Interview with Project Runway’s Gunnar Deatherage

Gunnar Deatherage

What made you first want to be a designer?

“I was in a showfire and the costumes were really enjoyable on stage, the way they hit the light. I started working for Pinnacle Ten [a modeling agency] as the creative director on some shoots.So I started making clothes because I fell in love with it.”

What do you have going on right now?

“I’m getting ready to release Punkasso in Austin, my fall collection. It’s a really interesting mixture of punk rock, glam rock and Picasso’s cubism era. It’s young and hip.”

What was your inspiration?

“Picasso is my favorite artist because he has so many periods. I flow and ebb as an artist. I’m usually inspired by a woman relative to my life. What does she like? What is she into? Being a public figure controlled by my social media, keeping a certain image makes me feel restrictive. The idea about the collection is not about being politically correct, rather incorrect.”

How long does it take to produce a collection?

“3 weeks- 15 looks, 40 articles of clothing. I make my own patterns. I use style line tape and draw on the mannequin where the seams go, then drape the material over the mannequin and trace my drawings with the tape.”

What was Project Runway like?

“Everything you would think it would be. It was honest. I don’t always agree with the show, but it’s real criticism. There was some manipulation with personality but everything actually happened. It gave me a platform on which to stand and speak. Everyday you wake up and go to sleep with a knot in your stomach, but I would do it again. It gave me the standards I live up to today.

“Maybe I’m an attention whore, maybe not”

What’s your least favorite celebrity and why? (Think Taylor Swift)

Kylie Jenner. I’m sure she’s a sweet girl but it drives me insane that she doesn’t think about what she says. When asked what this year will bring them, she said they are just really going to realize things . I don’t appreciate such an uneducated celebrity.”

Slay kween.

What’s an embarrassing tidbit that’s happened to you while designing?

“It was my first ever runway show. It was something I felt embarrassed about but i realize now I shouldn’t have. I sent a dress down the runway that the whole bottom was sheer and the model had a blue thong on. Apparently, she invited her whole church group. Her mom and her berated me online and in person. Looking back she was a dumb bitch. She should have just worn nude underwear like a professional.”

Drag her.

Any advice to young fashionistas?

“Young designers- BE PATIENT AND LISTEN to feedback. Don’t always get offended by criticism, but build on it. Even if it’s not constructive. People’s reactions are involuntary. Listen to it, if they’re saying your quality is bad, listen. It’s easy to get offended about interactive art so keep that in mind.”

What makes you Cynical?

“My natural tendency to react outloud. I grew up having to live on the defense and knowing that I always have to have something witty and cynical to say. The ability to make people laugh is power, but keep in mind there’s a way to do it correctly.”


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