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Project Runway Winner

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Christian Siriano
Designer
Monday, March 10, 2008; 11:00 AM

Annapolis native Christian Siriano, 22, was crowned the youngest champion ever of Bravo TV's "Project Runway" in last week's finale of the hit fashion reality show -- a verdict that the designer, in his own signature verbiage, would surely call "fierce."

The fan favorite was online Monday, March 10, at 11 a.m. ET to discuss his victory and his plans for the future.

A transcript follows.

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Christian Siriano: Hey, it's Christian from Project Runway, I'm looking forward to your questions today. Look forward to my new collection on christianvsiriano.com

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Adams Morgan: Have you been able to meet with Victoria Beckham since the taping of the finale?

Christian Siriano: Well, I actually am here in LA right now and hopefully meeting with her this week which is fabulous!

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Washington, D.C.: On top of the fabulous clothes, I think the music used during your fashion show was incredible. I've read that it was made by your boyfriend. How long have you two been together and how has winning Project Runway affected your relationship? Seriously, with your designs walking down the runway with his music, it was MEGA FIERCE!

Christian Siriano: He did make the music which was so amazing which did contribute to a fantastic show. Hair, models, everything was so important to me. I don't like talking about my relationship though.

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Austin, Texas: Have you heard from designer Vivienne Westwood - what did she think of your win? Also, how did your time with her influence your designs? Thanks!

Christian Siriano: I haven't heard from her, in all honesty I worked there but was one of hundreds of people who have worked for her. If they have seen the collection I am sure they are happy and proud.

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Merrick, New York: Hello Fierce One. I would like to know what on earth it means to be a "tranny-mess" and how can I not be one?

Christian Siriano: That's fabulous. Being a tranny mess just means that you need to work on your style and your presence and your hair and makeup and your all around persona. So if you follow in my footsteps you will never be a hot tranny mess.

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Berkeley, California: Just how tall is tiny little Christian?

Christian Siriano: I am 5'4". I'm not that little, I'm just skinny so I look little. No, I am little, I don't care.

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Montreal, Canada: Did you ever feel like your portrayal (or other people's) on the show was off?

Christian Siriano: I feel like my portrayal for the most part was definitely how I am. In the finale you saw my softer side which was great. Some other contestants came off personable on the show and they are not so in real life, and vice versa, some people were not fabulous on the show but are fabulous in real life. Victorya Hong IS fabulous in real life.

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Boston, Mass.: First, I'd just like to say that I love your hair. Second, if you were a judge rather than a contestant on Season 4 of Project Runway, who would have been your choice for the winner and why? Third, what was with Ricky and all the crying?

Christian Siriano: Thank you for acknowledging my fabulous hair.

If I was a judge, I would have liked to see Kit, Victorya, Jillian and Rami as the finalists. I do think Jillian is a very strong designer but can't make a choice.

Ricky is such an emotional person and I think a reality show was not the best thing for him.

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Chicago, Ill.: You are F-I-E-R-C-E! Congrats on winning the toughest Project Runway to date.

You seem like a child prodigy with your fast, accurate sewing skills and amazing designs, when did you realize you had this talent? What gave you the courage to skip traditional schooling and go study under actual designers?

Christian Siriano: I knew when I was in high school that I had a lot of interest in fashion. I did go to school in London for fashion design which helped a lot. I knew if I did what every other aspiring designer does I would never make it.

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Dupont Circle: Congrats!

Has the cast all kept in touch?

Christian Siriano: Actually, for me personally I keep in touch with a lot of the designers. But not everybody keeps in touch. Let's just say I don't think Victorya will be reaching out to a few of the designers.

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Charlottesville, Va.: How do you stay so fashionable on a tight budget? I'm a student with boatloads of debt waiting for me after graduation, so I can't afford to shop in boutiques. But a girl's gotta look cute right?

Christian Siriano: Mm hmm! Some of the best clothes are in affordable stores like H and M and Zara, they keep the trends up really well. Even Banana Republic. Mix in a little vintage, buy a fabulous piece from a vintage store.

