Monday, August 27, 2012
What made you decide to try out for Project Runway?
NP: Well, for me, it goes back to a long history because I've always been in fashion design. I've always wanted to be a designer and I didn't necessarily have the support of my family to do so. It was just something that was completely foreign to them. For me, it was actually my father who found Project Runway on TV. I actually moved away, gone to college, graduated, and started working in the corporate world. My father was the one that lagged behind in supporting me in fashion because he wanted me to go into a traditional field, have something stable, y'know big house, white picket fence - that American dream. But he saw Project Runway on TV, started watching it and called me up. He got me started watching it, it really changed his mindset to where he was able to accept fashion as something as a valid occupation. He started understanding the industry more and it changed his viewpoint. Now he's one of my supporters. For me, Project Runway was just something I wanted to do because it brought me and my father closer together and aligned our views. It's something that would complete the whole cycle for me.
Do you think you were true to your aesthetic for that last challenge?
NP: I felt that I had a portion of my aesthetic in there. It was different for me in last night's challenge because the challenge was, for me, to be true and to please the client. So the challenge was to have enough of my personality in the garment but still remain true to the client's desire.I did have a little bit of Nathan in there, but as I said that wouldn't be a garment I would normally do and it may not be a garment that would make my collection but there were design details and ideas of the garment that are true to my aesthetic.
How did you feel about the way Ven treated his client?
NP: Me, personally, I would have never treated my client in that manner. I respect everyone and especially since I do plus size clothing (and I don't even call it plus size clothing, I call it up size clothing). I do clothing for those sizes that I normally cater to. I'm very sensitive to those and very sensitive to that woman or that man because we have larger sizes in men's clothing as we do in women's size clothing. I felt it was bit disrespectful to approach the challenge from that view point of not wanting to accept the person for who they are.
If could do it again, what would you have done differently or would you have put out the same design?
NP: Well, there are a couple of things I could have changed. One, the fabric. I understand what Michael Kors was talking about in terms of the fabric. I don't want to make excuses for it because it was my responsibility to choose the fabric but I was looking for something different and I couldn't find what I needed. I think I was so, so stuck in what I wanted this look to accomplish in terms of stage-ready fabrics that I probably should have veered a little differently than that. In terms of the silhouette of the design, I probably would have stuck to something very similar to that design 'cause that's the silhouette my client was comfortable with. I think we came to a great compromise with the cutouts and at the end of the day, she was very confident in that garment. And she liked it, so.. at the end of the day, it's a question you go over - in my head it was like "what would I have done different", but at the end of the day, it pleased the client. That is my measure of success.
What's next for you?NP: I'm going to continue working on my own personal collection. I'm going to promote my philosophy of redesigning beauty. And having beauty defined by the individual in their own way and also, for me personally, even after that last show, like I said, I deal with plus-sizes/ up-sizes. I wan to start working with local politicians to start drafting legislation about size equality in stores.
What was your favorite challenge that you did this season?NP: I think my favorite challenge was the candy challenge. It was the most challenging, but it was also whimsical and fanciful. For me personally, I find it interesting to think outside of the box in terms of conventional and non-conventional materials and I am always trying to find a way to re-purpose things. So, doing that candy challenge was definitely down the line of things I like to do to stress myself as a designer.
I am part of the Project Runway fashion network, therefore I have access to interviews, images, and other media. You can watch Project Runway every week on Thursday nights on Lifetime at 9/8c.
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