With one win under his belt, local designer Anthony Ryan Auld will try and get another on Thursday’s episode of “Project Runway: All Stars II,” which airs on Lifetime TV at 8 p.m. “This episode is going to be fun to watch,” said Auld. “It focuses on creativity … any show with anyone from Baton Rouge or New Orleans is going to be fun to watch.”
Auld found out he had been tapped for “All Stars” right in the middle of planning Baton Rouge’s Mode Fashion Week this past June. So had two of the designers he brought in for the finale Rock One Mode Fashion Show —- Laura Kathleen and Joshua McKinley.
“We had this big secret and couldn’t tell anybody,” said Auld with a laugh. “Laura and I literally left Sunday morning after the show. That’s why Joshua wasn’t here for the show; he had to leave to get ready to go to New York.”
Joining these three designers on “All Stars” are Althea Harper, Andrae Gonzalo, Casanova, Emilio Sosa, Ivy Higna, Kayne Gillaspie, Peach Car, Suede, Uli Herzna and Wendy Pepper. Car and Pepper have already been eliminated.
“It was really neat to meet these people … I’ve watched the show for a long time,” said Auld. “Like Wendy Pepper, I had this assumption of who she was but she’s changed since that first season. I always loved her design aesthetic. I had reservations about Ivy and Emilio as well.”
Auld, too, seems to have changed since appearing on the ninth season of “Project Runway.”
“I went in (‘All Stars’) with the mental attitude that what I did on ‘Project Runway’ didn’t really work,” he explained. “On ‘Project Runway,’ I really wanted to represent Louisiana in a positive light, which I did, and I wanted to represent Louisiana in my designs but that really didn’t represent who I am as a designer.
“Now my design aesthetic has changed 180 degrees,” he continued. “I really have found my design aesthetic and something very much changed when I went back on ‘All Stars.’ It threw me for a loop with that.”
So, how did it feel to win the first challenge for his pantsuit design? “It felt really good! Going into it, I felt like it was a possibility,” said Auld. “I don’t think I was taken as seriously as some of the other designers and this win made them cock their heads and say, ‘Maybe we need to watch this one.’”
Unlike “Project Runway,” a win doesn’t get the designer immunity in the next challenge. Auld said he just left that win by the door and took it challenge by challenge.
Another way “All Stars” is different from “Project Runway,” according to Auld, is that it focuses more on the design aspect “and not so much on the drama of a reality show.”
“This panel of judges (Carolyn Murphy, Isaac Mizrahi and Georgina Chapman) really look and take the time to critique your designs,” said Auld. “And Joanna Coles is just as invested as you are in what you’re doing.”