Your first model casting -- what were you looking for? How worried were you when you were told that you couldn't replace one of the models?
I was looking for ... a bit of a curvy, feminine figure, long hair that could be styled into fat full curls, and diversity. I didn't want that typical clone-looking line-up. Then when I was working on fitting and seeing all the girls in the clothes, I worried if I went too diverse. I didn't want to look too inconsistent. I was worried about not being able to switch out girls. In the end, with hair and makeup, the line-up was exactly what I visualized and I was happy. I overreacted.
What was going through your mind when you approached Bryant Park and when you had to introduce your collection.
Usually, in a high stress situation, I shut off emotionally. Hence some of my robot like tendencies. For this event, I wanted to take everything in, enjoy it, feel it, and remember it. I was thinking ... this is it. If I'm not ready now, I never will be. This is my first independent collection. From here it only gets better.
How did you choose the music for your collection? How important is the music to a runway show?
I worked with Carol from Sise. I described the collection and trusted her to compose something that would create a mood for the collection. It started with a tribal vibe, transitioned into a military vibe, and ended with a sexier vibe.
What did you think of Victoria Beckham as guest judge?
I was excited. She is high profile to have as a judge on the show. I did worry that having a celebrity/non-designer as a judge, she wouldn't be able to judge objectively ... that she would judge by shopping. That was in fact, how she judged, which was disappointing. I was also a little thrown off that she has her own fashion line?
What did you think of Christian and Rami's collections?
I was really proud to be showing my work along side these guys. They really are excellent, fabulous designers.
Were you surprised at your elimination?
Yes. Like everyone else competing, I have to believe that I am going to win at all times. It is a gamble. I put everything on the line for that moment. I didn't win. That's life.
What have you been up to? Now that you've already shown at Bryant Park, what's your next goal?
I made a collection for Project Runway and a collection for selling. Lewaa, my boyfriend, and I opened a corporation, Jillian Lewis Inc. We are working on selling our fall collection to retailers. I want to establish a healthy, functional business to keep doing what I do best ... design. Lewaa has a business savvy and his talents are those that I lack. We are a great team!!
You and Rami seemed very close, do you still keep in touch?
We definitely became close friends. I plan on always keeping in touch with him.
Backtracking a second, how was it having Tim Gunn in your house?
It was a bit strange but Tim is very comfortable and easy to talk to. My family were star-struck by his presence. They couldn't believe Tim Gunn was in our house.