project runway season seven jay nicolas sario emilio sosa seth aaron henderson

Designing men: The "Project Runway" crew at HP's stylish brunch. Photo courtesy of HP

It's been a winning season for "Project Runway" contestants Jay Nicolas Sario, Emilio Sosa, and Seth Aaron Henderson. The show's leading men, along with fashion designer Vivienne Tam, were the toast of a New York City brunch sponsored by HP computers.

The event showcased their top-notch work on the Episode 10 challenge in which they used HP TouchSmart desktops to design their own fabric. Maybe it was the mimosas, but the guys were completely engaging as they dished about "PR" and helped guests (including lucky me!) create textiles using Intel technology.

Here are some tasty behind-the-seams morsels that might leave you in stitches.

Arrogance is in the Editing
: Sure, Sosa may come across as snarky on TV, but it could have more to do with the editors than his ego. "I am in it to win it. I am very, very competitive," says Sosa. "[The editors] can portray me any way they want as long as I win. I signed a contract. I don't mind a bit." Hmmm, was he dropping a hint?

Tim Gunn Rocks, But: During the fabric challenge, Sosa said he didn't care that the design mentor thought his signature print was obnoxious. Sosa tells StyleList his defiance wasn't meant as a diss. "I've had a career [as a theatrical costume designer] for 20 years. I've had to defend my work constantly," explains Sosa. "It doesn't change the reverence I have for Tim, who is one of the nicest human beings I've ever met. I just had very strong vision, and I believed in it."

E. Sosa Will Be Everywhere: "I want my name on everything: shoes, dish towels, anything I can put it on. I think Pierre Cardin has his name on paper towels." Watch your back, Christian Siriano!

Somebody Needs a Nap: The "Project Runway" contestants survive on as little as three hours of sleep. "I think it's one reason I may have come off so crabby on TV," Sosa says.

Team Spirit
: Asked about his so-called "bromance" with Sosa, which began in Harlem during the team challenge, Henderson tells StyleList, "We are the next Viktor & Rolf." I think he was kidding, but they do plan to collaborate post-show.

Bye-Bye, Babies: Sosa is 43; Henderson is 37. Is this the season that a real "grown-up" could win the competition? "We have an advantage," Henderson says. "We could work on very tight deadline. I can make, like, three garments in a day. Some of the younger designers just were not used to that pressure."

His Biggest Fan: When I confess to ribbing him for comparing himself to Christian Dior in StyleList's weekly "Project Runway" recap, Henderson confesses that he's obsessed with reading everything written about him, good or bad. "You know, they tell people not to do that, but I go on the blogs," he says. "What's amazing is there are total Seth haters. I don't get it, but I am fascinated by it."

Going Global: After the "PR" finale airs, Henderson plans to expand his established boutique label to stores in Los Angeles, New York, and Tokyo. "Michael Kors says they are going to go nuts over my stuff in Tokyo."

She's No Suri Cruise: Yes, Henderson's 12-year-old daughter Megann was his muse for his win in the "kid" design challenge. And yes, she once owned 200 handbags. "Some were designer, but some were from Target," Henderson says. "It was just what she was into collecting, like the way some girls collect dolls." She recently donated almost all of the bags to a halfway house near their home in Vancouver, Wa.. Aww!

Dapper, Not Gapper
: I ask Sario, GapKids visual merchandiser and lead stylist, if he's wearing anything supplied by headquarters. "No," the diminutive designer tells me. "I am too small for most of the men's clothes." His fashionably shredded jeans are by Current/Elliott and his jacket is vintage YSL.

All in the family: I'm betting Gap has already asked Sario to do a signature collection. After all, he's a one-man ad campaign. He reminds me that he styles -- rather than designs -- for the brand, but he will be involved in opening some flagship and pop-up Gap stores after the show wraps. The company is familial; Sario's longtime partner styles for babyGap.

Second Thoughts: Sario wants me to write that he "got robbed" in the HP challenge, then snatches me to inspect his fourth-place garment and give my humble opinion. Call the fashion police -- Sario was robbed! Up close I can't get enough of the details and texture in his garment.

Success Story: The fifth of six kids, Sario left school to pursue his craft because tuition money was tight. "My parents were always supportive of my dreams, but I had to work very, very hard for everything," he tells StyleList. "Once I could sew and make a jacket, I kind of knew everything I needed to know to do what I do."

Now that my favorite season 7 designer, Anthony Williams, is gone, Sario is my new sentimental choice to win, unless, of course, this week's preview -- which suggests someone "leaves" and someone returns -- means Williams sews another day in the workroom. Henderson won't say, but does reveal that he's a fan of Williams as well. "He's like a fine southern lady," says Henderson. "Just the sweetest, dearest, kindest man in the world."

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