Andrae Gonzalo became the fourth designer eliminated from the second season of Project Runway: All Stars in this week's episode.
The 39-year-old competitor from New York struggeled to impress the judges throughout the competition, but his number was finally up in a USA Today-sponsored challenge that called for the designers to get their inspiration from photos submitted by fans. (The prize, won by Anthony Ryan Auld, was an interview and photo in the newspaper.)
Gonzalo designed a multicolored dress with multiple zippers and panels that were intended to be interchangeable. Judge Isaac Mizrahi called the dress "patagonia" and "Foot Locker," while host/judge Carolyn Murphy criticized the styling, which included matching pink eye shadow and shoes.
After his elimination episode aired, Gonzalo told reporters in a conference call that he felt like the judges might not have completely understood his vision throughout the competition.
"One thing I learned from this experience: Maybe my ambitions are more expansive than just on that runway," he said. "Maybe I was trying to do more than was actually possible given the time allotted."
He said if he were given a chance to do it over, he would only focus on small aspects not easily seen on TV, like the hem finishing.
Still, he said his final challenge on the show was his favorite, despite being eliminated.
"It exemplifies everything that I believe it means to be a fashion designer," he said, adding: "I always believe that fashion or design is about solving problems with aesthetic needs. This was a really exciting opportunity to do that and also connect with someone. It was great to be working with an image that was generated by a fan and also had a bit of their story involved."
As for the drama surrounding Laura Kathleen, he chalks it up to her age (she's 28), saying that he felt like a college student returning back to his old school for a Homecoming game at times on the show.
He added: "A lot of people complain about editing, but they can only edit from what you give them. I am shocked, honestly, watching this just to see how negative she is. It was tough. She is a young person. She's just a young person, what do you do?"
As for who he predicts will win, he says any of the remaining designers could take home the title of season two champion, but he's hoping the person who creates the most "wearable" designs wins.
Next up, he's launching a website, AndraeGonzalo.com, which he describes an "interactive fashion forum and retail experience," where he'll be blogging and ofrering fashion tips. He's also working on a prototype for a symmetrical bowtie.
- Arts & Entertainment
- Project Runway
- Carolyn Murphy