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Volcano, Hawaii: Hi Christian,

Congratulations, the judges got it absolutely right. A couple questions:

1, Where do you think your talent comes from?

2. At first I didn't like you, but then as the show progressed, I began really pulling for you. Do you get a lot of that in life?

Thanks. Stay yourself. It's refreshing. And don't let the jerks get you down.

Christian Siriano: For me, the fashion and design comes from my family being so supportive of creativity and the arts. My great grandmother was a furrier and on the Siriano side of the family there are a lot of Italian tailors. The German side of my family is very hard working so they pushed me to succeed.

When I first meet people they never have negative comments about me, being on a reality show it takes a few episodes to get to know someone.

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Washington, D.C.: Christian--

Have you seen Amy Poehler's impression of you on SNL? Was it fierce or a hot tranny mess from Transylvania?

Christian Siriano: I did see SNL, and had the pleasure of meeting Amy and being in the SNL studio which is in the same building as Bravo. It was so funny and it was kind of scary that she looked so much like me. It was definitely a fierce show.

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Reston, Va.: What happened to those GORGEOUS feathered pants that you showed Tim on your home visit? What were they going to be paired with?

Christian Siriano: The pants were going to be paired with the look with the giant black hat and the ruffled neck scarf. It would have been amazing. The problem was they were hard to move in, they didn't stretch and were hard for the model to get on. I've never made pants like that before. It was trial and error.

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Silver Spring, Md.: Partly inspired by Project Runway, my friends and I have started a fashion blog where we take pictures of kids with good styles at our school. However we've also noticed a lot of kids who just rely on some borderline awful trends like Uggs. As a not so long ago high schooler, how would you advise teens like us to keep it, um, fierce?

Christian Siriano: I love high school fashion blogs. That is a jump start to possibly working for Vogue or Elle in a few years.

Trend-wise, when you're young and creative and willing to wear whatever you want, that's great. You can be as creative as you want and don't have a 9 to 5 job to hold you down. So be creative now because later in life you won't be able to. And keep it fierce!

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Gray, Tenn.: Christian, what is the source of your fierceness?

Congrats on winning!

Erin

Christian Siriano: I say fierce a lot because it's an easy word to use to describe being fabulous, flawless and stylish. It's better than "great," it gives an extra something.

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Philly: Christian,

It was terrific to see you win the best Project Runway of them all. You absolutely deserved it! It came across that you and Tim had grown close throughout the taping of the show. Is he as great a guy as he appears to be on TV?

Christian Siriano: Yes, I love Tim more than life and he is the most amazing mentor. He will continue to be in my life and career for the next 10 years, I hope. He is so supportive of the designers this season and it will be hard for next season's designers to step it up after the bond we created.

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Washington, D.C.: Are you talented enough to save Britney Spears from the depths of fashion hell?

Christian Siriano: I would love to help Britney out and maybe do a little show called Project Britney. She needs a good stylist to help her be fabulous again. Trust me. I would work her out every day. I hope I see her here in LA. I would attack her and say Lady, It is time for ME!

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Ellicott City, Md.: Christian- You made this season of PR very entertaining! What about color in fashion? Your line as shown in the season finale was mostly black. Is this a preference of yours? The NY fashion industry which seems loath to use an actual color? Why is that the case when most people look best with some color to brighten their face/figure?

Christian Siriano: Throughout the competition, when you have to pick fabrics quickly colors can be hit or miss. For my collection, some of my clothes were such a look and so voluminous, color would have been too much. That was one of Rami's downfalls and one of my strengths. Don't worry, for summer, you'll see lots of color and print in my designs.

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Washington, D. C.: How do you think younger people should find their own personal fashion? What inspired you to your (awesome ) hairstyle

Christian Siriano: Younger people should be as creative as possible while they can. If you look back in the 60s and 70s teenagers were so great and they inspire designers today. In terms of my hair, I lived in London and all the British punk bands that inspired Vivienne Westwood became my inspiration.

