And when we see the show, we see a lot of the personalities, because a lot of that gets played up. Otherwise, it would be a quiet show watching people sew. Does the personality aspect of having to compete, live, and interact with these people play a large role? Or not as much as we end up seeing?
I think some people were able to sew and create this big personality at the same time. Me? I was so focused. Watching the first and the third episodes, I'm played as being coy and quiet, like I never say much. Even when I won the second challenge, I wasn't even featured a lot. I was just showed as someone worried about their garment, and I ended up winning the challenge.
So, when I watch it, it's like 'Wow, they're not really showing a lot of me.' And I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that I went there to compete. I went there to sew my garment in 12 hours. And I did show some personality, but I kind of regret not talking while sewing, or not seeming crazy while sewing. Basically, I gave them what I'm seeing now.
But in the opening credits, you're very loud.
Hopefully, next week, they're going to give me some camera time.
You obviously know what happens in the show, but do you see the episodes in advance, or are you watching it like we are?
I'm watching it like you guys are. Like last week, with me and Maya, I never got to hear her point of view. When we worked on those two pieces we created, we talked about the garments that we made all the time. We collaborated a lot. But for me to hear her point of view from the interviews, that was a perspective that I'd never seen them filming.
It was kind of not shocking. I kind of picked Maya because I trusted her. I always sensed this sort of ... bitchiness from her? But watching last week's episode, I realized that she liked me, genuinely, and she called me a slacker, but I think that was true. A lot of it had to do with the fact that I had immunity. If I didn't have immunity for the following challenge, I would have busted my ass off. We probably would have won the challenge.
The reason we lost was the dress we made, we didn't show it on the runway, because we weren't able to finish hemming it. It was beautiful from the top down to the hips. But the hem made us lose the challenge.
Was coming out a big issue for you? Or if you know at 5 and want to go into fashion, do you not need to come out?
In my first interviews with the casting directors, before they even cast me, they asked me if my parents know I'm gay. And I told them, the moment I came out of my mom's vagina, she knew I was gay. I never really came out. I think it helped that my dad lived here in the United States, and we lived in the Philippines.
My dad's really straight, like he never wanted me to be gay. He always got mad every time I played with my Barbie dolls. Every time he came home to visit us for like a month, he'd notice I'm different. I shake my butt when I walk. I talk like a girl. I play with Barbie dolls. And he got mad when he noticed those things, but my mom was always this really accepting, very welcoming woman, and she knew I was gay based on how I acted, based on my likes and dislikes, and she just fully accepted me.
I'm her son at the end of the day. She can't deny the fact that her son is gay. It was kind of like this easy coming out. Everyone sort of already knew I was gay. I hung out with a bunch of gay kids. I played with Barbie dolls. I designed my school's prom dresses. But I never really came out, to be honest with you.
And what is it like at Gap? Are you doing design?
I don't design for The Gap. Their design team is based on New York. Mainly, I do styling, and I work at the corporate office. I work in the visual merchandising department, which falls under the marketing department.
And what was it like working with Tim Gunn? I think he had something to say on his blog about your design this week that wasn't incredibly complimentary...
Well, the first dress, I agreed with him. I think it was overdone. And a lot of it has to do with the fact that I didn't have time to finish the zipper. It was this heart-shaped bustier with this high-waisted skirt, and the zipper didn't go all the way up to the top of the waist, so I ended up putting this big flower on her navel, because that's where the waistband hit. It made it look like she had a tumor. I'm not very proud of that. He disliked that dress. The second, the potato sack challenge, he also disliked that piece. He thought Amy should have won, but I think a lot of it had to do with the fact that I made burlap look and feel different. I made feathers out of burlap.
And do you have any advice for kids who think they want to go into fashion design?
It's all different. Amy, whose on the show and lives in the Bay Area, she went to school and has a four-year degree in fashion design. Me? I didn't have to do that, because of what I do now. I took a semester of classes in fashion design in Hawaii, then I went back the following semester to learn more, and after that I just dropped out and went on my own.
It's all just learning from constant practice. Practice makes perfect, and that's what I did with the knowledge I got from Honolulu Community College. Everyone has a different approach to learning to design clothes. If you want a four year degree, go for it. If you just need to learn how to sew, do that.