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''Project Runway'': Simone defends her dress

The first designer cut from season 4 tells us why she ”definitely should have stayed”

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Project Runway

To paraphrase Tim Gunn, there always has to be a first loser. And on the season 4 premiere of Project Runway, that first loser was freelance designer Simone LeBlanc, the pillow-lipped beauty from California. Was that shades-of-yellow dress hideous enough to send her home? Simone definitely doesn’t think so.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: How was it watching yourself get kicked off first last night?
SIMONE LeBLANC: It was okay, to tell you the truth. I thought it would have been more difficult than it was. It was fun to see myself on camera. I thought my dress looked awesome, to tell you the truth. I had a big group of people with me, laughing and yelling at the screen.

Were they just being nice or did they really like your dress?
A lot of my friends have very strong opinions, so they would have been honest. People were totally appalled at what the turnout was from the situation. People thought my dress was beautiful. My friends were like, ”Oh my God. I would totally wear that.” I had a flurry of text messages from people saying they want to buy that dress.

Heidi seemed to be okay with the dress — or at least, with the colors.
She was one of the quiet ones during the judging. I felt like that dress would have looked really pretty on Heidi.

Michael Kors attacked your choice of fabrics. Do you regret putting those two fabrics together?
I actually went through a few different fabrics. I wanted a specific texture for the top and when I found that particular fabric I thought I found the perfect thing. The beautiful contrast of the old and new, I thought it worked great. It’s not a Michael Kors dress. That’s fine.

Ouch. Now that you’ve sized up Michael, did you size up any of the contestants while you were working?
I have to say I wasn’t really sizing other people up when I was working. I was pretty much doing my own thing. There was a lot of humor happening. Maybe that was my way to deal with the stress of the situation. I started to size people up after their dresses were finished. I thought, ”There’s definitely some competition here.”

NEXT PAGE: ”Elisa is a very enigmatic woman in a different way than I am. People love to see that.”

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: All along I had my eye on Rami and Christian. Was anyone talking about the two of them being on top?
SIMONE LeBLANC: I think everyone was like, ”Oh, your piece looks great.” No one was really saying, ”Yours is incredible. Wow.” We were keeping our cards close to our chests in a way. Christian definitely thought he was going to win. And to tell you the truth, Rami thought he did too.

What part of the dress construction were the judges attacking?
They were talking about the fact that I didn’t have time to put a zipper in.

They could see that there wasn’t a zipper from where they were sitting?
I guess they could. I wouldn’t imagine they should be able to because I did a beautiful sewing job. To me, it was crazy. I think I definitely should have stayed.

To be honest, I was sure you’d stay when it was down to you and Elisa, who made that crazy dress. When you were standing up there, did you think, ”Okay, there’s no way I’m going home before her”?
Yeah, that’s tough, because the situation works on many levels. Aesthetically from the way the two dresses looked, I personally thought, ”Okay, I absolutely should be staying.” As far as the outfit working with the current dialogue in fashion, I should have stayed. But Elisa is a very enigmatic woman in a different way than I am. People love to see that.

So you’re saying you’re not a good TV character. But you seem to think Rami is, because you predicted he should win.
Yeah, I said Rami should win. At the time that’s how I was feeling. Now I’m not quite sure if I can pinpoint it and put my finger on it. We’ll see how things unfold.

I have no idea what you’re trying to say.
I can’t really go too far into that one.

Ooh, I’m sensing a cryptic secret here. Did you have some mad love affair that you can’t talk about?
Rami’s a lovely man. Oh, Rami. But at some point I thought, ”Do I love him or do I love his clothes?”

Read Missy Schwartz’s TV Watch recapping the Project Runway season premiere, then go to the message board and dish on the new crop of designers.