This weekend I attended a discussion moderated by stylist David Zyla on Eila Mell’s new book Project Runway: The Show That Changed Fashion at the National Arts Club in Gramercy. Her new book about the Project Runway show talks about how the show started, developed and what the designers are doing now. Project Runway contestants Andrae Gonzalo, ESosa and Viktor Luna joined them to talk about their experiences on the show, after the show and in the fashion world in general. Eila is the New York editor and on-air correspondent of fashionWATCH Canada and has written several other fashion books including New York Fashion Week: The Designers, the Models the Fashions of the Bryant Park Era.
ESosa said that the biggest thing he learned from the show was to “follow his guts” and Viktor shared that he learned a lot about gossip in that “…whatever we put into the work is what we get back.” He continued saying that it was like the “real world…you don’t rest..[and]…you are always comparing yourself to them but you stay true to yourself.” They also shared how they are not able to keep or sell any of their creations on the show and that they are also not allowed to speak with family or friends unless it’s on speaker phone and on camera. Andrae shared that he had to ‘talk to’ the producer and throw a fit just to talk to his boyfriend.
Eila and Viktor have collaborated on a new reality tv show called “No Wire Hangers” where Viktor gives fashion and tailoring tips to “…some really great people on the show.” They said that they hope to have a pilot by the end of the summer. ESosa received a 2012 Best Costumes TONY Award nomination for his work on Broadway’s The Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess, and received the 2012 Lucille Lortel Award for By the Way, meet Vera Stark. He is currently designing Motown: The Musical and when asked about the difference between fashion and costume, ESosa said that “the biggest difference is that a costume is worn eight times a week and so it has to have longevity, but I still want my actors to look as good as my private clients.”
After the discussion, we had some amazing gourmet cocktails from Pamela Wiznitzer, President of the National Bartender Association, Chef Alan Rodriguez who just opened Los Americanos and other mixologists. Best drink in my opinion was a berry tasting drink from Chef Rodriguez that featured egg whites!