The official site for "Project Runway" Season 13 offers video, designer portfolios, Rate the Runway, blogs and more.
Age 24, Los Angeles, CA - Out Episode 2
QDescribe your family. AMy parents are fun, health nuts, and good-looking (thanks for the DNA, guys!) We are super Russian – we frequently have tea-time, have very silly rules about superstitions that are actually taken very seriously, love to talk talk talk. Being a close, tight-knit family is important. My dad is king of all bad jokes, and it’s unfortunately started to rub off on me.
QCurrent occupation? AI am a self-employed designer and costumer under my own label, Halcyon!
QPast jobs? ADue to my extensive background in illustration and being up-to-date in pop culture, I’ve had many jobs ranging from trendy graphic design to character concept art. I have recently found myself producing a lot of costumes for musicians. When I was a teenager, I started booking and producing my own music events because my parents wouldn’t allow me to go see my favorite bands in L.A. I had very successful, often sold-out shows, and I became known in my city for having been so young and succeeding thus far!
QPets? AMy pug’s name is Lola, who I adopted from Pug Nation of LA. I actually wanted to change her name because “Lola” wasn’t my first choice, but she responded to it really well and I figured training her with a new name wasn’t worth the trouble.
QNicknames? ACare-Bear (rhymes with Carrie and it’s pretty cute), Carrie Berry (because I’m obsessed with fruit), Carrichka (the affectionate way to say my name in Russian), Panda (boyfriend thinks I’m a panda sometimes because I love to sleep, eat, and sometimes I’m clumsy).
QWhen did you realize you had designer potential? AI’d been sewing since I was 10 and thought I would be an artist, but after reading a Japanese comic book about fashion design (whose character had my name and look and eerily similar friends), the level of detail in the designs triggered something inside of me and I knew INSTANTLY that that was my path.
QFirst garment you ever made? AI made myself pajama bottoms that had a cute ice cream print!
QWhat's your design training/schooling, etc.? ASummer sewing classes from 10-12 years old, then high school sewing classes, but by that time I was so good that my sewing teacher literally left the teaching up to me, and I did great. I went to a community college whilst attending my senior year of high-school to take pattern-drafting and draping, then moved on to my dream college at OTIS College of Art and Design. Got my BFA in one of the toughest Fashion Design courses ever!
QHave you won any awards for your designs/work related to design? AI didn’t choose to showcase very much (no time), but the one event I decided to give a chance to had a pre-meditated winner before anyone could even see all of the designers and make a fair decision on who the winner was. I was bummed and kind of turned off from competitions in fear that they would repeat this pre-meditated popularity-driven contest, and not focus on the actual designs fairly.
QStrengths as a designer? AFast, open-minded, innovative, communicative, and I can efficiently handle every step of the design process myself. Strengths in structured garments, innovative seaming and fine draping.
QWeaknesses as a designer? ALike most people, I’m always working on time management. I also have to remind myself to not over-design because I have innumerable ideas, but it’s extremely important to know how and when to edit down!
QWhat are your influences? AMy initial inspiration for design was all the various subcultures and trends of Japanese Street Fashion because of the amount of versatility and imagination-food it provided. That culture continues to inspire me today, but I am now especially into post-modern designers who have a futuristic aesthetic and/or innovative ways of creating and using texture.
QWhat's playing on your iPod when you're designing? AIt varies. I have a large electronic library with many sub-categories, as well as rock, “goth”, ethereal, trip-hop, and some underground hip-hop.
QFavorite material or fabric to work with? AI love leather! I also love vegan leather because nowadays it looks and feels very believable – except I can’t for the life of me figure out where to source it from. I’m also partial to drapey knits right now.
QItem you're most proud of designing? AI don’t have a particular favorite garment. I’m happy about all of them!
QFavorite designer(s)? AGareth Pugh, Haider Ackermann, Alexander McQueen, and Givenchy, to name a few.
QSketch or drape? ABoth. Sometimes you realize that you can’t drape what you sketched out, and need to alter it (which often leads to a better design).
QPatterns or solids? ASolids and textures. Depends on the pattern.
QFavorite colors? ABlue, purple, and pink! Black isn't a color, unfortunately.
QBiggest fear as a designer? APeople not wanting to wear my clothes.
