PRS8: Meet Gretchen Jones and Jason Troisi
Birthplace/Hometown: Fairplay, CO
Current Home: Portland, OR
Current occupation? Designer/director of own clothing label, MothLove.
What is a fashion must? Belts and boots.
What are your strengths as a designer? Draping, marketability, composition.
What’s influenced your designs over the years? My influences are rooted within minimal and conceptual art principles.
What fashion faux pas drives you crazy? Diving so far into a trend/identity that you lose your own personal sense of style.
Any other cultures or places you wish you could design for? I wish I could design enough collections that I’d be traveling the world over to find inspiration.
Favorite Designer(s): Vena Cava, Halston, Rachel Comey, Chloe, Isabel Marant,
Vanessa Bruno, Phoebe Philo, Mara Hoffman, Stella McCartney, Victoria Bartlet
Style Icon: Chloe Sevigny
Project Runway challenge you wish they’d bring back for your season? Designing for Sarah Jessica Parker.
Favorite Past Project Runway Designer: Leanne Marshall, Season 5
Designing and fashion have always been in Gretchen’s blood. Starting at a very young age, she first began creating portfolios of her designs and then brought them to life by making hand sewn purses she could sell to her friends and neighbors. The first dress she ever designed was the dress she wore to her First Communion. Although Gretchen knew design was in her future, she opted to refrain from pursuing a formal education in design. She felt that rather than spend time and money in school, gaining real world experience in the industry would allow her a better understanding of the ins and outs of fashion and design.
Why she’ll win?
Gretchen believes she will walk away with the grand prize because she is the whole package. She fully understands the needs of the client and the designer/label, while having a clear perspective of the fantasy based approach for runway and the realities of consumer branding.
LEANNE MARSHALL IS HER FAVORITE CONTESTANT?!? WE ARE SHOCKED, KITTENS!
Why is it we can’t shake the feeling that if she got caught in the rain she’d shoot sparks everywhere and then shut down?
We’ll say this: she presents her work very well. She knows how to defend it and how to talk up certain points. That will serve her well when she’s facing Nina.
Birthplace/Hometown: Greenwich, CT
Current Home: Greenwich, CT
Current occupation? Landscape designer (glorified lawn cutter).
Favorite Designer(s): Can I say myself? Otherwise, a former classmate, Ilho Kim (Jinx/Ken), W<, early McQueen.
What is a fashion must? For men, a great suit. For women, a tailored jacket to build your wardrobe around.
What are your strengths as a designer? Attention to detail, strong sense of tailoring, eye for color, originality, conceptual design.
What’s influenced your designs over the years? Society, war, fine art, prior relationships and human emotion.
Any other unusual influences? The Beat generation, indie musicians, the Bodies exhibit, bioluminescent deep-sea creatures.
What’s your biggest fear as a designer? To make something that someone has already made and think it was new.
Style Icons: Marlon Brando, Vincent Price
Project Runway challenge you hope they bring back for your season? Avant-garde, or the ones using materials from a hardware store or plant shop.
Favorite Past Project Runway Designer: Irina Shabayeva, Season 6; Seth Aaron Henderson, Season 7
Currently a landscape designer (or self-described “glorified lawn cutter”), Jason took a home economics course in high school where he got his first taste of sewing and design. He later attended Parsons, The New School of Design and during his senior year, won the Gene Mayer Designer’ Critic Gold Thimble Award for Menswear in 2000. Unable to find a job upon graduation, Jason took a nine year break from designing and it was only within the last few years, that he began sewing again. Although some may see Jason’s lack of work in the industry as a weakness, he believes that is what keeps his love for design alive and pure for him.
Why he’ll win? Jason’s attention to detail, strong sense of tailoring, eye for color, originality, conceptual design, intuition to see the future of fashion and his vision of design as an art form will lead Jason to be the last designer on the catwalk.
Okay, we’ll give him credit for naming both Marlon Brando and Vincent Price as style icons.
Well, as characters go, he’s something new. We’re assuming he’s straight (and we shouldn’t, we know), and the show has had plenty of straight guys of the Italian variety (Joe Faris, Kevin Christiana) but this is the first real “dese, dem and dose” guy they’ve ever had. The landscaper angle makes a nice story if he makes it to Fashion Week.
We agree with Tim: overdesigned. He’s got some interesting ideas from a structural point of view but his sense of proportion seems off.
Those pants are hilariously vulgar. The rest of it holds some interest. We’ll see.
More info on Gretchen Jones and Jason Troisi at myLifetime.com.