Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Designer Update: Katherine Gerdes

We love hearing from Project Runway designers about what is new and exciting in their careers. We were thrilled when Katherine Gerdes agreed to recap season 4 for us and we asked her to fill us in on the latest:

Let's see... where to start... I launched my jersey dress collection last year and it was a big hit (especially the hooded halter dress). After that, just as things were settling down, I got a job teaching a summer fashion design class to High School students out at Amherst college in MA. It's a really cool program called "Excel @ Amherst" and they had classes ranging from fashion design to international relations and history of war. I had 13 girls in my class from all over the country and even some from France and Italy! It was a ton of fun to teach the girls the basics of sewing and fashion design (almost none of them had ever sewn before) and after 4 weeks they even put on a fashion show of their work (you can view the video here and read more about my class here).

After teaching, I came back home and had 2 wedding dresses (and 4 bridesmaids dresses!) to make. Making a wedding dress was a whole new world for me, but they both turned out well and I really enjoyed working on them (see one of them here).
This fall I've been doing a lot of freelance textile design for Kohl's and focusing on the business side of my design company (this is definitely the part I don't like). I'm also in the process of designing some uniforms for the cocktail staff at a Ritz-Carlton hotel in Dallas!

Currently, I've just started with the concept/sketching stage for my spring '08 collection which will launch in April (view some preliminary sketches at the very end of this post). The designs are going to be a mix of jersey with satin accents and I've been focusing on sourcing organic and/or sustainable jersey fabrics in order to move my collection and company into the green world. I feel like it's the least I can do to start helping with how we treat the world, but still be able to keep my current style and aesthetic.

And on top of all that, Joe and I just started taking Salsa lessons ("Dancing with the Stars" here I come!) and we start teaching snowboarding next weekend. Phew... I think that's it!

Thanks Katy! Calling all PR designers, send us your story - we would love to make this a regular feature.