Sweet P: I Didn't Want to Do 'All-Stars'
January 19, 2012
This season of Project Runway: All-Stars is off to the races. With so many amazing designers from past seasons, the bar has been raised. After getting kicked off second, TheInsider.com talked to Los Angeles' Sweet P about her brief time back on the runway. Sweet P divulged she had first said no to producers when they approached her about All-Stars, that she is no longer a designer and who she is rooting for.
Meg Swertlow: So how did it feel to be back on Project Runway?
Sweet P: Crazy (laughs). It was definitely fun though because I met some of the designers that I really liked.
Meg: Were you surprised to go so early?
Sweet P: It’s funny because we all, with the exception of Elisa, made it to the top five of our season, so none of us had that experience of going home early. So it was definitely a shock. I hadn’t even contemplated that. I thought I’d make it to the end, as usual, you know? That’s just how I felt, so it was strange.
Meg: Just judging from the first runway, when there can be so many misses like in past seasons, there were so many great looks walking down the runway. Do you think that the bar was set higher on All-Stars?
Sweet P: Yeah, I definitely think it was set higher. And then I feel like there were some that should have been in the bottom of the marks, but I definitely thought I should have stayed. That is not just a biased thing; I feel like April’s dress was a bit of a mess.
Meg: So what have you been up to since leaving Project Runway the first time?
Sweet P: Oh god, since leaving the first time I did a limited edition collection of garments with my husband, who is an artist. I also then went back in the industry. I got a job working for people, because that the best way to make money. So I did that for awhile and then honestly, I got burned out of being in an office, and the business of fashion is not as fun as making the clothes. So I quit my last job about a year and a half ago, I went back to makeup school, and I started doing makeup for television and film. And that’s what I am doing now. I’ve been doing it for almost a year now. And I love it, I love it! I’ve been so lucky to do such great projects, I worked on Roman Coppola’s last film, and next I’m working on a commercial with Wes Anderson.
Meg: Oh wow, so do you think what lies next for you is fashion or makeup?
Sweet P: Makeup for sure. Unless the economy changes and it’s easier to get back into contemporary [fashion] and make money … I also I love being freelance. I love going to a different set everyday, working with new actors, meeting so many people. To be honest with you, I feel like I may stay this direction because I really connect with people, I’m a people person, and to be in an office all day, to tell you the truth, is a little depressing. There are really some great ties, you see yourself in stores and your like “wow it’s sold out” and it feels really good, but the day-to-day grind of being in an office just seems very grey to me. I don’t know how to explain it. When I’m out on set working with different people it’s so fun! I love it.
Meg: Well that’s great! So why did you decide to come back?
Sweet P: [The Producers] talked me into it. When they called me I said no.
Meg: Oh, really?
Sweet P: Yeah! It’s like they really talked me into it. They were like “you have a lot of fans, you’re really important to the show,” and I talked to my husband, I was like “what if I went away again and did this?” And he thought I should do it; just listen to what they say and do it. So I went, and I had a blast, I knew it wasn’t something that was going to help my career because I wasn’t planning on designing anymore. So in a way, it’s okay to me that I didn’t win because that would have been pressure then to do a line again, and that’s not really where I want to go.
Meg: So would you do anything differently if you had to do it again?
Sweet P: I don’t really think so. I thought about changing the bodice to print, but then I thought that they would beat up on me that it looked too much like Kara [Janx]’s if we both had a print. And so, I was stuck with my original plan, which was really difficult shearing all that chiffon into the bodice, but in the end I thought that it was really pretty, and the model looked great. She was shocked to; she said “none of the models thought my dress was even going to be in the bottom.”
Meg: So what did you think of having Badgley Mischka as your judges?
Sweet P: I thought that was cool because I actually went to one of their fashion shows a few years ago. I went to a couple of shows and then reported to MTV, and their show was amazing! Their stuff is beautiful. So it’s definitely one of the perks of being on the show, getting to meet these people. It’s a big deal.
Meg: Yeah, they’re an amazing duo. Did you feel like Austin deserved to win, or do you feel the judges were swayed by the cache of Austin and his couture?
Sweet P: God, you know, I’ve got to say I am glad that Austin did win because I do love him. I feel like there could have been more to the dress, it was made really well, but I feel like their maybe should have been more black tulle. The lame was gorgeous … and I do love that it was modest because I feel like Anthony’s dress … was vulgar. You could see that the girl had brand new boobs; it just looked weird. It was just crazy-looking. I mean, it didn’t look like a ball gown; it was maybe a little bit of an I don’t know, a “going out to catch a man” dress.
Meg: The judges really seemed to respond to your use of color. How was it hearing that praise?
Sweet P: I love that because I do feel like I’m really good at color, it’s one of the things that I excelled at in all of my last jobs, like prints and color. And that’s why my stuff sold well. I’ve been doing this a long time, like 20 years, and I’ve worked for companies where you sell stuff in the store, you don’t make one dress for Kim Kardashian. It’s hard to make money like that.
Meg: So now who are you rooting for?
Sweet P: Now I’m rooting for Kara, Kenley, and Austin, because I love them. But I also feel like Mondo is spectacular. I loved his [Mondo’s] dress last night! I thought the dress itself was so awesome, and it fit like a glove, it had that sixties feel, it was super cool. It didn’t really fit the challenge, so I understand why it wasn’t in the top, but you still look at it and go “wow, beautiful.”
Meg: So you’re doing the makeup, and is that what’s next for you?
Sweet P: Yeah, I plan to do this and get into the union and just keep working on getting on bigger films, and having more of a freelance kind of life. Its super fun and you know I would actually love to do a couple celebrities. That’s a really great area of makeup that I love, and when I’m ready I would love to have a couple people that I do, and kind of just do all of their films with them, and follow them on press junkets. I think that’s pretty much where I’m headed.
Meg: Good luck with all the makeup and putting your love of colors to use, just to the face now!
Sweet P: Yes, thank you! Just like my husband says, I’m “bringing fashion to the face.”