Ben Chmura

OUT 03/11/2010

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Exit Interview: Episode 8

Designer exit interview: Episode 8. See which designer failed to impress the judges in the challenge to create...
  • Exit Interview: Episode 8
  • Extended Judging of Ben Chmura, Episode 8
  • Tim Critiques Ben Chmura: Episode 8
  • Ben Chmura Video Blog: Episode 8
  • Tim Critiques Ben Chmura: Episode 7
BEN'S DESIGN IN EPISODE 8: The Elements of Fashion
The designers must create a look inspired by one of the four natural elements. Guest Judge: Roland Mouret. Aired March 11 at 10 pm et/pt
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OVERALL RATING:1.8 /5
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OVERALL RATING 2.5 / 5
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  • QUESTIONS & ANSWERS: BEN'S TAKE

    1 of 54 questions
    What was the first garment you ever made?
    For my Intro to Fashion class, a collection inspired by two Matisse paintings.
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    2 of 54 questions
    What is your music of choice when designing?
    Everything from Roisin Murphy and The Presets to Britney Spears, Arcade Fire and Santogold.
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    3 of 54 questions
    When did you realize you had designer potential?
    Junior year of college, when a professor from Paris showed confidence in me as a designer.
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    4 of 54 questions
    Favorite designer(s)?
    Nicolas Ghesquiere, Marc Jacobs, Proenza Schouler, Alexander McQueen, Martin Margiela, Hedi Slimane.
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    5 of 54 questions
    Current occupation?
    Designer.
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    6 of 54 questions
    Can you describe past jobs you've had?
    Freelanced for Express Men's, Club Monaco, Ralph Lauren, TSE cashmere and American Eagle.
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    7 of 54 questions
    What is a fashion must?
    At least one really good vintage designer piece.
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    8 of 54 questions
    What is your design training?
    BFA in Fashion Design from Savannah College of Art and Design.
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    9 of 54 questions
    Have you won any awards related to design?
    Creative Loafing's Best of the Bay award in Tampa for Best Local Clothing Designer in 2007.
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    10 of 54 questions
    What are your strengths as a designer?
    Woven dresses with a retro-futuristic element; also contemporary menswear.
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    11 of 54 questions
    What are your weaknesses as a designer?
    I don't always know when to stop. I take on many projects at once, thinking that I can do it all.
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    12 of 54 questions
    What's influenced your designs over the years?
    Comic book illustration, sci-fi movies and, most of all, music!
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    13 of 54 questions
    What's your favorite material or fabric to work with?
    Woven fabrics, especially silk noil and silk linens, and raw, natural fibers.
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    14 of 54 questions
    What's the item you're most proud of designing?
    No one particular item; I'm proud of it all in some way.
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    15 of 54 questions
    Do you prefer sketching or draping?
    Eight times out of 10, I sketch. Sometimes I like the idea of draping to have that organic process.
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    16 of 54 questions
    Do you prefer patterns or solids?
    Both! I love mixing patterns, textures, colors. I love to color-block my designs as well.
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    17 of 54 questions
    What are your favorite colors?
    I'm definitely a sucker for black, but I also love reds and coppers.
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    18 of 54 questions
    What's your biggest fear as a designer?
    To not make it in some way in the industry.
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    19 of 54 questions
    What fashion faux pas drives you crazy?
    Uggs and Crocs.
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    20 of 54 questions
    What's the ugliest thing you've ever worn?
    There have been many. I'd have to say my most ridiculous phase was my raver phase in college.
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    21 of 54 questions
    Who are your favorite style icons?
    I know it's cliche, but Madonna has been an amazing style icon for the past couple of decades.
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    22 of 54 questions
    How would you dress first lady Michelle Obama?
    An evening look that incorporated my retro-futuristic style.
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    23 of 54 questions
    What celebrity would you like to design for?
    Rihanna would be at the top of my list! I'd love to do an amazing futuristic dress for her.
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    24 of 54 questions
    Who's your supermodel muse?
    Coco Rocha.
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    25 of 54 questions
