I wish I were writing about somebody – anybody – else this week.
Anthony Williams was, by far, my favorite designer on Project Runway: All Stars. He’s witty and charming, and of course, incredibly talented. I always felt like his designs were the most wear-able and well constructed. He was thoughtful and interesting, and I was sad to see him go.
It seems I wasn’t the only one – the sentiment was the same across the board when Anthony chatted with myself and other reporters after his exit from the show:
What made you come back for another season of Project Runway?
“I had worked on Single Ladies on VH1 and made some money and I wanted to take the summer off. Then I got the call and I thought, ‘Oh, I don’t have anything else to do, so why not?’”
You ended up getting a lot of fabric from the street and then not using much of it. Did you think you were taking a risk by going in that direction?
“To be perfectly honest, I know that people don’t see this through the power of editing but that challenge changed so many times. At the beginning, it was that 50% of your look on the runway had to use 50 % of your fabric, and then it was Joanna was saying that it was aboutdesigning streetwear clothing, which it wasn’t. It was just supposed to be inspired by the clothes you found from people off the street. I know that Kenley used less than 50% of her materials, but when the girls left the runway, the writing was on the wall. It was just a perfect TV moment, how convenient that all the girls were safe.”
Do you think there were others who deserved to go over you?
“I think that the foundation of the show is fashion design. So I think beyond anything, at the end of the day, it was a fashion design challenge. Most definitely, there should have been someone else eliminated in that process. Michael Costello – I didn’t think what he created was amazing, you know? But it’s all about perspective. From my house and my friend’s home, they thought someone else should have gone home but if you had been Jerell’s friends, they probably would have thought I deserved to go home.”
Is there anyone you’re supporting now that you’re gone?
“That’s a good question. I want everyone to succeed but if I had to name someone to win, I’d say Rami. Being in the experience, everyone is edited to be a certain way but being there in person, he was one of the most genuine people and he actually was a fighter. I’ve been watching the show and some people come off really weird this time around. To know how hard it is and how badly he wanted it and to see him put the time and work in and not just coasting by, I think he definitely deserves to win.”
What did you think about Kenley helping Kara on her design in the workroom?
“I don’t thinkthat anything is wrong with that. You know, I think it’s a sad day when reality TV has convinced the world that the only way to be competitive is to be conniving and creating alliances against other people. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with people helping each other. The reality is that no matter who wins that show, you can’t do whatever it is you think you want to do after winning, you’ll need a team of individuals to help you do it. Someone you knew before may be your boss one day. The reality of it is, we all have to have help. I didn’t think anything was wrong with it and I thought it was weird that other people were so catty and bitter about them helping each other when in all honesty, it’s none of their damn business.”
Do you think they were being so catty and bitter on camera to keep themselves around?
“You know what it came across as very strategic. The way Mila lifts up her face and she’s all gorgeous and painted perfectly and Michael Costello is leaning over her shoulder, but if it were me in that situation I would be more concerned with the fact that my fellow competitor is distracting me trying to tell me what somebody else was doing.
What can we expect to see from you next?
“I really figured it out – my journey through Project Runway was not about making clothes. It’s kind of like, going on the show was me finding out that I’m a good designer but I can be even better. What helps me is my personality – I love designing clothes and it’s fun, but my strength is in working with people and I think I would be featured best in a host capacity. I don’t have to have people tell me what to say, I’ve studied people long enough and can relate to them well enough that all I need is a cameraman and the lights, a director, a producer and we can go. I’d like to pursue possibly having my own show, but not a show that celebrates me, a show that uses me as a catalyst to celebrate other people.
“At the moment I’m working as a stylist on Single Ladies and believe it not, I’m reading a script – you’ll see me doing a walk-on role as myself in a sitcom coming up very soon. I still travel as one of the fashion directors at Macy’s, so my life is very full. I have a lot to get over in this whole process, but it wasn’t about me. Project Runway and All Stars go into the TV history vault. It’s just another television show, successful or not. But it was the human experience and what we all learned through it that’s important.”