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How are those remakes coming along? Figured out how to incorporate that iron yet? This is just a reminder you have 1 week to get your photos and description into us and give those Season 8 Project Runway kids a run for their money. Send all the pictures and info in to submissions[at]burdastyle[dot]com by September 30, 2010 at 11:59pm (EST).

Haven’t started yet? There is still time! Check out all the rules here for your chance to win that amazing prize package by Project Runway and Rowenta! Check out Rowenta’s facebook page to stay up to date on the show!

Speaking of Project Runway, most of you probably know we have an alum right here in our office. BurdaStyle’s Creative Director, Alison Kelly, was on season 3 of the show and we sat down with her to find out more about her time with Heidi, Tim and the rest of the Project Runway crew.

Hey Alison! What was the process was like being selected for Project Runway?

My mother and sister urged me to audition for Project Runway season 3 while we were apartment hunting in the dead of winter in New York city— my sister & I had decided to move to the city at the same time, from California.

I cleaned up my portfolio with help from my sister, an incredibly talented graphic designer (she still boasts how Michael Kors gushed at her layout) and chose three of my most interesting garments to show the panel. I waited in line for hours, and made it past the first round of portfolio-based eliminations, handled by GenArt. I continued to wait in line until a producer called me over to be mic’d for my audition. I entered a room to find Tim Gunn and six or so other executives behind a table. They inspected my portfolio, asked about my outfit (of course I was wearing all of my own clothes) and I remember Daniel Vosovic loving the sterling silver clasps I had made for a jacket.

I made it past this round of eliminations and was asked to make a 3-minute bio video and mail it within like 48 hours. I did that and continued getting mysterious phone calls from producers asking questions, faxing documents, and filled out a 65-page personality test. Weeks went by and one day Tim Gunn called my cell phone and as soon as he said “hello”, my phone died. I had made it on the show!

What was your favorite piece you made while on the show?

The things you make on that show are things you’d never normally make (like beauty pageant dresses)— at least that was my case. My favorite look was from the “Dog Challenge” where I made an A-line dress with a mod-like leather top and a cropped jacket. The poodle I worked with got a matching jacket.

What was it really like behind the scenes?

Hardly any sleep. Hurry up and wait…. Hurry up and wait…. Less time to do things than it appears. You may have one hour left to finish your piece and then you get pulled out for an interview with the producers and don’t have the chance to finish your work. They you are screwed. That happened to me…

How did Project Runway help you out as a designer?

I am incredibly thankful for the opportunity. I knew exactly what I was getting into when I auditioned (the downfalls of reality television)— but I felt, and still feel today, that the exposure has proven to be invaluable. I was able to launch my clothing line, dahl, and continue to design and collaborate with other artists today. Many great opportunities have presented themselves to me because someone had seen me on the show or admired my work. I am able to remain independent, and to do what I have always wanted.

What advice do you have for the Season 8 Project Runway contestants?

Have a website and an e-commerce site set up before you go on. Have a plan for when your season airs— whether that means a wholesale collection ready, a rep, showroom, or even an Etsy store. I still sell signature pieces of clothing I wore on the show every week on my website. Practice sewing. The show should be called “America’s Best Seamstress” because they judge most critically your sewing skills. Know that you are going to have to design out of your comfort level and be prepared. Bring as many supplies as they allow you to (glue gun, stitch witchery, quick finishing tools) I didn’t have any of that stuff, I thought it wasn’t allowed, but designers who did had an advantage. Eat raw foods and drink herbal tea (it kept me from getting sick ;)

5 Comments

  • Mlonghs_large

    Sep 27, 2010, 04.42 AMby mlssfshn

    Meet other contest and talking with them you have been the most forth coming about your experience. Thanks for sharing Alison.

  • 5196510037_0646d0f80e_o_large

    Sep 24, 2010, 09.08 PMby kelepso

    That was a great article. I love Project Runway and although, I’m pretty amateur, I’m taking sewing classes now and practicing every time I have the opportunity. I look forward to auditioning for Project Runway (if the season continues). I am currently working on 2 remakes and the first one is approximately 50% done. UNFORTUNATELY, MY IRON CAUGHT ON FIRE TODAY. Wish me luck!

  • Headshot_large

    Sep 22, 2010, 11.03 PMby Sadie Fox Metter

    My remake is done and I just need to get the final pictures taken. Yeah! So excited to see all the entries!

  • Poa_design_part_2_copy_large

    Sep 22, 2010, 03.24 AMby piecesofanarnia

    Allison was one of my fav contestants of all time, thanks for sharing what really goes on. Man i wonder that sounds kinda rough, I wonder if they show would accept a talented seamstress who just happens to have juvenile diabetes? Of course I wouldn’t want to get sick but it was rough for the normal contestants someone like me doesn’t stand a chance I guess.

  • 6e3656aa7036783b3e4bbc29f34d1029385afafe_large

    Sep 21, 2010, 02.21 PMby wzrdreams

    Thank you for sharing Allison. It does sound like an amazing opportunity. I’m glad you had a positive and profitable experience.

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