    What do you look for in a model?
    A unique look that doesn't look like anything I've ever seen before.
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    26 of 54 questions
    If you had to name your label, you'd call it . . .
    Ben Chmura. It's my name, and I like it.
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    27 of 54 questions
    If you weren't designing, you'd be . . .
    A comic book illustrator.
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    28 of 54 questions
    Dream place to set up your design business?
    NYC. Planning to move back and focus on getting back into the industry.
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    29 of 54 questions
    Any other cultures or places you wish you could design for?
    Does the Moon count?
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    30 of 54 questions
    How were you described as a kid?
    Quiet, introverted. Would always choose to stay inside and draw rather than go outside and play.
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    31 of 54 questions
    How are you described now?
    Loyal, outgoing but still a little reserved. Love to have a good time. Good listener.
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    32 of 54 questions
    Can you describe your family?
    Typical New England family. Supportive of my art, and now my fashion career, since I was young.
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    33 of 54 questions
    Marriage or kids?
    Married to my husband Bobby, eight months. No kids.
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    34 of 54 questions
    Do you have any pets?
    Malfi, a one-year-old Scottish terrier.
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    35 of 54 questions
    Do you have any nicknames?
    Chmura Lee, after Kimora Lee. It's a nickname from my best friends from college.
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    36 of 54 questions
    Why are you (or aren't you) easy to live with?
    I'm pretty easygoing. I try to be practical. I'm not obnoxious and loud.
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    37 of 54 questions
    What's your favorite hangout back home?
    Besides our home, it would have to be Czar nightclub.
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    38 of 54 questions
    What are your hobbies besides designing?
    Reading and watching movies and TV (good inspiration for me).
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    39 of 54 questions
    What are your favorite movies?
    Serial Mom, Party Girl, Velvet Goldmine, Grey Gardens, and anything fashion-related.
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    40 of 54 questions
    What are your favorite TV shows?
    Heroes and Gossip Girl.
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    41 of 54 questions
    What are your favorite books and authors?
    Ray Bradbury's The Martian Chronicles, Dostoyevsky's The Possessed, Aldous Huxley's Brave New World.
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    42 of 54 questions
    What are your favorite websites?
    Vip Music Blog, FashionIndie.com & WWD.
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    43 of 54 questions
    iPhone or BlackBerry?
    Neither, I love the T-Mobile Android G-1.
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    44 of 54 questions
    Fast food or gourmet?
    Gourmet food is incredible; I could eat it every day. But fast food is definitely a guilty pleasure!
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    45 of 54 questions
    Cooking or takeout?
    I actually love to cook. It makes me feel good to make a meal that other people enjoy.
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    46 of 54 questions
    Favorite food?
    I love Polish/Eastern European food. And I LOVE Italian!
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    47 of 54 questions
    Beer or wine?
    Beer: Boddington's or Yuengling.
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    48 of 54 questions
    Guiltiest pleasure?
    Cadbury Mini Eggs. I get three or four huge bags each Easter so they'll last me a while.
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    49 of 54 questions
    Biggest pet peeve?
    Someone who eats the last of your food without asking.
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    50 of 54 questions
    Favorite designer from past seasons of Project Runway?
    I really liked Jay McCarroll.
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    51 of 54 questions
    Project Runway challenge you wish they'd bring back for your season?
    The auto parts/interiors challenge! That was amazing!!!
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    52 of 54 questions
    Project Runway challenge you hope they don't bring back?
    Anything with food! I can't imagine coming back the next day and seeing my look spoiled!
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    53 of 54 questions
    Your take on team challenges . love them?
    Love the idea of two people coming up with something neither would have done on their own.
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    54 of 54 questions
    How did you end up auditioning for Project Runway?
    Auditioned three times. Wasn't going to do it, but my husband and I said, What do I have to lose?

BEN'S PHOTO GALLERIES

Check out Ben's Past Work Photos

All Project Runway Photos