Project Runway's Korto
Korto, Project Runway's sassy finalist, takes your questions about the her most difficult challenge and the worst fashion mistakes for women. She may not have come in first, but she's still got great style.
I’d been around a little more than the other designers, and I was one of the two who had a family. I wanted to be an example for my daughter. I think I was a little more grateful and a little more humble, and I tried to hold back on my opinion when I was being criticized and just take it in. I think it showed. If you respect people they will respect you back.
The first episode. I put all my cards on the table because I did not want to be the first one to go home. I’m not playing. I do deserve to be here. It was rewarding to have Michael Kors and Nina Garcia see my talent through. Honestly, I took Michael’s opinion most seriously because he’s doing what I’m doing. A lot of times he would stick up for us. He really knows his stuff and I really appreciate that.
I wasn’t because Kenley was in the bottom. The challenge was to make an evening dress. It was just a matter of opinion–I didn’t feel that my dress was pagant dress [as the judges said]. I used color. I liked my dress. I still do. I thought they were going to send a message [to Kenely] that that kind of [negative] attitude was not going to be rewarded. But obviously they did not.
I’d say the Drag Queen challenge. Obviously, because you have to make woman’s clothes for men. Because it was tricky and you really have to dig deep and figure it all out.
My aesthetic is a little classic and a little funky. I don’t really fall into major trends that are happening right now. My designs are flattering to women of all sizes even though they have a lot of detail on them. They can be worn by anyone from a size two to a twenty. Women of all sizes are beautiful, and they all want to look great. In the real world, people look like me and they want to buy clothes. I put a lot of my cultural influences into my clothes. I like my clothes to tell a story. I try to but in a little detail that comes from my country [Liberia]–it’s like a little treasure I put into each piece.
Even though I live here, I’m just as proud of as if I lived there. Having pride in who you are helps you walk proud with your head up high. When you talk to me you get to see the real thing and not what’s on the Discovery Channel. Those things really piss me off. I think that being African affects my choice of color. The traditional African outfits are very colorful. Colors are really beautiful, and they bring out different complexions. People get caught up in the idea that you have to wear black all the time to look skinny. Women get really get caught up in the size and number. We just need to embrace who we are. You can wear the hottest dress ever, and it’s not going to make you look skinny. Just walk tall and believe in yourself. If you don’t, no one else will.