The latest to get the boot on ''Project Runway'' talks about hems, high school girls, and the star he's designing for next

By Jessica Shaw
Updated January 10, 2008 at 12:00 PM EST
Barbara Nitke
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Prom night did not end well for Kevin Christiana. Though it looked like Christian and his beastly client would be kicked off the show for that unflattering brown-and-black lace number, it turned out that Kevin’s hemless red dress earned him his walking papers. Calling in to talk about being the only straight guy on Project Runway, his future on Rachael Ray, and whether or not he really wants to kill Christian, Kevin doesn’t sound too broken up.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: How did it feel to watch yourself get auf’d last night?

KEVIN CHRISTIANA: I was actually pleasantly surprised at how it was all portrayed. I knew it was coming. It was made out to be a shocker. The one thing I said was I want to stay the same person, show the world my work, and show how good a guy I could be. They made me out to be a good guy.

You sound like they made you into a character. Did you all feel like you were characters on a TV show?

You’re cast on the show as your character. You have to have a package — great work — and be an interesting person.

When you saw a bunch of high school girls instead of your models, what were you thinking?

I was happy. I’m the guy who loves the real-people challenges. But we were just starting to get used to our models. And clothes look flattering on models. The weird thing about high school girls is they’re so tiny. Their torsos are so short; they’re not developed yet. I don’t think any designer on the show was anticipating going forward with a collection for high school girls. As a whole I think everyone was having trouble. That was the worst display of everyone’s clothing.

Did it kill you to lose to Christian, whom you seemed to really hate?

I love Christian. He’s great. He’s so talented. I wanted to say in every interview that he’s so good I wanted to kill him. It was all lighthearted. Christian is going to make a serious dent in this business. I don’t hate Christian. He’s our little pocket gay.

Did you just say Christian is your ”pocket gay”?

Yeah. Everyone should have one.

I’ll work on it. Speaking of sexuality, you talked quite a bit about being the one straight guy. What was up with that?

It was funny. As far as the fans were concerned my nickname was always ”Kevin ‘I’m straight’ Fatone.” Not only was I straight but I was always Joey Fatone’s brother. I don’t care about any of that at all. I hang out with gay guys. I’ll go to gay bars. I didn’t think for one second I’d be the only straight guy when I got there. But I thought it was cool — to have something that was unique about me. The funniest thing was when Tiki Barber came to the set, nobody knew who he was except me, and the way the camera hit me it looked like I had a man-crush on him.

To be honest, I kind of thought Rami was straight too. I thought I was sensing some chemistry between him and Jillian.

No, Jillian’s boyfriend is the same ethnicity as Rami. They understand each other’s worlds. Plus, when you work next to somebody, you tend to become really close.

Who did you get close with?

I got along with everybody. I asked Christian a lot for advice. And Chris was right behind me and he was very helpful. If I needed help, I was always humble enough to ask for it.

So, the hem. Do you wish you had hemmed that dress?

That fabric was silk georgette. I cut it on the bias. If you cut silk georgette on the angle it doesn’t fringe. Silk is alive when you work with it. It’s kind of slippery. And if I had folded it under it would have been such a disaster. It would have puckered. I don’t regret it by any means.

Why didn’t the judges know that?

The only person who might have known was Michael Kors.

Of course, they didn’t only criticize the non-hem. They said it looked cheap and too old for her. What did you think of that?

I don’t think the dress looked cheap. I think the styling around it looked a little old for her. At the same time, when girls get dressed up, they want to look older. On the Bluefly wall they have size 10 and 11 shoes for models. These girls were size 6. We had to depend on them to bring in their own accessories. My girl brought in these blinged-out silver shoes. I cut all the bling off and told her I’d buy her a new pair.

Of course, your girl was a dream compared to Christian’s. Did you all witness that nightmare unfolding?

Yeah, that girl was out of her mind. The other girls were also bashing her to pieces because high school girls are ruthless. They were saying, ”You’re such a loser” to her. What you saw was what she was. She went right up to Christian’s drawing and started drawing over it. He was like, ”Are you serious?”

So what’s next for you?

I’m designing some stuff for Rachael Ray for her to wear, and I’m hoping to get some things going on the show. I can’t really talk about anything. But now that everyone knows I’m off the show, things can really get going. It was really overwhelming not being able to talk about Runway until last night. For the first three weeks it was so much fun. Then it became overwhelming. But I’ll watch the rest of the season. I can’t wait to see what everyone comes up with. I can’t wait to see what I could have done.

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