QFashion must? AI LOVE outerwear, so something like a cool jacket is a must. Plus cool leggings.
QFashion faux pas that drives you crazy? APeople who wear jeans and (often oversized) t-shirts tucked inside, in addition to beat-up white sneakers. Bleh!
QUgliest item of clothing/accessory you've worn? ABest I got is a giant XXL t-shirt over leggings or sweatpants because I had no time to dress myself.
QFavorite style icon? ADon’t have a fave.
QWhat would you design for the First Lady? AA beautifully draped, elegant dress with a strong, structured piece of outerwear.
QCelebrity you wish you could design for? AI’d love to design Jared Leto a whole sportswear outfit! I’d make him a super cool and futuristic, almost alien-looking leather jacket to go with his out-of-this-world music persona.
QFavorite supermodel muse? AJessica Stam. I think she’s absolutely gorgeous and although feminine and dainty, she can also rock a strong, androgynous look. I love her chameleon capabilities.
QIf you had to name your label, you'd call it... AHave one, it’s called Halcyon.
QIf you weren't designing, you'd be... AIllustrating. And if nothing from the art world, I’d be a damn good lawyer.
QDream place to set up your business? ALos Angeles, New York, Japan.
QWebsites that feature your work? AMy personal website is under construction, but my domain is www.HouseOfHalcyon.com. You can also find me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/HalcyonLA
QHow were you described as a kid? AHighly artistic, energetic, nerdy.
QHow are you described by your family and friends? AHighly creative, charismatic, driven, funny, leader-like archetype, and inspirational (daww).
QWhy do you think you're easy to live with? AI try to be very communicative because that’s essential to a harmonious living situation.
QFavorite hangout? AI like to go dancing and to fun art and fashion events. Although, some of the best times are in your own backyard.
QHobbies? ADrawing, video games, cosplay, sleeping.
QFavorite movies and TV shows? A"Sailor Moon," "Alice in Wonderland," "Game of Thrones," "Vikings," "Modern Family," "The Dog Whisperer."
QFavorite books/authors? ARay Bradbury, Poppy Z. Brite, Anne Rice, the brothers Grimm (yes, I love fairytales).
QFavorite websites? ANot one in particular.
QYour Twitter handle: A@lollivamp
QiPhone/Android/Blackberry? AGraduated from iPhone to Android and don’t regret it!
QFast food or gourmet? AGourmet.
QCooking or takeout? ABoth.
QFavorite foods? AStrawberries, sushi, sweets.
QBeer or wine? ADon't really care for either.
QGuiltiest pleasure? AReese’s peanut butter cups. In fact, anything that Reese’s makes.
QBiggest pet peeve? AThat feel/sound when your mechanical pencil’s lead breaks and you find yourself carving into paper instead. It makes me want to flip tables.
QHow did you end up auditioning for PR? AI got an email on my portfolio page for the second time, and decided to take it seriously. I’d never auditioned for anything before, but I figured, f@#% it! I had a lot of encouraging from my boyfriend and friends; they all thought I could do it and, well, here I am!
QFavorite past PR designer? AChristian Siriano (Season 4), Dom (Season 12), Elena Slivnyak (Season 10).
QChallenge you wish they'd bring back? ALove both the avant garde and makeover challenges!
QChallenge you hope they don't? ADesigning for babies. I can do it and all but I kind of have to question the relevance of that of challenge.
QYour take on team challenges: ACould be great with the right kind of people. As long as your team members understand that they can’t be married to their own ideas (same goes for you), and to understand that the design in question needs to be considered for the greater good of the challenge and not how they personally feel about their “baby." If they can put all personal feelings aside and act in a business manner about it, we can make it work.
QWhat do you look for in a model? AI love a thin, yet curvy model with a feminine look, but also androgynous enough that she can come off as being tough and strong.
QDo you think you can win "Project Runway"? AI do. I feel I have a lot of interesting design that people want to see more of, and want to see me expand on. I absolutely love playing new levels of seaming, structure and construction and texture and feel it is MY TIME to showcase my point of view and help evolve fashion into a new era. I want people to step into my world and step out as evolved creatures. I’m really open to all aspects of design because although I have my own style, the only way to prove yourself as a versatile designer is to be fearless and willing to test boundaries, especially where you’re not comfortable. I’m aiming to show a glimpse of that through PR.