Don’t feel too bad for Mila Hermanovski now that she’s been booted from “Project Runway All Stars.” The axed designer is doing just fine preparing her new collection for Los Angeles Fashion Week and working on a little film you might’ve heard of — the upcoming “Star Trek” sequel.
“I am very lucky to have been invited to contribute to the film ‘Star Trek.’ It’s right up my alley,” she tells Zap2it on a conference call the morning after her elimination. “It’s been a pretty awesome job. The costume designer is Michael Kaplan and he’s got quite the resume. It’s just been awesome to be a part of the team.”
That’s a pretty nice consolation prize after Hermanovski’s design inspired by the Papua New Guinea flag didn’t get her through to the next round, a decision the designer isn’t quite comfortable with. “I couldn’t see how [the judges] couldn’t appreciate my risk-taking, and I feel like perhaps my design was too conceptual for them. I didn’t agree with most of what they said, frankly,” she says.
She continues: “If I’d had more time to develop my design, I could’ve fine-tuned it maybe more to their liking. The parameters of the challenge, too, were pretty strict. Sometimes when you get a challenge like that, we’re all faced with ‘Okay, are they going to criticize me for not using all the colors in the flag? Are they going to criticize me for not reflecting the culture of the country?’ That kind of thing. You sort of have to pick what you are going to be most inspired by. For me it was important to show my point of view as a designer, and I absolutely was inspired by that country, contrary to what they might’ve thought.”
Hermanovski isn’t afraid to admit when she doesn’t do her best work, but she doesn’t feel her Papua New Guinea dress deserved to send her home. “Usually I’m able to look at things objectively and accept responsibility if my design sucks, basically. For example, I know my design was not so great on the Broadway challenge, and that was definitely my least favorite of everything that I had done on ‘All Stars.’ However, I really do stand behind my [flag] design. I feel like Austin could’ve been eliminated before me, I feel like Jerell certainly could’ve been eliminated before me. I wasn’t a fan of Kenley‘s design either, I felt like it didn’t reflect the Latin culture as much and the flag, but honestly, I was very shocked that I was eliminated for that design.”
Ultimately, Hermanovski says she signed on to do “Project Runway” again for a couple of reasons. “I think that there’s a little bit of a masochist in me, first of all. Secondly, for as much as I was criticized for this in a way, I’m trying to develop a collection and a line and from a professional standpoint I wanted to showcase what I’m doing and show more about who I am as a designer.”
Of the designers left in the competition, Hermanovski says she’s rooting for Mondo Guerra. “I definitely feel like Mondo is the strongest of the designers, so he would be the one I’m rooting for,” she confesses.
As for one of her more publicized “Project Runway” plot points — discouraging competitors from helping each other out in the work room — Hermanovski says the editing made her out to be a little stricter than she really is on the matter. “Well, I obviously feel like they wanted to create a story out of that and it’s unfortunate that people might’ve thought that I was jealous or that I was a sourpuss because of the camaraderie in the workroom,” she says.
“Hey, there’s nothing wrong with being friends,” she continues. “I developed friendships on the show. But I do feel that when it comes to the competition, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — I wouldn’t ask anyone to finish my garment for me. That’s not my work ethic. It is a competition. Like I said, if I finished early, I would gladly help someone do a hem on their dress. There’s a big difference between finishing a garment — like, sewing it for them — and helping them with a little last-minute touch.”