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Age 38, Los Angeles, CA - Out Episode 14
QDescribe your family. ALarge Irish-American family, I’m the youngest of 6.
QCurrent occupation? AAssistant designer.
QPast jobs? APatternmaker, modern dancer (14 years of touring).
QPets? AEddie, pound mutt.
QWhen did you realize you had designer potential? AI arrived at fashion design from both the performing and fine-art perspectives. I started collecting fabrics from around the world while I was on tour as a dancer. My partner, Josh, bought me a sewing machine, and after teaching myself how to sew, I began making rugs, quilts, book covers and pillows; basically anything to show off the fabrics. Being a dancer in NYC, everyone I saw all day carried a bag, or two, or three. I began a business making bags that grew over 10 years. I would tour with the dance company with my sewing machine in tow and set up each hotel room as my atelier. I then began making costumes for a burlesque show in NYC; some garments were very, very small (as one attending a burlesque show hopes) and some costumes were so large that they doubled as set pieces before I (or I mean someone) wore them. From there, upon retiring from the stage, with just 12 hours between my last show and beginning my design training at FIDM in LA, it was all "Runway"-bound.
QFirst garment you ever made? ABurlesque garment, the picture might not pass censor regulations! But I will tell you there were remote control LED lights in a very strategic place so that when the performer touched her toes %#$@*#$
QWhat's your design training/schooling, etc.? AFIDM
QHave you won any awards for your designs/work related to design? ATALA (Textile Association of Los Angeles) best use of textiles, 2012; FIDM Fashion Design Award 2012; FIDM Guess Inc. Scholarship 2012; HGA (Handweavers Guild of America) best of show 2011; Cotton Incorporated, Embellishment competition Finalist 2011
QStrengths as a designer? AFabric manipulation, embellishment, uncommon hand-sewing techniques.
QWeaknesses as a designer? ASpeed, eek!
QWhat are your influences? AAlways fine art and artists' concepts, and the fabric itself. Now my customer is a large influence on my designs.
QWhat's playing on your iPod when you're designing? AI don’t have one, but if I did, The Carter Family (founders of country music), baroque composer Purcell, and Animal Collective.
QFavorite material or fabric to work with? ASilk of any kind.
QItem you're most proud of designing? AA wedding dress that was the finale for my runway show in March 2013.
QFavorite designer(s)? ACharles James, Madame Gres, Valentino, Mugler.
QSketch or drape? AA bit of sketching, then give me some fabric!
QPatterns or solids? AYes and Yes.
QFavorite colors? ATurquoise.
QBiggest fear as a designer? AThe garment doesn’t sell.
QFashion must? APaul Smith shoes.
QFashion faux pas that drives you crazy? AMen buttoning the bottom button of their suit jackets.
QUgliest item of clothing/accessory you've worn? ABirkenstocks.
QFavorite style icon? ALulu Guinness.
QWhat would you design for the First Lady? APearl-embellished maxi skirt with racerback top.
QCelebrity you wish you could design for? AAnything Milla Jovovitch wants!
QIf you had to name your label, you'd call it... AbradonPAUL
QIf you weren't designing, you'd be... ADirecting opera.
QPlaces/cultures you wish you could design for? ALove to for Londoners; they take more risks, and actually want to have a unique look.
QDream place to set up your business? AMilan.
QWebsites that feature your work? AFIDM.edu
QHow were you described as a kid? ABusy and ready for attention.
QHow are you described by your family and friends? AMuch the same lol.
QWhy do you think you're easy to live with? AI’m kind and love to cook giant feasts; cleaning up is not my favorite, though.
QFavorite hangout? AChurch and State, downtown LA.
QHobbies? ADesign used to be my hobby. Now I don’t have time for any hobbies.
QFavorite movies and TV shows? A"Lord of the Rings," "Downton Abbey"
QFavorite books/authors? A"The Grapes of Wrath."
QFavorite websites? AValentino virtual museum.
QFast food or gourmet? AGourmet.
QCooking or takeout? ABoth.
QFavorite foods? ASteaks on the grill.
QBeer or wine? AGood red wine.
QGuiltiest pleasure? AI just have pleasures, they don’t make me feel guilty.
QBiggest pet peeve? AChanging travel plans at the last minute.
QHow did you end up auditioning for PR? AI have not auditioned before. I just saw followed the submission instructions on "Project Runway" website, and then got to meet Tim Gunn at the casting call (he IS so real!). I was happy with that much, and then I got “the call.” Now the excitement has dissipated and I am left with paralyzing anxiety.
QFavorite past PR designer? APatricia Michaels.
QChallenge you wish they'd bring back? AThunder from Down Under, just so I could see Nina’s laugh jag in person!! I still laugh when I think of her hiding under her note cards!!
QChallenge you hope they don't? AThunder from Down Under, it was the worst!!
QYour take on team challenges: AI think they are a great idea, and working as a team is what the fashion industry is all about.
QWhat do you look for in a model? AProportions first, then the walk.
QDo you think you can win "Project Runway"? AThere is a very slight chance that I could win, as long as the other 15 designers are blind and/or quit the show before the finale.