Church of Santino - Page 2

The man who stole Project Runway discusses fabulous fashion in film

After all, the centerpiece of the George Cukor classic isn't Roz Russell's motormouth routine, Norma Shearer's sweet plain Jane act, or even Joan Crawford's fierce shopgirl sexuality. It's Adrian's design work, on display in a fashion show sequence. "And it's [the only scene] in color," Santino notes.

Some Project Runway devotees might be curious about the past nature and current state of Santino's bond with Andre Gonzalo, but his tie with Ward, revealed within season two's penultimate episode, is more compelling. Few people seemed to realize that Santino's best friend Tony — the handsome quiet guy with the beach house — was Madonna's lover during her wildest pop peak, the star of (and best thing about) Bruce La Bruce's 1996's Hustler White, and the muse of John Galliano, and is the cult figure who got into a spat with Marlon Brando when the latter was giving a zonked-out acting class late in his life.

"We met in odd circumstances," Santino says when asked about Ward. "We were flying back to Los Angeles, and the engine on the right side of the plane exploded. We had to emergency-land and had a long layover, and during that time we just talked about everything. A week after we got back to LA, he called and asked me if I'd want to create some pieces for his first fashion editorial [as a photographer], which was based on [Stanley Kubrick's 1971] A Clockwork Orange. I made all these leather codpieces and other accessories. From that point on, we've hung out. He's a great guy and a loyal friend."

My last question for Santino is a simple and direct one: what are you wearing? After an "Oh no!" punctuated by another easygoing laugh, he concedes an answer. "I have on a pair of shoes I got in Singapore that are Hiromu Takahara," he begins, slowly warming up to the query. "They look like Converse, but they fit like a cowboy boot — they zip up on the side. I'm wearing black Diesel jeans, skinny jeans, and just a T-shirt. And, of course, a hat — a black Bardolino hat."*


Featuring Santino Rice and Jeffrey Sebelia, with a screening of The Women

Fri/27, 7:30 p.m., $15–>$27.50 ($55 for preferred seats and reception at Mezzanine)


July 27–<\d>Aug. 3

Castro Theatre

429 Castro, SF

(415) 863-0611

For a complete Q&A with Santino Rice, go to

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