Project Runway's Elisa: 'I Have No Regrets'
The Insider caught up with Project Runway: All-Stars' Elisa Jimenez, after she was the first one sent packing. The free-spirited designer, known for her "spit marks," filled us in on her experience coming back to Project Runway, being a mom on her own terms, and what she has been up to since appearing on season four of the hit Lifetime show.
MS: How are you feeling this morning?
EJ: I don't have very much to complain about. I love how the show looks. I’m really proud. Honestly, it's the first time I ever seen it. It was really fun. My experience doing it was really fun. Overall, the project I am working on is my own and my own life is really good. Being happy is usually how I like to live my life.
MS: You seem like you have a great attitude about everything.
EJ: I am your typical alpha female. There are times I have a second of, "What am I doing? How did I get here?" But overall, I've lived a really amazing life and I feel really blessed. It does make things easy when you see I'm healthy, my family is healthy and my child is healthy.
MS: So what were you up to during your time away from Project Runway?
EJ: Well, after season four, I packed up my daughter and … moved out to nowhere in New Mexico because my father, who is well-known artist, had gotten killed. I thought if I was closer to his home, I would be able to do probate. … Also during Fashion Week in L.A., I launched a full …collection called Urban Nomad. …I had several exhibits. I was given an Andy Warhol grant. I work all the time. I was able to be independent and to be with my daughter on my terms.
MS: How did it feel to be back on Project Runway?
EJ: It was awesome to be back because I personally [think it’s] a behavioral experiment. We were all very specific about our craft. To put it in context about how we live and create. It’s like going to an art intensive or a fashion intensive to really hone in on who you think you are and what’s important to you. I was really excited about it because it was a great experience to have. To be that focused on creating every single day. You can’t do email. You can’t do phone calling. And because you can't do any of those things, it sticks you to your work. That’s very difficult.
MS: What did you think of the unconventional challenge?
EJ: I love the unconventional challenge. It’s everyone’s favorite challenge.
MS: On the runway, Isaac loved your work. Do you think the judges just didn’t get what you were trying to do with the challenge?
EJ: I don’t know. Everybody didn’t grow up with an art background. Everyone has a different perspective. I don’t think it’s because everyone didn’t “get it”…it’s just Isaac understood it better. He understood it in context with all of fashion -- not just fashion now, and not with just American fashion.
MS: What do you think of the new judges?
EJ: I love the new judges. I think they are all really great to have new judges and fresh eyes for the All-Stars. It’s like a whole new gig. They have a whole new way of looking at who’s coming through.
MS: Do you feel like your personality gets misunderstood by the other designers?
EJ: Completely. When people ask me about my experience, I just tell them to imagine to being mic'd and videotaped for 24 hours. At some venture, somebody is going say to something about you.
MS: Do you have any regrets?
EJ: No. I have no regrets whatsoever. Instead of regret, I’m trying to learn. I learn from things. I think these judges really listened to what the designer’s were saying.