line, a collaborative line that will launch in the fall of 2013. It’s all signed, set, delivered. I’ve basically hired him to be an additional designer with my company, but it’ll be under his brand name; basically a small little cocktail and evening wear line, which will be fun. Anthony Ryan and I also became good friends. He’s such a sweetheart; just a good ol’ Southern boy, which is why we hit it off so well. Joshua, Anthony and myself roomed together in the penthouse, so we all became pretty close. I made some good friends this season, which is exciting.