Last night's episode of The Fashion Show Ultimate Collection was a double-doozy. Not only did the designers each have to create looks that individually referenced particular years in history—while being fashion-forward at the same time—but they also had to incorporate plaid into their collections. The House of Emerald took home its first victory for a pretty knockout collection that covered all those bases, and still managed to look cohesive. In addition to losing the challenge, the House of Nami also lost Rolando Tamez, the 24-year old assymetrically-coiffed Texan, whose 1969-inspired skirt and top combo failed to impress the judges.
We chatted with the happy-go-lucky Ro, who told us that he doesn't regret a thing about his design (and we believe him).
Where are you right now?
Houston, Texas. I'm actually on my way to go meet Cesar. My roomie! He's in town, he's doing work. Like I said on the show, I left the show knowing that he's going to be someone I know forever. He helped me out a lot. Me and he clicked automatically.
For this challenge, what was harder: working with plaid, or the particular year you had to capture?
The year was 1969—obviously I wasn't born in '96. And we don't get to do a lot of research. Having so many different years within one house is pretty difficult, and then there was that last-minute hitch with the plaid. Like I said, unless plaid is done in a very specific way, it's just very difficult. It was a difficult challenge and it drove me insane, but at the end, my product, I was happy with it.
Do you think the outfit would have been more successful if you had gone with your original design idea? The one you showed Isaac?
No, not at all. I was trying something new. It's what you do—any artist. It's not even a fashion thing. You try new things and sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. If it doesn't you can't just sit there and cry about it an quit, like Mike did. You keep on going. It's the competition.
What were the working conditions like during the challenges?
There wasn't a lot of time to even talk to each other. It's like, sketch, sketch, and you kind of have to pay attention to what everyone's doing to make sure it's cohesive.
How seriously do you all take Isaac's suggestions when you meet with him?
I mean we definitely take him seriously, seeing that he's a judge—one of the main ones of course. Sometimes we disagree—I think the first challenge he didn't love Cesar's print, and it ended up being a favorite. He won that challenge. He [Isaac] also told us to be careful with the plaid, and we had a lot of plaid, and I loved the collection.
What are you up to now?
I'm doing photography from this last collection of mine and working on my website. I want to make sure everyone can see what I've done before, and be able to check things out. I want to work more on wearable things. If you look at my style and what I design, it's a little off. I kind of want to work on getting MY, the Ro style, on my website for people.
Do you have any predictions for who the winner will be?
I don't! We'll have to wait and see. I want everyone to keep on watching—it's putting fashion in a very intense way, and it's very, very real. A lot of people think that fashion is glamorous and no one sees the backstage of it, and that's what I like about this show. You see how raw it is, how stressful it is. You see all that sweat and tears. That's what fashion is and I'm happy that it's being portrayed that way.
Are there any designer's that you're cheering for?
Because of how much he helped me out, I'd love to see Cesar be in the finale. I think his talent is amazing. I wouldn't mind seeing Eduardo either. He's very critical about himself, about all the details of his work, and Cesar, you can give him all five of he ugliest colors and he'll make something gorgeous out of it. I think that's what designing's all about.