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Age 31, San Francisco, CA - Out Episode 14
QWhen did you realize you had designer potential? A Since I was a little girl.
QFirst garment you ever made? A Skirt.
QWhat's your design training/schooling? A MFA in Fashion Design from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, California.
QHave you won any awards? A No actual award. Only featured on websites.
QStrengths as a designer? A A forward, distinct look with couture garment construction and experimental design techniques. Hardworking and organized.
QWeaknesses as a designer? A Overthinking it.
QWhat have been your influences? A Historical art movements.
QWhat's playing on your iPod while you design? A Bauhaus. The Smiths. Swann Danger.
QFavorite material/fabric to work with? A Leather.
QFavorite designer(s)? A Ann Demeulemeester, Rick Owens, Yohji Yamamoto.
QSketch or drape? A Both.
QPatterns or solids? A Solids.
QFavorite colors? A Black.
QBiggest fear as a designer? A Failing.
QFashion must? A Leather jacket.
QFashion faux pas that drives you crazy? A UGGs.
QUgliest item of clothing/accessory you've worn? A Birkenstocks.
QFavorite style icon? A Nancy Cunard, Patti Smith, Daphne Guinness.
QHow would you dress Michelle Obama? A Dress - an original, with a leather jacket.
QDream celebrity client? What would you make for him/her? A Anjelina Jolie. A gown.
QFavorite super model muse? A Kate Moss.
QIf you had to name your label, you'd call it... A Ilinka.
QIf you weren't designing, you'd be... A On vacation.
QAny cultures/places you wish you could design for? A Belgium/Antwerp. Japan/Tokyo. Italy/Tuscany. Germany/Berlin.
QDream place to set up your design business? A Tuscany.
QList of websites featuring your work? A melissafleis.squarespace.com, yuliskincare.com, learn.ist
QHow were you described as a kid? A Outgoing, determined, loving, creative, busy.
QHow are you described now? A Independent, passionate, focused, funny, hardworking, creative, busy.
QWhy are you easy or difficult to live with? A Easy: Great at interior design and creating an organized, functional living space.
QFavorite hangout? A Farb's.
QHobbies? A Photography, interior design, antiquing, hiking.
QFavorite films/TV shows? A "A Clockwork Orange," "Eyes Wide Shut," "Breakfast at Tiffany`s," "Pulp Fiction," "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari," "Edward Scissorhands," "Fight Club," "Twin Peaks," "Mad Men," "True Blood," "The Tudors," "Arrested Development," "South Park."
QFavorite books/authors? A Edgar Allen Poe, Jack Kerouac, Hemingway, "The Beat Reader."
QFavorite websites? A "The Beat Reader," Style Zeitgeist, Dirty Flaws, Some Lash Things Magazine, Interview, Huffington Post
QiPhone, Android, or Blackberry? A iPhone.
QFast food or gourmet? A Gourmet.
QCooking or takeout? A Depends on the night.
QFavorite food(s)? A Arugula salads, filet mignon, fresh baked bread. Californian, Mexican, Italian, Japanese.
QBeer or wine? A Beer.
QGuiltiest pleasure? A Nutella.
QBiggest pet peeve? A Being late.
QHow'd you end up auditioning for PR? A Received a call at work saying they were looking for designers. I emailed, sent photos, and got a callback.
QFavorite PR designer? A Christian Siriano.
QChallenge you hope they bring back? A Hardware store.
QChallenge you hope they don't bring back? A Petland.
QWhat's your take on team challenges? A On the fence.sometimes it can be a disaster.
QWhat do you look for in a model? A A specific look with attitude and height.
QDo you think you can win PR? A Yes, because I am confident in my vision and believe "Project Runway" will recognize this.