Jerry: Defending The Design

Jerry Tam reacts to being the first contestant let go.

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Editor's Note: We caught up with Jerry, Season Five's first auf'ed contest, to ask him our burning questions about the concept behind his design, what he thought of his peers' criticism (not much), and what's next.

Bravotv.com: Did you see the episode where Austin Scarlett won? Did you think about what you would've done if you had to do that challenge?
Jerry: Yes, I did, and was surprised to see that food can be used for fashion. Unfortunately, it was unrealistic to focus fruits and veggies on clothing. That is why I chose materials in housewares and pharmaceuticals to create an entire look based on the concept of "April showers bring May flowers."

Did you know what the challenge would be once Tim brought you in front of the Gristedes?
Of course, and I was somewhat disappointed that they were regurgitating past challenges.

What drew you to the tablecloth, and what was your inspiration for the raincoat?
Again, I like the concept behind my ingenious design. The literal reference was to use the "April..." concept, to form a protective layer from wetness (shower curtain, brilliant) in the form of a trench to protect the organic minidress (made of cotton cheesecloth).

Were you concerned after Tim came in and criticized everyone for using "material"?
I began to get nervous after Tim criticized other designers, but felt confident because we were all in the same situation and I knew that I utilized five other elements (gauze, rubber gloves, picnic table, shower hooks, and cheesecloth) to create my look.

After one of the other designers commented on your look, were you nervous the judges might find the look a little, well, scary?
I designed, patterned, and sewed a trench and a dress, and I accessorized perfectly. I don't do scary things, nor did any one of the other designers think it was scary. "Scary" is not a proper review by any means, just useless criticism by judgmental characters trying to prove a point or steal a spotlight.

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What did you think of the other designers' looks? Which were your favorites? Least favorites?
I didn't like a majority. Several designers' outfits, like Emily's and Blayne's, looked like first-year student work, with this on top of that in colors that were mixed and matched. Their construction was good, just not something I would do or that real people would wear.

After hearing the judges' comments, did you know you would go home, or did you think maybe it would be Stella?
I thought it would absolutely be Stella, because she told everyone that she didn't even want to be here, everyone helped her, and she just pieced it together that morning. All reasons to be eliminated. Also, did you see the whip stitch garbage-sack dress? Hello, the judges thought all that was good about her look was the hair and makeup. They kept her on because they were unsure of her as a designer. Wouldn't you eliminate a contestant if they didn't want to be there and you were unsure of their design ability?

What was it like watching yourself on the show?
I wish I had a different outfit and wore my cool Ray-Ban sunglasses (my distinct look of the summer), but had to go from workroom to Outsville in jeans and a long-sleeve T-shirt. I was too Plain Jane for television. After all, I am a "fashion" designer.

What can we expect to see from you in the future?
As everyone now knows, I have been designing my modern luxury womenswear label, FORM, for three years now. I'm excited to have a resurgence of media to help my company grow. I will be presenting our 10th collection during Fashion Week and will be working arduously to bring FORM to high standards of the fashion industry through major retail outlets, mainstream editorials, and coveted awards and honors. (Last night I won the Best of Design from the Supima Cotton Fashion Show!) Then, when I feel ready, I would love to begin teaching. I still have lifelong goals in fashion and being a designer on Project Runway...well... check that off of the fashion must-do list!!!

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