SPOILER ALERT! If you don’t want to know who placed second in last night’s Project Runway, don’t click here!Image Credit: Lifetime TelevisionNo one was more surprised that Emilio Sosa didn’t win last night’s Project Runway season finale than Emilio Sosa. In fact, he could barely hide his disbelief at the reunion. Has he gotten over it since then? Calling in from a Shakespeare festival in Oregon, Sosa seems to be in a better space, though he can’t help himself from taking Nina to task on “collection” versus “line.”
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Emilio, it seemed like you were really shocked that you didn’t win.
EMILIO SOSA: There was a lot of emotion going into that final judgment. All through the entire competition I had kept my emotions in check. I always wanted to make sure it was about the garment and not about whether anyone liked me or not. During the last judging it was all emotion. It was the emotion of my parents, the struggles of what they went through to get to the U.S., showing at Bryant Park, which was a dream I’d had since I was 14. I just wanted Heidi to announce who won at that point so we could move forward. Yes, of course I was disappointed. But we were up there for hours and hours. They just really kept me going and going and going until the end.
Let’s talk about your collection. Was it “Color Me Bad” with one or two D’s?
The judges seemed to have a problem with all the tailoring. Do you regret doing so many jackets?
Not really. On one hand I wanted to win the competition. On the other hand, we were in Bryant Park. It wasn’t just for the audience who watches the show. I wanted to show more of a versatility. In the show, I did very well with the evening wear and the red carpet gowns. I hadn’t done pants and jackets in the competition and I wanted the world to see that I’m not just a dressmaker. I can design a woman’s wardrobe that takes her from day into evening.
Did you accept Nina’s explanation for your loss that you designed a “line” and not a “collection.”
Here’s the thing. If you go back to when Heidi first gave us the challenge, it was, “You’re going to design a line for Bryant Park.” I didn’t bring that up during the reunion because I didn’t want to get into a war of semantics at the show.
People seemed to really adore that final gold dress. Any stylists calling to borrow that for a client?
Yeah, people responded to my evening wear all season. My va-va-voom red carpet looks. No one has called about wanting to wear it yet, but hopefully.
You were quite a polarizing contestant. Did you think you’d be a fan favorite or did you know your comments would bring out some haters?
I never really watched a lot of the show. I have a thing about not watching myself on screen and I don’t really read a lot of the blogs but my brothers do. Either people loved me or hated me. Those who hated me really hated me.
Do you think it’s because you seemed to dismiss Tim Gunn quite a bit?
My interactions with Tim were left on the show. It was like two strong alpha males with very strong opinions. We didn’t agree on everything, but that didn’t mean I didn’t respect his opinion or his right to express his opinion. It’s like boxers — you spar in the ring and then you go out for a beer.
So have you gone out for a beer with Tim?
You still looked pretty upset about losing during the reunion show. How soon after the finale did you tape that?
It was the following day. I was still emotionally raw. I was like, Whoa. This is too soon to ask me all of this. And then everyone was coming after me. But it was what it was. When I went into this competition, my goal was to win as many individual competitions as possible. And I did that.
You definitely got criticism for talking trash about a lot of your fellow contestants.
In hindsight looking back, maybe I wasn’t the friendliest of guys. But the schedule is so hard and there’s so much you’re dealing with that you really have to focus. I focused on whatever challenge it was. We were all here to win. Some people just hide it differently. But I live in the South Bronx. I say what I’m thinking.
Let’s talk about the bikini, or as Tim Gunn called it at the reunion, “the silly string bikini.”
I know! And then Holly was there too! I said to myself, there’s no way I’m going to stand in front of these judges and buckle. If they see any sign of weakness I’m gone. I was hanging on — no pun intended — by a string. But I went to George, the hair guy and I said, “I want every piece of blond extension in this room.” And at makeup, I said “I want Barbarella.” We were all going to go over the cliff together. I fully committed to it. And I have to say it was pretty hot and it looked great. Some people said my finale dress was the best of the season and this was the worst. So I have the polar opposites.
It looked like you and Seth Aaron became pretty close during the season. Was it easier losing to your friend?
Seth Aaron is a brilliant designer. If I look back and think who am I going to be friends with it’s definitely Seth Aaron, Mila, Anthony, Jay, Jonathan. Those are the people I really bonded with. Seth Aaron and I made a deal that whoever wins would buy the other one dinner.
I hope you’re making him take you somewhere really nice.
We’re going to go to Sylvia’s.
Once you’re back in New York, are you getting right to work on designing a collection?
In an ideal world, I would love to have a line on HSN or QVC for the masses and then a really high-end evening or bridal line at Bergdorf’s and a moderate bridge line for Macy’s and Saks. I want to dress people. My goal is to have people riding the subway with me wearing my clothing.
Well, you’ve certainly got a plan.
And after that, world domination.