The latest ''Project Runway'' ejectee, 25-year-old Alison Kelly, talks to Jessica Shaw about losing the recyclable-materials challenge and the difference between good TV and good fashion

By EW Staff
Updated August 17, 2006 at 12:00 PM EDT

If you had asked a bunch of Project Runway fans a couple of weeks ago who would be in the final two, chances are quite a few of them would have guessed 25-year-old Alison Kelly. Next thing you know, after one ill-fitting paper dress on a zaftig model (Tim Gunn’s word — not mine!), she’s history. Alison called EW on Wednesday to tell us why she thought she’d won the challenge and why she thinks we have bad taste.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Alison, if I had a bigger salary, I totally would have put money on you to make it until the end. I really thought it might be an Alison-Uli finale.

ALISON KELLY: I think everyone is horrified. I guess they could only have one blond girl.

When you were standing up there with Vincent, did you think there was any way you would be sent home?

No. I had been in the top twice already, and I had never been in the bottom. I saw myself going very far. I was very confident that day.

It makes you wonder if the judges decide based on that week’s design or factor in past outfits.

I thought they watched your designs from each episode and saw what you could do. I’d never been in the bottom before, and some of the other designers had — a couple of times. I couldn’t really figure it out that day. I was completely shocked. I’m still completely shocked — to the point where I’m not going to watch this episode. But so many things are working out for me.

Like what?

I’m designing a 25-piece collection for Shopbop, which is launching in September. You’ll be able to buy my clothes there. I’m teaming with a jewelry designer, Rachel Leigh, and she’s going to be designing a jewelry line to go along with my collection.

How is it that Vincent managed to stay when you’re gone?

And Vincent was standing backstage saying, ”I’m so f—ing ready to go home right now.” I was sitting back there like, ”I am not ready to go home.” But it’s reality TV. It’s dramatic. I was, like, really peaceful and likable. I think I didn’t bring enough drama.

Do you really think you got kicked off for not bringing enough drama?

That’s the unfortunate thing about TV. At the same time, I think I came across really well, and I’ve gotten so much exposure from it. The fact that I was eliminated is going to cause so much attention. People are going to be shocked and appalled. I’m one of the only designers that has a clothing line and has my own label and makes a collection every season. It’s going to bring a lot of attention my way.

In retrospect, do you wish you’d made that multicolored miniskirt work, instead of making that paper dress?

No. I loved the colors and pattern and everything, but it wasn’t going to look right. All I had was paper. I had to work with what I had. I went to art school, and I did a lot of sculpture classes. What I had in mind was designing an outfit out of paper that would inspire an outfit out of fabric. I wanted to sculpt something you can’t make out of fabric, something that would stand on its own. I looked at the piece, and I absolutely loved it. A lot of the other designers did too. We always talk about who we think is going to win that day, and a lot of people thought it was me.

What was up with the hair-bow situation?

I had an idea for the hair, to do a little bow. The hair people put up her hair, but they weren’t going to do the final bow until right before she went out. They did this huge flop instead of this tiny bow. I got a lot of crap from the judges for styling. But it was out of my control. The hair wasn’t how I wanted it to be.

You didn’t seem too happy with your model. Was she really that big? I mean, was she a size 4 instead of a size 2?

No, she’s a lot bigger than me. She’s absolutely gorgeous, but she shouldn’t be a runway model. She’s maybe a size 8 or a 10. She’s not thin at all.

Why would the producers put in a model who’s not runway-model size?

So people like me get eliminated. They threw in someone who had scoliosis whose shoulders are three inches different. Did you ever notice whoever’s designing for Nazri often wins? There are three models who seem to win. It’s because they have model bodies. I was cursed from the beginning. I had the model with scoliosis the first time — that’s why I don’t think I won the dog challenge. And this time, my model chose me. I was like, ”Oh no!”

NEXT: Sleeping with Laura and Angela

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Project Runway

Karlie Kloss and Christian Siriano guide undiscovered designers through the harrowing rites of fashion.

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