Project Runway 4
Chris March, Christian Siriano, Jillian Lewis and Rami Kashou, Project Runway
has produced the most diverse group of finalists yet: avant-garde wunderkind Christian Siriano, red-carpet designer Rami Kashou, Broadway costume vet Chris March and ambitious sophisticate Jillian Lewis. As the final four prepare to unveil their collections on Bravo's two-part finale (starting Feb. 27 at 10 pm/ET), they reflect on the season's best and worst, their biggest competition and why they'll win it all.
Hometown: Annapolis, Maryland
Least favorite challenge: Take a guess! Prom challenge. That was the worst. No lie.
Favorite design: The avant-garde — the piece that we created was the epitome of what I like to do.
Challenge you wish you'd had: I wish we could have dressed Sarah Jessica Parker. That was kind of what I was hoping for.
On roommates: Obviously, I don't really get along with Ricky — I don't really think anybody will, ever — but Rami is a good guy. A little arrogant, but really great. And Chris is funny. We all just sort of made fun of each other.
Strategy going into finals: I think I show a really strong point of view on the show anyway, but for my collection I just went all out. There are no filler pieces. Every look is a look. And it's very creative — I know the other designers are technically amazing, but I don't think that they have as much creativity as me.
Biggest competition: Jillian. She is technically amazing.
On the realities of reality television: Some episodes are dead-on, and some are a little weird for me. I don't think I was really that bitchy and sassy the whole time, but I don't care. It's fabulous.
Collection preview: Kind of dark, a little gothic, but romantic. And very edgy and very avant-garde.
Hometown: Los Angeles
Least favorite challenge: I hated the WWE one so much. I don't know how to — nor do ever want to learn how to — make clothes for wrestlers-slash-strippers-slash-whatever you want to call them.
Favorite design: l loved the candy one, not because I won — I just loved the colors, the energy, the detail and the fact that it looked like a real outfit
Challenge you wish you'd had: Design something for Heidi! Even though she likes things tight — which is not a problem! — she's inspiring and beautiful and looks great in anything.
Designer who should have made it to the end (and didn't): Kit should have had a chance. If you look at a designer's work and you can consistently guess without knowing whose work that is, there's trademark there. I think that's what's important. Kit had that.
Strategy going into finals: Stay true to myself. Because no matter what happens, I'm not just showing the three judges — I'm showing potential future investors, clients and design houses. I'm thinking of what other opportunities I want to create for myself after the show is over.
Biggest competition: It could be anybody. And I, quite frankly, don't think about it. I'd rather spend more of my time focusing on my clothes.
Collection preview: The inspiration is Joan of Arc, but not in a literal sense. It's about her strength, her lack of fear, the fact that she broke through molds of society during her time. It's a combination of feminine and strong.
Hometown: San Francisco
Least favorite challenge: I guess I have to choose the shoulder-pad challenge, since I got eliminated! [He later returned after another contestant, Jack, dropped out for health reasons.]
Favorite design: The most fun and satisfaction I got was the avant-garde challenge. I had a great time working with Christian and was excited to be allowed so much creativity.
On roommates: The thing I was most afraid of going on Project Runway was living with a roommate. I haven't had a roommate in 18 years. And actually, it turned out to be one of my favorite things about the experience. When I heard the clickety-clack of Christian's flat iron in the morning, I knew it was time to get up.
Designer who should have made it to the end (and didn't): When I was eliminated, they asked me who I wanted to win, and I said Kit. She was one of the most interesting designers on the show.
Strategy going into finals: To do something only I would do and use interesting materials and techniques I don't think the other designers would implement. And also keep it a little bit simple, since I know I have the tendency to go overboard in their eyes.
Biggest competition: I certainly see Christian as the biggest competition for everybody. Fashion is his every breathing moment. I think he really is out to win.
Collection preview: Very dark and mysterious and beautiful, full of rich color and a lot of really unexpected materials. Let's just say parts of my outfits could be styled with TRESemmé products.
Hometown: Selden, New York
Least favorite challenge: The denim challenge. I don't like to make things out of things, because I hate having seams everywhere. I struggled with the weight-loss challenge for the same reason. I don't like to deconstruct and reconstruct.
Favorite design: The outfits Victorya and I made for the avant-garde challenge. That was a complete step up for me.
Strategy going into finals: I'm not a fast person — I think we've all noticed that! My vision needs time to grow. Before I even started sewing, I spent three months conceptualizing, planning, picking fabrics. I thought: I have 12 looks, but if they said, "You're only allowed to show one," I would want every look to be so special and important and representative of what I want to say that it wouldn't be a shame.
Biggest competition: Definitely Christian, but I have a feeling he went way over the top. He's incredibly talented but also very young, and when you're young, sometimes you use 50 yards of fabric on one dress that only Queen Elizabeth would wear.
Collection preview: I started by looking at 15th-century armor and combatant, warriorlike figures. Then, I counteracted the costuminess of that idea with Santiago Calatrava's architecture. He designed the transportation hub for the new World Trade Center. I was so inspired by his use of design. That's what brought the collection more to the present, made it more modern and user-friendly.
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