‘Fashion Show’ Exit Interview: Jonny Day Thought Isaac Mizrahi And Kelly Rowland Were “Harsh”

by | May 11, 2009 at 12:57 PM | The Ziedgeist

Thursday proved to be Jonny Day’s unlucky day as the 34-year-old designer was the first to be booted from Bravo’s new reality competition series, The Fashion Show. Judges Isaac Mizrahi, Kelly Rowland, Fern Mallis, and guest Elie Tahari were “just not buying” his silver and cream creation, calling it “unforgivable,” and “ill-fitting.” But Jonny’s not buying the judges assessment, either. In an interview with Fancast, the Los Angeles resident opened up about disagreements with the judges, his lack of sewing experience, and his thoughts on this show’s answer to Santino Rice: a man named Merlin.

What were your impressions of Kelly and Isaac? They were harsh. They were very tough. Isaac was not there as a mentor. He was there as a critic and a judge and a host. Kelly, I don’t know. She didn’t really know what to say a lot of the time when it came to critiquing the fabrics.

It seemed like maybe she didn’t possess the right vocabulary or understanding. I think it was very new for her to be in the construction part of fashion and to see how outfits were made.

Do you think she was an odd casting choice? Yeah. Out of all the people in the world, I didn’t really understand that one.

Who would you have rather had? Maybe just more of a fashion icon. I liked Heidi Klum because she was both a fashion and a business fashion icon. A singer who goes to fashion shows isn’t a fashion expert.

When Isaac and Kelly first walked into the workroom, it looked like you guys had no idea they were involved in the show. Was that a surprise? We didn’t know they were involved at all. They literally just walked in the door without an announcement and everyone was like ‘wait!’

Did everyone know who they were? No, there was some whispering going on. I recognized his hair before I remembered who he was.

How was it watching the episode? Were there any surprises? You know I watched it first by myself with my daughter and girlfriend and yeah, it was emotional. It brought back a lot of stressful and emotional feelings. But then I watched it with about 50 people on a big screen, and that was fun. Everyone cheered and laughed and booed.

In your final confessional you said a lot of people thought you were going to struggle on this show more than most. Can you explain what you meant? I think I was one of two designers who hadn’t been to fashion school. Before the show I hadn’t spent a lot of time with patterns and hands-on technical design. I really pushed myself to do it all by myself. People knew that would be hard.

And your focus is menswear, not women’s clothing. Yeah. I think that’s kind of what I also meant that I would struggle with. It is quite a bit different working with menswear than dresses and such.

Do you think you deserved to go home? I didn’t feel like I should have gone home for that. On a different model I think it would have had a different outcome. It’s hard to say woulda shoulda coulda. Also, because our team leader had immunity, I was one of four. And my model couldn’t walk very well because the skirt was too tight, and that’s kind of a hard point to argue.

Did you disagree with Isaac’s assessment that it was unforgivable and that there were issues with fit? Well when you design something you usually have time to do a fitting once it’s finished. I didn’t have that opportunity. Unforgivable was a very harsh way to put it. It wasn’t an ideal situation for me to work in. I thought the idea was pretty and classic. I think I did a beautiful, sexy silhouette.

What about when Kelly said people called it slutty? I don’t think it was slutty. She was a busty girl. I couldn’t control that. She was definitely the biggest model out of all of them.

Did you have a fitting at all? We had a brief fitting in the morning before I was ready. I assumed we would get another, but we didn’t.

It looked like you’d widened the bust after Isaac and Kelly came into the workroom. Did you? I did. I completely rebuilt it for a much bigger bust. I wanted it to try to maintain that elegance but it didn’t really translate. At least I covered her and thought I made her look modest.

Did your model actually have to be cut out of the skirt? I can’t confirm that. I didn’t see that. It wasn’t cut to pieces, thought.

What are you up to now? Since the show I’ve opened a store in Downtown LA on 4th and Main. It’s a showroom and a retail store. I have a work studio there, too. I’m also working on a new collection of womens, which is all high-end suiting, and then undergarments like corsets and garter belts. The website is elmerave.com.

Last question. What is up with Merlin? Hahaha! I don’t know! He drove me nuts. He likes to be an actor. He actually is an actor, though. He was always causing drama and was kind of rude, at times.