Author: has written 5289 posts for this blog.

Jill has been blogging for Feministe since 2005.
Return to: Homepage | Blog Index

27 Responses

  1. Marksman2000
    Marksman2000 May 31, 2007 at 7:26 pm |

    If she’s a designer, that makes her an artist. We have to learn to roll with rejection–it’s part of the game. I have a stack of rejection letters from publishers sitting here on my desk to prove it.

    She should get over it and keep moving ahead.

  2. evil fizz
    evil fizz May 31, 2007 at 7:26 pm | *

    I covet the pink dress.

  3. Lauren
    Lauren May 31, 2007 at 7:39 pm |

    There’s a white dress on the website I covet. Little lace sleeves and a cute sash. A few inches longer in the skirt and I’d be on it.

  4. Fr Chris
    Fr Chris May 31, 2007 at 7:44 pm |

    My experience has been that in many creative disciplines (music, studio art, design, architecture, etc.), there’s a lot of talent out there and not many opportunities for institutional recognition — so the folks at the top tend to choose who to favor on fairly shallow criteria. Kate’s work is stunning — so clearly she’s just running into the shallowness of the art world’s criteria for greatness. The success of her store is evidence enough that she really is talented — forget PR, embrace the success you’ve got and will have with people who care about the design and not the politics!

  5. MissPinkKate
    MissPinkKate May 31, 2007 at 8:38 pm |

    A dress made of metrocards? As Tim Gunn himself would say, Contrivance!

  6. Sally
    Sally May 31, 2007 at 9:09 pm |

    I don’t think the problem with the metrocard dress is that it’s contrived. The problem is that it’s unoriginal. But I guess you guys were like 12 in 1995, so maybe you weren’t watching the Oscars yet!

    I’m sure they heard “recycled” and decided it was a gimmick, which is too bad, because Kate’s stuff doesn’t look gimmicky at all to me. Maybe they’ll pick her next time. I’m sure that at this point every talented designer in the country is trying to get on to Project Runway, so there’s plenty of competition.

    (And also, much as I hate to say this about my favorite reality show ever, they’re probably partly casting for things other than talent. Maybe Kate just doesn’t seem like someone who’s going to bring the drama.)

  7. Lauren
    Lauren May 31, 2007 at 9:14 pm |

    And also, much as I hate to say this about my favorite reality show ever, they’re probably partly casting for things other than talent. Maybe Kate just doesn’t seem like someone who’s going to bring the drama.

    Next time she auditions she should bring a jar of menstrual blood and wave it around while she talks.

  8. LS
    LS May 31, 2007 at 10:42 pm |

    I covet that top above the fold. Stunning.

  9. hipparchia
    hipparchia June 1, 2007 at 1:05 am |

    I’m with LS about that top, but I like the Metrocards too.

  10. Rose
    Rose June 1, 2007 at 11:07 am |

    Thanks for the post. I’m always looking for new, interesting designers in NY who don’t charge over $1000 for a dress! Is it okay for those of us 30+, short, not-skinny types to shop there? I was kind of hoping she would sell online, I just hate going to most botiques in NY. You remember those tests from childhood – a picture of a car, a bus, and a pig – what doesn’t fit here? In NY botiques I feel like that pig picture!

    Anyone else here mourning the loss of Girlshop.com? They directed the old customers to a place called Net-a-Porter. Not a damn piece on that site under $700! Bummer!

  11. Sandi
    Sandi June 1, 2007 at 12:29 pm |

    I know she’s willing to alter her clothes to fit various sizes but I don’t think you get to claim to be a “feminist” designer unless you make a range of sizes to begin with. Fat people aren’t an oddity to be adjusted for; treating them as such is stigmatizing and hardly “feminist.”

  12. Hugo
    Hugo June 1, 2007 at 12:32 pm |

    How about those of us who only get to New York about as often as we elect a new House? Can any of this be bought online? I covet one particular shirt, the white one with the colorful rooster or chicken on it that’s on her buff male model on the website.

  13. Kate AuH2O
    Kate AuH2O June 1, 2007 at 12:55 pm |

    thanks for the link jill! and thanks everyone for your nice words. unfortunately all of the pieces showcased have been sold, and were only made in that one size, but as i (hopefully) expand someday, i’ll have my designs produced with organic cotton at fair labor wages, and they’ll be made in all sizes, and available online. i thought the $100,000 project runway prize would help me with that. but i’ll hopefully eventually get the money for production eventually and another way… in the meantime, i’m starting small and only selling individual pieces at my shop in the east village.

    and i should also note that i adore the show, watch it obsessively, and will definitely still buy the season pass on iTunes for the upcoming season.

