Exclusive: 'Project Runway' winner Dom Streater talks about her victory (Part 2)
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 10/21/2013
Project Runway crowned Dom Streater its twelfth-season winner during Thursday night's finale broadcast of the Lifetime fashion design competition.
Dom, a 24-year-old from Philadelphia, PA, was chosen as the winner of the competition by judges Heidi Klum, Nina Garcia, Zac Posen, and guest judge Kerry Washington in addition to the input provided by the contestants' mentor Tim Gunn. Alexandria von Bromssen finished as the runner-up, Justin LeBlanc finished third, and fourth place went to Bradon McDonald.
Dom won with her collection entitled "Retro Redux," which she unveiled during Mercedes Benz New York Fashion Week. The designer explained her collection was inspired by the idea of the future being viewed by artists and writers pre-1960s. It had a very "retro-Judy Jetson" feel to it and she designed all the prints herself featuring bold colors such as magenta, dark blue and black.
In an exclusive interview with Reality TV World on Friday, Dom talked about her Project Runway experience and victory. Below is the concluding portion of her interview. Click here to read the first half.
Reality TV World: Yourself and Bradon never got feedback from the judges on part of your collection since you both automatically advanced to Fashion Week. You won the competition so that obviously didn't have much of an affect on you, but do you think the judges' might've told you something specific ahead of time that could've helped you or taken some of the pressure off or maybe even enhanced your collection had you gotten the opportunity?
Dom Streater: I think that they probably -- because we did so much styling, they probably would have told me to ease off the styling a little bit -- or a lot of bit. (Laughs) But, I mean, I'm not sure in terms of clothing what they would've told me to do or not do, because they did really like the pieces.
So I'm not sure if they would've said, "Show this," or, "Don't show this," or, "Do something different." Because I thought the collection was very, very much "me," and I think that they saw that. But we did so much styling and they were like, "It's crazy to style so much!" So they probably would've said something like that.
Reality TV World: It was a little surprising that Bradon finished in fourth place when he was the other person who advanced right to Fashion Week. Do you think had Bradon gotten some feedback from the judges, his collection might've improved? Alexandria, for example, made several new tank tops so her ensembles wouldn't appear simple and boring. So do you think some advice could've been the difference of Bradon finishing in third or even second place rather than fourth?
Dom Streater: Possibly! I mean, it's the same thing. It's always about styling and how you present it. So they probably would've said something to him about presenting it differently. I mean, when we get to the point where we are there for the finale, it's kind of like too late to change anything super major besides the styling. Because you can't make 10 whole new looks, you know what I mean? (Laughs)
If they don't like it, they don't like it. So that's probably the only thing I can think of right now that the judges probably would've had feedback on, is the styling, because it really does make a huge difference in how your looks are perceived.
Reality TV World: You guys were told with fairly short notice you had to throw away one of the looks in your collection and replace it with a new washable look. Could you talk about how you determined which piece you should throw away and how difficult was it for you to create something brand new that fit in with the rest of your collection?
Dom Streater: I did have a silver dress that I was still working on when we had got back to finish filming for the finale, and it was never fully resolved. I never was in love with the dress, so I was actually very happy to -- I mean, I did anticipate we were going to get another challenge, but I didn't know we were going to have to take something out.
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But I'm happy that we were able to take something out because that was the one dress I really was not in love with, and I was glad that I was able to replace it with something that I was in love with.
Reality TV World: In regards to the look you put together with "unconventional materials," how did you ever come up with the idea of using a window screen and repair hinges for doors?
Dom Streater: It was very, very... I went through a lot of material for my unconventional. That was probably one of the first looks that I started and it was the last look that I finished. I looked through so many ideas for it on how to execute it. I was using foam at one point, like painted Styrofoam. There were so many ideas that I had.
But the very first dress was made out of toothpicks and there were so many things that I just never fully resolved. So I was walking through Lowe's, like the hardware store, and I saw the window screen and then I saw those little metal hinges. And I said, "Oh my God, that's actually really cool and it goes with my theme." So I kind of just grabbed all of that and went with it.
Reality TV World: Your fellow contestants all seemed to experience some problems before their final collections were presented. Alexandria had to create brand new tops, one of Justin's models broke her ankle, and one of the models spilled coffee on a gown of Bradon's. Did you experience any setbacks or issues before your final runway show or was it pretty much smooth sailing for you?
Dom Streater: It was pretty smooth for me believe it or not! I didn't have any major disasters like they had. I couldn't even believe half the stuff that happened to them happened. But yeah, I mean, the worst thing that happened to me was that one model was in hair and makeup too long.
But besides that, it was very, very incredibly smooth. My models were all very cooperative. I had a really great styling and dressing team. Everything went really, really well for me, so I have nothing to complain about with Fashion Week. Nothing happened, which was very lucky!
Reality TV World: How much would you say Tim Gunn helped you as a mentor throughout the season? Did he have a lot or a little input into your designs?
Dom Streater: Tim's an incredible person. There's not really words to describe how helpful he is. He likes to do way more than just [be] a mentor. He takes it to like another level. He's emotional support, guidance, and he does so much for us. I mean, he was most definitely a huge, huge help the entire season to each of us -- I know especially to me.
I probably, without his guidance and his feedback on my work, I'm pretty sure that I may not have won! Because Tim is a really, really spectacular person. He has a great eye for design. He knows what he's talking about.
Reality TV World: What did you think of Tim Gunn's decision to save Justin earlier in the season? Do you think that was the right choice?
Dom Streater: I was very happy when he saved Justin, we basically all were, because it felt right. It felt justified, and he -- we all didn't feel like it was the time for Justin to be gone. I think Tim knew that too and that's why he used "the save." We were all very, very grateful that he decided to use it, not just because Justin is talented, but also because we were all very close to him. He deserved it.
Reality TV World: What progress have you made in terms of your brand since the show concluded and what do you see happening for yourself in the near future?
Dom Streater: I am working on a collection. It's going to be self-titled. I'm working on my fall/winter collection for 2014. So I'm really excited. I kind of hit the ground running, and hopefully in my future, the line will be picked up and it will be in stores and [I'll] eventually have stores of my own. That's the plan right now, just to get the brand out there and get it to be noticed. Hopefully it gets picked up.
Above is the concluding portion of Dom's exclusive interview with Reality TV World. Click here to read the first half.