By Nadine Kam
Nadine Kam photos
Fans lined up for photos with Andy South at the “Project Runway” finale viewing party Oct. 28 at Honolulu Design Center. Andy’s manager Monica Ivey, right, was there to make sure there was order to the madness, although his Honolulu Community College instructors Lillian Zane, Joy Nagaue and Karen Hastings inadvertently cut earlier, in the excited rush to congratulate him.
A couple hundred people poured into the Honolulu Design Center’s Cupola Theater on Thursday night for Andy South, whose fate on season 8 of “Project Runway” was finally revealed during a public viewing of the finale.
Fans lined up for picture taking that started at 7 p.m., followed by a question-and-answer session with the designer before the finale screening at 9 p.m., which meant that people who stayed home to watch learned of the results before most in the room.
I say “most” because those who really, really, really wanted to know who won needed only to have looked at Twitter or Facebook, where East Coast viewers had begun spilling the beans at 5 p.m. Hawaii time.
OK. I peeked. But I had a print deadline to deal with before I left the office for the event, though it was uncomfortable to interrupt him midway through the event to ask him the main question of how he felt about the results.
In an interview prior to the event, Andy confessed to feeling relief that finale time had arrived and he would be free of the secret he’s kept for nearly two months.
But there was one other secret he revealed in his audition video, which was also screened for the audience. That is, he tries on all his designs, including gowns, and, oh Lordy, swimsuits!
“It’s fun!” he gushed in the video. He posted it to his Facebook and you must watch it. So funny and insider-ish with his reference to the way “PR” needs him for ratings, knowing how Hawaii people go nuts whenever they see other Hawaii people, anywhere.
Prior to admitting guests, Andy dressed his models, including placing this rose headpiece on Daniela Voicescu, also shown below, for a fantasy ensemble. The pheasant feathers were from HCC professor Karen Hastings, which Andy dyed to suit his designs.
Another secret revealed when his mother took the microphone, was that even at age 4, he was already attracted to beautiful things. During a trip to Thailand, she said, the future designer admired the long nail ornaments worn by the Thai dancers, and told his mom, “I want those.” When she said she would shop for them tomorrow, he said, “Now.”
After he got them, he put them on and tried to mimic the dancers’ movements. Oh, and he also wore his sisters’ dresses, which, broadcast to the room, made the designer bury his head on the floor, where he was sitting and watching the show unfold for the first time, just like the rest of us.
Somehow, that wasn’t a shock after his saying he tries on all his women’s designs, but there’s a lesson in that for everyone else. Unless your mom is a public person, who understands the game, never let her tell stories about your childhood, when you were too young to self-edit! LOL!
Jenny Chen wore a lace top deemed “very Casanova,” inspired by another of the “Project Runway” designers. Her cries of “Noooo,” regarding the winner, echoed through the elevator and parking lot as I left the building. It was a little crazy as one guy zipped out of the parking lot without regard to people walking to their cars. There could have been a lot of dead stylists on the ground in his wake. Below, Casanova at work on his Episode 5-winning garment:
There was a roomful of groans and “Noooo’s,” when viewers learned that Gretchen Jones had won the competition, but, ever gracious, Andy said he was happy for her, and thanked guests for staying out until 11 p.m. to watch the finale with him.
“This isn’t the end,” he promised. “Keep an eye out for my next project.” You can read more about what he’s working on in the Sunday Star-Advertiser.