Few contestants on Project Runway have been as reviled as this season’s loud-mouthed villainess, Kenley Collins. She regularly sassed back to judge Heidi Klum and mentor Tim Gunn and could sometimes be found pumping her fist on the runway, to the chagrin of the other designers. Well, last night she got her comeuppance, as she placed third to winner Leanne Marshall and runner-up Korto Momolu. EW.com checked in with her after the cast off, and guess what? Not surprisingly, the sassy designer had lots to say, including that her designs were not taken from Balenciaga or Alexander McQueen, and, of course, she was the rightful winner of Project Runway.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: I know it’s been a while since last night’s episode was taped, so how are you feeling now that you’ve had a little time to digest how it all went down?
KENLEY COLLINS: I’m feeling good. I’m okay with it. I came on the show to get to Bryant Park and show my line, and that’s what I did, and my website is up, and I’m selling things, and I went back to teaching, so it’s exactly what I wanted. My website is very successful.
Did you say you’re teaching?
Yeah, I teach sewing in New York. It’s in the Fashion District, on 37th Street, called Sew Fast, Sew Easy. I teach a beginner’s sewing class and intermediate pattern-making. I’m just trying to make some money right now. I lost all my money because I did Project Runway, and I’m just trying to get my money back, plus more. And it’s working. I’m gonna expand my website and keep selling dresses.
So the Web venture is proving successful so far?
It is very successful, my headpieces are selling like crazy. I get at least five headpiece orders a day, and they’re about $35 to $55. Then, my dresses, I’ll get about one dress per week sold. And the dresses are about $350 each, so it’s a pretty good chunk of money. It’s solid, continuous — it’s good.
As far as the finale goes, I was a little shocked to hear them say your name first, for you to be the first one out. Did that surprise you too?
Yeah, that was shocking, I expected at least second. Korto sent really bad, unfinished pieces down the runway, and underwear was showing, too. I don’t care if you have the best line in the world, if your stuff is showing underwear, and it’s unfinished, that’s unacceptable at Bryant Park. That was really insulting, to have my beautiful, couture-made line come in third next to that was really insulting. Yeah, and really, second, third, same thing.
Do you feel that, ultimately, you should have won?
Of course. It was the best line; it was my dream line. It was really creative, and I put a lot of thought and work into it, and it was a beautiful, inspired collection. I think that it showed.
NEXT PAGE: ”It’s crazy to think that dress looked like Balenciaga. I didn’t know what they were talking about at the time, but then I looked it up, and it looks nothing like it.”