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Runway Style
by Andrew Davis
2006-09-27

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When Chloe Dao was announced the winner of season two of Project Runway, the statement stunned legions of fans who loved Daniel Vosovic's classic style. However, fret not for Vosovic—he's busier than ever, designing clothes and attending fashion shows, among other things.

Despite his incredibly hectic schedule, the incredibly affable Vosovic found time to chat with Windy City Times about everything

from attending New York's Fashion Week to being '80-20.'

Windy City Times: How are you?

Daniel Vosovic: Exhausted. Fashion Week was last week.

WCT: What were the highs and lows, in your opinion?

DV: It was unusual because this was the first time that I went to Fashion Week as a spectator designer; obviously, last season I was a participant and the previous season I was a student. It was nice to sneak into shows and observe. Now, there is this weird feeling about going to another designer's show.

[ Speaking of Project Runway, season two contestant Nick Verreos will be at Project ALMA, which will take place Sept. 30 at FlatFile Gallery, 217 N. Carpenter, 7-11 p.m. Call 773-929-7688 or see www.almachicago.org . ]

However, I would never go on the record criticizing another designer—we all have different opinions and there are only so many ways of making a pair of pants.

WCT: You're from Michigan. Did you ever make it to Chicago while growing up?

DV: Chicago was the New York of the Midwest for me. It was two and a half hours from where I was growing up ( in western Michigan ) . I remember going there to Navy Pier and the Magnificent Mile as a kid.

Also, I remember when I was 13 and my sister, Sarah, was 15; we were hanging around with 19- and 20-year-old kids. We would say that we would go to a party and end up in Chicago and going to all-night dance parties in warehouses. I had no idea that these people around me were tripping on acid or high on drugs. [ Laughs. ] My mother is going to cringe if she reads this.

I love, love, love Chicago. I've been there twice in the past six months. One thing I really love is the work done with Millennium Park. I love how the architecture is integrated into the landscape and the community.

WCT: Let's go back to season two of Project Runway. There are three things I associate with you. One is your sleek clothing style.

DV: Thank you.

WCT: The second is the comment about being 80-20 [ 80 percent gay and 20 percent heterosexual ] . Do you still feel you're 80-20?

DV: I'm in a relationship now with a boyfriend; I'm just saying 'never say never.' I've had girlfriends in the past and I have a boyfriend now. I had moved to Italy to be with an ex-boyfriend and he had been with his girlfriend for five years.

I'm 25 and I'm by no means trying to figure myself out. I have a concrete perspective of who and where I am.

WCT: I think that sexuality is very fluid.

DV: Agreed. I think it's funny when the gay community says, 'Make up your mind.' It's not that easy. You can't just flip a switch.

WCT: The third thing is a phrase you said: 'It's a motherf–kin' walk-off.' [ The sentence was uttered when contestant Zulema Griffin had the designers' models hold a walking competition to determine who she would take. She ultimately took Nick Verreos' model. ]

DV: [ Laughs. ] How funny is it that those words have gone down in history.

In that moment, it was so shocking. We had so much camaraderie with our models, but Zulema was playing within the rules. Nick was really feeling that one; it was like a knife to the heart.

WCT: Speaking of Zulema, I didn't know she's lesbian [ until reading about it later ] .

DV: As far as I know, she didn't really project it. I didn't know myself until halfway through. She kind of kept to herself through the taping.

WCT: Do you keep in contact with the fellow contestants?

DV: I do. I talk with Nick every few weeks. I also talk with John Wade, who was eliminated first; we've become such good friends. I also talk with Diana and Chloe. I communicate with almost everyone.

WCT: What about [ fellow contestant ] Santino [ Rice ] ?

DV: The last time I talked with him was a few months ago. I left a voicemail about six months ago and I've texted him. I haven't gotten a response; I think he's just really busy.

WCT: Be honest—how surprised were you that Chloe won?

DV: At the time, I was very surprised. You're in such a bubble with Project Runway; you're been watched in a golden birdcage and it was a pressurized time. For a week after, I was like, 'I don't know what to do.' Did I want to work on a line? What about my portfolio? I was working with so many options, I didn't know what to do.

There's a silver lining to coming in second place, though. People all over the world are e-mailing and writing me. Hopefully, I'll be remembered for being a great designer and not for being a runner-up.

WCT: Now, who are your favorites this season?

DV: I love, personality-wise, Bradley and Alison. I still talk with Alison; we're at similar points in our lives. Bradley...I don't know him but I find him so quirky and cute.

WCT: What do you think about Spain banning ultra-skinny models from the catwalk? And do you think that could ever happen in this country?

DV: Holy cow! That's something in Spain, where there are lots of [ very thin ] models. As for this country, again I say 'never say never.'

The reason we look for models who are walking hangers is because that body type is the easiest to dress. You can see clothing the best on a model like that. Most of the girls today are 15 or 16.

A look is a look is a look. It runs the gamut of who the woman is that you're designing for.

WCT: How many people have asked you to make dresses for them?

DV: Approximately 400-500 people. I remember getting an e-mail from Daisy Fuentes' manager but I've also gotten a lot of prom requests. ( A typical e-mail is entitled 'A Quick Favor.' ) I actually keep all that information for a future mailing list.

WCT: That attention has to be flattering.

DV: Are you kidding me? Anytime anyone asks for an autograph, I'm like, 'Hello! You're supporting me.' I would never refuse a photograph or ask someone to stop e-mailing me. I can't thank the show and the producers enough. It's a great—and sometimes creepy—thing. [ Laughs. ]

WCT: One last question: Is Heidi [ Klum ] really as gorgeous as she seems?

DV: She's gorgeous; her make-up team just accentuates her beauty. Also, she's pretty funny—I don't think people realize that.

For more info about Daniel Vosovic, see www.danielvosovic.net .


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