The story begins when Miranda Levy, of Project Runway Season 12 fame, retweeted my blog post about the new season of the same name. I was over the moon: I mean, not only are Project Runway following me on Twitter, but now one of the soon-to-be-super-famous contestants has noticed my work! Incredible. Miranda Levy is 29 and from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and has, perhaps, a history like no other designer. She used to be a mechanic in the army, is now curator of an art gallery and her sewing skills are entirely self taught. A more determined (and talented) girl you cannot find. Plus she wants to design for Gwen Stefani: I’m sold.
So, over the past fortnight or so and thanks to both my Twitter run-in and Miranda’s lovely assistant Michael, I’ve been in contact with Miranda in between her filming and she’s very kindly done this quick Q&A session with me. I present to you: My Question and Answer With Miranda Levy. And remember, #DesignerMiranda this July 18th!
Me: What was the first thing you ever made and do you still have it?
Miranda: ‘In college, I made a vinyl swimsuit covered in suction cups. The project was to create a superhero costume, and I decided that my superhero power would be the power of adhesion. I had high hopes that I would be able to stick to windows and walls. It didn’t quite work. I am sure that I still have the garment hiding somewhere in my storage.’
Me: If you could design for any celebrity, past or present, who would it be?
Miranda: ‘Just quick off the top of my head: CM Punk, Yolandi Visser, Gwen Stefani, Pharrell Williams, Angelina Jolie, Patti Smith, Madonna, Marilyn Monroe, The Andrews Sisters, Edie Sedgwick, Bettie Page, Twiggy, Mick Jagger, Jackie O., Richard Hell…. I hope you didn’t want just one!’
Me: What are the Project Runway auditions like?
Miranda: ‘Nerve wracking!!! I went through the process three times before I made it on and while the first two times were disappointing, the critiques I received helped me focus and improve. If I’d have made it on the show the first time I auditioned, I probably would have been gone the first round.’
Me: If you could pass on one sewing tip to beginner sewers, what would it be?
Miranda: ‘Practice ALOT!! The more you sew the better you get. Don’t be afraid to look up YouTube videos and ask around for people with more experience to teach you tips and tricks of the trade. A friend’s aunt taught me a lot of simple things that seemed to improve my abilities overnight. Her years of experience were invaluable and it was helpful to have a caring mentor to guide me.’
Me: And finally, what’s Tim Gunn really like?
Miranda: ‘Intelligent, dapper, and sweet as sugar pie. Oh! …and he gives the 2nd best hugs on earth. First place goes to my little brother Dustin Levy…Sorry Tim!’
Thanks Miranda! And best of luck in Season 12 of Project Runway!