February 11, 2013 at 12:28 PM

Taos Pueblo Designer Patricia Michaels Continues to Shine on ‘Project Runway’

"Patricia Micheals is a fashion force and as a hometown girl she deserves the entire community to raise a cheer and root her on"

By Greta Chapin McGill

Santa Fe Fashion and Style

Greta is an artist, writer and renaissance woman

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My Thursday nights now have a purpose. I cannot wait to pull out the corn chips, peach mango salsa and flip the remote. "Project Runway" is my idea of  couch potato heaven. It’s Season Eleven of what is this fashionista’s idea of the perfect reality TV show. The prize is amazing and for an artist, the exposure is unprecedented.

I am totally into this season with the appearance of Taos Pueblo’s Patricia Micheals. It’s Week Three and the drama is in full effect. As the first Native American in the competition, Micheals has brought a cultural calm to the madness of the workroom. Even when her teammates think she is in over her head and will never make it to the runway, she turns out an amazing piece of wearable art.

Week Two brought a challenge to redesign the server uniforms for a trendy New York spot called “Spin.” It’s a cross between a sporty daytime and an upscale night time venue. You can eat, drink, and play ping pong into the wee hours. Take the kids during the day or enjoy the adult party mix at night. Hollywood’s Susan Sarandon, who was a guest judge for the runway show, needed a redesign of the staff uniforms for her unique entertainment concept

Micheals' "Keeping it Real" design team kept up their winning ways by turning in the winning design. As a team player, Micheals designed a legging with a short pocketed skirt for the female servers. I would have snapped those leggings up in a heart beat and I hope she decides to produce them. She held up her team even though she worried her creativity would not be seen in a pair of basic leggings.

This week, the designers were challenged to create a commercial look and a red carpet look for host and judge Heidi Klum, who is introducing her fourth fragrance, Surprise. She challenged the designers to be inspired by the pink-and-black packaging and the aroma of Surprise, whose fragrance is elegant, sexy and sensual with floral notes.

Micheals created a simple shape with a design element of fabric manipulation. The dress was made from pink and gold leather transformed into a mesh. Each piece was cut and woven together by Micheals. Again she was undaunted by her teammates skepticism. She finished her artistic vision in the allotted time and ended up placing in the top three contestants. Micheals proved herself a team player by donating a piece of black leather to her teammate, who also finished among the top three.

Judge Zac Posen called her design “strong simple and effective." The dress moved beautifully on the runway, the low cut back was definitely a “Surprise” ending. Michaels' manipulation of leather to create an amazingly different and one-of-a-kind design makes everything she does a couture piece. Micheals consistently gives up something you haven’t seen before.

Reserve your Thursday night spot on the couch. Patricia Micheals is a fashion force and as a hometown girl she deserves the entire community to raise a cheer and root her on. I just want to be on the front row when she shows her winning designs at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week!

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