Project Runway Episode Seven: Can’t We All Just Get Along (Part 2)

September 27, 2011 at 10:59 pm (Project Runway) ()

Last week I blogged about my visit to Spoonflower fabrics. If you recall, in Episode Seven, the Project Runway Season 9 Designers had to design their own fabric, create a collection, and produce a fashion show.

As many of you know, from my jewelry line, I am inspired by ephemera, everday items of passing interest such as advertisements, photographs, labels, postcards, and letters. One of the reasons I intially incorporated postcards and letters in my jewelry designs, was because my grandfather used to leave love notes underneath my grandmother’s pillow.

So, it should come as no surprise that my fabric design is inspired by vintage postcards and letters. This design was printed on Spoonflower’s new cotton silk fabric.

Vintage postcard design printed on Spoonflower's cotton silk.

I must say after having some trouble work with the silk fabric I used in the last challenge (The Art of the Matter), I was a little worried about using cotton silk for this challenge. However, I will say that Spoonflower’s cotton silk fabric not only sews easily, but is also washable.

Inspired by the cotton silk textile, I designed an evening clutch. To finish off the design, I added a removable cameo brooch, which is very fitting since I collected cameos when I was younger.

Evening clutch with removable cameo brooch.

I am happy with the fabric and the final purse design and will be wearing this purse to my brother’s wedding next month. This textile design is now available for purchase at Spoonflower from $18 to $38 per yard depending on your fabric.

Until next week, auf wiedersehen.

Hosted by supermodel and fashion maven Heidi Klum, the hit reality series Project Runway provides budding designers with an opportunity to launch their careers in fashion, under the watchful eye of mentor and Liz Claiborne Chief Creative Officer Tim Gunn. In August, Lauren Van Hemert launched her own version of Project Runway in Studio 109A (her Downtown Raleigh Artspace Studio), in which week after week she is creating accessories inspired by each of the Project Runway Season 9 Challenges.

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Project Runway Episode Seven: Can’t We All Just Get Along (Part 1)

September 22, 2011 at 1:58 am (Project Runway) ()

In Episode Seven of Project Runway, the Season 9 designers designed fabrics, created a collection and produced a fashion show. I am acutally going to devote two blog posts to the episode, the first of which will spotlight my visit to Spoonflower. In the interest of full disclosure, the fabrics featured on Project Runway Season 9 Episode 7 were designed on HP TouchSmart computers and printed by Dye-namix, which is located in New York City. Dye-namix’s client list includes Calvin Klein, Coach, J. Mendel, and Ralph Lauren.

Spoonflower makes it possible for the rest of us to design, print, and sell our own fabric. Last spring, I blogged about ordering custom designed fabric from Spoonflower. A couple of weeks ago, after Episode Seven aired, I contacted the company to tell them about my Project Runway Studio 109A challenge. They invited me for a tour of their Durham, NC facility.

My fabric design process started with a vintage image, which I scanned into my computer.  I manipulated the image using Paint.net, a free image and editing software program for computers that run on Windows. After finalizing my image, I created a free account on Spoonflower’s website and uploaded my image.

Once my image was uploaded, I had my choice of fabrics and layout options (centered, basic repeat, half-drop, half-brick, or mirror repeat), which I could preview instantly. I then ordered my design in Spoonflower’s newest fabric, cotton silk.

Spoonflower’s fabrics run anywhere from $18 to $38 per yard, although many of the fabrics come in wide widths. For example, the organic cotton sateen and interlock knit fabrics come in 56 inch widths, while the upholstery weight cotton twill (my favorite) comes in a 58 inch width. I ordered my fabric on a Friday afternoon. Normal shipping times vary (usually from six to seven days), although my fabric was ready by the time I visited Spoonflower on Monday morning.

Spoonflower’s offices are located in a modest office park just outside of North Carolina’s Research Triangle. Lined up inside the lobby are chairs upholstered with fabrics designed by the Spoonflower community which numbers around 150,000 designers from around the world.

