Project Runway: Where Are They Now?

This week, we’re visiting a designer from Project Runway’s Season 3. Alison Kelly is a young soul with a beautiful, mature, vintage-inspired aesthetic. Here’s what she had to say about life lessons learned and her newest projects.

Alison is wearing a dress she designed for Bravo’s A-List Awards, which is also available on her site. Photo courtesy of dahlbyalisonkelly.com.

ModCloth: What have you been doing since the finale?

Alison: I launched my wholesale line, Dahl by Alison Kelly, in September 2006 with an exclusive for Shopbop.com. During production, a factory I was using in Manhattan’s garment district skipped town, having been six months behind on rent, taking with them many of my patterns, fabrics, samples, and production. I lost a lot of money. I was able to ship the collection on time, thanks to my loved ones, and it was okay in the end. Thus, I proceeded to have a nervous breakdown. (I am smiling about it now. I was able to recover, and learned a “valuable lesson,” I’ve been told. Whether it was about trust or simply fate, I still do not know.)

I also created a website where customers can choose a look from my line and have it custom made to fit them. This process has been very fun and rewarding. I also just launched a new product with my boyfriend–Dahl and Dane: True Love Always.

(ModCloth note to readers: Seriously, check it out. Alison and Dane make personalized t-shirts where they’ll fill in the blank: “I heart ___” with whatever you want. How great is that?)

MC: What are the most important things you learned from the show?

Alison: To practice humility. To stand for what I believe in. To take from criticism something constructive and work it out until you find beauty again.

MC: Were there any funny or crazy behind-the-scenes moments that didn’t air in this season’s final cut?

Alison: Oh goodness, with four hours of sleep each night and working around the clock, I believe we were going a bit nutty. You probably had to be there in the muck and mire to think these scenarios were at all humorous. Maybe they’re on the DVD…

MC: How would you describe your personal style?

Alison: Fickle, yet faithful to an abiding silhouette…I’m wrapped up in a lifetime of custom-fit clothing, so much that it has become a second nature. What is modish to me is something I’ve designed that slips on and makes me feel puissant, because it is comfortable and aesthetically-pleasing to my eye in a subdued sort of manner. It doesn’t look or feel too new yet. It is not dated or too ironic.

MC: Who are some of your favorite designers?

Alison: Ann Demeulemeester, Malene Birger, Nicolas Ghesquiere, Miuccia Prada, Alexander McQueen, and Alber Elbaz.

MC: How is designing jewelry different than designing clothing?

Alison: It is all in the medium. The process of getting your hands dirty, cut up, filed on, scraped and scratched so you’re bleeding to make a beautiful piece of art that you can wear is the wonder and magic of making jewelry form. It becomes an addiction. You feel like an alchemist! But it is self-expression. It is sociable; people want to talk about it, and the same reaction comes from clothing as well. Your blood, sweat, and tears go into these processes; that is what makes them similar and absolutely rewarding mediums.

MC: Have you been working more on jewelry or clothing lately?

Alison: Clothing.

MC: Where can we find your pieces?

Alison: dahlbyalisonkelly.com. TG-170 in the Lower East Side, Thistle & Clover in Brooklyn, Pinky in Cleveland, and ALTER in Brooklyn.

More of Alison’s designs. Photos courtesy of dahlbyalisonkelly.com.

MC: Who are your favorite designers from this season of Project Runway?

Alison: Leanne and Jerell are my top two.

MC: What are your future plans?

Alison: To continue designing my line. I am very excited for AW 09-10. I want to make knitwear and design my own fabric.

(ModCloth note to readers: AW 09-10 is a fabric show held in New York, Paris, Moscow, Shanghai, and Tokyo.)

Next Week: Kara Janx from Season 2.

About ModCloth

With the combined writing powers of our scribing staff, we bring you oodles of collaborative features starring everything from contests and culture to behind-the-scenes coverage of MC events and shenanigans. You're always saying you want to be kept in the loop. Consider yourself lassoed.

4 Responses to Project Runway: Where Are They Now?

  1. Sari 10/24/2008 at 10:53 am #

    i loved allison!

  2. Kirsten 11/14/2008 at 12:23 am #

    Thats so sad to hear about allison’s lose of so much =(

    Im so glad shes got everything back together!

    She’s an amazing designer.

  3. blank clothing 08/18/2010 at 2:22 pm #

    I love Alison Kelly. She is definitely one of my favorite designers on Project Runway.

  4. blank clothing 02/29/2012 at 10:26 am #

    Glad to see that she is doing well after the show. Hope we get to see more designs from her.

Leave a Reply!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s