Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2021-12-08



Project Runway: Material Success
by Tony Peregrin

This article shared 2916 times since Wed Aug 2, 2006
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

If you're a fan of Project Runway ( and, really, who isn't at this point? ) , then Steve Rosengard probably looks vaguely familiar to you. On Project Runway's special audition episode, Road to Runway, viewers met three area finalists from Chicago, including Rosengard, who impressed Tim Gunn and Nick Verraros with his point of view as well as his strong design and construction skills. Advancing to the next level in the audition process, he was asked to submit a video bio where viewers caught a glimpse of Rosengard camping it up for the camera in a variety of personality-revealing poses, including a memorable shot on his bed 'where the magic happens.' Rosengard, 29 years-old and a resident of Lakeview, didn't make the final cut, but we still see plenty of magic happening—both inside and outside of the bedroom— for this charismatic, talented designer.

Windy City Times: Where were you and what were you doing the very moment you heard there was going to be a Chicago casting call for Season Three of Project Runway?

Steve Rosengard: I had assumed for a long time that they were going to do a third season and I was debating about whether to make the trip to Miami or New York. I decided not to make any reservations until after the weekend, which ended up paying off. In those couple of days, they decided to replace London with Chicago, which, of course, was a lot easier.

WCT: How did you determine what garments to bring with you? What went in to that decision-making process for you?

SR: The process of deciding what garments to bring was agonizing. I'd pick several choices out and run them by various people. I'd start one of the garments and decide it was all wrong and start over again. I worked on one dress with an appliquéd train for weeks. The Saturday before the audition, I couldn't do anything to make it look less bridesmaid-y. So I sacked it. I ran down to the fabric store the next morning, cut out the dress, called the model over for a photo shoot and then fitted it on her until one in the morning.

WCT: How did you psych yourself up for the audition that day?

SR: Psych myself up? I didn't have the energy. I had woken up the day before at 7 a.m., went to my office job and then worked on the dresses around the clock until 7 a.m., when I went to go stand in line at the W Hotel—where I stood for five hours.

WCT: So, you arrive at the W and what do you see—describe the scene, the other people in line and your own internal monologue at that point.

SR: I vacillated between thinking that everyone was better than me and the thought that everyone's stuff was crap. It was a little bit of an unintentional spectacle. The guy who was ahead of me was with his mom and they looked and dressed almost identically. The guy ahead of him was wearing short cowboy boots, wool-cuffed culottes and a car coat. I didn't know what was going on. I hate to say anything negative because I know fashion, like any art, is very subjective, but—Jesus, Mary and Joseph—help me out here!

WCT: How was the competition? Was everyone sizing each other up? Did you see Nick Verraros ( Project Runway, Season Two ) when he came out and greeted the applicants? What was your overall impression of him?

SR: I was in line for five hours. I think there might have been a little bit of people sizing each other up, but this was March [ and ] right on the Lake. It was too cold to worry about other people. It was hard enough just trying to keep your clothes off the ground and making sure you didn't freeze your ass off.

When Nick came out to get the crowd riled up, [ I remember thinking that ] it was kind of funny how outgoing he was. I kept on thinking to myself that I couldn't go and do that—just go and talk to strangers and wish them well. I suppose I could do it if I was in the Red Cross, but that's different; people are missing limbs and sometimes their entire families. But Nick was going and talking to people that could be competition for him in his career. Fashion's cutthroat. People often say, 'Oh, relax, it's just fashion.' But the truth is that it's not just fashion. It's your career; it's what people think of your creativity.

WCT: What advice did producers or organizers give you prior to walking into the room with Tim Gunn [ Chair of Fashion Design at Parsons New School of Design in New York City ] and Nick Verrarsos?

SR: I don't remember getting any advice, except for where to walk and hang up your clothes. There was a Polish girl at the door who told you when to go in the room. She had this Cheshire-cat look about her. She was slicing and dicing people with her eyes, nice and quietly. When my model and I came up to her and I mumbled something finally waking up and being ready to throw up from the nerves, the girl said, 'Ah, don't vorry, I feel good aura around you.'

WCT: Describe what advice show producers had for you in making the video bio. What guidelines did they give you? What didn't we get to see in your video?

SR: I can't go into the guidelines because of the contract. But, what you didn't get to see in the video was that I set up the whole video 'a la Karen Walker' and had my Taiwanese co-worker do these hilarious voiceover commentaries from behind the camera the whole time with a kind of Rosario-esque feel to it. The rest of the video was just talking about my design philosophy and that sort of thing.

WCT: You didn't make the final cut, but you were crowned 'first alternate.' What does that mean?

SR: Well, that's what the lady from the production office said. She didn't actually say anything about anyone kicking the bucket or getting Avian bird flu. I think she was more concerned that someone wouldn't sign their contract to be on the show or that they'd have a last-minute emergency like a death in the family, etc. But I was the first alternate in the event that any Greek tragedy took place.

