Project Runway Season 12 (5th Place)
Project Runway All Stars Season 4 (3rd Place)
After placing fifth on Season 12 of “Project Runway,” and third on Season 4 of “Project Runway All Stars,” Helen’s business has been great, but she’s looking to grow her brand and take it to the next level. In 2015, she worked for Zac Posen and has recently moved her studio out of her kitchen and into a great new spot in NYC’s garment district.
This time around, Helen is in it to win it. She’s not concerned with making any friends and isn’t going to let anyone get in the way. She’s putting her business on hold in order to compete on “All Stars,” and is excited to learn more and prosper from the judges’ criticism and guidance.
CATCH UP WITH HELEN:
Bring us up to speed! What have you been up to since your time on “Project Runway”?
I have shown at NYFW the past few seasons, had a rooftop debut of my AW17 collection on 7th Avenue and presented my SS18 collection, which has been my largest collection of evening wear up to date at Metropolitan West. These experiences have really helped shape my confidence and made me realize how much hard work and dedication pay off in the grand scheme of being part of this industry. More recently, I have moved to Hell’s Kitchen to be closer to my design studio and I also teach fashion full-time at a public high school in my hometown of Union City, NJ.
What garment from your season of “Runway” do fans compliment you on the most to this day?
The garment I get the most recognition and compliments on is my Zales challenge red off-shoulder dress. A lot of people often compliment the neckline and seaming details and how the off-shoulder trend seemed to take off during the same season that episode debuted.
What do you think you are best remembered for from your season?
I think I am most remembered for my tailoring fitted gowns and garments, alongside my attitude.
What are your strengths as a designer at this point in your career? Any weaknesses you’re still working on?
With every collection I try to evolve my aesthetic and learn from the challenges I attempt to fulfill with new silhouettes. I think my biggest strength in my career right now is my confidence and not allowing other people’s negative opinions affect how I feel about myself.
How has your design aesthetic changed since your time on the show, if at all?
When I first started Season 12 I was fresh out of college. If there is anything extremely significant that has change about my aesthetic since starting my first season on the show is my ability to create superbly fitted gowns for any body type.
Who is your favorite fellow “Project Runway” designer from any season, including yours, and why?
Kate Pankoke is definitely and always will be my favorite fellow designer. Between her compassion and endless creative perspective on everything she encounters, she is a major inspiration to me.
What makes you all-star material?
What makes me all-star material (Part 2!) is the fact that I know myself and my abilities better than I did yesterday. I feel as if I am always growing and learning from myself and my experiences.