The Project Runway Blog
Category: "past designers"
Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week kicks off tomorrow in New York! We'll be chatting with Season 4 winner Christian Siriano and want to share your questions. Have something to ask Christian? Visit the "Project Runway" Facebook page to "Like" us and leave a comment with your Christian question. Check back on Friday to see if we picked yours!
Can't get enough Christian Siriano? Get the latest update on the Season 4 winner, plus everyone from Jay McCarroll through Gretchen Jones in our "Project Runway" Winners: Where Are They Now? photo gallery.
We caught up with Season 8 designer Nicholas D'Aurizio to get the latest update on what lead to his early exit, what he would have done differently and what's in store for him next.
What was your best design of the season?
I only had two designs. Even though I was booted with it, I stand by my second design. Sure, it could have been changed a little bit, but it was trend right for the season it was made for, color right, the fit was impeccable and it was really well made.
What was your worst design?
The first challenge. It was horrible. It fit well, but it is a total bridemaid dress. Only having five hours to complete it, I was astonished I even made a dress that fast, but it's a bit boring, as the judges told me.
If you could redo one design which would it be and what would you change?
The second. I would have made the top a full blouse, not such a high back and I'd ditch the cape. I stand by it, but I realize that if I had made these edits, I'd probably would have made it much farther on the show.
Who was your favorite guest judge and why?
Joanna Coles. Even though I wasn't part of most of the judging ceremonies, watching the show air, I think Joanna was the best. She knows what she is talking about and she gives really good critiques. The rest of the guest judges just werent too impressive to me.
What was the most difficult judging session for you?
The first one. I thought I was going home and I wasn't going to make it through. To just start the competition and be on the bottom was a horrible experience. It's odd, though. I appear to be on the verge of a heart attack on camera, but I really wasn't feeling that "horrible" inside. I was just nervous. It's a pretty surreal experience standing on that runway for the first time.
What was the most difficult judging session for you?
Upon leaving the show, I really was down and out. It was a hard adjustment to get back into the swing of "real" life again. I also left kinda feeling a bit like a failure and was pretty bitter about the whole experience. I now realize it doesn't matter how well I did. It matters that I made it on the show. Although I'm not gracing the pages of Marie Claire or having my clothes bought by major department stores like some of my fellow designers, I was part of the cast of Season 8 of "Project Runway." I need to be proud of that and realize the doors it has opened for me and that dreams do come true.
I'm currently working on my Fall 2011 collection that will be shown during Mercedes Benz Fashion week in February. I am also planning to launch a proper handbag collection with this collection. It should be a great show!
Only one more episode until the two-part finale begins on October 21 and concludes with the finale collections on October 28!
As the final five prepare for their next challenge, Heidi sends them to a posh penthouse for a night of relaxation before they receive their next task from New York's Mayor Michael Bloomberg, where they must find their inspiration for the city.
Watch an Episode 12 preview now, and tune in Thursday at 9 pm et/pt to see who make it one step closer to Fashion Week:
In an effort to help end food poverty in New York City, Moves Magazine challenged "Project Runway" designers with the task of creating an orange-themed handbag to benefit Food Bank and their hunger awareness — stitching for a cause to reach 3.3 million hungry New Yorkers.
"Runway" alumni Laura Bennett, Chloe Dao, Andrae Gonzalo, Althea Harper, Mila Hermanovski, Johnathan Kayne, Korto Momolu and Carol Hannah Whitfield are participating. Get all the details about the bags on NewYorkMoves.com
Your favorite "Project Runway" designers of seasons past are back! "On the Road with Austin & Santino" premieres Thursday, July 29, after the highly anticipated 90-minute "Project Runway" Season 8 premiere, at 10:30 pm et/pt.
The show follows designers Austin Scarlett (Season 1) and Santino Rice (Season 2, All Star Challenge) as they travel to and immerse themselves in the culture of small towns across America to create new looks for special women in unique situations as they celebrate such life milestones as anniversaries, birthdays, balls, graduations and bachelorette parties. (In the only way Austin and Santino can ... fabulously!)
In the 14-episode series, Austin and Santino will face differences in opinion and demanding clients, including a rodeo trick-rider, a military officer and a female truck-driver!
