Project Runway Episode 8: What Women Want

October 18, 2011 at 2:55 am (Project Runway) ()

The client: Artspace. The challenge (inspired by Episode 8 of Project Runway): to design a commemorative handbag that women will want.

Episode 8 of Project Runway Season 9 found the designers creating a look for a client’s wife or girlfriend. My challenge was to design an accessory, consistent with my client’s brand, that would celebrate the 25th anniversary of this visual art center that I call home.

As many of you know by now, my studio, Studio 109A, is located within Artspace in Downtown Raleigh’s City Market. I moved into Artspace in 2005 and have said time and time again that jurying into the Artspace Artist Association and moving into the building was a turning point in my career as a professional artist. For the last 25 years, Artspace has inspired creative energy by engaging the public in the process of creating art through its educational programs, community outreach, exhibitions, and open studio environment.

On November 19th, Artspace will host its Collector’s Gala and 25th Anniversary Celebration. The event features the unique opportunity for guests to dine in artists’ studios and to enjoy purchasing local artwork in both the live and silent auctions, as well as purchasing artwork displayed throughout the building. Every  year, I donate a piece of artwork for the silent auction. This year, I was asked to design a 25th Anniversary Commemorative Bag.

In some ways, I designed the bag from the inside (lining) out. The inspiration for this handbag came from a postcard Artspace designed for the Gala event. The postcard featured a background graphic that I used to design a custom printed fabric through Spoonflower. I had the fabric printed on Spoonflower’s organic, cotton sateen.

Next, it was off to Mary Jo’s Cloth Store in Gastonia, NC (outside of Charlotte) to find orange fabric. Artspace’s logo is orange and white, and I wanted to stay consistent with the “brand” without designing a bag that looked like a pumpkin. As a back up, I requested orange swatches from Mood Fabrics in New York, the very fabric store featured each week on Project Runway.

While Mood sent me dupioni silk, wool, chenille, and cashmere swatches, I fell in love with Mary Jo’s ultra suede, manufactured by Toray. Ultra suede, like the organic cotton sateen lining, is animal friendly.

Fabric in hand, it was time to design the handbag, a clutch with a detatchable strap that hopefully women will want.

Artspace 25th Anniversary Commemorative Purse

Interior Flap (Custom Designed Fabric Lining)

This bag and many more fabulous pieces of art will be available to preview November 4th during the First Friday Gallery Walk at Artspace and auctioned off at the Artspace Collector’s Gala and 25th Anniversary Celebration on November 19th. Gala tickets are available for purchase online by clicking here.

So, three more challenges to go. 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.


1 Comment

  1. Mallie Hester said,

    Very interesting


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