Describe your family?
|I'm the youngest of five children, all extremely talented (there's a doctor, a comedienne, a quilter, a musician and me). My parents have been married 45 years. We are a type A bunch, highly ambitious and educated.
I make my living now as a wardrobe stylist and costume designer. I work on everything from music videos to commercials to photo shoots. This month I've dressed musicians for red carpet, shot a hot-sauce ad and worked on a hospital training video.
My first job was making pizza. I've always worked retail as well- Hot Topic, the Limited, American Apparel, then smaller boutiques. In college I worked as a makeup artist and janitor (ying and yang!). In LA I worked as a sales and marketing coordinator for a shoe company.
We had a cat named K.C. (stands for Kitty Cat) that appeared at our door one day and never left. We are all allergic. But she seriously wouldn't leave.
Panda! Because it rhymes. My nieces and nephews (I have 13) know me as Aunty Pandy.
First garment you ever made?
My mother always gave me her old drapes and scraps of fabric, so I was throwing together costumes at a VERY young age. I finally started making basic skirts and dresses from patterns at around 10.
What's your design training/schooling, etc.?
I took sewing lessons in junior high and high school and then went on to earn a bachelor's degree in Clothing and Textile Design from the University of Nebraska.
Have you won any awards for your designs/work related to design?
This fall I was featured in "Nashville Scene" (our city's weekly mag) as "Best Fashion Designer" in town.
Strengths as a designer?
I am a 31-year-old woman, and I am very conscious of how a woman wants to look and feel in a garment. I'm always hyper-aware of proportion and line and fit.
Weaknesses as a designer?
I have a short attention span. By the time I'm halfway through a thought I've already moved on to the next idea. It's also why fashion is so attractive to me. You have to keep jumping to the next trend or collection!
What are your influences?
Every season I draw from international cultures, costume history, and music. I love combining seemingly disparate ideas. My Fall 2012 collection was titled "French Medieval Fly Girl". Combining those two ideas (medieval and '90s hip-hop) was so much easier and more fluid than one would think! I like having serious influences and injecting some humor into the whole process.
What's playing on your iPod when you're designing?
A Tribe Called Quest, Frank Zappa, Deee-Lite
Favorite material or fabric to work with?
I love jersey knit, rayon blends and leather.
Item you're most proud of designing?
My wedding dress! It was comfortable and elegant.
Isabel Marant, Yves Saint Laurent (especially in the '60s and '70s), Balmain (Christophe Decarnin's time there), Alexander Wang, Gareth Pugh, Holly Fulton, Vena Cava, Balenciaga (Nicolas Ghesquière)
Sketch or drape?
BOTH! Both way too important.
Patterns or solids?
Pattern on pattern!
I love the primaries with a secondary thrown in: red, blue, yellow, green and maybe some black to ground it all.
Biggest fear as a designer?
Losing my individual voice.
A unique point of view.
Fashion faux pas that drives you crazy?
Talking about fashion faux pas. Anything goes!
Ugliest item of clothing/accessory you've worn?
Uniforms of any kind. Goes against everything I believe in!
Favorite style icon?
1994 Cindy Crawford - "MTV's "House of Style" era.
What would you design for the first lady?
A simple sheath dress with some interesting detail - patchwork in futuristic fabric, for example.
Celebrity you wish you could design for?
Grimes: a giant fringed coat. Rihanna: a slinky red-carpet dress. Santigold: patterned pants and structured jacket.
Favorite supermodel muse?
NEWER girls I love: Raquel Zimmermann, Cara Delavigne and Anja Rubik.
If you had to name your label, you'd call it...
Valentine Valentine! Named after my ancestor who came to America from Copenhagen, Denmark.
If you weren't designing, you'd be...
In a band playing bass (been playing since I was 13).
Places/cultures you wish you could design for?
I would love to design textiles in West Africa or learn embroidery in Morocco.
Dream place to set up your business?
On a beach.
Websites that feature your work?
amandavalentine.com, avalentine.etsy.com, willmorganholland.com
How were you described as a kid?
I was serious and always working on a "project."
How are you described by your family and friends?
My husband says "hardworking and creative." I think most people would say I am kind, constantly working and often in my own world!
Why do you think you're easy to live with?
I am clean and quiet, so that's got to be nice! I am definitely a loner, and I've had roommates complain about that in the past!
The Stone Fox, a new bar/venue in Nashville.
Running, yoga, thrifting.
Favorite movies and TV shows?
The British version of "The Office," "Nashville" (duh), "Goodfellas," "Better Off Dead."
Malcolm Gladwell (The Tipping Point," "Blink," "Outliers").
Style.com, and I'm pretty hooked on Pinterest.com right now.
Your Twitter handle?
Favorite Twitter accounts?
I'm losing interest in Twitter - it's all Instagram now!!
Fast food or gourmet?
Gourmet. Fast food NEVER!!!
Cooking or takeout?
Indian, Thai, sushi. Oh, and fried chicken.
Beer or wine?
The Real Housewives shows.
Biggest pet peeve?
People who don't listen.
How did you end up auditioning for PR?
I had auditioned twice a few years ago and got far. I took a year off auditioning to get married and go on a honeymoon. I was going to skip auditioning again until my husband insisted I give it a go! He had a "really good feeling about it."
Favorite past PR designer?
Jeffrey Sebelia, Gretchen Jones.
Challenge you wish they'd bring back?
The unconventional Party Store Challenge!
Challenge you hope they don't?
Menswear of ANY KIND.
Your take on team challenges:
I am SO accustomed to working alone, I'm almost not SURE how I feel about team challenges. My instinct is to say HATE them, but maybe I just haven't given them a shot! I know that someone in a team usually ends up compromising their ideas/vision to make peace or have things run smoothly, and it;s almost always ME. The remnants of growing up in a crowded household!
What do you look for in a model?
I love tall, tall girls. Other than that- I love a unique look. Something different. I'm not just looking for a blank canvas.
Do you think you can win "Project Runway"?
YES! I design professionally. I've been designing for years. I also have a unique point of view that is forward-thinking and wearable at the same time. And doggoneit, I WANT it!