WCT: What is your next big design project or goal?

SR: Well, I'm gearing up for showing my Spring '07 collection in October at Chicago Fashion Week. It's an interesting experience because I have always told myself that this is what I wanted to do. Now I'm doing it…and there are times when I get so plagued by self-doubt I just want to put my head down on the table and call it a day. But this is the way it works.

I also need to get a Web site up and running very soon, but I don't find technology that interesting. I'd much rather be talking with a human being than sitting in front of a computer.

This article shared 2916 times since Wed Aug 2, 2006
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Gay News

Fashion designer Thierry Mugler dies at 73 2022-01-24
- Openly gay French fashion designer Thierry Mugler (full name: Manfred Thierry Mugler) has passed away at age 73, according to media reports. Madonna, Lady Gaga and Cardi B are among those who have worn his designs. ...

Gay News

Fashion icon Andre Leon Talley dies at 73 2022-01-19
- Andre Leon Talley—the fashion icon and former creative director of Vogue magazine—died Jan. 18 at age 73. Details were not immediately revealed. In addition to his agent, Talley's Instagram account confirmed Talley's passing, noting that ...

Gay News

Chicago queer hair artists carve out safe spaces to cut and style hair 2021-12-06
- When Blue Line Barbers moved locations, Talia Roxit immediately knew which barber chair she wanted to claim: the one closest to the window. "It's not that I want the attention, but I want to draw in ...

Gay News

PASSAGES Designer Virgil Abloh dies at 41 2021-11-29
- Designer Virgil Abloh—the first Black artistic director of Louis Vuitton's menswear collection and the founder of the Off-White label—died at the age of 41 after privately battling "a rare, aggressive form of cancer, cardiac angiosarcoma," a ...

Gay News

BUSINESS Black council, HRCF release first-ever 'Black in Fashion' index 2021-10-04
- The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation and The Black in Fashion Council, an organization that promotes and advances Black representation in the fashion and beauty industry, released their inaugural Black in Fashion Index report, which measures ...

Gay News

WORLD False report, Indian activist dies, fashion exhibit, LGBT Awards 2021-09-12
- In Spain, a man who claimed eight hooded men carved an anti-gay slur on his butt using a knife in a horrific hate crime later said the act was consensual, according to According to police ...

Gay News

Women's soccer: Sweden snaps United States' 44-game win streak 2021-07-21
- In women's soccer, Sweden dominated the United States 3-0 on July 20 in Tokyo, snapping the Americans' 44-game winning streak in convincing fashion, Yahoo! Sports reported. The U.S. team entered this event as heavy favorites to ...

Gay News

The Amazon Trail Notes from a Homebody 2021-05-19
- 's finally here. The end of total lockdown. Am I ready? Absolutely not. I like my burrow. I don't wanna play with others. We've fashioned a comfortable little routine. Week days, work. Evenings, spend time alone ...

Gay News

Jody Watley: Conversation with an icon 2021-05-09
- Singer Jody Watley has been many things during her illustrious career, including an activist, fashion plate—but, most certainly, a musician. Among her many achievements in that latter area are a Grammy win; a Lifetime Achievement Award ...

Gay News

Netflix to debut limited series 'Halston' on May 14 2021-04-23
- On what would have been legendary fashion designer Roy Halston Frowick's 89th birthday (on April 23), Netflix stated it was honoring the visionary icon by announcing the Friday, May 14, global premiere date for the five-episode ...

Gay News

Chella Man talks media endeavors, the fashion world, upcoming book, AAPI visibility 2021-03-31
- The multi-talented 22-year-old, Deaf, genderqueer, transgender, Jewish, AAPI, artist and activist Chella Man has done more in his short life than most people achieve in their lifetimes. This includes a successful YouTube channel; TedX talk, modeling ...

Gay News

- Playwright: Theresa Rebeck At: Online. Tickets: $25-$50; Runs through: Aug. 23 Fashion being an integral element in romantic fiction, we are not surprised to first discover our heroine in her boudoir, readying herself for a ...

Gay News

AUTOS 2020 Cadillac XT6 is the stylish transport for you and your posse 2020-08-18
- Cadillac has long hosted fashion shows with acres of flat sheetmetal, glistening chrome, and cabins drenched with all the finest materials. This once meant block-long sedans, but people aren't buying ...

Gay News

- Playwright: Theresa Rebeck At: Online. Tickets: $25-$50; . Runs through: Aug. 23 Fashion being an integral element in romantic fiction, we are not surprised to first discover our heroine in her boudoir, readying herself for ...

Gay News

BOOKS In fashion: Jay Manuel dishes on 'The Wig, The Bitch & The Meltdown' 2020-08-04
- Jay Manuel has been many things, including an make-up artist and a creative director—and he is probably best known as taking on the latter role for several years on the reality-competition show America's Next Top Model. ...


Copyright © 2022 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.






About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.