The winning designer spills on his contestants, (and who he ‘can’t stand’), the best piece of advice he got from the judges and what he plans to do now that he was named the winner of the competition!
Congratulations are in order for Anthony Ryan Auld, the designer crowned victorious on Project Runway All Stars Season 2! In an EXCLUSIVE interview with HollywoodLife.com, the talented young designer reflects on a season of stunning looks and dishes on upcoming collaborations and collections! The best part is — he’s not afraid to call other designers out on their drama. The All Stars season brought back some of our favorite designers of seasons past, and Anthony Ryan was not about to let his big second chance go to waste. Having only made it to seventh place in Season 9, he described this time around as “my second chance to show who I am as a designer.”
Project Runway All Stars Season 2 was jam packed with excitement: from the most iconic designers in the industry stopping by to guest judge challenges (think Diane Von Furstenberg and Elie Tahari), to an impromptu trip around the world to the House of Valentino in Paris, a dull moment in the season could not be found. How could there possibly be a dull moment with Anthony Ryan around to craft fabulous, colorful dresses?
This season’s core judges, Carolyn Murphy, Georgina Chapman, and Isaac Mizrahi loved Anthony Ryan’s designs right out of the gate. He scored the win on six out of the show’s twelve challenges, (that’s right: half!) including the show’s first. “It was obviously great that the judges took notice, and that I was being taken more seriously,” explains Anthony Ryan. “But still, the whole time I was thinking ‘this can’t be this easy.'” In order to improve his designs from his previous time on the show, he explains that he had to look at his style from “a neutral standpoint.”
Anthony Ryan secured his overall win by impressing the judges with a bold, graphic mini-collection inspired by, of all things, Lego blocks. “I wanted to take something innocent and turn it into something with malice, something dark and twisted,” he says of the inspiration. Luckily, the designers were given free reign to follow their inspirations in their final challenge — a freedom Anthony Ryan particularly appreciated. “The challenge was all about freedom, and I was already inspired. I could have done anything. I could have made a popcorn dress, if I wanted to!” he laughs. “I took the opportunity to use the anger that I was feeling for some reason. I transformed the negative energy. [The girl I dress] looks like someone who would whoop your ass — until you got to know who she is.”
Judge Georgina Chapman even offered Anthony Ryan a piece of advice that really stuck with him. “She told me to really think about all body types, and all women. Because, as designers we really are dressing the everyday woman. We’re not going to be dressing stick figures forever,” he shares. It’s so refreshing to hear designers thinking about what their customers need from their fashion! Wearability is a major factor in Anthony Ryan’s designs — and most certainly a key to his success. “My goal is to see my designs on the street,” he says. “It would give me a huge smile to see someone choosing to live their live with them.”
Anthony Ryan got to work with an impressive list of guest judges — including behind-the-scenes mentor Joanna Coles, whom we calls “a cool chick: that kind of cool girl that you’re like, we should party with her!” But who was Anthony Ryan’s favorite guest judge? “Kylie Minogue. I turned into a total, like, Justin Bieber fan when she was there,” he explains. “Just like, oh my Godddd!”
Always the Southern gentleman, Anthony Ryan is not afraid to compliment other designer’s successes. He raves about Uli, calling her “genuine and sweet, and constantly growing.” But on the flip side, he’s ready to call other designers out on their drama. “Ivy’s a b***h, I can’t stand her. She tried way too hard to be someone she’s not, and I don’t respect that. Laura Kathleen nailed her personality, when she described her.” He felt that Ivy should have been eliminated way earlier than she was and even shared that “it felt like the producers were leaving her on the show just because it was like watching her like she was an egg about to crack!” How funny! Having competing personalities in the workroom doesn’t make the stressful job any easier — but clearly Anthony Ryan wouldn’t allow it to get in the way of his win.
Fans of Anthony Ryan’s designs are in for a real treat. In addition to working on his capsule collection with Nine West (a deal that is part of his prize winnings), he is also collaborating with his friend and fellow All Stars contestant, Joshua McKinley. The fusion of their fun styles is definitely something we’re looking forward to! Anthony Ryan is remaining a Southern-based brand, tackling Fashion Weeks in cities like Birmingham and Palm Springs. We wish him all the best of luck and can’t wait to see his dresses on women everywhere!