Just past the lobby is a warehouse full of fabrics waiting to be shipped and a number of digital textile printers feverishly reeling out design after design. Darci, my tour guide, explained to me that the company prints out around 500 yards of fabric per day and averages 3000 yards ordered per week.

Although the company has been featured in the New York Times, Associated Press, Vogue, Martha Stewart Weddings, Make, CRAFT, ApartmentTherapy, Photojojo, and many others, the owners and employees remain humble, yet passionate about the marriage of technology and textiles that is Spoonflower.

Special thanks to Darci and the Spoonflower team for making me feel so welcome. I can’t wait to share with you my design, but you will have to wait until my next post. Until then, auf wiedersehen.

Hosted by supermodel and fashion maven Heidi Klum, the hit reality series Project Runway provides budding designers with an opportunity to launch their careers in fashion, under the watchful eye of mentor and Liz Claiborne Chief Creative Officer Tim Gunn. In August, Lauren Van Hemert launched her own version of Project Runway in Studio 109A (her Downtown Raleigh Artspace Studio), in which week after week she is creating accessories inspired by each of the Project Runway Season 9 Challenges.

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Project Runway Episode Six: The Art of the Matter

September 14, 2011 at 9:24 pm (Project Runway) ()

Project Runway’s Episode Six paired the designers up with students from The Harlem School of the Arts. The designers created a piece of art with the students, which served as the inspiration for their avant garde look.

I hooked up with a student from North Carolina State’s Early College High School. She painted a picture of a sunflower when she was in elementary school and asked if I could use that painting as my inspiration. Once I saw the painting, I immediately thought I might try my hand at a garment, but after several disasterous attempts at installing a zipper into a skirt, I settled on a circle scarf instead.

The tricky part of this challenge was to “interpret” the painting and not to re-create a sunflower accessory, which might turn out more costume than couture. I found a printed silk print which incorporated all of the colors of the initial painting (brown, yellow, and green), and paired it with a solid mustard fabric.

I have to say that personally, I love scarves, so you will be seeing them in my accessory collection. What makes this scarf special in my opinion, is the beautiful print.

So, it’s onto textile challenge. Keep an eye out next week for two posts (the first of which will feature my recent visit to Spoonflower). Until then, auf wiedersehen.

The Art of the Matter inspired scarf.

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Project Runway: Off to the Track

September 7, 2011 at 3:29 am (Project Runway) ()

Episode 5 of Project Runway’s Season 9, finds the designers off to the track… The New Balance Track & Field Center at The Armory. The designers had to work in teams of three to design three looks for Heidi Klum’s New Balance sneakers.

Heidi Klum New Balance Sneaker

“I love a fashion sneaker that doesn’t look like it belongs in the gym, which was the inspiration for my new Heidi Klum for New Balance sneakers and my Project Runway challenge this season,” said Klum.

Klum’s sneakers come in gray and black suede and pink suede and denim, and the designers were directed to use suede and denim in their designs.

For this challenge, I designed a black and gray suede “fan shaped” purse. Inspired by the “fan shape”, I used an Asian inspired cotton for the lining.

I have to say that at this point in the Studio 109A Project Runway Challenge, this is my favorite bag. The oversized purse would work with practically any of the looks in Klum’s New Balance collection, including Joshua McKinley and Viktor Luna’s winning looks.

Oversized "fan shaped" purse inspired by the Heidi Klum New Balance sneaker challenge.

Asian inspired red, gray, black, and white lining.

I want to thank all of you Project Runway fans who stopped by Studio 109A last Friday night for the First Friday Gallery Walk. I hope to see you next month to show off my New Balance sneaker inspired purse and upcoming avant garde design. Until then… auf wiedersehen.

Hosted by supermodel and fashion maven Heidi Klum, the hit reality series Project Runway provides budding designers with an opportunity to launch their careers in fashion, under the watchful eye of mentor and Liz Claiborne Chief Creative Officer Tim Gunn. In August, Lauren Van Hemert launched her own version of Project Runway in Studio 109A (her Downtown Raleigh Artspace Studio), in which week after week she is creating accessories inspired by each of the Project Runway Season 9 Challenges

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