Pardon us for not remaining objective, but we are so excited that Dmitry Sholokhov was declared the winner of Project Runway! Dmitry, who has worked for Calvin Klein, J.Mendel, Jones New York, Anne Klein and Domenico Vacca in his career, was a strong contender since the very first challenge. But as PR fans know, it doesn't always matter how good you are. OK! chatted with Dmitry after his win, and we asked him about everything from his future plans to who he bonded with the most on the show, to, of course, that famous Fan Favorite controversy that broke out on Twitter.
OK!: How did the fans banding together for you on Twitter make you feel?
Dmitry: The fans made it so exciting for me! I was so proud of that! It really makes me feel happy and it gives me energy because I’ve been designing for so long, and I never really got anything back, you know? I mean before, I designed for other collections but my name was never on it. And now, it’s out there, and it’s a rewarding feeling. It’s a reward in itself.
OK!: How confident were you that you that you could win? Was there a certain challenge or point in the competition where you felt like you really had a shot, or were you confident all along?
Dmitry: I was pretty confident from the beginning, but it’s a game. You never know where it’s going to take you and where it’s going to go. But definitely, I felt like I deserved to be there. And I felt like I was supposed to win a couple of challenges but I didn’t. And that’s why I never really knew where it was going to go.
OK!: Your fans felt that way about a few challenges, too! Speaking of, did you have a favorite challenge and least favorite challenge?
Dmitry: Well, my favorite challenge was the Rockette challenge. Just because of the experience, you know? We got to go to Radio City Music Hall and it was closed for us, and the Rockettes performed for us, so I had a chance to see them onstage, and that had a lot of meaning for me because I used to be a professional ballroom dancer. It was just such an experience, it was amazing. The least favorite was the kids challenge. It was just too much, and we were so tired already at that point. And kids you can’t really control, you know [laughs], and there were the opinionated moms… some of them were really difficult.
OK!: What are your plans now for your line and getting your name out there?
Dmitry: I don’t really have a clear plan yet. I mean, I have so many fans and they want me to make custom-made clothes for them and I’d like to start doing that as well as starting my own brand. But, it’s a lot of things I have to do. I have to find the right people for it and I have to attract investors… I’m pretty open at this point because a lot of things are coming my way. But definitely I’d love to start my own brand.
OK!: Are there any celebrities that you would love to design an outfit for?
Dmitry: There’s so many of them! I’d love to design something for Angelina Jolie, not even because she’s Angelina Jolie but because of her sense of style. She’s so effortless and she doesn’t try hard — most of the time [laughs]. And Tilda Swinton, because she’s so out there with her sense of style.
OK!: There was a lot of discussion on Twitter about the unfairness of the Fan Favorite contest. Elena Slivnyak promised the prize money [$10,000] to a charity, World Wildlife Fund, if she won, which got her a ton of votes from people who may not have even be viewers. In the fans' eyes, it kind of skewed the whole thing and made it an unfair fight. Do you have any thoughts about that?
Dmitry: It’s an interesting question. On one hand, you know, she had a deal with this organization. I mean, it’s for a good cause, but on the other hand it’s not fair because it’s Fan Favorite, and she’s not really the Fan Favorite. It’s definitely not fair. And another thing I just found out was Melissa [Fleis], because she had a crazy amount of votes as well, and there’s a #TeamMelissa [Melissa Rycroft] for Dancing With the Stars [laughs]. After every episode of Dancing With the Stars, she would get tons of votes.
OK!: That was another issue. The same thing happened with Alicia [Hardesty]: People were voting for an Alicia on another dance show. A lot of people wrote to Lifetime and said they had to fix that for next season, because some people have very common names and the hashtag could mean anything.
Dmitry: Yeah, it is definitely not fair. It's Fan Favorite; it shouldn’t be about business deals or whatever.
OK!: It will be interesting to see if that is addressed.
Dmitry: I know, because I feel like everybody hated Elena.
OK!: Are there any designers that you will keep in touch with and whom did you bond with the most?
Dmitry: I feel like Melissa was mostly genuine and very open. It’s a competition. I got along with everyone, but everyone still was kinda a bit sneaky about things, just because it’s a competition and it was very hard to be friends, you know? We got along great [in] the final four [including Dmitry, Melissa, Christopher Palu, and Fabio Costa]. We had a great dynamic and we are all so different. I’m keeping in touch with Christopher and Fabio and Melissa, but to become friends you need to invest in it. I mean, I love those people, but I don’t know if we will really become friends or not.
OK!: Did you have a favorite judge?
Dmitry: Well, Heidi Klum is like a different planet [laughs]. She’s more than a judge, she’s Heidi Klum. I love her! She’s so whimsical, she’s so funny and she’s so approachable. She has a great sense of humor. But I would always listen to Nina Garcia. I was always curious what she was going to say, because she’s very critical, she’s very tough, and she’s always on-point. And Michael Kors, he is just hilarious. He’s funny. It’s hard to choose.
OK!: We got a question on Twitter about the bracelets you wore on the show. Is there a meaning behind them?
Dmitry: They all kind of have meanings! My friends, they know that I wear them, so it’s a lot of presents, and most of them are precious stones and they all have meanings, energy meanings. It’s all about energy. And when I travel somewhere I would try to find a bracelet from the country I was going to. I have quite a few of them. I don’t know how many. And I would just, you know, switch them every day. On a regular basis, I wouldn’t wear so many, I’d maybe wear three.
OK!: One final question, a fun one: Whose fashion sense do you like more, Heidi’s or Nina’s?
Dmitry: Well… you know, it’s funny. They’re so different, it’s impossible to choose. When I talked to Nina the other day, I said, ‘Oh, my God, you look so great, you inspire me by the way you look.’ And she just said, ‘Oh, you know, I just get a lot of help.’ Those ladies, they have the best of the best. They have all the designers and stylists. They look great but they have absolutely different styles. It’s impossible to choose, but I love both.
Let us know if you're as excited for Dmitry as we are! He ultimately finished in third in Fan Favorite, behind Elena and Melissa — do you think he would have won if it had been set up differently? And, of course, tell us if you're tuning into the second season of Project Runway: All Stars, which begins Thursday, Oct. 25 on Lifetime!