Maybe we just misunderstood Jennifer Diederich. Or the producers just didn’t portray her in the best light. Could she be a design genius? Viewers saw a young woman who seemed to have one design aesthetic — as the judges put it, matronly — that didn’t have any wow! factor. But, after chatting with the latest cast-off from Project Runway, it seems she put a lot more thought into those dresses and outfits than she was given credit for. Here she dishes on all that deep thinking, what Tim really said to her about the ensemble she put together for this week’s challenge (surprise: He actually liked it!), and the craziness that is the leather-loving contestant Stella.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: So let’s get right to it: Were you surprised to be in the bottom three?
JENNIFER DIEDERICH: Honestly, no. I really liked my outfit. But I was worried. Half of the designers went in the more athletic direction and the other half went in the more glamour direction. So, you know, there’s that wondering what direction should I be going in? But at the same time, I do not have an athletic aesthetic in my design. So, I kind of just wanted to stay true to what I do, and I tried to think about the challenge in a way to design something that would be useful to the athletes but, at the same time, a little more dressed up.
Right. Take it in a different direction. No harm with that.
Right. It’s the opening ceremony, and it is a runway show as well, so it has to be something that’s not just shorts and a T-shirt.
All spandex, maybe?
Definitely not. Lord, help us.
Do you think you deserved to go home? Should Daniel have been sent packing?
Well, to be honest with you, at that point I feel like I had shown what my style was, and I don’t think that anybody should have gone home instead of me. I don’t know — I’m just not that kind of a person. I don’t feel that I should have gone home for my design — I don’t feel that it was the worst. It was cute. A lot of people went in the same direction that I went in, which was the wrong direction obviously. But, at the same time, do I think mine was as over-the-top as some? What I felt that I had as an advantage over the others who went in the more glamorous direction was that I thought about the design. I put a pocket in the back where the athletes could put their passes or their digital cameras. And I took gold threads from the skirt fabrics and I embroidered ”U.S.A.” on the little silk tank top. The embroidery on the sweater was inspired by the [National Track & Field Hall of Fame] museum. I took inspiration from the museum. I feel like I really thought about it, and some other people just did whatever they like. I tried to think about it and incorporate details.
NEXT PAGE: Overthinking the competition