Describe your family.
They are slightly unhinged yet grounded and supportive. My father is the utmost example of integrity and support. My mother is super encouraging and beyond sweet. My older sister is loved by all. She has a wonderful outlook on life and has a huge heart.
I manage a large salon in New Orleans.
My first job was at a teacher supply store. I pretty much did bulletin boards for seven years.
I am too selfish for this.
I have a ton, depending on who is talking to me. However, I mostly answer to Mat. Have been called: Mattingsworth (friend thought I needed an uptown name), Flo (the girls in my high school couldn't articulate "floor"), a****** (friends when I get sassy), b**** (friends when I get even sassier), etc.
When did you realize you had designer potential?
I got asked to do some menswear for a charity show. I had never made anything past bags and a vest. I agreed, and I got a huge response. So, I got the bug.
First garment you ever made?
It was this patchwork vest. I needed something interesting to wear to work. I wanted to be daring, so I added faux leather and a bit of purple. I thought I was being so daring.
What's your design training/schooling, etc.?
Someone handed me a sewing machine and told me that they thought I would be good at making clothes. I started taking things apart and researching techniques. So, I am one of those self-taught folks.
Have you won any awards for your designs/work related to design?
No, that seems weird to me.
Strengths as a designer?
When it comes to my work, I have a knack for playing with print, color and alternative materials. Also, I kill it at styling.
Weaknesses as a designer?
The technical side. I scare some of my designer friends, because I have my own way of doing a lot of things. It stresses them out, but it gets done.
What are your influences?
Kelly Bundy is probably the most relevant style reference in the past couple of years for me. I always have a KB moment in a collection. New Orleans street culture has a huge impact on my work also. I love a good 3 a.m. girl: textured hair from a night of dancing, still holding on to her makeup with heavy liner and a bold lip color, and clinching onto her cocktail as she travels to the next stop.
What's playing on your iPod when you're designing?
My music selection is all over the place when I am designing. Most times, though, I am listening to Gossip, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Santigold, The Xx, The Knife, Black Keys, Black Soft, O. Children, The Kills, Azealia Banks, Rye Rye, MIA, Tune Yards, The Pixies, and other annoying, guilt-inducing indie pop. However, give me a good Robyn or Kelis mix and I am good. Have to avoid stuff like Rihanna and Beyonce. I would rather dance than work at that point.
Favorite material or fabric to work with?
Lately, I have been working a lot with yarn.
Item you're most proud of designing?
My Halloween costumes the past four years.
Alexander McQueen, Nicolas Ghesquiere, Marc Jacobs, Gareth Pugh, Thom Browne, Vivienne Westwood, etc.
Sketch or drape?
I do both.
Patterns or solids?
Patterns!!!!!! (said screaming)
These change constantly. Right now: emerald, mustard and royal blue.
Biggest fear as a designer?
Failure (which I define as me unhappy).
Confidence. If you feel like a million bucks in a pair of ripped jeans and a T-shirt, chin up and work it out. Confidence breeds success. (I hate the word "breeds," btw.)
Fashion faux pas that drives you crazy?
I hate social doctrine and the idea of a faux pas. .If it's legal and makes you happy, I don't care, is what my dad always told me. I say do it in 3's and it becomes a trend.
Ugliest item of clothing/accessory you've worn?
Jnco jeans . I had the Taxis, and I can't believe I thought it was okay to wear that. However, I want all my Girbaud jeans back.
Favorite style icon?
I said it earlier: Kelly Bundy.
What would you design for the first lady?
Just because the idea makes me laugh, I am going to say I would love to put her in a tube dress and an ankle monitor. Get it, Michelle.
Celebrity you wish you could design for?
I simply would die if Beyonce ever let me make something for her. She's a Southern girl who loves to move . It would be some print-on-print, form-fitting dress. Jay-Z, I will hook your baby mama up.
Favorite supermodel muse?
I have a sign in my bedroom that says, "Who's the Boss? Kate Moss."
If you had to name your label, you'd call it...
Mattingsworth for ready-to-wear, Matthew Arthur for couture (I guess).
If you weren't designing, you'd be...
Tapping (street performer style).
Places/cultures you wish you could design for?
I love rich ethnic cultures. Anywhere I can find a good motif, I am down.
Dream place to set up your business?
"In America, there is New York, San Francisco, and New Orleans, everywhere else is Cleveland." -Mark Twain
Websites that feature your work?
How were you described as a kid?
A nerdy kid but always relevant.
How are you described by your family and friends?
"Funny, creative, always thinking outside the box, likes French fries, very personable" (knows me). "Quick wit, loyal, imaginative, daring, spontaneous, and the funny jester" (apparently, I'm the ass of every joke). "Slut." (probably mad I asked him). "A solid friend, honest, sensitive, loyal, hilarious, appreciative, passionate, independent" (so, he's lying).
Why do you think you're easy to live with?
I am so laid-back at home. I am very easy to live with, surprisingly.
As a child, Roald Dahl was my favorite author. In college, I adored Tennessee Williams. Now I just read self-help books. Favorite of those is "The War of Art" by Steven Pressfield.
Obviously, Facebook (I hate myself for that. Can we all go back to Myspace?)
Your Twitter handle?
Favorite Twitter accounts?
Oh, I can't say . I have a sick sense of humor sometimes. Could be offensive to some.
Fast food or gourmet?
If it's not fried, I'm not eating it.
Cooking or takeout?
I can't cook. Maybe this is why I am single .
Beer or wine?
I drink beer during a parade or crawfish boil, wine (not in a box) with dinner or for game night, and vodka for nights out.
Hmmm, fast food at 3 a.m.
Biggest pet peeve?
Questionnaires from Lifetime. Um, people who take themselves too seriously, bullying, ignorance, dishonesty, disloyalty, Honey Boo Boo.
How did you end up auditioning for PR?
My roommates forced me. This was my first attempt.
Favorite past PR designer?
Jay made me laugh. I know Anthony Ryan and support him.
Challenge you wish they'd bring back?
I love unconventional challenges.
Challenge you hope they don't?
Kids stress me out. Think they are cute but am clueless how to handle them.
Your take on team challenges:
Team challenges can be very stressful, but I work well with most people, so bring it on.
What do you look for in a model?
Has to have the right proportions and b**** better be able to walk.
Do you think you can win "Project Runway"?
I am going to have to bring my voodoo dolls.