Project:Design! is Saint Louis Fashion Week’s emerging designer contest which awards a top talent with up to $30,000 in resources to help further his or her career.
And now you have the chance to vote your favorite designer on to the St. Louis Fashion Week Runway as part of Project:Design!
Get excited! We are getting closer and closer to St. Louis Fashion Week and that means the planning for this year’s Project:Design! competition has begun.
May 20th marked the final day for portfolio submissions. And this year, 8 designers, instead of the traditional 6, will have a chance to compete for up to $30,000 in resources to help further his or her career.
There are other surprises in store as well, last year’s Project:Design! designers Elise Lammert, voted People’s Choice, and Lauren Bander, the Grand Prize winner, will both be showing their lines again at this year’s St. Louis Fashion Week.
The 2013 judges include the Regional Arts Commission, Jan Leach Givens, Ellen Nisenson Soule and other influential leaders in the industry.
I’m getting pumped and can’t wait to see the work of new designers on the runway this fall!
Elise Lammert on how to keep it fresh for Spring 2013 and the debut of her new line.
Lindsay Taylor (The Intern): You’re no stranger to fashion week, how does it feel to be going back?
Elise Lammert: I am so happy to be back. Last fall fashion week and participating in project: design! was a really positive experience for me. I love having the opportunity to showcase my designs, and being able to do it while I’m still in school! I love being able to collaborate with old models and meet wonderful new ones.
LT: What do you most look forward to when you get invited back to fashion week?
EL: I look forward most to having the opportunity to work with all the wonderful people that I had the opportunity to work with the first time around. It is such an encouraging environment to create in, and I love the inspiration that I get from everyone I meet along the way.
LT: Does it get any easier? How do you keep your stress level down?
EL: Each fashion week gets a little bit easier, I was only 19 when I showed my first collection, which was very stressful, but I’ve shown I think four more since then so the planning gets easier, the fabric sourcing gets easier, and I now am friends with so many of my models which takes a real burden off of trying to coordinate a model list for shows. As far as keeping my stress down, I just have to keep telling myself that if I want to do it I can, in my head there really isn’t an option for failure.
LT: What’s your favorite aspect of the in the beautifying process?
EL: My favorite aspect of the beautifying process is the hair and makeup, its an art that I myself am terrible at, I love sitting with the hair and makeup artists as they do my models hair because its an art I have never tried.
LT: Do you have any fashion week rituals? (Both mentally or physically)
EL: I don’t really have any rituals as far as fashion weeks go, I am a pretty go with the flow person.
LT: We were huge fans of your previous line Vices, what should we expect for the debut of your new line?
EL: My new line is heavily inspired by illusion and lines, and plays with a lot of symmetry and asymmetry.
LT: The neon eyeliner and lip can is pretty played out, what spring fashion trend do you think is repetitive, and old?
As far as spring fashion trends go, I am tired of the high low skirts, and as far as high waisted shorts go, I am down with them until the cheeks start to show, gotta keep it classy not trashy.
EL: What would you like to see instead? How can we keep from falling into the same trap?
I would like to see a little more tailored trends in the spring fashion, I like the flow and I like the colors, but some times I want to be able to throw a jacket on cute jacket on or a tailored skirt. Sometimes you have to look forward and try to predict what’s going to be trendy next spring, and not just look towards the runways for what’s hot now.
Keep looking out for a sneak peek of her newest line, here on Rock Uniform!
Project:Design! ‘11 & ‘12 winners, Garic Stephens and Lauren Bander Designs will both be showing in New York Fashion Week Spring 2013!! Congrats to Stephen and Lauren!!
Interview with Designer Suzanne Lay
by Dwight Carter
RU:When did you decide in life that you wanted to be a designer?
SL: My mother taught me to sew when I was 8 years old. I’ve been sewing ever since making clothes for myself and my friends. It’s what I love to do , my passion. It only made since to make it a career…to do what I love.
RU:Please describe the evolution of your designs. How have they changed from the beginning to the middle to the current collection?
SL:When I first started I did mostly knits and the clothes seemed aimed for a younger crowd. Because that is who I was at the time. Since I’ve started I have had 3 three kids and I’ve grown up quite a bit…I don’t go out and dance the night away like I used to…so I guess I can say my designs/look/vibe has grown up with me. My lady is more sophisticate and chic now…more glamorous.
RU: Are there different collections within Suzanne Lay?
SL: My main line is Suzanne Lay…I branch out on other projects but my main clothing line right now is Suzanne Lay.
RU: What do you think of the Midwest and its Fashion trends, designers and boutiques?
SL: We have quite the eclectic bunch in STL. I think that there is a little bit of everything here which is great…we have a lot to offer, and that seems to be getting noticed.
RU: What do you think of St. Louis specifically? Designers? STLFW? Project:Design! ?
SL: There is a lot of talent here…the talent pull grows every year. I’ve been around since 2008 and I love seeing the new designers emerge every season. I haven’t really focused on STL until now…there is a good base here and it’s amazing to have support from your local boutiques and events. Being a part of the events like STLFW, RAW and Project Design help to get a good foundation locally that kind of support is needed when you are trying to get noticed.
RU: How do you balance being a Mom, wife and designer?
SL: LOL I don’t know really. It’s hard I have days where I feel like I am pulled in about a thousand different directions all at once….but I love it too. I live off little sleep and lots of caffeine. But it’s my passion I love what I do. I really do have the best of both worlds I have my family and I get to do what I love. I didn’t sacrifice one dream for the other. I always wanted to have a family and be a fashion designer too. God blessed be with both. That is something that I don’t take advantage of…not a lot of people can say that they have it all…but I truly do and I feel very blessed.
RU: Who is your favorite designer?
SL: Stacey Bendet of A+O I’m slightly obsessed LOL…but she’s a mom too and making it work on the level that I want to be at someday so I find her inspirational.
RU: What fashion magazines are you reading currently?
SL: Marie Claire, Vogue, Style
RU: You are specifically a women’s designer but have you ever designed anything for a man? Your husband perhaps?
SL: The request has been made many times J….I will do Men’s wear in the near future…Hopefully sooner than later.
RU: What does 2013 look like for you?
SL: Things are getting crazy for us. We will have a location out of my house soon J, getting Spring 13 into boutiques, designing fall 2013 which we are showing at RAW on Feb 21 2013, designing Spring 2014. Making the transition of growing our business from two collections a year to four. Possibly making another appearance at Phoenix Fashion Week in Sept…trunk shows…just staying busy constantly and growing our business as much as we can.
RU: What do you do when not designing?
SL: I play soccer mom driving the kiddos to school, swim, soccer or any other activities that they have. I love to sleep and read I do that whenever I get the chance
RU: What is your favorite time of the year?
SL: I would say Spring and Fall I love the color changes that happen. Reminds me that our lives, our world is constantly changing…anything is possible.
SL: Rocker, Chic and Gamour