  14. Hugo
    Hugo June 1, 2007 at 1:09 pm |

    Fine, Kate, way to make me buy the carbon offsets to come to New York. Sheesh. ;-)

  15. Jennifer
    Jennifer June 1, 2007 at 1:35 pm |

    This doesn’t surprise me. For one, they are DEFINITELY changing their “anything goes, any age goes” openness to really wanting people who are already older, schooled, working designers. Annoying, but there you have it.

    And for another…couture interests them far more than eco-friendly. Probably makes for better television. Though to be fair, I don’t know how eco-friendly Kate would even be able to get if she was on the show, given how they operate and how she would have limited choice in materials.

    I do think it is sad that they don’t value remaking old into new. I think that sort of thing is awesome and needed, and GEE, might even make a good challenge for contestants to try out sometime.

    I am, however, rolling my eyes at Tim somehow not being cool with a designer sewing all her own work. Don’t a good chunk of the people cast on the show do that already? And wouldn’t that bode better for Kate on the show other than the people who leave it to the little people?

  16. Lina
    Lina June 1, 2007 at 2:11 pm |

    That top one is absolutely fabulous, a real gem. She’s definitely one to watch.

  17. Jennifer
    Jennifer June 1, 2007 at 5:23 pm |

    Eh, I don’t really get the giant love, as I am not seeing anything I haven’t seen before. And the letter comes across as a way to drum up business, not to actually help anyone get on Project Runway.

  18. Andrea
    Andrea June 1, 2007 at 6:10 pm |

    Aren’t they always ranting on Project Runway about the designers needing to have a clear point of view/visual message that they are trying to project with their designs?

    I guess that doesn’t work so well if your visual message doesn’t fit with the fashion industry, in which case it makes me wonder why they want you to have one to begin with.

    The designs are beautiful, and I absolutely love the idea of painting with menstrual blood. That’s awesome. :o)

    Best of luck, Kate.

  19. KC
    KC June 1, 2007 at 6:21 pm |

    I think I’m in love. Really.

    As soon as I’ve saved up some money, I’m going to New York and buying something. Lots of somethings.

    And, as a slightly larger woman, I’m way too stoked about the fact that she’ll alter things, that makes me so insanely happy.

  20. Hawise
    Hawise June 1, 2007 at 7:45 pm |

    …can’t afford a dress form and so you have to use your own body instead.

    I had a friend who made her own form by duct taping over an old t-shirt, cutting it off then packing it full of old plastic bags before sealing it. Maybe her models and friends can make her a range of forms to work off of in the future. It has the advantage of not bleeding when you stick pins in it.

  21. Laurie
    Laurie June 3, 2007 at 12:12 am |

    Paper tape is actually better than duct tape for those forms — it doesn’t make the pins all sticky. :) Also, duct tape tends to compress the form underneath a bit, especially if you are, um, naturally *padded* at all. Throws off the final measurements a bit. You do want to use a couple layers of the paper tape, but it’s not real expensive.

    Kate, if you have the time, inclination, and access to a couple of old t-shirts/friends in various sizes, there should be an article on the Threads website detailing how to make these dress forms. If it’s not there or is unfindable, the lovely administrators of this site have my permission to forward my e-mail address to you — I have *years* of back copies and I KNOW I have that article in my stash. I’d be happy to hard copy it for you and mail it out.

    If you don’t have the room for multiple dress forms, I’d suggest maybe one in several sizes larger than yourself, just to expand your options. If you don’t have the room to have even one, I sympathize. ;)

    As another sewing professional though, I’d suggest charging SOMETHING for your alterations. You are living/working in a ridiculously expensive city — which I’m sure you know! ;) — you need to get paid for your time/talents. You don’t have to charge market value, even, but a little something to cover your time, materials, and wear/tear on the machine. People appreciate more what they have to pay/work for. And you are definitely worth it! :) Your stuff is not precisely my cup of tea (aging Midwestern chick here, sigh), but I recognize the talent that goes into it. And I LOVE that you recycle stuff in your designs! :)

    Keep up the good work. I LOVE that you have enough business to have your own shop! And in NYC, no less. *big grins!*

  22. little cabbage
    little cabbage June 4, 2007 at 3:46 am |

    Hoooooly crap that is some beautiful clothing. I’m going to be in NYC in September and when I am, I will definitely be giving that shop a visit.

  23. Feministe » Feministe Weekly Review

    […] ncest survivors and women with health complications in Colombia Thursday May 31st: Jill: A Young Feminist Designer Writes to Project Runw […]

Comments are closed.

The commenting period has expired for this post. If you wish to re-open the discussion, please do so in the latest Open Thread.