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Season 10 Q&A: Raul Osorio on Team Challenges and Workroom Drama

By laurareineke Fri., Aug. 3, 2012 ,4:51 pm EDT

Raul

It's never easy for ego-driven, individualistic designers to collaborate on one design, but add severe time constraints, the possibility of elimination, and the opportunity to have that design featured on an Emmys red carpet and it's enough to make anyone crack. We saw a lot of crankiness and fighting this week, but surprisingly, none of it came from the bottom two designers, Raul Osorio and Alicia Hardesty. They committed to their losing dress as equals in an admirable and atypical move. Unfortunately, it was someone's turn to be auf'd, and Raul ended up on the chopping block. We spoke with him about the difficulties of the challenge and the rest of his time on the runway — check out our Q&A below!

Q: One of the questions asked of you on the runway was why you and Alicia, being more familiar with menswear, went with a gown instead of a suit or something similar. If you could do it over again, would you go in that direction instead?
Raul: I would definitely do a suit. We are very good in menswear and I think we could have done a suit and it would’ve been the perfect choice. If I could go back in time, I wouldn’t listen to Mila. I would never change my fabric or switch my design because of her. That was my biggest mistake. I needed to stick to what I know. I think the original design would have worked perfectly, but there were too many cooks in the kitchen. It was very annoying. I don’t enjoy team challenges. I love Alicia and we got along really well — we defended each other. But at the same time I don’t like working in team challenges. I hated every single minute of that challenge. [laughs]

Q: Do you think if you hadn’t been working with a partner you’d be safe?
Raul: No, I think if Mila wasn’t my client I would have been safe. I can’t identify myself with her. She’s not "my client." We’re forced to work with them, which is part of the challenge, but there’s nothing I can identify myself with her personal style. I had the best partner when it came to Alicia. It was amazing to work with her and I have nothing bad to say; it was a beautiful experience. But I definitely think I work better by myself. I don’t like to share my design. I just want it to be all about Raul Osorio, and it’s hard to compromise that.

Q: If you’d have a different client would the result have been different?
Raul: Yes. It was very limited! As soon as I met Mila she said, "People know me as the lady in black." And I’m thinking, "Oh my god, how do I make it work?" She looks very gothic to me. And I was constantly thinking I had to make a black dress. And I don’t do gowns! Everything was just a mess.

Q: What was it like working with Alicia?
Raul: Since the first day I got here I said I wanted to work with Alicia, so I was extremely excited when I found out I would be working with her. Whatever the outcome — it was not the best — but I’m glad that I got to work with her. She was my first choice. I just wish we would’ve done something different.

Q: What was the Times Square runway experience in the first episode like for you?
Raul: It was awesome. Coming from Minneapolis and Honduras as well, I never thought I’d have the chance to show my work there. And then, having the chance to do that and being able to share it with multiple designers who are extremely talented — it was amazing. As I said before, it was better than sex. It was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever experienced.

Q: Is there a celebrity you’d love to design for?
Raul: If I could go back in time — and this might sound very silly, but I’m a big fan of Johnny Cash, and if I had the chance to do something for him that’s a bit more modern, I would love to do it.

Q: Who’s the most intimidating judge?
Raul: To be honest, none of them are intimidating to me. Heidi is fun to talk to and interact with, but Michael and Nina? I don’t know. I’m not scared of them.

Q: Everyone’s buzzing about Christopher and Gunnar’s love-hate relationship. Was it really like that in the workroom or is it the show’s editing?
Raul: What you see of Christopher is 100% Christopher. There’s no acting or anything like that. When it comes to Gunnar I think some people came to this show for different reasons. Some of us came because we want to pursue design and show more of our work. Some people are trying to become the next Snooki. They want to become a reality TV star. And good for them, but this is a show about fashion, not about who’s the bitchiest. He’s extremely talented, don’t get me wrong. He has what it takes to be a designer. But I think he’s so aggravated by the fact that he got kicked out last season that he’s determined to get his five minutes of fame no matter what.