Keep checking back here on the blog for more updates on this show.
By Rachel Cohen
So what was it like when you walked onto the set to judge?I was thinking to myself, Should I put my instructor cap on and treat this like a mid-term or final exam with my students at FIDM? and also how I still wanted to be nice Uncle Nicky while judging. Most of all, I was aware that I’d been there and knew the designers’ pain, so I didn’t want to be critical for the sake of being mean; I wanted to be constructive.
Did the designers welcome you with open arms?They jumped up and down, and were clapping. So I started jumping up and down! Instantly, I realized I had to simmer down, because in about an hour I may be wrecking them with my judging and one of them might want to slap me!
Were you comfy sitting between Heidi and Nina?I was nervous sitting next to Nina. I’d feel comfortable giving Heidi high fives or having margaritas with her. Nina, not so much. It’s a different camaraderie with her. She has a certain demeanor, which did pile the nervous pressure on me to behave.
What was one thing that happened during judging that didn’t make it into the episode?There was lot of discussion about Gordana's design. I thought her model looked like a secretary working at the Kremlin ... pushing secret papers in the old Soviet Union. Heidi added that it did remind her of her own country. We got into this whole East GermanyversusWest Germany sensibility in fashion and how this was the opposite look of the Oktoberfest girl [Epperson's design in a previous episode].
What about the hoopla regarding copying between Irina and Althea?It's funny to watch Irina's bitchy commentary and the rivalry between her and everyone else. I didn't know any of that when I was the first one to say Althea's sweater looked like Irina's design. I was explaining how this happened in my classes at FIDM when Irina shot Althea a look and then [Althea] shot her one back. I guess I was "pot-stirring Uncle Nicky" when I asked about the similarities.
Any other big debates?Yes Carol Hannah's cocktail dress versus Althea's sweater and pants. Althea's design was more modern and looked more like the future of American sportswear, which is why she won. It's funny that there is a history with rewarding sportswear versus gowns and dresses. People associate American designers with sportswear, like Bill Blass and Calvin Klein. I'm a gown designer too, yet I found myself in judging rewarding the sportswear over the cocktail dress!
What is something that really surprised you during the show?How dark and somber the colors were from the designers. At one point, I turned to Nina and said, "Has it been like this?" and she told me off the cuff, "Yes, we’re trying to get them to step it up." I know at this point in the competition, you are tired, very tired! Your creative and emotional self and your brain need a rest. I wanted these designs to make my hair stand up, but I did keep that in mind when looking at colors like gray ... which don’t excite me. Logan. It’s funny that I had a hand in taking him out, yet I’d choose him. I see him and want to look like him ... OK, I know I can’t look like him, but I want the look of his skinny jeans and accessories.
One of "Project Runway's" true tests of talent in seasons past has been challenges involving unconventional materials car parts, food, furnishings and creating designer duds worthy of an A-list event. Now your Sunday morning newspaper has been added to that list, and who would read between the lines of this challenge better than the chief fashion critic for the Los Angeles Times, Booth Moore?
Covering the latest fashions of New York, London, Milan, Paris and L.A., Booth has interviewed every major fashion personality, including Miuccia Prada, Tom Ford, Gwen Stefani and "Project Runway" Season 4 guest judge Victoria Beckham.
As the editor and co-creator of the Los Angeles Times Image section, one of the many sections of the paper available for the designers to craft garments from, Booth threw out one of the most exciting challenges of Season 6 to date.
Did you have any expectations going into this of what the designers would create? Tim gives us a bit of a history lesson in the episode about the garments that have been successfully made of paper products, so there is precedent here for great fashion.
I figured that they would do crazy and different things I had never even thought of, and that's true, there is a history of paper dresses from the 1960s. FIT has an exhibit up now on fashion and politics, and they had a couple of paper dresses that had campaign slogans on them from the '60s and '70s. That was one of the ways paper was used in fashion: making the human body a literal signboard.
Were all those reams of paper recycled, and what did you hope they’d use from the Times?
Selfishly, I was hoping they would use the Image section, because that is the fashion section! I thought there would be some cool photographs that they could use in an interesting way. There were stacks and stacks of sections, and yes, they had already come out.
