Emmy Rossum on 'Project Runway' - Behind the Scenes Look!
Emmy Rossum joins the Project Runway panel as a guest judge for this week’s brand new episode, airing on tonight (October 3) at 9/8c on Lifetime!
JustJared.com got a behind-the-scenes look at the taping of this episode over the summer and we got to hang out with hosts Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn, judges Nina Garcia and Zac Posen, as well as Emmy. We had so much fun checking out the sewing room on set and sitting down at a workstation!
The episode is titled “Butterfly Effect” and follows the designers as they are inspired by L’Oreal’s Butterfly Mascara, creating avant-garde looks based on butterflies.
FYI: Emmy is wearing an Andrew Gn dress.
Click inside for some highlights from our interviews with the Project Runway cast...
HEIDI KLUM INTERVIEW ————————————————————
Just Jared: How does it feel going into Season 12? Does it feel like a routine?
Heidi Klum: It doesn’t feel like it’s been 12 seasons. It doesn’t feel routine because there’s always new people, different stories and a different designer setting. Did you see the runway show today?
HK: I loved it! When I see things I’ve never seen before, like for example, the Organza white gown with spikes and the beautiful colorful Peplum dress. I’ve never seen this before, so when I see things like that, I get really excited. When they make pencil skirts and blouse, it’s too boring. I get excited when they do over the top things and that’s what the people also enjoy, they want to see that. That’s why we love fashion.
JJ: Where do you get inspired from fashion and how do you receive it these days?
HK: I learned so much over the years. In the beginning when we shot the show, I kind of styled myself out of my own closet.
JJ: Which websites do you go to follow fashion?
HK: I go to Style.com because they just give me the whole run down. You can do the slideshow thing and just see it all.
JJ: Do you use any non-fashion sites for inspiration?
HK: No, not so much. I have no time, no time to even watch TV apart from being in it. You know when I’m not working, I do random things. I go with my kids to the park, the theatre and I’m just with my kids. Now they are in school and when I’m off I spend time with them.
JJ: Do you have a favorite memory of contestants from previous seasons?
HK: I’m a big fan of Christian [Siriano], he’s definitely close to my heart because he’s such a little Jack Russell. He hustles, he makes things happen and that’s how the fashion industry is, you have to! You can’t sit back and relax even if you’ve made it to the top. You look at the biggest designers now, they still have to hustle to stay there and not everyone understands that. Sometimes people have some success and feel that’s all they ever have to do, but you don’t, you always have to keep it rolling. Christian does all the extra leg work and that’s why he’s successful and why most people know about him.
JJ: If you were to cast Project Runway: Celebrity Edition, who would you cast?
HK: I would want to have all the big time designers because I would want to know how they design during crunch time. Like Michael Kors, Zac Posen, Donatella Versace, Ralph Lauren, and Valentino. I would want all the big designers and see what they can do with a sewing machine. Can they still do it? And I think people who are into fashion will really enjoy that. It would be more fun than an actor, because they’re not meant to do that.
JJ: Will there be any surprise twists in the upcoming season right from the start?
HK: Yes, this year Tim Gunn will come down and show us the clothes up close. So we can get out of our seats and touch the clothes and see what really went on here. Sometimes they double stitch things down or glued up the hem. When you sit up there, especially with the lights and it’s quite far away. You don’t really see the details. It can look pretty from afar, but can become ugly really fast up close. He can also Rescue. So if we kick someone off, he can bring them back if he really feels strong for that designer.
TIM GUNN INTERVIEW ————————————————————–
Just Jared: How does it feel going into Season 12?
Tim Gunn: Well actually, it’s more about how does it feel coming out of season 12. We’re almost wrapping up, to be honest. After today, I have the home visits and the finale.
JJ: How’s the season been so far?
TG: It’s been fantastic, there are so many new dimensions to it. We have an anonymous runway, so the judges don’t know which designer designed what. They just see the work and they pass judgment, as opposed to developing biases. Now they bring a whole new level of scrutiny to it. Speaking of, I have a whole new beat on the show. After the judges have the Q&A with the designers and the Q&A with the top 3 and bottom 3. I come out with their models and take the models to the judges to allow them to see the work closely and examine it. Their experience with the clothes is intimate as opposed to being 25-30 feet away from them. I also get to offer any comments I want. For the past 11 seasons there has been a very fine demarcation between church and state. I do not or have not interacted with the judges other than saying “Hello” off-air. I’ve never been on-air with the judges and this season I get to interact with them and have my own say. Generally speaking, I’m an advocate for the designers and I want the judges to understand the circumstances under which the work was made, which I feel they don’t fully understand. I believe this has helped a lot.
