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Reality TV Interview

'Project Runway: All Stars' Rami Kashou on Madonna, TV pilot, judges

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Rami Kashou is a designer with an intense eye for detail. From his time on Project Runway's fourth season to his new role in Project Runway: All Stars, the 35-year-old Los Angeles native has impressed the judges and his fellow designers with his commitment to design. While many thought that Rami would make it all the way to the end, unfortunately he fell into the bottom two during the fashion face-off challenge for his layered fall look and was eliminated from the competition.

Rami spoke with reporters on Friday about his experience on the show, as well as his plans for the future.

Project Runway: All Stars: Rami Kashou - season four, runner-up

© Lifetime



What made you want to be part of Project Runway: All Stars?
"After production called, I decided to join because I had been working on a lot of different projects and planting seeds for the eight months to a year prior to that and it was the perfect opportunity for me to launch everything at once. It was a business move, but it was also a way for me to showcase my work and it was an advertisement that you didn't have to pay for!"

Do you stand behind last night's design or can you see why the judges criticized it?
"Honestly, my story got chopped off in editing. Everyone had an inspiration and my story, my muse, was a girl who's just been proposed to and she's going to celebrate with her childhood best friend. The whole inspiration for my design was to show that she was just going to throw on something like a wrap and jump off to a wine tasting or something.

I honestly feel that Georgina was the fairest judge, in my opinion. I admire her work so much, it mattered to me the most, so I like the things that she said because she addressed me fairly. The whole design was based on the jacket and the pants, not really on the top. I could have designed a better top, but I don't necessarily think my design was the worst and I still stand beside the other pieces. It wasn't easy to combine knits with suede and I won't ramble on, but everyone is entitled to their opinion."

The judging panel as a whole seemed quite different this time around. What did you make of Angela Lindvall, Isaac Mizrahi and Georgina Chapman's take on things?
"Honestly, I don't know how to say it. I disagree with a lot of their judgments on the other designers, as well. It's irony to me that suddenly the girls were on top and the boys on bottom. Maybe it's just a good story. I thought their reviews of Mondo's were ridiculous. Their whole tone was questionable. It just didn't seem right, it didn't sit well with a lot of people. For me, personally, I'm okay with whatever happens.

"It's just a TV show, it's just a game show, honestly. My life doesn't start or stop there. I'm grateful for the opportunity to showcase my work, but I don't have to agree with everything that happens. It was just a bit ironic - if you pay attention to how everything started up and then switched to something else, it becomes a bit questionable. You just have to take it with a grain of salt and keep going."

Project Runway All Stars Episode 6 - Rami Kashou's design

© Lifetime / Barbara Nitke



You recently filmed a pilot for a TV show. What can you tell us about that?
"I'm currently filming a pilot. I'd love to talk more about it but I can't yet because it's still in development. I can talk about the designs I made for the Super Bowl for Madonna's dancers, if you want!"

OK, tell us about working with Madonna!
"Honestly, it made my year. It was a wonderful opportunity and a dream come true. Obviously she had endless amounts of designers, so I designed for the six Roman ladies who led the gladiators and Madonna onto the stage. I worked with the head stylist on that and it was an amazing experience. Once you've had the opportunity to work with Madonna, it's a validating experience. It's something I was really excited about.

"I'm also really excited about the launch of my new collection for BB. It'll be mostly online but it'll be in outlets. I have a few other things in the works, as well. I'm blessed and I'm thankful. Not to sound like a broken record, but [All Stars] was a great opportunity for me to promote my work of things I'm working on before, prior and after the show."

There was a bit of drama between Jerell and Michael C this week over their similar coats. What were your thoughts?
"I think it would have been a big deal if two other people were involved, in all honesty. I think it depends on who's the subject at hand. In their case, it was somehow discussed and then in the end, they both got complimented. I honestly am past the whole 'let's talk about other designers' work' thing because it's not for me. It's been done back in August and I don't want to use that angle at all because it's not my place.

"My comments, as you saw on the show, were true. It's not really gossip, it's just the reality. I first saw Jerell's coat and then suddenly we saw Michael's. Was I in Michael's head and do I know what he was thinking? Definitely not. I don't honestly think that they made a big deal out of it, but it's TV so it becomes a big production because that's how reality shows work. I think that... I don't know, I have to say that I think Jerell's win was deserved and that's how I'll close that one."

Rami Kashou's design, Project Runway Allstars

© Lifetime



Did you have a strategy going into All Stars?
"You know, my passion is always genuine towards my work. I always put 150% into everything I do. I just think it's important to consider the very short time we were given per challenge. It was difficult compared to the original season. But that was still not necessarily a problem as I was able to complete correctly. I think there were certain things that happened that were beyond our control, so I'll leave it at that."

What was it like having Joanna Coles as a mentor rather than Tim Gunn?
"I didn't really get to know Joanna very well, to be honest with you. It's not the kind of relationship that happens. I have nothing negative to say about her - she's a very stylish, sharply dressed woman. There's definitely a very different dynamic than the bond we had with Tim Gunn. Maybe that's the angle they were playing with this time around, but I have nothing to say about her other than that she's a very stylish woman."

How was All Stars different than season four?
"The feeling... I don't know. It felt like - in comparison to season four - there was a greater distance between us and the judges. It felt like there were more producers involved this time than judges. I don't know, I can only say how I felt, I can't speak for everyone else. It was a very different experience this time, perhaps because there was a different production group. Honestly, it's a game show and not everything will be how you want or expect or hope it to be. Whether I liked the style of judging or not, it's a reality show and we all know what that's like. That's just how these things play out and sometimes, it's not very nice."

Who would you like to see win?
"Because of things I can't legally talk about, I won't comment on that. I'm sorry!"

Are there any celebrities that you'd love to style in the future?
"I honestly would love to style Cate Blanchett. I think she's a woman of grace, elegance, class and style and it would be an honor to dress her because she's very unique. And hopefully Madonna herself, one day!"

Project Runway: All Stars airs Thursdays at 9/8c on Lifetime

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