Bring us up to speed!
I worked for a year as a designer at Tory Burch before working full-time on my own line, ALTHEA HARPER. You can view all the collections I.ve presented since the show at altheaharper.com. I also have an organic jersey line called Sittella, and I.m coming out with a workout line! In addition, I.m the creative designer at the suiting company Quincy. I also got married to Stewart, who was my boyfriend when I was on Season 6. We moved to the East Coast, where I split my time between NYC, where my showroom is located, and New Haven, CT, where my husband is in residency at Yale. I also became a mom to an adorable Min Pin/Chihuahua rescue named Chaolay (we named her after an inspirational trip to Thailand)!
What garment from your season of "Runway" do fans compliment you on the most?
The model challenge. I made a paper-bag-waist skirt and jacket. I also get complimented a lot on the 'pregnancy dress challenge' for Rebecca Romijn. I can't believe her twins are so big now!
What do you think you are best remembered for from your season?
My figure-flattering dresses and separates.
Who has been your favorite client to design for?
I have really enjoyed dressing all the Kardashian sisters. They are very complimentary and always get photographed a designer's dream! Many celebrities have my designs, but without the photograph it is hard to promote!
What celebrities would you love to dress?
Sofia Vergara, Penelope Cruz, Jessica Alba, Naomi Watts, Michelle Obama — the list goes on!
What are your strengths as a designer at this point in your career?
Designing clothing that enhances the female form, my custom-made prints, great blazers and flattering pants.
How has your design aesthetic changed since your time on the show, if at all?
I believe I am a little more refined, and I have a better understanding about what makes a great design.
What are your favorite pieces/staple items in your closet?
The Pruitt Dress from my Spring '12 collection, the Lillian Tunic and Ridely Blouse from all my collections, a pair of great black jeans, my oversized DVF purse and Brian Atwood gold strappy heels (they look great with any color).
Which fashion rule do you think is begging to be broken?
The one that says you can't wear black and navy together. I think that is a very chic combination!
How do you choose what to pack for "All Stars"?
I wanted to take a mix of pieces from my main collection, ALTHEA HARPER, and my organic jersey collection, Sittella. A mix of comfort and dresses that can work in the workroom and the runway! I also packed my favorite pair of workout pants from my upcoming workout line.
What "Project Runway" challenges do you think are the best and worst of all time?
I haven't watched any season besides my own, so that is a hard one to say! Any challenge where the models are real women is hard, because without using the mannequin there is not enough time to fit the garment properly. I really like the challenge where we got to design a dress for Christina Aguilera with inspiration from Bob Mackie.
Who is your favorite fellow "Project Runway" designer from any season?
I would say myself! If I didn.t think I was the best at what I do, then I wouldn.t go on a competition show trying to win it. "Project Runway" is full of talented people, and to list the ones whose work I admire would far too long!
What goes through your head when you see yourself on television?
I am such a perfectionist, so usually I am just critiquing myself. I actually don't think I will watch "All Stars," because I hated watching myself on Season 6 so much! It applies to my designs, my appearance, etc. It is a horrible quality to have — you never appreciate your hard work because you always feel it should be better!
What is the one thing fans still would be surprised to find out about you?
I think people would be surprised to know I am a secret anime nerd, I love to work out, I'm a big Hemmingway fan, I love historical fiction, and I.m a huge sports fan — especially football (I have taught many a girlfriend the game!). I backpacked across Europe alone. Despite my artistic talent I am the world's worst singer and can't play an instrument to save my life.
What makes you "All-Star" material?
My talent, my taste and my aesthetic, in addition to the accomplishments I have attained since finishing as a runner-up on Season 6.