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5 Questions With Zac Posen

The designer dishes on dressing Tony Award winner Patina Miller, designing the first 24k gold dress, and the legendary designer Pat Cleveland in his new campaign.
5 Questions With Zac Posen
Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images

Ready-to-wear Designer Zac Posen can outfit a woman for all occasions, but it’s his jaw-dropping gowns that stop folks in their tracks. Just ask actress Patina Miller, who recently won a Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical for her leading role in Pippin, in his floral-print chiffon gown.

We caught up with Posen in between shooting Project Runway and designing, to ask him all about his current fashion endeavors and his drool-worthy Instagram feed.

ESSENCE.com: You recently dressed Tony Award winner Patina Miller in a gorgeous Spring 2013 gown, what did you think actually seeing her on the red carpet and onstage for her big win in your gown?

ZAC POSEN: She is such an elegant woman and an incredibly talented performer. I was very happy to see her in one of my designs. She looked like a dream on the red carpet.

ESSENCE.com: You’re known for your breathtaking gowns and you recently designed the first 24k gold dress for Magnum Gold ice cream, how did you manage to keep it from being gaudy and more elegant?

POSEN: Tailoring is key. The Magnum gown is extremely intricate and we implemented high levels of engineering in order to accomplish the final design. Every gold paiette was placed cautiously to flatter the body: the gold disks are all different sizes and every one serves a different purpose

ESSENCE.com: Super model Pat Cleveland and her daughter are the new faces of your Resort 2014 campaign, why did you choose the stunning mother/daughter duo?

POSEN: They are unparalleled talents and dear friends of mine. I’ve been a huge fan of Pat for years, she’s a fashion legend, and Anna is just stunning and such a pleasure to work with. I wanted to create an iconic moment for Resort 2014.

ESSENCE.com: During your rise as a designer you were in the position of being judged by industry veterans, what have you taken away from that experience and applied to your position now judging others on Project Runway?

POSEN: I think that constructive criticism is paramount to grow professionally and as a person. I had amazing teachers in my formative years and that has been invaluable for me to succeed in the industry. On project Runway, I do my best at being a teacher and a mentor.

ESSENCE.com: Our editors follow you on Instagram, and we love your feed! When is the Zac Posen cook book coming out. You’re such a foodie?

POSEN: Thank you! I try to be more focused with it. I share my daily experiences while in the studio or at home. I love food and I love cooking. I have started to put together all my best recipes, but I am far from authoring a cook book.