After thirteen years of designing out of the hayloft of her Illinois home Peach Carr made her way to New York City to appear on season eight of the award winning reality television fashion competition ‘Project Runway’. With an aesthetic Tim Gunn dubbed “country club chic” Peach Carr now creates tennis inspired looks that flatter her clients both on and off the court.
Renee Mallett: Do you feel that appearing on Project Runway helped your fashion career? What advice do you have for aspiring designers who are thinking of applying for future seasons of ‘Project Runway’?
Peach Carr: Appearing on Project Runway more than helped my fashion career… it helped define my future as a tennis wear designer. During my callback, Tim Gunn and Zanna Roberts Rassi were the ones to point out that tennis wear was my niche; I was too entrenched in my work to be able to stand back and assess my strengths as a designer.
I would recommend aspiring designers to apply if they are ready to accept guidance and constructive criticism from these talented and very knowledgeable judges…. and work well under pressure. A designer must be able to maintain their design point of view, but to be open to growth. The experience certainly helped me find my voice as a designer… and I will be thankful to Project Runway, the Weinsteins, the producers, director, and crew forever. I still start and end everyday with gratitude (especially to my husband, Wayne and daughter, Molly for the sacrifices they made in order for be to film the show) and by pinching myself to verify that it all really happened.
RM: Do you feel that the episodes of ‘Project Runway: Season Eight’, as they were aired, were true to what the designers really experienced while competing or was there selective editing going on that none of you discovered until after the fact?
PC: I do believe that the Season 8 episodes were quite “true to life”…. the editors and producers didn’t try to interject or create any drama… they just stood back and let it all happen. There were a few contestants who were edited kindly, but the rest of us were shown as we were.
RM: Many ‘Project Runway’ fans will remember season eight for the unexpected (and absolutely adorable) friendship between you and April Johnston. What was it like competing against a friend?
PC: As far as my friendship with April goes, we truly became the best of friends… she is one of the most honest, kind, and talented people I have ever met… with a zest for fun and a wicked sense of humor… we fell asleep laughing every night. I miss her. We ended up being in Paris together last fall for fashion week… we celebrated my 20th wedding anniversary and her 22nd birthday while we were there… they happen to fall on the same day!
I never felt like I was competing against April… more like creating side by side. I honestly saw her winning the whole thing from the second challenge on… either April or Mondo were my picks for the win. I will never see myself as competing against her… even if we show together… we have such different aesthetics; besides, I love her and wish her nothing but success and happiness. I see great achievements in the fashion world for April.
RM: Other than April do you keep in contact with your fellow former contestants?
PC: I do keep in contact with many of my fellow designers. I facebook and text with Sarah, Kristen, Casanova, Andy and Ivy… and hung with Michael Costello while in L.A… and have been out to visit Mondo and Christopher, and recently did a trunk show with Michael Drummond here in Chicago… and talk to April on a constant basis. I plan a visit to see April in the fall. So I guess you would say that I do regularly speak with or see a majority of the designers… whom I consider dear friends.
RM: Since leaving ‘Project Runway’ you’ve started a line of tennis wear. What about sportswear appeals to you and what’s been your biggest source of inspiration for the line?
PC: The biggest inspiration for my tennis wear has been the combination of my love of spandex (ladies… spandex is your friend), love of fashion and the music of the 60’s and 70’s. The women in my area are very fashionable ladies who will play their matches in the morning then go from the court to run errands or have lunch. In my designs these well-dressed athletes can play their match, kick off their shoes, step into some flats and finish their day in style.
RM: Who would be your dream celebrity to design for?
PC: My dream celebrity has always been Gwyneth Paltrow- she is gorgeous and has such a great and classy sense of style… and she is a hip movie star married to a rocker… what else could you want in a client?
RM: Favorite fashion era?
PC: My favorite fashion era would have to be the groovy 60’s… I was born in 1960 and cannot remember a time when I wasn’t passionate about the music, the clothes, and the general vibe of the times. Twiggy was my style icon for as long as I can remember… she is such a huge part of fashion history.
Peach Carr will be in the New England area this August for Styleweek Providence, where she will be showing with fellow ‘Project Runway’ alumni April Johnston and Jonathan Joseph Peters along with fashion designers from the greater Boston area. Peach will be blogging about the upcoming season of ‘Project Runway’ for the Lifetime Television Network on their blog. Her website Peach Carr Designs can be found here or click here to see a slideshow of her designs.