• Amanda Perna from Project Runway Season 9
  • Anthony Ryan Auld from Project Runway Season 9
  • Anya Ayoung-Chee from Project Runway Season 9
  • Becky Ross from Project Runway Season 9
  • Bert Keeter from Project Runway Season 9
  • Bryce Black from Project Runway Season 9
  • Cecilia Motwani from Project Runway Season 9
  • Danielle Everine from Project Runway Season 9
  • David Chum from Project Runway Season 9
  • Fallene Wells from Project Runway Season 9
  • Gunnar Deatherage from Project Runway Season 9
  • Joshua Christensen from Project Runway Season 9
  • Joshua McKinley from Project Runway Season 9
  • Julie Tierney from Project Runway Season 9
  • Kimberly Goldson from Project Runway Season 9
  • Laura Kathleen from Project Runway Season 9
  • Olivier Green from Project Runway Season 9
  • Rafael Cox from Project Runway Season 9
  • Serena da Conceicao from Project Runway Season 9
  • Viktor Luna from Project Runway Season 9

Gunnar Deatherage

21, Louisville, KY

What was the first garment you ever made?

A very simple dress for my younger cousin. We would put on performances and make our family sit down to watch us.

What's playing on your iPod when you're designing?

The Knife, Portishead or Santigold radios on Pandora. I'm all about Swedish techno.

When did you realize you had designer potential?

In high school. I really loved the feeling of just creating, and when people started to want the things I was creating, my gears started ticking.

Favorite designer(s)?

Rodarte, for sure. How fantastic that two sisters who were completely self-taught, and were the weird kids growing up, grew up to blossom into a fashion revolution

Current occupation?

Hairstylist for Aveda.

Can you describe past jobs you've had?

Creative directing, and serving.

What is a fashion must?

Lipstick, lipstick, lipstick. All women should wear it.

What is your design training?

I'm completely self-taught. I started with using patterns, and when I couldn't find what I wanted, I started to drape and make my own.

Have you won any awards related to design?

Center Ambassador dress, for the 2011 Julep Ball for the Kentucky Derby. Such an honor!

What are your strengths as a designer?

Color. With my background in beauty, I understand what tones do what for different shapes and skin tones.

What are your weaknesses as a designer?

I would say my weakness is menswear. I am not really a fan; I feel that menswear has a lot more restrictions than women's wear.

What's influenced your designs over the years?

In the past, the wow factor, the dress that stops the show. Now my aesthetic is more about asking, what can a woman wear out, and feel completely confident in?

What's your favorite material or fabric to work with?

Leather, baby! But I use a lot of silk. It takes a certain person to wear a lot of leather, so I don't end up using much of it.

What's the item you're most proud of designing?

The pieces I can't let go of. There are certain outfits I make that my heart and soul went into, and I cannot bear to part with them.

Do you prefer sketching or draping?


Do you prefer patterns or solids?

Solids ... why use a pattern when you can turn a solid into a textural pattern on your own?

What are your favorite colors?

Black, gray and white. Bland, I know, but if your personality shines, your clothing should just frame it.

What's your biggest fear as a designer?

Sending a dress I didn't believe in down a runway.

What's the ugliest thing you've ever worn?

I insisted on this turtleneck sweater in high school. Why, I have no clue, but at the time it felt nice.

Who are your favorite style icons?

As cliche as it is for a gay male to say Lady Gaga, I have to hand it to her. She has opened the door to pure creativity.

If you designed for the first lady, what would you design for her?

A nice skirt suit. She is so elegant, she needs something to show what a class act she truly is.

What celebrity would you like to design for?

Nicole Kidman. The woman has her own shape, haha. I would kill to design for her.

Who's your supermodel muse?

Stella Tennant. She is a dream.

What do you look for in a model?

I like the odd features, big eyes or big mouths, and a harsh eyebrow. It all boils down to who is going to fit into the story I have created for this collection.

If you weren't designing, you'd be . . .

Performing, or doing hair. Both are loves of my life, but designing just takes the front seat.

Dream place to set up your design business?

London, the birthplace of all things new and original.

Websites that feature your work, including your own site(s)?

Facebook, Tumblr, deatheragedesigns.com

Any other cultures or places you wish you could design for?

I am obsessed with the Scandinavian culture, so pristine and pure in their heritage. They have a beautiful history and a blooming fashion field.

How were you described as a kid?

Shy and fairly introverted. Growing up in a small town, being different is never easy. I held my emotions and creativity in a lot.

How are you described now?

They would say I'm bubbly and the catalyst to all things progressive. I push my loved ones to further themselves. If I can inspire them, I'm doing something right.

Can you describe your family?

Absolutely hilarious! The largest group of loving people. Nobody is ever judged, and everyone is accepted. When you say support system, we're the poster family.

Marriage or kids?

Single, no kids.

Do you have any nicknames?

Gunn, majority because of the unnatural harsh words that combine to make my name, haha.

Why are you (or aren't you) easy to live with?

I'm very laid-back. I don't see a reason to make a fuss over something that isn't a big deal in the long run ... you must pick your battles.

What's your favorite hangout back home?

My rooftop or the local coffee shop. I could spend hours in either.

What are your hobbies besides designing?

Photo shoots, dancing in my car, long walks, late-night running, and stargazing ... I'm a tree hugger at heart.

What are your favorite movies and TV shows?

I can't help but love Glee. I was myself a show-choir kid, so it brings back memories.

What are your favorite books and authors?

Edgar Allen Poe. As morbid as he can be, the man was a genius in portraying his creativity.

What are your favorite websites?

lookbook.nu and stumbleupon. If I sit down to enjoy either, it's a challenge to get back up.

iPhone, Android or BlackBerry?


Fast food or gourmet?

Fast food; it's cheap and easy. I'd rather spend my money on fabric or shoes.

Cooking or takeout?

Cooking. Cooking a nice meal with friends or loved ones is such a nice way to show appreciation.

Favorite food?

Indian food. I cannot get enough of it.

Beer or wine?

Wine, keep it classy.

Guiltiest pleasure?

I like Twilight. There is something so endearing about the ideas of hot vampires whisking you away.

Biggest pet peeve?

No self-confidence. Believe in you; if you don't, nobody will.

Favorite designer from past seasons of Project Runway?

Daniel Vosovic. He was, wow, amazing.

Project Runway challenge you hope they bring back for your season?

The mom challenge. How much fun would that be, to share that experience with my best friend?

Project Runway challenge you hope they don't bring back for your season?

The car challenge ... not that I couldn't do it, but there's only so much you can do with old upholstery and seatbelts.

Your take on team challenges ... love them or hate them?

I'm indifferent. I'll do them, but I'm a leader, so they could be interesting.

How did you end up auditioning for Project Runway?

On a whim, I decided to send in my portfolio. Two weeks later I was a semifinalist, and three weeks later I was off to NYC! This was my first time ever auditioning.

Why do you think you will win Project Runway?

A: I think I stand as good a chance as anyone. I give everything my all, and if it is supposed to happen, it will.