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Chicago's "Runway" guy talks about the finale and more

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After last night's season-four finale of "Project Runway," Steven Rosengard — our Chicago guy, who was "out" midway through this season — emailed today about the results, the aftermath and what he's been up to here in Chicago since saying "auf wiedersehen!"

In an email exchange this evening, Steven had this to say about his post-"Runway" life:

Steven in the fourth episode of this season's "Project Runway."

Q. Where were you last night? Watching the show live?
A. I watched the show with some friends of friends. I just wanted to enjoy the show in a quiet setting.

Q. What did you think of Christian's collection?
A. I actually liked Christian's collection a good deal. There were a couple of looks that were technically very difficult to achieve and I liked that he really pushed the envelope.

Q. And the others?
A. I was bowled over by Rami's finale dress in black lamé. Again, it was an amazing technical achievement and brilliantly executed.

Q. Tell us something fascinating/horrifying you saw on the designs up close that we didn't see on TV...
A. I wish the more people could see one dress of Christian's in particular. It was made of beige and brown chiffon — just a ton of individual ruffles, and it looked so much more spectacular in person than how it registered on the screen.

Q. What would your final collection have been like?
A. My final collection would have been very dark, with some pieces being completely over the top and others being more restrained and understated. I think people need the showmanship as well as something wearable — that's why a fashion show is so tricky — it's necessary to bounce back and forth between the wearable and the showiness.

Q. When you leave a show like this, how invested in it do you remain? Watch them all? Wagering on the outcome? Or did the call to schedule the reunion show make you think, "Oh, yeah, that"?
A. I watched the show up until the episode six. When I was no longer on the show myself, it was difficult to continue watching because I knew what the challenges were. That wrecked it a little bit for me. Hence, it was perplexing for people to ask me who had won — why would anyone want to ruin the adventure for themselves?

Q. You're still working at the Museum of Science and Industry?
A. I am indeed still at MSI and have just been made Assistant Curator of Textiles and Plastics. But I split my day in half: half belongs to the museum, and the evenings and weekends belong to the clients with whom I'm working. Many people say "Oh, so you're just doing it on the side?" Truthfully, I probably spend more time working on pieces and in fittings than I do at the museum.

Q. What fashion work are you finding free time for?
A. I'm working on a number of wedding dresses right now — all vastly different. One is the huge white traditional type, another is a very luxe day dress in silk taffetas and the last is black wool and emerald green Thai silk. I also donate my services to charities whenever I can and it's been really rewarding. Very soon, I'll be updating the children's wear looks I have available on But I'm always available to meet with new clients and they can set up consultations with my assistant Mona by calling (773) 327-9609.

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This page contains a single entry by Thomas Conner published on March 6, 2008 10:10 PM.

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