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Annapolis, Md.: Hey Chris. Just wanted to say hi from the old Windsor Farm days. Congratulations. I'm so happy for you and glad that you've really gotten the chance to show the world what you can be. -Mara O'Connell

Christian Siriano: Thanks so much for all your support! I am trying to represent Annapolis!

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Anonymous: So Christian, Clinton or Obama ? After all this is the Washington Post...

Christian Siriano: I don't want to give my political views because being on a reality show you're on 24 hours a day. I don't need another thing for people to judge. Because of Project Runway I haven't been able to keep up with the campaigns anyway so I wouldn't be a good person to judge.

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Arlington, Va.: You're in LA? So you're doing this chat at 8:00 in the morning?

Tell the truth -- have you even fixed your hair yet?

Christian Siriano: No! I'm sitting here eating breakfast and it's a hot mess and I can't handle it.

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Chevy Chase: I assume you've watched past seasons of Project Runway. Which designers on past seasons did you like/dislike?

By the way, I think it's terrible they didn't show your family in the "home visit" show -- and your sister is really pretty!

Christian Siriano: From past seasons, the first season had really talented designers. Jay, Kara, and Austen were awesome.

Last season the finalists were really talented as well.

It was unfortunate they didn't show my friends and family who WERE there, in the editing they don't have time to show everything. And let's just say my sister is the epitome of what fierce is!

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Washington, D.C.: Sorry we didn't see more of your family, how has their reaction been?

Christian Siriano: Really amazing, they've been so supportive since day one. I'm really grateful to have such a creative background. My mom is googling on the blogs all day long.

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What About.....:...Heidi Klum? Did you see her on the red carpet at the Oscars!? Talk about breath-taking!

Christian Siriano: Heidi's pretty fabulous. After I won she gave me a piggy back ride around the studio, that was so fabulous. I only hope that Heidi will let me dress her for the Oscars someday. I'll see her in LA this week.

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Memphis, TN: Just want you to know that you light up my life and make me smile. Every week I couldn't wait to watch you on Project Runway and just knew you would win. I admire your work ethic, patience, and exuberance for your job.

Have you moved out of the tiny apartment?

Christian Siriano: Thank you so much for all the love and support! I will be moving shortly and finding a studio space to work on my next collection! Thank God.

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Washington, DC: What other contestant this season impressed you the most? What outfit created by another contestant was your favorite?

Christian Siriano: My favorite outfit was Jillian's Metropolitan Museum outfit. I didn't love the dress but the jacket was flawless.

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Capitol Hill: Hi Christian,

What hair product can you just not do without? What is the biggest bottle in your manbag right now? Hairspray? Styling cream? Oh, come on, we all know you carry a manbag. You must need it in order to keep up with all of your fierceness.

Christian Siriano: I use Air Control hairspray from Aveda and a new one from Bumble and Bumble that are my favorites. And a new product from Cibu I got from Bubbles in Maryland where I used to work, called Sticky Rice.

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Gaithersburg, Md.: Hi. Congratulations on your win! I thought your designs for most of the show were terrific. However, I wasn't too fond of your finale looks, mostly because I couldn't see how they would translate to a line of more "regular" clothes. What are your plans for your line? Will you be more avant garde and showy, or try something more commercial?

Christian Siriano: For the finale you only have 12 looks and you're trying to win, so they have to be out there and creative. That's what makes a great designer, when you can translate to something more wearable.

My next collection will be 30 to 40 looks, both wearable and high fashion.

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Christian Siriano: Thank you for watching this season and keep up with my next collection and visit my website, christianvsiriano.com! And always remember to be fierce, fabulous and flawless.

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Editor's Note: washingtonpost.com moderators retain editorial control over Discussions and choose the most relevant questions for guests and hosts; guests and hosts can decline to answer questions. washingtonpost.com is not responsible for any content posted by third parties.


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