Poor Steven Rosengard. The challenge given to the contestants on last week's Project Runway (Wednesdays at 10 pm/ET on Bravo) turned into his personal mission impossible when tasked with overhauling a woman's bridal gown, or — in his words — "10 yards of white polyester sequined satin, beaded and covered in acetate lace." Meanwhile, Jack and Chris (yes, as in last week's castoff!) had difficult situations of their own, with Jack bowing out due to a staph infection and Chris brought back to the show mid-challenge and forced to pull an all-nighter. It all proved to be too much for Steven, but he rang up TVGuide.com to tell us he has no regrets.
TVGuide.com: Wow, that was a very dramatic episode on Wednesday — there was so much going on.
Steven Rosengard: There certainly was!
TVGuide.com: Let's talk about you and the challenge first. You said when you got assigned the wedding dress that it felt like "death on a stick." Did you really think right then that it wasn't going to work and you'd get kicked off the show for it?
Steven: I didn't really know how it was all going to play out, what the judges were going to think of it. I didn't know whether they'd say, "Oh, you took a hideous wedding dress and made something sleek and elegant," or... [say] what they did.
TVGuide.com: It seemed as though you weren't the only one who feared getting the wedding dress.
Steven: There was a bad feeling about it all around. I had some of my cast mates saying to me later, "Oh phew, I was so worried it was going to be me who got it. Dude, you got screwed with that."
TVGuide.com: So looking back, do you see it as just a stroke of bad luck or do you think maybe you could have created something else out of it?
Steven: I've thought every once in a while about what I might have done differently, but I can never come up with anything else.
TVGuide.com: You did have a particular aversion to working with white polyester satin....
Steven: Polyester, unless you have a very specific dye and all these other specific products to dye it with, you can't change the color of it to save your soul. So you're pretty much stuck with the color you're given.
TVGuide.com: And the time constraint was also a factor, right?
Steven: I think in my case, I was really distracted by the whole situation with Jack — with him being my roommate as well. So due to his departure, it was not just the work life but also the home life being messed with. It was very tough to concentrate.
TVGuide.com: When Jack left and Chris came back, how did it affect the group dynamic and the workroom?
Steven: It made all of us sad to see Jack go just because it seemed like a cruel twist of fate. But it was something he had to do. It was highly unfortunate. But then to have Chris come back into the fold, that was a nice little surprise. And from my standpoint, it alleviated some of my guilt for being on his team for the challenge that he was eliminated on.
TVGuide.com: And Chris is so warm and fun-loving — it was probably a benefit to have him there, getting people to smile again.
Steven: Certainly, certainly! Chris and I would sit there and joke and make each other cry, having such a good time. Sometimes it would just get a little out of hand. [Laughs]
TVGuide.com: Did you ever end up giving that wedding dress to Chris? He said he'd take it and create something — he didn't say what.
Steven: No! [Laughs] Gosh, I guess I must have missed that! If Chris would have wanted that dress, I gladly would have given him any scraps that I had — gladly would have handed over every plastic pearl, every beaded appliqué!
TVGuide.com: It definitely held no sentimental value for you.
Steven: Oh, no. And it was interesting because it didn't seem to hold any great sentimental value for Laura [the client], either. She kept the pearls as a little memento of the dress. I was actually really stunned that she had brought it in to be worked on. I guess I always think that a woman's wedding dress is like the holy grail of clothing: Of all the clothes you buy during the course of your life, you'd think that was the most important piece.
TVGuide.com: So what are you up to these days?
Steven: Well, I am certainly keeping busy with the Museum [of Science and Industry in Chicago]. They're making me assistant curator after the first of the year. I'm also trying to expand my business of designing [women's apparel]. I have more and more clients. I just hope that everyone doesn't say, "Oh yeah, now that you got kicked off the show we don't want you to do anything for us anymore." [Laughs]
TVGuide.com: But surely being on the show has been a good thing.
Steven: Oh yes, the show's been really great. It was certainly a life-changing experience, but I hope this isn't the last life-changing experience I have. I certainly don't want to have an obituary that only says "Steven Rosengard, one-time contestant on Project Runway." [Laughs] God forbid that should happen. So I guess now the rest of my life will be dedicated to making sure that doesn't happen.
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