Iman dishes on Project Runway Canada
From one fashion insider to another: Simon Doonan, author and bon vivant, gets Iman to dish on all the behind-the-scenes gossip on Project Runway Canada.
Did Canada blow your mind?
“Well, I wasn’t in Canada, so to speak; I was in Toronto, to be more specific! It’s like saying you’re in America when you’re in New York — it’s a totally separate entity all its own. Having said that, Toronto’s a very cosmopolitan city that has its own flava!”
People keep telling me that Toronto is so groovy. Are they lying?
“No, they’re actually right! I love how multicultural it is — it’s not just lip service. Living in New York, I know we never think there are any other cool places, but yeah — groovy, baby!”
Were you dancing on tabletops with lumberjacks every night in that gold sequined dress?
“Definitely in my dreams! Honey, we worked our fashionable behinds very hard! I had this idea that I would be enjoying massages and taking yoga classes. Ha! I could barely have dinner after a hard day’s work without passing out!”
Tell me about Canadian fashion — I want the truth!
“I think they hold themselves back and have this ‘inferiority’ complex because they’re so close to New York. I think they should go for the gold and think global! Fashion has no borders: a beautiful dress is a beautiful dress from Toronto to Timbuktu. I think there’s one designer among the finalists on Project Runway Canada who has that potential.”
You told the Canadian executive producer that you would “wipe the floor with Heidi Klum.” Is she your new Swiffer?
“I wish I was clever enough to have said that, but, alas, I’m not. I accepted to be the host of Project Runway Canada because I love the integrity of the format and that it showcases talent — it’s not salacious. I think we’ve had enough of that on TV and in the real lives of the new starlets!”
Canadians are so polite. Did the judges just nod their heads and say they liked everything?
“Well, they are polite compared to New Yorkers, but then who isn’t? They are nice — but “nice” is such a nasty word, isn’t it? Trust me, they can dish it out — especially Shawn Hewson!”
Tell me about the judges. Any breakout stars?
“Entre nous, Rita Silvan, ELLE Canada’s editor-in-chief — but there can only be one star on this show, and that’s me!”
I hear that the mentor, Brian Bailey, is a real Prairie hunk. Was David jealous?
“Oh, what a hunk — and what a sweetie! Those baby browns and that boyish charm. Bowie was scanning the tabloids to see if there was any hanky-panky going on.”Any guilty pleasures you’ll admit to?
“On-set, I discovered some cookies made with Canadian maple syrup that were simply divine. As I inhaled them, I hoped I wouldn’t look at my backside in anger when I got home.”
What’s your most memorable/insane/catastrophic moment?
“Whenever you put a diverse group of people together who are hungry to make their mark in their chosen professions, feathers and hemlines will fly! You’ll see all that and more on the show, so stay tuned — I promise that you’ll be hooked!”
Many of the contestants and guest judges were practically throwing their designs at you. Where the hell are you going to put them all?
“On eBay! No, just kidding. I am such a fashion whore and hoarder that I plan on putting them all in my private online ‘closet’ at Garde Robe.”
If you had to give everything in your closet to Goodwill, what two items would you keep?
“Two items? God forbid! But if I had to, it would probably be something impractical from my vast Azzedine Alaïa collection.”
You always say you never buy anything, but you must buy something!
“I am fortunate enough that all the major designers give me clothes, but the shoe designers are stingy. They do give me a discount, though, so I buy my shoes and handbags — at the end of the day, it’s about the extras.”
When you walk that runway at the start of every show, do the memories start flooding back?
“I really don’t ‘walk’ the runway; I walk in like host of the show, not a try to be natural, but being natural is simply a pose — at times, a very difficult pose. I do drama naturally — that’s my forte.”
Was there anything you would have changed about the show?
“Definitely. I would have put two huge fans at the end of the runway so that when I walk down the runway, my hair blows — just like a Beyoncé video. How cool would that be! And I would have given myself a huge budget for clothes — all exclusively made by the top designers — and then start archiving it. I also would have given myself a huge trailer with a personal chef and a masseuse. All these personal elements would have added dimension to the show.”
If you were reincarnated as a piece of clothing, what would it be?
“A black cashmere sweater. Classy, classic and timeless — just like me. To be honest, I don’t know about clothing, but shoes…aah! As Marilyn Monroe once said, ‘I don’t know who invented high heels, but all women owe him a lot.'”