by Lindsay Strouse
On the season premiere of Project Runway, McKell Maddox was the first designer to leave the show after a shocking twist was announced that before the contestants could begin the competition, they had to complete a final phase of auditions. Today, McKell talked with reporters about her background and experience on the show.
Q. Lindsay, RealityWanted: After getting such positive feedback from Tim Gunn in the beginning of the work process, were you surprised the judges didn’t like your garment and that you were the one voted off?
A. McKell: Yeah I was extremely shocked that they thought it was butt ugly. I still feel after rewatching the episode that my dress wasn’t awful. I did feel like I got kind of screwed over.
Q. Lindsay, RealityWanted: How would you describe your personal style and how closely do you think you match your designs to that?
A. McKell: My design [on the show] was a little more fun and flirty. Everything is very fitted. I wanted to keep things simple and not get too overwhelmed. It is different than what I typically design. I don’t really know how to describe what I usually do—I guess it’s more fuller.
Q. Lindsay, RealityWanted: Do you have any plans for the future now that the show is over?
A. McKell: I’m an artist at heart. There is nothing that can ever take away my passion. You will definitely see me again doing what I love to do. I can’t stop my passion.
Q. Can you talk a little bit about the award you won from Jeremy scott?
A. McKell: When I graduated from college I won an internship with Jeremy Scott and was able to go to New York fashion week. Just being able to work with him—he is so kind and gentle and an amazing person to start this journey with.
Q. What was your reaction to the challenge and why did you choose your particle item from your suitcase? Also, how do you feel about the item you ended up with?
A. McKell: Out of all my beading that is what I love the most. My husband and I joke around because I am kind of a hippie but I like to dress up. I thought that would explain who I am as I designer and I could do a lot with it. I felt I ended up with a decent piece. It wasn’t very inspiring, but I think I turned it around into a cute little dress.
Q. What inspired you to start working with clothes in the fashion industry?
A. McKell: When I was a little girl, and my mom and I would go shopping—it was like our pastime. She one day told me people make clothes when I as 5 or 6 and that’s when I decided that was what I wanted to do. I wanted to go to New York and follow that dream.
Q. Do you feel that yours dress was better than some of the other designs around you?
A. McKell: Yes, very much so. I at least sewed something and followed the challenge and what was expected of me. I didn’t staple anything or turn it backwards or just rip the lapel off.
Q. Who do you think has the best shot to win everything?
A. McKell: I think Gretchen has a good sense of who she is with her personality and all of it. I think she should do very well.
Project Runway airs on Thursday nights at 9/8c on Lifetime.
(Image courtesy of Lifetime)
Follow Lindsay at twitter.com/lindsaystrouse
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