This could be a cool new recycling program: making fabulous garments out of newspaper.
Yes! There are companies that make accessories out of newspaper, and I’ve seen little bags and purses with some of my own stories all over them!
Did you expect the designers to use color? It is black and white and very clean, but that can run the risk of being boring.
Because so much of the paper is black and white, there obviously was the opportunity to do cool things with repeating patterns. There are also photographs, particularly in the Fashion section; really cool, big color photographs that could be cut up and used in a cool way.
If you had to wear a paper garment, what would you be willing to wear?
Oh my god.
... And how uncomfortable do you think it would be?
I think there would be a constant worry that you'd be splitting your pants! And that's the scary thing! I might consider a skirt if it wasn't too tight and if it had a lining underneath it. I would carry a bag. I think I would be too nervous to wear a bandeau top or something I imagine newspaper would make a great one! And there's always hats, which I've seen on the runway this week at Fashion Week. There were some Stephen Jones creations at Donna Karan that if they weren't paper, looked like it.
Do you watch the show? Are you a fan of "Runway"?
I do! I think it's been particularly interesting this season to have it in L.A.
Who do you think is the front-runner so far?
I think you kind of have to wait until there's been five or six challenges. Everyone seems to have different strengths that comes out in the early challenges, but it’s hard to get a sense of their full range until you've seen them do several different things.
Who's your favorite judge on the show?
I love Michael Kors' clothes. Michael fits my personal style. He was born to be on television. As a writer, I'm always thinking, How is he so quick?
Secret snark-teleprompter in his watch?
Is there anyone from past seasons whose work you saw on the show and since then you've noticed how much they’ve grown as a designer?
I just saw Christian Siriano's collection. I thought it was really cool. The prints were gorgeous. There was a volcanic print and an ocean print. He's got a lot of skill with draping and an edge to his clothes that I like. The shoes he did for Payless were just out of control! I don't think they're going to be reproduced quite the same way for them, but people have responded really well to them. Maybe they should reconsider!
I was surprised at how comfortable they were. Forty bucks? Boots? Christian Siriano? Hello!
Exactly! I also love Rami Kashou. We go to the same gym in Los Angeles, so I see him all the time! I think he's an amazing designer when it comes to draping and these Greek goddess creations. He always does gowns in a really surprising way, and I wish him well for sure.
If you could create your very own challenge and throw it out to the designers, what would you have them do?
I'm in the middle of traveling for a whole month for all the Fashion Week shows, so it's on my mind! It would have to be something to do with travel coming up with two or three pieces that could be worn for an entire week in different weeks. I've literally had 100 pounds of luggage with me. It's such a pain to always try and plan outfits when you're gone for so long. I love to sit down with a notebook and I try to think of how things can be worn in different ways, and it never works out, or you never have what you need because of the weather you encounter. I think that's something that’s challenging, and it speaks to what's challenging to designers right now, which is how to come up with pieces that are versatile, multipurpose and seasonless.
Today is the Christmas of all "Runway" days! Here's what's waiting to be unwrapped:
• 8 pm et/pt: The "Project Runway: All-Star Challenge". Eight of your favorite past designers are going for the ultimate bragging rights.
• An All-Star Line Up of "Runway" Bloggers: Andrae Gonzalo (Season 2), Nick Verreos (Season 2) and Chris March (Season 4).
• The Make It Work Sweepstakes: A shot at weekly cash prizes, and a grand prize of $25,000 and lunch with Tim Gunn in NYC.
• Tim Gunn Phone Call: Have Tim Gunn call your dentist, your ex, your co-workers, with a customized message and a reminder to watch the premiere tonight!
• Designer Portfolios: School yourself on the 16 designers' work before they hit the air. Come back each week to see their creations on the show.
• 10 pm et/pt: The premiere of "Project Runway" Season 6 is here. Finally!
• Meet the Models: Check out the modeling books and watch closet tours from the ladies on "Models of the Runway".
• Get Social: Check "Project Runway" out on Facebook and Twitter to find the latest and the greatest show fan chat on the 'Net.
• 11 pm et/pt: "Models of the Runway" series premiere! Get to know these ladies of the runway like never before with their very own show.