'Project Runway' reunion party: Checking in with some of the show's most unforgettable designers
"Project Runway" -- Michael Costello, Kara Janx, Mondo, Elisa Jimenez & Jay McCarroll
It's hard to believe "Project Runway" is already knee-deep into its 11th season. When we think back to some of the show's most unforgettable characters, it seems crazy to us that they graced the catwalk in our living rooms so long ago.
But, alas, time stands still for no one, not even couturiers.
Thankfully, this New York Fashion Week afforded us the opportunity to attend a "Project Runway" reunion party and catch up with some of our favorite designers.
Season: 8 (runner-up) and All-Stars Season 1 (winner)
Why you remember him: He announced he was HIV positive during his regular season and was embroiled in a major bromance with Michael Costello and a major beef with Austin Scarlet during All-Stars.
Favorite season (other than his own): "I loved Christian Siriano's season because, when I saw that season and I saw Christian win, I looked at the television and I thought, 'You know what? I can do that, too.' And that's something that really inspired me to go out and achieve my goals."
Designer who was eliminated too soon: "Kit! Kit Scarbo [better known as Kit Pistol]. She's really supertalented. It was a s--tty night. I was so upset, because you know when you watch a competition reality show like this and somebody gets kicked off for the wrong reasons. I won't forget that for the rest of my life."
Current career status: "My collection is coming out at Neiman Marcus this spring, and my SEE eyewear collection is coming out summer 2013. I am also working on my own branding, and I also have this HIV education campaign, which is really wonderful, because in Season 8 I came out as HIV positive and that has really changed my life. It sounds cliché, but 'Project Runway' really gave me my life back in so many ways. … It really made me be proactive in my own healthy life again."
On that bromance: "Oh my god! Michael is practically my lover; we just don't sleep with each other."
On that beef: "It is what it is. … When you're put in a room with 15 other people who are larger than life -- or at least think they are -- it's hard. We all have egos. Especially on All-Stars. It's like we came back and people knew who we were, so we have this attitude or whatever. It was a real competition the second time around. It felt like a competition. The first time, I was like, 'Whatever, let's just have fun.' The second time, I was like, 'Game on.' The beefs? I'll take 'em rare. I'll take 'em real rare."
Season: 1 (winner)
Why you remember him: He's loud, outspoken, and won the first season.
Favorite season: "I think 2, because it had that same kind of energy [as the first]. It wasn't so much about the characters; it was about the work. The first season was really about the work and how interesting it was to watch the process of clothes being designed. By now, the formula's tired. You know what's coming really. I wish they showed more of the clothes."
Designer eliminated too soon: "Ben Chmura [from Season 7]. His work was so good. Kara Janx, I think, also deserved to be in the final three on her season [which was Season 2 and she finished fourth]. Those are the two that come to mind."
Current career status: "I teach college for fashion at Philadelphia University. I'm still designing clothing and accessories. I've been trudging along. It's a hard business. It takes a lot of time. If it was easy, the 700 designers that 'Project Runway' has already produced would all be Karl Lagerfeld, but it's hard."