Elisa: Part Of The Overall Dialogue

Elisa Jimenez discusses the highs and lows of the first challenge.

What was it like meeting Tim and Heidi for the first time?
The sun was so pretty in Bryant Park and all the contestants were so good looking, the enthusiasm and nervousness was physical in the air when Tim and Heidi walked up...it was a confirmation of..."okay, this is real."

What was your impression of the first challenge -- to express who you are as a designer?
I was thrilled to be able to express my mercurial nature in a dressing similar to many that I had designed for my own shows, press, and clients.... I was very curious how it would be recieved and critiqued.

Which designer did you find the most intimidating when you first arrived?
I am a fashion designer by artistic destiny and support, not by schooling, so I knew going in that my colleagues would not necessarily see me as a peer or even why I had been selected ... that was a bit intimidating. I persevered by being open and positive.

During the first days on the set, what was the thing that struck you the most?
The experience that struck me the most about the first few days was the devestating diaspora of not being with my love and my partner, Moses and my daughter Calliope. I was grateful to have so much work to do and I threw myself into the experience as a vision quest.

What did you feel when you were left on stage as part of the top or bottom six?
I had asked in my heart to be part of the overall dialogue, so when I found myself on the runway I laughed to myself and thought, "okay, here I am. What next?" Most of my time during my "Project Runway" experience was propelled by sheer enthusiasm and curiosity of: "What next?"

You use yourself for the dress model, you stain the fabric with natural grass. Have you always worked in this unconventional style?
I have always worked either directly on myself, the client, or a marionette to make the pieces that I construct. I often use natural dyes and unconventional methods of detailing, dyeing, and making. These are my assets. That I am willing to simply expore has always been a creative edge and joy for me with prosperous results.
The grass staining was with the knowledge that I wanted to bring the smell and blessing of outdoors into the indoors, perhaps even on the body.

What was it like to be there, standing with just one other person on the runway?
I found standing on the runway to intriguing and fun. I abhorred being the one chosen to stay and to know that my staying meant someone else leaving. I surrendered constantly to fate with delight and mischievous curiosity.

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