Greetings from the great city of Detroit! Associate Editor Gwen Ragno here, writing from a hotel room in Motor City, where the top six Project Design finalists are about to embark on an inspiration trip to the GM Design Center and Heritage Center.
We arrived in Detroit Wednesday evening, and had time for a quick (and delish) dinner at Cliff Bell’s before heading back to The Westin Book Cadillac (everything’s named after cars here, naturally) for some shuteye. Meanwhile, I’ve been getting to know our fine finalists! Some fun facts at the end of this post—but first, I’ll give you the rundown of what we’re doing here.
Today, I’ll be tagging along today as the designers tour the facilities to get an inside look at cutting-edge automotive design, and talk with top Chevrolet designers about how they draw inspiration from the fashion world. Then, we’ll check out the GM Heritage Center for a look back at how Chevrolet vehicles have evolved over the years to reflect the fashions of the times. Project Design finalists will also share a little about their own aesthetics and where they draw inspiration from in their everyday lives. When they leave here tonight, they’ll be turning the tables and creating piece for their Saint Louis Fashion Week collections inspired by what they saw and learned about vehicle design.
The Design Center is actually so cutting-edge that it’s top secret and I can’t bring my camera along, but keep an eye on @ALIVEMagSTL and #ProjectDesign12 on Twitter for updates and snapshots throughout the day. Then, check the blog tonight for a recap of what we saw, and which aspects sparked ideas for each designer as they think about their Chevy Design Challenge pieces.
I’ll leave you with a few tidbits to get to know your finalists a little better! (Updated after Day Two!)
- Whitney Manney is the only designer from outside of St. Louis this year—she hails from Kansas City, and just this summer showed a collection in Kansas City Fashion Week.
- Michele Sansone is the only designer with menswear in her collection this year. She has also been experimenting with velvet burnout patterns.
- Ashley Ulicni is the only designer with youth designs in her collection. This may even be a Project Design first—I’ll have to check on that. Regardless, look forward to some precious six-year-old models on the runway!
- Elise Lammert is studying textile and apparel management at Mizzou—she was originally a journalism major, but quickly realized it wasn’t for her. She specializes in using alternative materials in her designs, like coffee filters and cigarette packs.
- Jessica Affsprung wore a coat to dinner that she made herself—a patterned black velvet material flared at the waist, with a bright pink belt. Whitney Manney wore a jacket of her own design on Day Two—a much more grungy feel, with white denim airbrushed in bright neon designs.