What did you think when the models came out on the runway?
I was too bowled over by the wedding dress itself, taking in the dress, that I couldn't see the person. That's one thing I try to avoid in my clothing and what I design is I try to avoid dresses that overpower the individual so that you can't see their faces.
What do you think about designing for the "Everyday Woman?"
You know, actually... that's the majority of my work. In fact, the very first project I had when I got back was designing a wedding dress for a local woman who I think was possibly a size 20, if I'm not mistaken. And so it was kind of funny to go and design for her and make her so happy with what I had designed, and totally get panned for something I had done three weeks before. It was kind of ironic. Designing for the "regular market," that's something I do on a regular basis. In fact, that's pretty much all I do.
Jack goes home. What happened in that room for you guys? What was going on?
It was just incredibly difficult because, being Jack's roommate, I got know him more than, say, Christian or anyone else, and so I knew how much he wanted to be there, and I knew how much he had given up in terms of a job, and financial security to be on the show. And then, to have to lose that, just because of some fluke thing, it just seemed horribly unfair.
What was the lag between when Jack left and Chris came back?
I don't even know. It was maybe five or ten minutes after that. I was like, "whoa!" It was like a roller coaster. Jack's gone, oh how awful, and then Chris is back!"
What don't we see from Tim Gunn at home?
Tim has a great warmth and sense of humor about him that I don't think you see terribly much of on camera. You know, he's supposed to be the very serious mentor. I find him to be extremely caring, and I think he's wonderful that way.
Tell me about the dress.
The thing of it is, we didn't have a terribly long time to design the dress in the first place, because the client came to me and said, "I want you to take this dress and rework it into a new wedding dress." And we started working that way, and then we learned that it needed to be something they could wear on an everyday basis. And I went: crap. This woman works 12, 13 hours a day, and I have a white polyester dress that cannot be dyed on my hands. It was a bit of a momentary panic, but I thought, "the guys and Mood will help me out. I'll go see Raoul, he'll hook me up," and we'll just have to run with it that way.
So then you went with the black. Was the issue a timing thing?
At that point, it was a bit of a timing thing, but Laura had lost a considerable amount of weight already, but I think she was still in the process. I'm reticent to say that, but she certainly wasn't a 2, or something like that. So, it was still a challenge, while other designers' models might have started at that point, and then worked down. I was still working more on the plus size of the realm, and after it was said and done. So, I know that generally speaking, especially for someone who works in accounting, and who may still be on the plus size of things, I think they may be more comfortable in black, and it may be more slimming. So... that was just a natural choice. I was toying vaguely with the idea of putting her in the ultramarine blue that we saw over the summer quite a bit, but then I thought, no, I just wasn't comfortable with her in that because it would be very, very blue.
Overall, what did you learn from being on Project Runway?
In that particular instance, I felt like the judges weren't really getting the idea that not everyone can run around in very fashion forward looks. Not only because of their body type, but also because of the kind of work they do. As an accountant and working at the doctor's office, wearing something strapless is just really not appropriate. It certainly isn't something that's going to carry her from seven o'clock in the morning until nine at night, and so I just felt that was the one option that was going to carry her through the longest part of the day.
And you used glue for the first time in your life.
It was horrible. It was dreadful, because that's not the kind of work that I do at all. I was absolutely panicked, and running around like Speedy Gonzalez trying to get everything done, and it was all very bizarre.
And there's this great moment when everyone tries to help you finish.
I know. People to this day still talk trash about Ricky, "oh, he cries all the time, blah, blah, blah," but I just have to keep on going back to: you can think what you want, but these people are my friends, and they helped me out when I needed them to help me and we've all had this experience together, so if you've got any trash to talk about anyone who's on the show, please save it for when I'm not around because it's the same as me sitting there going, "Your momma's so fat, when she sits around the house, she really sits AROUND the house."
Where are you - in Chicago?
Right, right, yes. In Chicago.
You're staying in Chicago.
For now, oh yes. I think we have more space here. And we're very attached to our homes. The spaces are big enough here. I think, you know, maybe New York, but then...you know, how do you fit thirty people into your house?
Carefully. We stack them horizontally. Do you think of yourself as a role-model, for you know, gay youth?
Well, I would like to only hope so. I can really only hope that I came across as a good role model and not be too terribly lewd or anything to that effect. You can be gay and be out there, having a career, and the world's not going to fall down around your ears if you DO come out. And life is going to be fine, and you can actually...you know, be on the TV. You can be hardly famous, and kind of poor.
Thanks for chatting with us, Steven.
My pleasure. Get back to work.