Project Runway: Mark Abrahams

At the screening party in New York for the finale of ''Project Runway,'' the three runners-up and guru Tim Gunn dished the dirt to EW's Margeaux Watson

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October 19, 2006 at 12:00 PM EDT


ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: How do you feel about making it to the final two?

ULI HERZNER: I definitely thought I’m gonna make it to the end. But I thought maybe it would be Laura and myself. I think definitely Jeffrey’s, Laura’s, and mine were the strongest collections. And then I thought because Laura’s was so expensive and super-beautifully done, I thought she would definitely be one of the runner-ups. And then, of course, myself because I love my collection. And I thought Jeffrey’s was very great made and it was kind of an explosion of colors, which we had never seen before. But I also thought maybe it’s too much for another customer, like for a really young customer. Like, I couldn’t see Michael Kors or Heidi or Nina going for it so much.

How do you think your own collection went over?

I really like mine, and I think it’s very wearable for a lot of women. I would wear every piece of it, and I know my friends would, and that’s how I always look at it. But then maybe it becomes too safe, too, in a way.

What did you think of the judges’ final decision?

I think in the end it was the right decision because it’s about how a designer has to be more outstanding, and you have to bring something new to the table. And I think mine was maybe a little too quiet to be able to win. But I think it’s very wearable and it’s very, very beautiful for a lot of women. And I think it’s probably going to sell better than Jeffrey’s, which in the long run is the win in it. But I think, like they said, Jeffrey’s is more innovative, more interesting; it’s like something you want to see at a fashion show because it’s more outrageous than mine, definitely.

What was your most cringe-worthy look?

I’m so embarrassed by my Paris traveling outfit. I never had the idea that we were going to travel in that thing. I thought we were going to make a party dress for somebody who does a travel show. So, I got the challenge wrong, and then I stood there in my party dress and I have to go to Paris. Thank God it was nice weather in Paris, so it was kind of fun to wear it, actually.

What do you think was your best look?

A lot of people talk to me about the blue dress because it was outstanding and also different for me. I think with that dress I stepped out from something I would wear — I probably would not wear it. I never wear something really short. It’s just my preference. I have a hard time making something I wouldn’t wear, so I always end up with the same things, and that’s something I learned on the show: It’s not always about what I want to wear or what fits my body best; I have to look at everybody else and make something. And I think that’s when I stepped out of that. And also Nazri — because that’s a girl you can basically just throw anything on her, and she’s much younger looking. I know if I wouldn’t have had that girl, I would not have won the challenge.

Who were your friends and enemies on the show?

I don’t like to get in trouble with other people, as you can see, so I kind of liked everybody, even crazy Vincent because he was so entertaining. He keeps you awake; it keeps you laughing, and guessing what’s wrong with him. I really like Jeffrey because he never attacked me. I love Laura. The only one I didn’t — and I really feel sorry because everyone asks and I always say Angela. Poor Angela, again. I just wouldn’t click with her in real life, and I think she’s complicated. I don’t want to do complicated.

What’s next for you?

Next, I definitely want to do a line based on what I showed at Bryant Park, something they can wear in Miami or on the beach which you can also wear in New York City. That’s something I took out of the show: basically, pull myself back and look at myself and do something which I wouldn’t wear.

NEXT PAGE: MICHAEL KNIGHT ”I got a little star quality. I got a little swagger.”

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