Project Runway's Newest Loser Confesses to Us: 'I Don't Think I Left the Runway Feeling Enlightened'
This week's Project Runway loser was a particularly tragic entry: level-headed, poised to rank higher than eighth place, and committed to a hard-carved personal aesthetic. After the jump, meet the contestant who met an untimely end last night, and hear all about how Michael Kors isn't so enlightening after all.
It's Amy Sarabi! The 25-year-old Plano, TX native seemed like a sure bet for Top 3 finalist early on, with the judges frequently mentioning her work, including her immaculate burlap entry). As the show progressed, and her ideas got a little stranger ("hair bowl," anyone?), the kerfluffled triumvirate of Heidi, Michael, and Nina turned on her. Now, Sarabi talks to Movieline about the judges, her ideas, and showing at Bryant Park.
I felt the judges were inconsistent with you. Your incredible hardware store look didn't receive top honors, and the challenge you did win, the "red dress" prompt, didn't seem to embody your personal style.
I completely agree. For me, the red dress challenge -- although that was a very meaningful challenge for me to win and I was extremely happy to win that one in particular -- I think the dress was not as creative as the other things I had done. I thought the burlap dress and the hardware dress were definitely more indicative of my work, but in the end, the judges are looking for more commercial work. I mean, they're all in the industry, so they're going to be more attracted to things that are more reasonable and wearable, I guess. But yeah, I do agree. If there were challenges that I think I would've won, it would've been the burlap and hardware store challenges.
Especially the burlap challenge.
Jay's was great as well! He had great techniques going on, too.
Would you say the judges were harsh on conceptual work this season in particular?
I don't feel like it's necessarily just this season. I knew that going into this, that that's not what they're looking for. I do feel like that this season that the group of designers were more on the creative side, I have to say. We had people taking more risks and more techniques with the actual textiles, like Jonathan. But I knew going in either way that they wouldn't be as open to the conceptual work, and I wanted to stay true to how I work.
Let's talk about the "hair bowl," which is a highlight of this season and my young life. Did you stray from your original vision, or did you create what you intended?
[Laughs.] I knew the silhouette that I wanted to create, I'll say. I didn't know if I was going to be able to engineer and create it in that amount of time. And whatever was going to go inside, that came second to the actual garment. In the end, what disappointed me the most, over the fact that I have crazy hair extensions in it, was that the garment itself wasn't standing up the way I wanted it to, or envisioned it to. That was what really bothered me. Aside from the hair being something really random to stuff inside, the actual garment wasn't the way I envisioned it. So that's where I think the problem really lied. And was I happy with the garment in the end? No. [Laughs.] I'd be lying if I said it was. It was crazy.
Did the judges' inconsistency make the runway more daunting? Were you intimidated by them?
I have respect for them, but I have a really critical eye. I have an ability to step outside my work and see what I've done. I think going out on the runway for the most part, I knew exactly what was wrong with what I had made. I knew what they were going to like about it. Even though I have respect for them, I don't think I left the runway feeling really enlightened about what they had said. It was more like... you have to think about Michael and Heidi. They come up with these really funny statements and critiques -- you know Heidi said the "hair bowl" looked like a "cat in a baby sling" [laughs] -- like, that's not constructive criticism or anything. The person who really did do that was Tim. Tim was the one where I'd say, "Wow, that's definitely true" [after a critique], you know? He'd help me reconstruct something in an easier way that I didn't see before.
I loved your final line at Bryant Park, though it will be edited from the finale. How did you feel about the collections that showed?
I think there were definitely cohesive collections at Bryant Park. There were things that I thought were maybe a little repetitive of things that had already been done. Maybe things that played it too safe, for sure. Like, I'll say on a positive note, I thought there were people who had great pieces in their collection, like Seth Aaron. I think Ben -- the garments in the pictures don't do it justice -- but in Ben's garments, there's a lot of thought that went into those. He did an amazing job. There are a lot of people with a lot of great stuff going on, but I think construction was probably was a little bit of a struggle for some people. A lot of people hadn't put together a complete collection before. That's something that surprised me about our Bryant Park collections: There were a lot of really cohesive collections, whereas in previous seasons, even last season, a lot of the collections weren't that cohesive. You'd have evening gowns that all look like they're coming from somewhere else. But I felt like ours was very, very cohesive.
Was there any part of your design aesthetic we didn't see on the show?
There's definitely a lot of techniques that I use in my work, in the Bryant Park collection, that I couldn't do within the time restraints. I couldn't do pleating or printing or of the other techniques, and I wasn't able to show that. But I was happy that I had the opportunity to show at Bryant Park what it's like when I have the time, to people watching the show.