If you gotta get booted from Project Runway, making your exit after designing a conservative outfit for a (self-described) big-butted, huge-necked football player-turned-talk show correspondent is probably among the least harsh ways to go. At least, that’s what Carmen Webber, the model-designer, can keep telling herself after sending down a hideously unfinished ensemble for Tiki Barber during last night’s Runway.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Carmen, when you saw Tiki, did you all think this challenge was going to be a nightmare?
CARMEN WEBBER: We were all excited. All challenges are exciting. But we were also like, ”What the heck?!?” It was an intense challenge.
The thing that bugged me was that it seemed like the only clothing options were variations on a suit. Did you feel like you had any creative leeway?
Not really for Tiki Barber. If we were designing for a rock star or someone else, maybe. But when you have a client who says he’s conservative and these are his body needs, you can only do so much.
You must have been hating life that day.
We were hating the fact that it was so out of the realm of what everyone does. Kevin has had some experience with tailoring. Kit had some education in Italy. There were people who had the upper hand because of the experience they had. But it’s much easier to approach a challenge if it’s women’s wear. We all know women’s bodies better than men’s bodies.
After Tiki’s wife compared your top to a ”Member’s Only” jacket, did you know you were in trouble?
No, I was trying to go for a modern take on a Member’s Only jacket. In our initial meeting, his exact words were, ”I do these charity events for kids that I go to play soccer with them.” I was thinking something casual but not so casual would be great.
What was up with Tiki’s butt issues?
Being a black woman from black culture, having a big booty is not an issue. In Black-American culture and Latin culture and Italian culture, big booties are not an issue. He has an athlete’s body with a prominent booty. That shouldn’t be an issue. It’s not like he has one of those female bodies with big hips.
What might have saved you?
If I would have just finished that shirt I would have had a better chance of staying in. There’s not a lot of time and there wasn’t a lot of sleep going on. You can only do the best you can do under those circumstances. I have enough integrity to say I fell short on my image. In the design world, you would have time to rework your look.
NEXT PAGE: What went on with Ricky behind the scenes? Did Jack benefit from a shady move?