SPOILER ALERT: If you don’t want to know who was eliminated on the first episode of Project Runway season 12, stop reading now.
Pants or no pants? That is the question. Or at least it was for Angela Bacskocky, the first designer to be eliminated on the first episode of season 12, which started Thursday night. After a runway challenge that included an eco-friendly frock, a hoochie leotard-esque costume, and a garment that technically didn’t adhere to the rules, Angela’s hooded mini dress wasn’t looking so bad. Still, the judges argued that the look was missing an essential element — pants.
Angela now admits that the dress wasn’t her original intention. Despite the last minute change of design plans and the criticism from Klum and company, the Virginia-based designer is in good spirits regarding her first round dismissal and has some of opinions of her own on who should have received Heidi’s “Auf Wiedersehen.”
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Do you think the elimination would have gone differently if you had included pants in your design?
ANGELA BACSKOCKY: I guess if I had included the pants they wouldn’t have had that one thing to talk about, but honestly, they still might have hated the rest of it. It’s really hard to say. What I do wish I would’ve done was stuck more to my original design, which was making the dress more of a coat instead of a dress. At least then I would have felt a lot better about it. Maybe they wouldn’t have had as much negative [things] to say, but I don’t know. It felt like they were just hell bent against me, so I don’t know if there was anything I could have done.
Do you think a coat would have represented your aesthetic better than the dress?
Yeah, and that’s why I had tried to do it. I originally thought of a coat because I do a lot of separates. I’m not necessarily a dressmaker in any regard. I usually think more with coats and jackets and pants. So that’s what I was trying to do. And then I really think it’s just basically time constraints that made me start cutting a lot of details that I originally wanted to do thinking, “Maybe I’ll get away with it!” But apparently I did not.
What do you think of Timothy and his eco-conscious focus? Do you think he’ll be able to keep that up?
I really like that idea. I, myself, am really adamant about using all-natural products. I consider myself to be a sustainable designer, but I don’t exactly go preaching about it either because I think that when you do that, you really set yourself up for a lot of attack. And I think for him to come out and say, “This is what I do and this is what I care about,” I love his ideal, I just don’t think he’s following through, and so it’s unfortunate. He’s actually potentially doing more damage to the cause than good, so I have mixed feelings.
I noticed that Zac Posen even mentioned to Timothy that burning the fabric was actually releasing toxic fumes and hurting the environment.
Right, and having been there and had more experience with him, he’s young and he’s still not really sure maybe what he represents. I think he’s just missing the mark on what he’s trying to preach.
Who do you consider to be the competition frontrunners?
I kind of made guesses at that moment and I think most of my guesses are still correct. I’m still rooting for the same people I was rooting for in the beginning. I love Dom. She’s so cute; her style is so cute. And I’m kind of judgmental and I base peoples’ personal styles on what they’re going to design. From what I saw of her, I still agree. She has a great style. Maybe she’s my favorite. She was my favorite the first second I saw all of them. I was like, “She’s the cutest.” I mean, aside from me.
What are your feelings on the Tim Gunn rescue option? Did you understand his choice, considering you were the first elimination of the season?
I think honestly every single person kind of once we heard that, and then everybody going through elimination you think, “Maybe Tim will save me!” But like you said, I knew he wasn’t going to do any saving in round one because that was just going to be way too close, and he’ll probably save it for the end because that would make the most sense. It was exciting because it meant maybe, just maybe, he’ll love me enough to pull me out, but it didn’t necessarily affect me. So I got excited about it for a hot second, but then I realized it wasn’t going to happen.
You mentioned that you still want to show a collection at Fashion Week. What’s your plan of action now?
My plan at the beginning of this year was always to show in New York in September, and then I ended up getting asked to do the show. That kind of threw a monkey wrench into some of my planning. But now it’s like business as usual. I’m getting right back to work and still planning for a show in September. I haven’t settled on all the details yet but it’s in the works. I typically show more conceptual art installations along with the fashion, and I usually show at galleries. It’ll probably end up being [at a] gallery in SoHo, or something like that. And again, I’m just sort of finalizing everything now. But I think it will be more what I want. I hate runway shows, actually, so that was not necessarily an ideal situation for me. That was not my forte. So I’m just going to jump back on the horse and continue doing what I do, which is more multimedia art installations that include fashion.
What it is about runway shows that you’re not a fan of?
They’re really fast and quick, and you just don’t have time to appreciate any of the story or concept behind each piece. You don’t have time to view the garment. You’re kept very far from it; it’s like seeing something on a stage. So, it’s just not my favorite way to interact with the clothing at all, or even to see it. I’d rather those sort of old couture salon shows of the 40s and 50s, where the models walk around and you could actually walk right up to them and touch the garment, and see it up close, and interact with it. That’s just such a better way. I guess thinking of it even works from a buying perspective. You’d rather see it up close. You have a better handle on it than on the runway.
How did you feel about veteran contestant Kate getting a second chance?
I actually voted for Kate, so I’m glad it was her. I kind of hate the idea of somebody coming back and taking one of my chances to win the prize, but ultimately in my experience, I’m glad she was there because she was really helpful and gave a lot of really great insights. She didn’t have to do that, but she did. She answered every question we had, and helped. It gave us something like an edge, as well. But she had a huge edge. She knew just what she was doing because she’s done it before.
At first it was questionable whether or not her helping was some sort of trick up her sleeve, but by the end it actually seemed very kind-hearted.
She was hell-bent on coming off as nice this season. That was something that she talked about herself. She was really concerned about how mean she seemed in her previous season, so she was just the nicest little girl this time.
If the audience had just a few words to describe your design aesthetic, what would you want those to be?
Definitely classic, cool, and wearable.
They are doing this new thing where the public votes on whether the audience believes the judges made the right decision or not, and 82 percent voted that they made the wrong decision. How do you feel about that?
That felt pretty good. As I was out watching it with friends at a bar, drinking myself into oblivion, I was happy to see that and felt like a little a consolation at the end of it all. It might have just been all my friends voting though.
What’s the biggest lesson you’re taking away from this experience?
Humility, patience, those are good ones. And I just really realized how private of a person I am. I thought I was ready to go on TV and do a reality show, but I honestly feel like that was more difficult than I anticipated. Having to be able to constantly speak publicly about my experience is a little more difficult than I anticipated. I learned I don’t want to be a reality TV star.
Sandro had a pretty poorly made, over-the-top garment. How did you feel about the judges keeping him over you?
No, that was a question I was asked a lot in interviews, and I noticed they didn’t air any of it. But I thought Sandro’s was cool. I thought it was sexy, and he obviously had some fit issues at the bottom, but I loved his concept. I loved his idea. It was great for runway, and ultimately thought it was really cool. If anything, I thought Timothy definitely should have gone, and I thought it was between the two of us. But then I realized that they were never going to let the sustainability guy go on the first challenge, because that would send such a mixed message to fashionistas everywhere. But, I thought it definitely should have been Timothy. I think that his sustainability is a great idea, but I think he has poor taste, and that that ultimately should have been what sent him home.
Where can fans find and buy your work?
You can find it on my store, which is www.angelabacskocky.com. Also Need Supply Co. sells online all over the world, and they also carry my products, which is great.