The Season 1 winning designer says what's next for her, and who she considered her biggest competition.
Bravotv.com: Before you sat down for your mini-reunion with the judges and designers, how were you feeling?
I was extremely nervous. Having made it that far, I definitely wanted to walk away with the prize.
Bravotv.com: What was it like looking back on the season as a whole?
It was a great experience. It was fun to see everyone again and recap the experience. It's like a video diary of this amazing, bizarre and stressful time in my life.
Bravotv.com: How did it feel to know some of your other competitors thought you would win?
It's always a compliment to have the respect of your peers. It is actually very important to me, because you can really learn so much from sharing experiences -- both good and bad. I definitely took something away from many of the people on the show and will keep in contact.
Bravotv.com: Who did you consider your biggest competition?
Daniella, certainly. She is very talented. She is very aware of fashion of the moment and has a good instinct about what works.
Bravotv.com: What was the inspiration for your collection?
I was inspired by the painting "The Garden of Earthly Delights." In the center panel, it depicts this sort of fantasy world of sinful pleasure. I was really delighted by the images of humans frolicking with animals, giant fruit and birds, and these very futuristic structures in the background that almost resemble a Frank Gehry building. I loved the mix of very primitive imagery and almost surreal modern elements. The painting was done in 1500, so it was very ahead of its time. It almost references religion, if only to get away with doing something incredibly subversive.Bravotv.com: After seeing how your collection came out, would you change anything?
Oh, of course. I am my own worst critic and I definitely would change many things. I think that's what keeps me moving forward to improve my collections every season. I like the idea that you evolve as a designer. I think it is the same for any fine artist as well; your style grows and changes as you learn, and you learn for the rest of your life.
Bravotv.com: How hard was it to keep your win a secret?
Thankfully I only had to wait a week until everyone found out. I enjoy the suspense honestly.
Bravotv.com: What do you think your students will say?
I have received e-mails from some of them and they are very excited. I just know that as much as I can teach them, I still have a lot to learn and achieve and it's fun that they get to be a part of that. I can't sit on my high horse at all with them; they are very cool, much cooler than me. I think also because they know that I struggle too, it becomes more of a reality for them how much you have to work at and love what you do.
Bravotv.com: What’s next for you?
Obviously I am going to put the money into my business, but how is something I still have to figure out. I want to make the clothes available and priced reasonably so that is something that will happen very soon. Stay tuned to annamccraney.com for updates!
Bravotv.com: What’s the most important thing you learned about yourself and/or your profession from the show?
Humility. A little goes a long way. I also really realized that designing is truly what I should be doing. After many stumbling blocks I have kept at it and it has