Despite being the winner of the first season of Project Runway
, Jay McCarroll
has never laid low, although it seems that he has. He turned down a significant portion of his prize as the winner of the acclaimed reality show's first season, and took a longer time to get his first collection post-Project Runway
out, but he's certainly here—busy with his fashion line for QVC and perhaps with battling rumors of his homelessness. And, you've probably seen Project Jay
, the one-off documentary that aired two years ago showing his struggles to get started after winning.
Eventually that would evolve into Eleven Minutes
, a feature-length documentary that, in many extents, is a natural successor to the first documentary. A product of filmmakers Rob Tate and Michael Selditch, the documentary is currently being screened in numerous film festivals across the country, and has earned positive reviews from different media outlets. Next year, it will even get a limited theatrical release before finally getting a DVD release. Credit for the documentary, at least, falls on the filmmakers, but there's no denying that the subject, McCarroll, has a lot to do with it.
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“The intention of Project Jay
was to show me creating a line for Fashion Week,” the 34-year-old explained in an interview. “The timing wasn't right and I had back surgery. They said if I did [create a Fashion Week collection] on my own they would love to film the whole process. Yeah, we just really hit it off and worked well together. I always knew I wanted to do it in a film format as opposed to a television series just because I was already a television star and I wanted to become a film star, too.”
Those struggles have been more than represented on the documentary, but outside of that, McCarroll has been into other things, too. He's still in touch with other folks from Project Runway
—he attended the recent season's show at Bryant Park, for one—and still has an opinion on the show's impact, and the fashion world in general. “I don't have any animosity towards Project Runway
but it really put a complete jolt into my life,” he said. “Within a couple months I was famous and living in New York City and had many, many, many expectations and pressures on me. I'm more earthy than that. I don't feel willing to sell my soul and be obsessed with glamour and fashion for the rest of my life. I think it's a weird thing to kind of demand upon someone.”
Like, say, season 4 winner Christian Siriano
? “I think he's talented,” he said. “I don't think he's a genius like everyone keeps saying … I just think they really, really pressured him … I had shoes to fill but he has huge shoes to fill. They really, really, really have placed a lot of pressure on him to really justify the show. I wish him all the best, really. It's a weird world, this world.”
Another highlight of Eleven Minutes
is the way it showed how McCarroll grew as a designer. “I had done collections before but never on that level,” he explained. “Now I know how to kind of do it … And [I also learned] what kind of heinous people to avoid from now on. Awful, scammy, scam artists.”
-Henrik Batallones, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
(Image courtesy of The Sun-Sentinel)