Zac Posen had some big shoes to fill when he replaced long-time judge Michael Kors on the Runway, but this fashion guru is definitely making his own mark. We chatted with him about fall fashion trends on and off the runway, as well as the latest Project Runway episode.
Real Beauty: In this week's challenge we saw a sombrero dress, as well as one made from blow-up dolphins, what do you think the designers gain from working with such unconventional materials?
Zac Posen: I love the unconventional material challenge because it makes the designer push their creativity using an existing texture or shape and work it into a functional garment. I've made dresses out of raffia on the runway myself, and I like how alternative material challenges the designers creativity, pushes them to think abstractly and not have to worry about the wearability.
RB: Kate Bosworth and Kelly Osbourne have been guest judges so far this season. What do the guest judges bring to the table?
ZP: Kelly is great, not only is she one of my best friends and I adore her, but she is excited about fashion and she thrives on itshe was an exquisite judge. Kate was a really good one. Allison Williams, who's going to be coming up soon, got really into it and was hands on which made her a terrific judge. A real surprise hit judge this season was Jesse Tyler Ferguson. It's always wonderful, because when your shooting almost every other day and living pretty much on the runway, it's fun to have those guests come into your life and share their perspective on fashion. It's a great dialogue.
RB: How has working with the other judges? Have you learned from them?
ZP: We all have very different aesthetic points of view, and thats what makes it a good judging panel. I think Heidi comes from a point of view of would she wear it; Nina comes from a point of view of would she shoot it; and I come from a point of view, where I want to look at them and respect them as individual creators and see if they creatively executed the project, have they executed the construction, and is there a point of view and originality. I've definitely learned. It's always interesting to get into Nina's head, and just sort of hear and see how she's looking at fashion at the moment.
RB: We see a ton of different looks go down the runway, can we expect any of them to be a new trend for this upcoming fall season?
ZP: Absolutely. What's interesting about being a part of the show is you see which designers have a true points of view and are going to be trailblazers and create their own trends. Then there are the designers who fall into the safety of being within trend. I'm always going to be more interested with people who are going to take the risk. I want to see whos going to push themselves to come up with the next idea. Dom has such an incredible ability to work with prints and as we go into fall, thats certainly going to be a continuing big trend. Prints sort of set the mood and the trend for the season. I would like to see some pattern-making challenges, and construction challenges. You know, often I judge, a lot of clothing on how its cut and patterned, and the originality of it because I think its sort of design in its purest form. So Id like to see a challenge where they construct a piece out of three or less pieces of fabric.
RB: What look would you say never goes out of style?
ZP: Personal style. Expressing your personal points of view through your style. Being an outsider, youll never go out of style. If you follow trends, you will follow a road map directly to being out of trend. Express your personality through your dress, and youll never go out in fashion.
RB: The designers always have a hard time with the team challenges. If you could pick a 'Dream Team' who would you choose to work with?
ZP: There are so many designers that I would dream to collaborate with. I would love to collaborate with a Ralph Lauren and Yohji Yamamoto from Japan. I went totally far-fetched with my choices, but I definitely think it would create something very interesting.
RB: If you could create your own Runway challenge what would it be?
ZP: Definitely the Zac glamour red carpet challenge! Something that is red carpet worthy, photographable, while presenting their point-of-view as a designer, while appropriate for that major superstar moment.