After the “Project Runway” designers spent most of episode 11 catering to the wants and needs of their Olympian and Paralympian clients by giving them the victory dress of their dreams, the fact that the athletes were so pleased with the results — even if the judges did nitpick a few outfits — no one had to clean up their work space.
As mentor Christian Siriano notes in his after show video (see above): “Everyone was saved! I am so happy! Karlie was happy, the designers were happy, even (guest judge and Olympian alpine skier) Lindsey Vonn was happy. But what about me? You know how a talk show for eliminated designers works? You need an eliminated designer. So instead I’m going to wrestle with some big topics with the first woman to ever win gold for the U.S. in, duh, wrestling.”
He chats with freestyle wrestler Helen Maroulis, whose red dress that was fit for salsa dancing was created by Victoria Cocieru. She tells Christian that “all the girls, we were talking about it. We just wanted everyone to win.” She then asks Christian,”Were the designers really surprised?” He tells her they had no idea and they were really shocked.
The Season 4 “Project Runway” champ tells Helen,”In the client challenges, there’s always like a client that probably didn’t really get what the want. But, in this instance, I think everybody really got what they wanted, don’t you think?” She agrees and adds that “every single girl said that they loved their dress.” She also admits that the athletes all talked about it backstage and observes that the show is like “the Olympics of fashion.”
Christian then asks how was her experience as a client and model in general? “The entire experience was incredible.” As the after-show host notes as an image of Helen modeling her design, “You walked the runway. You had the hair slicked back. I mean, stunning red lip, the whole thing. Look at your body — Jesus!”
The 28-year-old wrestler says she loves Victoria’s style. “When I first sat down with her, I just thought this might be the only time in my life I get to work with a designer and I want to know about her and what she’s good in, what she does and watch her create that for me.”
This sassy lady then asks Christian, “Well, do I get to interview you?” Her host replies a little nervously, “Why? What do you want to ask me?” He tells her she only gets one. And it turns out to be a biggie: “What was the biggest setback to you feeling like you weren’t going to achieve your dream and how did you overcome it?”
Christian answers: “Oh my God, probably like what you think. I think that if you’re young or different, people think you can’t be something or like you can’t run a successful business because you didn’t go to this school or you didn’t do this. Things like that probably in the beginning of my career, when I was trying to sell to retailers and they were like who is this like child trying to like ‘Oh, here’s my collection.’ They didn’t get it. So you have to work on it, which I’m sure you do, too.”
Her follow-up question? “In a way, it’s like winning a gold medal. When did you really become a champion? Was it the day they gave you the medal? Not necessarily. You were Christian Siriano before you were Christian Siriano. You knew that that you were that guy.”
This discussion is getting rather deep and heavy, despite the presence of beverages. Thank goodness that Helen, with a twinkle in her eye, suddenly suggests to her host, “I think you should be a wrestler.” He looks at the ceiling before admitting, “I would make the MOST divine wrestler.” She goes on to discuss how it felt to be a woman in a male-dominated sport. You can just tell where this is going. Yes, she is going show Christian some heavy duty moves like an arm drag and also grabbing his wrist and ending up lifting him behind his back.
As the after show wraps up, the pair are joined by Tresemme global stylist Justine Marjan, who Helen says “literally just transformed my hair.” Says the stylist, “It was so fun connecting with all the girls when they were getting glam and how excited they all were about everything they were wearing.” As for athletes who work up a sweat, Justine offers this tip: put a hair masque on your hair before you compete.
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