Bring us up to speed!
I've been fortunate enough to have been commissioned to design and create a dress for Lifetime's president, Nancy Dubuc, for the Primetime Emmys. I had taken a break from my label to build capital, and had opportunities to work at Zac Posen, Diane von Furstenberg and Theory. I've dressed Olivia Munn for an MTV appearance, and British actress Christina Chong in London for an editorial shoot. Currently I've created a capsule collection of silk chiffon blouses as an "Essentials Collection" being sold on ivyhiga.com. A portion of proceeds are donated to an amazing cause I've been honored to be a part of, Nomi Network. They are a leading nonprofit organization that assists and helps create job opportunities for women in underdeveloped countries who have been survivors of sex trafficking. It.s important to me to help empower and rebuild hope in all women, and believe fashion is my platform to do so.
What garment from your season of "Runway" do fans compliment you on the most?
I've been complimented on the look I loved the most — the "Jackie O challenge" look. It's clean and modern, and perhaps that may have been the reason they liked it as well.
What do you think you are best remembered for from your season?
Unfortunately, I believe it's the drama that Michael C. and I had. I've apologized for how I handled the situation, but am not sorry for what I said. I will always stand up for what I believe in is right; perhaps my execution and delivery may be coarse, but my intensions are always good.
Who has been your favorite client to design for?
I love dressing all women, not any one in particular. To have a client select and choose to wear my designs is always an honor.
What celebrities would you love to dress?
I would love to dress Gwyneth Paltrow, Natalie Portman and Angelie Jolie. Not only are they aesthetically beautiful, but they also have so many beautiful intrinsic qualities. They are incredibly intelligent, strong, talented, altruistic and socially conscious — everything I believe the Ivy h. woman signifies.
What are your strengths as a designer at this point in your career?
Education, I believe, is the greatest strength one can have. Having had the opportunity to work at so many amazing design houses, I've learned, and am still learning, quite a bit. It's taught me to have even higher standards for myself 7#151; in both design and construction. Perhaps the drive for greatness can be viewed as both a strength and a weakness.
How has your design aesthetic changed since your time on the show, if at all?
My aesthetic hasn't changed much — I've always been very clear about who I am as a designer, and who the woman I am designing for is. I believe the most important thing for a designer is to know who your customer is. My design aesthetic is, and has been, minimalist, romantic, ethereal, modern and clean. I've described my aesthetic to an editor at WWD by saying that if a triangle and a flower mated, Ivy h. would be its love child.
What are your favorite pieces/staple items in your closet?
Definitely the Ivy h. Essentials tops. I wear them everywhere, day to night.
Which fashion rule do you think is begging to be broken?
"No white after Labor Day." Love winter whites.
How do you choose what to pack for "All Stars"?
I'm a minimalist through and through, only pack what I really need — the essentials. Hence the name of the capsule collection of silk chiffon tops: "Essentials." Depending on what.s worn as bottoms and accessories, they translate well for any occasion.
What "Project Runway" challenges do you think are the best and worst of all time?
Generally, the unconventional challenges. As a viewer I always loved watching them, but as a contestant, I did not care too much for them. It's not realistic in the industry, but of course it makes good TV. I mostly dislike the challenge also because it completely ruins the fabric scissors, which aren't cheap, and if you're using a glue gun, being burned is inevitable.
Who is your favorite fellow "Project Runway" designer from any season?
I had mentioned some past seasons. designers in the previous interviews, but I have to change to say Michael Drummond. He is from my season, and would have to be my favorite designer, not only because he's a friend of mine but because he is truly, incredibly talented. His knitwear is beautiful and like nothing I've never seen before.
What goes through your head when you see yourself on television?
A million things run through my head, generally cynical. It's very difficult for me to watch, or even listen to, myself. Seeing my work is one thing, but seeing myself is always very strange.
What is the one thing fans still would be surprised to find out about you?
I work between 50 (off-season) and 100 (show season) hours a week in the industry, not to mention the additional hours when I was also working on my label. I've always worked hard to earn everything I've been given, and have never been afraid of getting my hands dirty at a job.
What makes you "All Star" material?
I'm passionate and love what I do. I think what makes anyone grow and continue to be driven, after failing and falling incessantly, is to absolutely love what they do, heart and soul, and I definitely do.