JJ: Of all the Runway graduates, is there one or two whose careers that you still love to follow?
TG: I mean I try to keep up with as many of them as best I can, but in terms of visibility, Christian Siriano has been a phenomenon. I’m incredibly proud of him and I have to say given his youth, if there ever was a candidate for someone becoming a diva, it was Christian. He’s a sweetheart, he’s well-grounded and I tribute a good deal of his success to the fact that he has a keen level-headed business partner. I say to every fashion designer I know, “You do not want to run the business!” This is not what your brain is equipped to do, you’re the creative force and it’s been very successful for him.
JJ: Do you think the other designers who haven’t become household names just didn’t have the either the business acumen or a good business partner?
TG: I think there are a lot of circumstances, one being the economy and the fact that forget about Project Runway, just look at the fashion industry in general. It’s been devastated by the economy, so it’s made it much harder for people. I want to say that in Season 12, we raised the bar on the level of annual earnings that designers could have from their work and it’s made a difference. Suddenly we have more mature and seasoned individuals here and they are incredibly talented in what they do.
JJ: Do you discover fashion differently from when Season 1 started?
TG: Good heavens yes, it’s a totally different world. That was 9 years ago. I go everywhere I can, to be honest, I’m pretty insatiable. I’m also discerning and critical about what I see when it comes to trends and so much of these additional dimensions of media about what’s hot and what isn’t. I’m rather cynical about it all because fashion today is so incredibly diverse and there’s something for everyone. No matter what you want, it’s out there and I love that because it means that whomever we happen to be, we can present ourselves to the world however we want to. I’m reminded of where American fashion used to be, let’s say in the last half of the 1980’s. It’s a very narrowly defined aesthetic squaffle. There was Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, etc. and if you stepped out that aesthetic bubble, you were in big trouble. Today, well you can find anything, you really can. I don’t believe the world will ever go back and retreat to that. If anything, I’m an advocate for more diversity.
JJ: Of all the celebrity guest judges that they’ve had on the show, do you have one that stands out? Gave the most sound advice?
TG: For me, it’s very personal because I happen to love and adore her and everything she stands for, Diane Von Furstenberg. There are so many people I loved being here, but Diane created an iconic look that’s going to last forever, her wrap dress. How many people can actually lay claim to an actual item of apparel and she’s also the President of the Council of Fashion Designers of America. For so many reasons, I have great respect and admiration in regard for her. And I will say, as a fashion designer, she’s able to put her own aesthetic and unencumbered, channel who each designer is trying to be. That’s a very rare quality among designers, very rare.
JJ: Anything else you want to add about the new season?
TG: Well I know there’s been a lot of controversy about our promotional poster, a lot of controversy. I want to say this about it. It is a metaphor for the whole season, because it’s a season full of surprises and we shake things up.
NINA GARCIA INTERVIEW ———————————————————–
JJ: How does it feel to be entering into season 12?
NG: So surreal. Since season one I thought, you know, how is this going to last. Little did I know 12th season in, it’s been fantastic.
JJ: Do you think your fashion sense has changed since the first season?
NG: Well fashion has always changed. Because fashion is all about change and it’s one of the things that if you’re in this business you’ve got to embrace. My taste has probably evolved.
JJ: More of what, less of what?
NG: I don’t know. They evolved to become more risky let’s say. There’s so much excitement about fashion right now.
JJ: Do you mentor any of the past contestants? Do you keep in touch with any of them?
NG: I do keep in touch with them. I don’t actively seek them because I think it’s weird, but if they come to me and if they want to get my opinion or if they want to be in the magazine or if I can help them with anything, I am always available. So yes, I do keep in touch with a lot of them actually.
JJ: So all the contestants automatically get your email address?
NG: They don’t, isn’t that weird?
JJ: Do they have to personally ask you?
NG: They could ask Lifetime and Lifetime would give it to them or they could personally ask me at the finale. Some do, but not all of them. I think they’re…
NG: Yes, and I don’t think I’m that… yes, I’m a little scary when I give my deliberations because I feel I’m being very fair and I want to judge them fairly with what I see in the business. But I’m not, I’m very approachable.
