On last night’s season 4 premiere of Project Runway, Simone LeBlanc had the unfortunate experience of being the first one eliminated. Host Heidi Klum and mentor Tim Gunn decided that, for the first challenge, the designers would have their pick of fabrics and use them to create any design that they felt represented themselves the best. In the studio, Simone raced against the clock to finish her dress but she ran out of time and sent an incomplete design onto the runway. She received one of the three lowest scores of the night, along with Elisa and Ricky. Today, Simone took the time out of her busy schedule to talk to BuddyTV. In the interview, she gave her opinions on Gunn, her fellow competitors, and talked about her pride and joy, her new line of clothing.
Below, you will find the complete transcript and mp3 of the interview.
Hey everybody it’s Gina from BuddyTV and today, I’m talking to Simone from Project Runway. I was reading in your bio on Bravo’s website that you started making clothes as a child. Can you talk a little bit about that, what it was like growing up?
Yeah, absolutely. My mom has reminded me of a lot of memories that she has as well. I would get stuff from this store in my little town and just always cut stuff up. There was many, many nights that re-constructing an outfit here and there. I have memories of being a little kid and carrying a little bag of fabrics around with me. I had a little plastic baggie filled with fabric scraps and that was like my little blankie that I had. So I always loved fabrics.
When did your interest in making clothes turn into a serious interest in fashion design as a career?
I would say, let’s see, when I went to CCAC in San Francisco I was still looking at it as more as a place for sculptural exploration and kind of using fabric as an artist would use paint. So I’d say after I came back from Paris and ingratiated myself in the industry was around that time, which was the year 2001. At that point, I started really taking it seriously as a career and did different freelance designing and styling, and just working at it from that angle.
And had you watched previous seasons of Project Runway before being on the show?
Honestly I’d seen bits and pieces. I’d seen a couple episodes here and there and never a whole season all the way through though.
And for you what was the biggest draw about being on the show?
The biggest draw was the fact that I knew If I did not except the invitation to be on the show, I would always wonder, ‘What would have happened?’ And it’s such a unique experience and I love unique experiences, so that was a huge draw for me. It’s just a completely alternate reality.
Instead of making your first outfit from garbage or whatever crazy thing they can come up with, they actually let you just use fabrics. What was your reaction when you found out you could just make your own outfit?
I thought that there was some sort of trick up their sleeves, like okay they’ll let us make it half-way through then they’ll make us cut it up or burn it or something. So I felt like there was something else coming behind that. I didn’t believe it could be that good.
And what happened that led you to be pressed for time in terms of finishing your outfit?
Um, it was a series of a couple events, which I feel comfortable talking about one of them. One of them was I could have chosen a fabric that was a little bit less difficult to use. Also, I made two pieces and a lot of people made one piece, so that was part of it as well. So that’s what I’ll say about that.
How did you feel about your interactions with Tim Gunn? What was he saying to you about the outfit while you were working on it?
I felt like I didn’t get enough communication about the aesthetics of my dress. You know, he focused on the fact that he felt that there was work I had to do, but I would have liked a little bit more from him, to tell you the truth.
Was there anyone there who really ended up impressing you with their outfit?
Um, let’s see. I wasn’t loving anything to tell you the truth, that I saw. I mean I think there were some great technical abilities there. You know, certain people moved really fast and there was a lot of re-invention or re-working the stuff at the last minute. You know, but obviously things get developed as time goes.
Yeah, right off the bat with Rami winning the first challenge, it looks like he’s an early favorite. What was your feeling on his design? Because there were sort of mixed reactions about his dress.
To tell you the truth, when I was there, I was a bit more impressed with it than when I saw it on the runway last night on TV. I thought, you know when I was there, I was impressed with how quickly he moved through the fabric and made the dress happen. Then last night I though: ‘Not looking that cute over that one breast.’ You know, but I think he’s really amazing at what he does.
Do you feel like maybe you should have stayed over Elisa? Because that train on the back of that dress was a nightmare and a half.
I think I should have stayed over Elisa if we’re basing this on taste, honestly.
So you have your own line, TS Bloom, can you talk a little bit about it?
Absolutely. We just launched this spring and we use all organic and sustainable and end of the run production fabric. And it’s very, has a romantic sensibility to it and it’s never fussy, just easy pieces that you want to wear all the time. And my business partner Tara Miko and I have just launched it and we’re just building it and looking forward to moving forward with it. We’ve had a great reaction from people and we’re really honored to be using these fabrics and being a part of this industry that’s growing.
And is there any reason that you ended up choosing organic fabrics to work with?
It’s a belief, you know. Wanted to have a light footprint with the fabrics that we used. We didn’t want to have a moral hangover. There are so many toxins and so many chemicals that go into producing a lot of the fabrics as well as overconsumption. So, it’s a belief that we have and I think that the style does not have to suffer by using organic fabrics.
Well, I really wish that you went further on the show and I just wanted to thank you for your time, Simone.
Thank you so much, I really appreciate that. And I just appreciate the communication and I’m glad you loved the line and keep an eye out for it as it just gets better and better. Take care.
– Gina Scarpa, BuddyTV Staff Writer
(Image courtesy of Bravo)