PRS8: Meet Christopher Collins and Ivy Higa
Birthplace/Hometown: Encinitas, CA
Current Home: San Francisco, CA
Current occupation? Fashion designer.
Favorite Designer(s): Christian Dior and Jeanne Lanvin
What are your strengths as a designer? Vision, construction, thoughtful concept placement.
What’s influenced your designs over the years? My grandmother, Dior and Jeanne Lanvin aesthetically, and my mom creatively.
Any other cultures or places you wish you could design for? I’d love to design for cultures in Africa, like Morocco.
What fashion faux pas drives you crazy? Ugg boots.
What’s your biggest fear as a designer? Garment not fitting right.
Style Icon: Dita Von Teese
Project Runway challenge you hope they bring back for your season? Dressing Christina Aguilera!
Favorite Past Project Runway Designer(s): Austin Scarlett, Season 1
Although he first learned to sew as a child from his mother, Christopher Collins didn’t realize his true design potential until his freshman year of college at San Francisco State University, where he learned pattern making and developed his construction skills. He worked as a visual merchandiser for Neiman Marcus while in school, which helped him develop his insight into the luxury market. After graduation, Christopher spent time as an assistant evening wear designer for Tadashi and Dine Bar-El in Los Angeles before moving back to San Francisco to start his own contemporary couture collection. He launched his first collection in Fall 2008 and in Spring 2009, was selected to show at Gen Art in San Francisco where he earned rave reviews. Christopher is known for his use of fine silks and tailored Elizabethan collars. He draws inspiration for his designs from his grandmother, Dior and Lanvin aesthetically and from his mother creatively.
Why he’ll win?
Christopher always aims to design something beautiful and wearable but still be “dreamy.” His vision, construction and thoughtful concept placement can help him make the cut.
He draws inspiration from his grandmother? That’s too cute for words.
Cute clothes! How many more times can we say “cute” in this post. He’s awfully cute himself and we applaud his decision to cut his hair, which increases the cute factor.
Birthplace/Hometown: Seoul, South Korea, Kaihula-Kona, Hawaii
Current Home: New York, NY
Current occupation? Fashion designer.
What is a fashion must? Confidence. It never goes out of fashion.
When did you realize you had designer potential? I was born with a sewing machine! I always knew that I wanted to be a fashion designer.
What are your strengths as a designer? Construction and taste. I know the details of finishing a garment impeccably.
What’s influenced your designs over the years? Fine arts. My undergraduate degree is in art, and I focused on ceramics at the University of Hawaii.
What’s your favorite material or fabric to work with? Primarily natural fabrics, as they feel best against the skin.
Favorite Designer(s): Marc Jacobs, Consuelo Castiglioni, Stella McCartney, Issey Miyake, Junya Watanabe, Ralph Rucci.
Style Icon: Coco Chanel
Project Runway challenge you wish they’d bring back for your season? I loved the flower-shop challenge in Season 2.
Favorite Past Project Runway Designer: Christian Siriano, Season 4
Ivy first learned to sew in 8th grade, at the age of 13, in her home economics class and from there, fell in love with the concept of creating. She taught herself to sew by buying patterns and creating her own patterns using the comics section from the Sunday paper. Ivy’s designs are also greatly influenced by her fondness of art, which she studied while at the University of Hawaii. She received formal training at Parsons, The New School of Design and further immersed herself in the fashion world by working as a personal shopper and sales associate at Neiman Marcus, serving as a design assistant at Lafayette 148, designing fabric for DKNY and freelancing as an accessories designer. She gained more experience as a designer selected as one of nine finalists for the Oscars® Designers Challenge.
Why she’ll win?
Having sewn for over half her life, Ivy knows the details of finishing a garment impeccably and finding the right fabric that works for each silhouette. She can execute her designs almost exactly as her sketches so she can translate an idea from her head into a three-dimensional garment with ease. Ivy’s mentality is that she has no other option than to win.
When someone says their style icon is Coco Chanel, we immediately think they lack imagination. Sorry, but we’re bitches.
Okay, now we’re hungry.
Her stuff is available in stores? Which stores?
Nice. It looks like she’s all about providing bang for the buck. She’s a bit perky, no? That could mean she’ll annoy the other designers or it could be a front to hide the raging bitch within. Time will tell, kittens. Time will tell.
Nice. Like Christopher’s work, there’s nothing earth-shattering here, but these are workman-like. She’ll need to break out a bit to impress Nina.
More info on Christopher Collins and Ivy Higa at myLifetime.com.