JJ: I think part of it is etiquette, I’m not sure they know they could ask.
NG: Maybe, but they can! You can let them know.
JJ: Of all the guest celebrity judges, which ones give the most sound advice?
NG: Ever or in this season?
NG: Oh god, that is such a loaded question. Victoria Beckham was a lot of fun. She has a great perspective. Can I say some of the ones, I don’t know if I’m allowed. We just had Kelly Osbourne and I thought she gave a really interesting perspective because she has a very practical point of view. Like from an ordinary woman with curves, but also from a celebrity perspective. There’s been many, it’s a hard question.
JJ: Any other surprises we should be looking out for this new season or anything else the fans should be excited about?
NG: This is a very cool season and you know for the judges to keep the mystery about who is designing what, is like a little bit of a game in itself because guessing makes it fun and it’s interesting. You can see who has the real point of view. If you can guess who that person is, you know that they have a real clear point of view. So that is what’s been different this season and having Tim Gunn!
ZAC POSEN INTERVIEW ————————————————————-
Just Jared: How is Season 12 going?
Zac Posen: This is my second season with the show and it’s been amazing. It’s an incredible group of very talented designers and they’re very driven. I think with each season, the talent pool and the expectations become very clear for the people that put them up for this very rigorous, intense journey that we all go on together. I try to give very constructive criticism and to get the best work out of them possible. So that they are prepared for the opportunity that they get by being on TV, launching their careers and giving themselves huge public exposure. I definitely turned up my volume on my intensity as a judge this season. Thought it was really important, you know sometimes there is something called tough love.
JJ: How do you think the contestants vary from last year to this year?
ZP: I think that they are very strategic this season. I think that there are more foreign designers. I think that they have many different disciplines that they are bringing here. They’re very varied and we’re also done with Team season. Which was really nice, because now I can focus on the individual instead of spending time on deciphering who did what of what garment and where the pitfalls were. For my experience, different from being a guest judge over the seasons, I can see who the designers really are. Whether I like it or not, I try to leave my personal aesthetic at the door and just try to get into their individual looks.
JJ: You’re almost at the end of filming this season, would you hire any of these contestants to work for you one day?
ZP: There are definitely some very talented people. If the right opportunity came through, they’re definitely hirable. It’s always different when somebody is justifying their own work and how they would adapt into a work place. Even from season 11 to 12 there are definitely people that I keep my eye on.
JJ: If Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn didn’t exist, is there a male in fashion who would be a good host for Project Runway?
ZP: Nobody can replace Heidi. If there were a male version of Heidi, I would be that persons business partner. Heidi is part of the major DNA of the show and the show thrives on Heidi’s dedication, her very black and white viewpoint of what is in and what is out. She is unbelievable, I really can’t think of anybody that can hold that. Tim, is what I call the fashion angel of the show. I don’t know if many people know, but he has such a deep long history of being a professor and working with such a myriad of different students. He gets very invested into their success and longevity. He really cares and fights for them. This season I think he was pushed to his breaking point, which I don’t think we ever seen before on another season where he had to be really strict with some designers. I had moments on the show this season, as did Nina, where I just had to throw my cards on the floor because I was just so frustrated with the potential and what the results was.
JJ: Do you have one or two contestants in mind from this season that you think have the potential to become a household name?
ZP: I don’t get that much experience on how business savvy they are. Each challenge provides their creative voice. There are one or two people that I think if they keep working at it and have the perseverance and resilience it takes, they absolutely have the potential to grow into household names.
JJ: How do you personally keep up with fashion, trends, and forecasting and all that kind of stuff?
ZP: Instinct in the weather.
JJ: Do you follow fashion on Instagram?
ZP: Oh yeah instead of following just fashion, I try to be a cultural receive dish and I try to take everything from what’s happening in museums to what’s happening in network TV and cable TV, shows from scripted to reality, to what’s happening in the food industry and in the political atmosphere. I find how I can be the reactionary to that or inspired by that for what’s going to happen in the future. Because once something is chic and in fashion, it’s out of fashion and I think that’s something that’s very important for the designers on the show, not to rest their laurels on. Because if something looks good to me or looks like editorially ready and shootable for like a Nina Garcia, from a designer’s perspective that’s passé and it’s out already.