Joe: All Aboard!

Joe Faris steps out of the box and into drag!

rate_runway_joe_506.jpg What was your first thought when you saw the drag queens?
I was very surprised and totally was not expecting to see drag queens, it actually took my brain a few minutes to properly process the mayhem that was being unleashed on us designers. What drew you to your queen?
I liked the dress that Varla Jean Merman was wearing and her style looked like something I could work with. She also actually looked familiar to me -- I later discovered she was in the movie Girls Will Be Girls. Can you describe the collaboration? Did you hesitate at all to change how the collar sat on the ensemble?
I think the collaboration when very well we were both receptive to each other's ideas. As for the collar, we initially conceived the look to be a cat suit -- very Ema Peel -- but the way in which I constructed the collar was that is could either be up or down. Originally it was going to be up, but after we put it down the look took on a sailor suit feel to it. So that's how we ended up going with the sailor suit concept. The judges seemed to be impressed with the belt buckle designed to look like a life saver to help "hide the candy" -- was this a big concern for your queen?
Yes -- hiding the "candy" was both Varla's and my concern. I guess it's a common concern in her line of work. How familiar are you with the drag world? Have you ever been to a show?
I have been to many a drag shows back in the day and been to plenty of gay bars. It is funny to me that most people assume that because I'm the straight guy that I have issue with this kinda thing but what no one knows is that I have many gay friends. Did you at all second-guess how fitted the pants were, or that was intentional?
I never second-guess the fit -- that was my intention. I wanted a sexy fit and look. I wanted to show all the curves.

rate_runway_korto_506.jpg What did you think of the other designers' looks?
I thought Korto's and Jerell's were great. It was fun seeing how the other designers interpreted this challenge. What do you think the other designers' biggest mistakes were?
I think for some of the other designers this was another example of them trying to force their look and aesthetic. They really needed to let it all go and step out of their "This is who I am as a designer" box. How was your confidence level after the win?
Since Gristede's, my intention with every challenge was to show my versatility as a designer and I think this challenge was another example of that. It felt great to win and my confidence went up. I did feel I got stronger with every challenge thus far. Although you still never know what the judges are looking for so you still have to stay true to yourself and feel good with what you create. How has life been since the show started airing? Are you being noticed?
Life has been great. This has been such an amazing experience. I feel very blessed to be a part of Season 5 and especially since this is the last season under the Elves' incredible visionary production. I have a lot of respect for Jane, Dan, Michael, Paul, Tim and everyone involved in this groundbreaking show. Yes, people have recognized me from being on the show.

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