Remember Project Runway? The show may have lost much of its appeal after being involved in a prolonged and ugly legal struggle between Weinstein Co. and NBC last year and even came close to being canned altogether, but it survived and will continue showing on Lifetime on Aug 20th this year. Before all the legal drama happened, Leanne Marshall, Project Runway's Season 5 winner, was signed on to do a collection for Bluefly. After many months of waiting, the eco-friendly collection finally launched July 8th.
Why did the 9-piece collection take forever to produce (longer than previous Runway winners)? The collection is mostly casual with one formal $990 floor-length dress. All the pieces were made with either linen, bamboo, or silk. In order to make this collection affordable and accessible, Leanne met with a number of challenges to find the right materials (and price point) for her signature pleating and architectural details.
Part of the reason for the delay is because Leanne's business has grown "a thousandfold" since the show. She said at the photo shoot for her Bluefly collection, "You don’t see me because I’m constantly in my studio working and sewing. You know, I make all my own samples — I experiment with these things. I don’t just sketch something and hand it off to somebody," . Leanne admitted that designing for production is very different and new to her as she was used to designing one-of-a-kind pieces on her own in her apartment in Portland.
Furthermore, Leanne had to manage her move to New York earlier this year. She had to spend months sorting out which manufacturers to use, conceding that, "at first, it was just incredibly overwhelming. I learned this stuff in school but when I’m actually doing it as opposed to ‘I’ll just whip this up myself,' it’s an entirely different method. It was an incredible learning experience. You know, next time it’s going to be so much easier." Watch the Youtube video below of her interview with Blogging Project Runway.
In other Marshall news, Leanne's working on producing the fall collection for her eponymous label, Leanne Marshall. As well, she is designing her spring 2010 collection of mostly unique pieces and a sprinkle of accessible everyday wear, which she plans to show during Fashion Week. Meanwhile, her custom-wedding-dress business has exploded since the show, and she has also just designed her first maternity dress for Heidi Klum, which she hopes will be worn on the seventh season of Runway (currently shooting in New York).