The official site for "Project Runway" Season 12 offers video, designer portfolios, Rate the Runway photos, blogs and more.
Age 29, Queens, NY - Out Episode 8
What the fans are saying about PROJECT RUNWAY
Q&A Karen's Take
QDescribe your family. AMy family is my epic, outgoing husband and our two amazo kitties!
QCurrent occupation? APart-time babysitter/self-employed fashion designer.
QPast jobs? AInternships with fashion companies in NYC, sports reporter/photographer for papers in Savannah and S. Florida, and photo lab technician at SCAD.
QPets? ALenny: brown tabby cat. Mr. Boots: tuxedo cat that’s also polydactyl. And a pet rock named Flounder. =)
QNicknames? AGator: I love alligators, and as a child people who knew me at camp, at church, basically everywhere, would call me Gator. Also, K-Rad, or “Raddy,” a nickname my husband and I came up with, because he says I’m so rad!
QWhen did you realize you had designer potential? AI grew up sewing and was a part of 4-H, where I learned new sewing techniques and created new garments from store-bought patterns, but it wasn’t really until my junior/senior year at the college where I studied fashion that I realized I had not only the potential, but also the desire, to be a designer and have my own line. Prior to that, I loved fashion, but was leaning toward doing something like using my journalism degree to be a fashion editor or journalist.
QFirst garment you ever made? AI was 9, and it was a handkerchief-shaped halter crop top and a simple pencil skirt--both in a fun dinosaur print.
QWhat's your design training/schooling, etc.? AI double-majored in fashion design and photography at the Savannah College of Art and Design, in Savannah, Georgia, and I grew up sewing in 4-H, and learning sewing from my mum and grandma.
QHave you won any awards for your designs? AI haven’t won any awards per se, but I was invited to show my senior collection at an annual SCAD fund-raiser, where some pieces were bought from my collection, and I was accepted to compete against 19 other designers at the Charleston Fashion Show in 2013, where I showed an 8-look F/W collection.
QStrengths as a designer? AMy fabric choices, use of color and print designs and tailoring.
QWeaknesses as a designer? AI wish my hand and Illustrator flat sketching abilities were better!
QWhat are your influences? AFabrics and prints have always been an influence on my designs, but my current influences are also art, architecture, travel, photography, menswear, and vintage fashion and art deco design.
QWhat's playing on your iPod when you're designing? AIt’s such an eclectic mix: Lady Gaga, Glee, Mumford & Sons, Jack Johnson and the Beatles.
QFavorite material or fabric to work with? AI love colors and prints, and working with silks, leather, wools and fun, interesting-looking fabrics like a metallic woven, or a neon plastic-like material!
QItem you're most proud of designing? AMy wedding dress--a non-traditional strapless mint gown with a fishtail and structured bodice. I wore it with a beaded headband that I made, and a vintage mink stole. It was boho-vintage glam perfection! Also, I adore a jacket that I made for Charleston Fashion Week that’s this crazy neon-yellow wool. I call it the “Yellow Submarine” jacket. It’s divine!
QFavorite designer(s)? AI love Kate Spade, Tory Burch, J.Crew, John Patrick Organic, Michael Kors, Proenza Schouler, Dries Van Noten and Miu Miu.
QSketch or drape? AI like to do both. Initially I like to sketch, but then I play around with those ideas while draping on the form.
QPatterns or solids? APatterns AND color. Yes, please!
QFavorite colors? AI love green in all it’s many delectable forms: aqua, mint, kelly, olive, neon. I also love yellow and blue’s exciting range of color tones!
QBiggest fear as a designer? AI think not being able to do what I love, or not being able to share it with others through a platform where someone can access my looks for their own wardrobe.
QFashion must? AMy amazo neon-yellow satchel bag.
QFashion faux pas that drives you crazy? AWearing Uggs with denim cutoffs. In the summer.
QUgliest item of clothing/accessory you've worn? AProbably a fanny pack while on vacation.
QFavorite style icon? AKatharine Hepburn.
QWhat would you design for the First Lady? ASomething that melds classic style with innovativeness.
QCelebrity you wish you could design for? AElle Fanning. I’d want to create a garment that’s a reflection of who she is: graceful and beautiful and with a hint of vintage design.
QFavorite supermodel muse? ACoco Rocha and Dree Hemingway.
QIf you had to name your label, you'd call it... AGo.See.Do.
QIf you weren't designing, you'd be... ATraveling around the world, photographing and writing books.
QPlaces/cultures you wish you could design for? AEurope. I love the design aesthetic of European fashion--especially the Parisian Chic effortlessness!
QDream place to set up your business? AParis.
QWebsites that feature your work? Awww.letsgoseedo.com and https://www.facebook.com/LetsGoSeeDo
QHow were you described as a kid? AFunny, active and interested in everything!
QHow are you described by your family and friends? AFull of energy and life. Creative and someone who spreads joy and fun wherever I go.
QWhy do you think you're easy to live with? AI’m pretty low-maintenance, with the exception that I need a quiet environment when I am trying to sleep.
QFavorite hangout? AThe beach, or any of the amazing parks here in NYC.
QHobbies? AJamming on my violin with my husband playing the guitar, BBQs with friends, vintage and thrift shopping, photography, bike riding, exploring new areas of NYC and hanging out with friends.
QFavorite movies and TV shows? A"Midnight in Paris" is my absolute favorite movie. I’m also obsessed with "Boardwalk Empire," and I can’t forget "Seinfeld"!
QFavorite books/authors? A I’m currently reading "Committed" by Elizabeth Gilbert and F. Scott Fitzgerald’s "The Great Gatsby," but I also love Jane Austen’s works, and anything by Malcolm Gladwell.
QFavorite websites? ANY Times, Pinterest, http://fuckyeahcartography.tumblr.com/ and the Sartorialist
QYour Twitter handle? A@LetsGoSeeDo
QFavorite Twitter accounts? A@jporganic, @michaelkors, @womensweardaily and @cfda
QFast food or gourmet? AIt depends. I can always go for a cheap New York pizza, but I do love epic French food and wine.
QCooking or takeout? AI love to cook with my husband, so I prefer to do that more often than to order takeout.
QFavorite foods? AI love sauteed spinach and pine nuts, my mum’s lasagna, homemade pizza and sushi.
QBeer or wine? AI love French wine, but I also love a good hard apple cider!
QGuiltiest pleasure? AIce cream and chocolate and peanut butter. Mix them all together and I am in heaven!
QBiggest pet peeve? ABeing rude and inconsiderate. It never helps a situation, and it’s uncalled-for 99 percent of the time.
QHow did you end up auditioning for PR? AI auditioned last year through the application process, but didn’t get in. This year I missed the deadline for the application, so instead I went to the open call. What a whirlwind! I never thought they’d take me this far!
QFavorite past PR designer? AThere are many past-season favorites that I have, but I must say that I loved Fabio Costa.
QChallenge you wish they'd bring back? AThe light challenge.
QChallenge you hope they don't? AThe drag-queen costume challenge.
QYour take on team challenges: AI actually didn’t hate them. Because most companies have designers work in teams, I thought it was an interesting way to mimic reality.
QWhat do you look for in a model? A It depends on the collection and the overall look that I’m going for, but in general I like tall models who have long legs and look like there’s life to them. They look fresh and alive and healthy. Not overly skinny and sickly or dull.
QDo you think you can win "Project Runway"? AI wouldn’t be here if I didn’t think I could take this epic challenge on! It would be amazo to win, and I think I have what it takes to create something innovative and with that certain winning element!