Yes, we too were crushed when Alison Kelly got auf’d on Project Runway last year but then we ran into her at a local deli and were crushed IN LOVE cuz she’s so cute and so awesome in person. She’s part of our 7 in 2007 cuz there’s so much happening for her in the year ahead. Check out her exclusive spring/summer collection debuting on shopbop next month and keep your eye out for more surprises from this sweet supertalent. To see more of Alison’s hot looks check out alison-kelly.com. If you like Alison’s Edie clutch, please click here. Alison is IN!!!!
When did you start designing? Did you always make clothes?
My mother taught my sister and me to sew when were very young. We would design outfits for our cabbage patch dolls with complimenting outfits for ourselves. For each holiday or special occasion, my mother would let us choose the fabric to design our ensembles, so I acquired a very specific aesthetic and sense of comfort at styling at quite a young age.
Why did you decide to try out for Project Runway?
I had been living in LA for three years and was ready for a change. I came to NYC with aspirations to launch my new label, dahl, and was seeking proper representation, which is quite hard to find when you’re broke. My mother & sister really pushed for me to try out. I didn’t even own a television, nor did I watch reality shows, so at first it seemed out of the question… Then I just decided to go for it. I put my politics aside for a moment and realized it could really launch my career which, in all honesty, was begging for a boost.
Were you happy with the results of Project Runway? You must have been stoked that Jeffrey won since you were friends on the show.
I’m thrilled for Jeff. He possesses true artistic vision. He delves into various artistic endeavors and combines them all together to tell a story which is meaningful. Unlike so many things we see today, he creates a lifestyle, something I strive to do as well.
Do you have super celeb status and get recognized all the time now that you’ve been on the show? Does that annoy you or is it nice that people stop you on the street to say hi?
I think it bothers my friends more than me…
Your clothes always have super interesting geometry and details. Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Music, art, literature, everyday life… My heroes are Bosch, Dali, Azzedine Alaia, Vivienne Westwood, Rei Kawakubo, Italo Calvino and Fellini. When I was in art school (MassArt, MuseumSchool, LorenzoDe’Medici, InstitutoDe’Allende) I felt as if I had to prove myself as a worthy “artist” who “designs” clothing…the whole “is fashion art or just a craft” issue was always being raised so naively I felt the need to categorize my work as “body sculpture” which brought me down many exploratory paths; using all sorts of mixed media to create garments that tell a story and have a deeper meaning than just a dress…
Your line is called Dahl Clothes. The name is adorable because your clothes are so doll-like! How did you arrive at this?
It’s from my middle name, which is my Swedish grandmother’s maiden name, Dahlgren. She is no longer with us and she’d adore what I am doing now… I was such a tomboy when she was here. There are also no men left in our family, so I want the name to stay alive.
We are super excited about it! What can we expect from Dahl in 2007?
I’ve been musing over later Victorian pieces lately. The Anglomania show at the Met was exceptional, right aside my aesthetic, expect romantic. Also look for Victorian pieces, a complimentary jewelry collection that has been designed by Rachel Leigh & myself, chains, bracelets & earrings that are made from mixed metals, crystals, etc. We took a romantic angle, using old keys, hearts with pins, tour eiffels, etc.
We were super psyched to see a contestant on Project Runway represent our borough! What do you love about living in Brooklyn?
St. Helens, my friends, the view of the city from my window and that we’re not in Manhattan:)
You always looked gorgeous even when you were just waking up on the show. Do you have any beauty tricks to share with us?
Being extremely anxious and on the spot constantly with cameras literally waking you up can really give you a lively, youthful expression.
What bands have you been jamming out to recently?
BlondeRedhead, T.V. on the Radio, The Band
We have a design competition of our own every year called Next Big Thing! Can you give any advice to the aspiring designers out there looking to get their big break?
Practice. The more I sew, draw, drape, do these hands-on projects, the more innovative I find my ideas, as opposed to looking at what other designers are doing and translating that into your own design. Look within and don’t be scared.
Time for one final SPEED ROUND! Go for it!
DISCOVERY OF 2006: houndstooth
MUSICAL HIGHLIGHT: Nicolai Dunger
MEMORABLE MEAL: New Year’s Eve. We cooked at home.
2006′s VIBE WAS SO VERY… techno
2007 IS ALL ABOUT: peace