March 11, 2013 at 12:55 PM

Local ‘Project Runway’ Contestant Patricia Michaels Takes Another Step Towards Fashion Week

"I have a great feeling about Michaels's chances for showing at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week so keep watching!"

By Greta Chapin McGill

Santa Fe Fashion and Style

Greta is an artist, writer and renaissance woman


In 1968 artist Andy Warhol said “In the future, everyone will be famous for 15 minutes.” For those of us who missed the landmark show on MTV, “Andy Warhol’s Fifteen Minutes” we can participate in reality TV. Reality TV is television’s most popular genre. Watch everything from out of control gypsy girls pulling hair and slapping their boyfriends to teams racing around the world looking for clues to win everything from money to cars. Lose weight, find love, land a recording contract or get hired to work with Donald Trump, what ever your interests are there is a reality show to get your juices flowing.

On Thursday I spend the afternoon deciding what sustenance I need to take me through the roller coaster ride that is "Project Runway." Week six my table was set with lobster sushi and green tea. Having followed the previous ten seasons of the show season eleven is a real nail bitter. I am addicted to fashion. So what better entertainment could I hope for?

Week Six the designers were challenged to bring the runway to the real world. Each designer had a specific client to design for. The clients were mature, viable women. They were not size zero models, but women of parts with an established sense of style. These women knew what they wanted and needed the designers to execute their vision of themselves.

Taos Pueblo's Patricia Michaels struggled with this challenge. In trying to please her client she strayed from herself. As an artist I know this is a slippery slope. Michaels' designs are wearable art. When you have a client, you definitely need to please them, for an artist this is a quandary. The client already likes your work, but is now directly involved in the creative process. It is hard to balance the two. Michaels ended up having to scrap her first design and make another dress. She used a native inspired signature feather effect, made it through the round and moved on, but it was lesson well learned.

It was another unconventional challenge in Week Five with teams chosen from the dreaded button bag. Heidi showed up with a duck named Fred on leash to introduce the duck tape challenge. The garment was to be a prom dress. I settled down with a chocolate brownie and some champagne as the designers met with high school students to get a read on what is hip for prom 2013. Patricia is paired with Samantha Black, alias Sammy B. An interesting pairing from the outset. Michaels created the bottom of the dress while Samantha did the top. The result was the student favorite, counting for 20% of the overall score. Michaels does a skirt made of gradiated layers of blue silver and black duck tape. The layers gave a futuristic dimension to the dress. Sammy B was more supportive of the design, but still called her process “ arts and crafts project”.

In the end the students voted Michaels and Sammy B’s design their favorite. Zac Posen and guest judge Chris Benz called it “plugged in”, “cool”, “modern”, and “fresh”. In Klum’s opinion her designs “work.” Michaels' team was in the top two. Everyone has an opinion on the different personalities in the work room, and I am no different. I am done with “katty school girls” who bash everyone. Samantha Black was open to learning something new, she was gracious, a breath of fresh air in the team challenges, she and Michaels balanced each other. I have a great feeling about Michaels chances for showing for at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week so keep watching!