Project Runway's Jay Sario Sounds Off to Movieline: 'I Knew I Was Robbed'
Jay Nicolas Sario's fourth-place finish on Project Runway isn't just a loss for the 31-year-old San Francisco resident himself -- it kinda sucks for us too. Jay's deocy collection at Bryant Park was a master class production, and seeing Michael Kors rendered asthmatic would have been a record-early Christmas treat. Sadly, Jay was eliminated in favor of Mila last night, but he took time to tell Movieline about Tim Gunn's advice, Mila's "expected" collection, and the fellow designer who helped him during a dark hour.
Let's talk about Tim Gunn visiting your place in San Francisco. Does he really hang out with your family all day? Or is he out of the door in a half hour?
He was there the whole entire time until we finished everything. I think he left as soon as the "interview" part of the episode started. That was, like, at 5 p.m. basically. We started from 5 a.m. all the way to 5 p.m. I think he flew from L.A. because he had just visited Mila the day before, but he was really exhausted; by 5 p.m. I knew he was ready to check out. We spent a lot of time talking to my parents, my aunt, and my partner. He really enjoyed sitting down with us and having Filipino cooking for the first time. So it was a 12-hour filming.
Tim wrote in his blog that the two of you had butted heads during the show. We didn't see much of that. Can you elaborate on the disagreements?
You know, I went into the show not knowing who I am as a designer. I discovered my point of view, and I thank Project Runway for that. I did a lot of things that exaggerate the female's butt, and they didn't like that. I think that was one of the things that I wanted to focus on, and have women feel comfortable: that no matter how much I try to make your ass look big, it don't matter what people say about it. It's all about the confidence you have to wear the pieces I make for you. Most of the time, [Tim] didn't agree with that. Like, I don't know if you noticed -- in this one challenge, I added these, kind of like, buff things on the side of the pants, and once again I exaggerated that part of a female's body. And my burlap dress, I made the ass ginormous, and the Heidi challenge, I made another dress that's volumetric. I think those are the things we disagreed upon. He didn't necessarily disagree on my point of view, he disagreed with that kind of thing that I always do.
When you were on the runway standing with Mila, how did you feel about her work as it was presented to the judges?
You know, I thought the craftsmanship was there. Her point of view was there. But it was expected. It was black and white. It's the stuff she's been doing over and over and over again over the past challenges. If you look at her portfolio, it's black and white. I didn't really see that as a threat. At that point I was confident because I thought of the top three looks I showed as being innovative pieces and fashion-forward. I thought those were the key points why I should move forward to Fashion Week, and not her.
Lifetime Network conspiracy question: Did you feel a little doomed since you were a dude?
[Laughs] Well, three girls showed before [in seasons five and six]. I thought there's probably going to be a twist. They're going to want to switch it up this time -- maybe the guys are all going to Fashion Week. Unfortunately, that didn't happen.
Just days after being eliminated, what was it like to show your decoy collection at Bryant Park? Was it at all a bitter experience?
I don't think so. To be honest with you, I felt like I had the worst situation among all the people that had been eliminated, because I was so close to Fashion Week. I got eliminated three days before Fashion Week while everyone else, they get eliminated during summertime. They got four months to get over it. To me, it wasn't necessarily unfair, but it was tough, because I was dealing with my grief while doing final touches for my collection. I don't think I felt bitter about it. I knew I felt robbed. I felt robbed and shocked over the judges' decision. I know I'm not the kind of person who can get over things easily.
As soon as I got eliminated, Anthony became my roommate. He really took care of me emotionally and supported me emotionally. He knew right there and then that I needed him. I didn't have to ask him to be my roommate -- he knew, he asked the production assistants, "I know Jay got eliminated, and I know he needs me. So he and I need to be roommates." It was really helpful. And I love him for that. I'm thankful that he supported me that way.
The quality of your collection far surpassed many of the decoys. Was it strange to be considered an also-ran with those collections?
I think a lot of it has to do with that I worked on my collection knowing I had a chance to show at Fashion Week. If I was a decoy, if I was say, for instance, Amy, I'm not sure if I would've put the same passion into it. You know what I mean? I worked my collection knowing I'm still in the competition, not because I was asked to do a collection as a decoy.
So: Who should win Project Runway?
Oh, God. [Laughs] I think Seth Aaron. Um, he -- he is, well, he's a good friend of mine. [Laughs] But he showed consistently every single challenge, he showed who he is as a fashion designer, and the judges love that about him. I hope he wins. I mean, I already know who wins. But I hope he wins.
Other eliminated Runway designers sound off to Movieline:
· Maya Luz
· Anthony Williams (First Elimination)
· Ping Wu